Who knows how many gourmet macaroni recipes, complete with rich, velvety sauces and crispy baked panko-crust toppings, have been turned down in favor of the infamous blue box? Countless kids across the country (and plenty of adults) are inescapably drawn to boxed macaroni. Maybe it's the happy, vibrant, neon orange color. Perhaps it's just familiarity: a taste of childhood that's comforting and cozy and nigh universal. It's a frustration to parents, spouses, and discerning diners  everywhere that their best, creamiest macaronis are met with furrowed brows and disappointment.

Blue Box Macaroni

The Original

Here's a "homemade" macaroni and cheese that's a perfect starter recipe for weaning your reluctant eater off of his or her blue box blues!

Boxed macaroni gets its taste from powdered cheese, so to mimic the particular tang of it, you'll have to use a lower-quality cheese than you may be accustomed to. However, the method used for this cheese sauce is similar to making any kind of homemade macaroni, so you can start adding more of the cheeses you like as you go!

The Copycat

The Copycat