It’s National Mac and Cheese Day, TN fam! Name a better duo than macaroni and cheese. We’ll wait. The creation of this creamy concoction is proof that not all heroes wear capes. At the very least they deserve a statue erected in their honor, but unfortunately, the exact origin of the comfort food staple is unknown. There is speculation that it likely has roots in Northern Europe, with the earliest known recorded recipe being written in 1769.

But what we do know is that it is a perennial crowd pleaser and is a staple in many households worldwide, including the United States. The dish made its way to American shores courtesy of Thomas Jefferson’s discerning palate after he sampled the pasta casserole in France. He even served macaroni and cheese at a state dinner in 1802. Since then, it has been fashioned into a quick and easy boxed meal by Kraft Foods and become a point of ongoing debate. Should you use an egg or not?

Others have taken liberties with the traditional recipe, and let’s just say egg is the least controversial ingredient in some of these modern takes on the classic. Here are a few of the most unconventional macaroni and cheese dishes from across the country.

1. Mac & Cheese Pot Pie

Pies are not reserved just for dessert anymore. The Pie Hole in Los Angeles put its own savory spin on this flaky dish by using macaroni and cheese as a filling in their pot pie.


2. Mac & Cheese Attack

This hybrid mac and cheeseburger became a social media sensation almost ten years ago. The mash-up from Chicago’s Rockit Bar & Grill became the internet’s fave, in large part due to the mac and cheese bun invention.

3. The Spicy Stark

This hero sandwich from Hometown Heroes in New York features house fried chicken cutlets, creamy mac and cheese, plus sliced jalapeños loaded onto fresh bread. Fire emojis activated.

4. Bacon Mac And Cheese Empanada

Bang Bang Burritos has a fresh take on empanadas. Their version is packed with chunks of bacon in addition to mac and cheese. Not a fan of pork? They also offer chicken and beef options.

5. Hello Clarice Mac

Our House Bistro is known for their innovative takes on comfort food, but this one is downright twisted. Their Hello Clarice Mac is drenched in lamb, roasted fall veggies, garlic, spinach, and caramelized onions — which all sounds innocent enough. That is, until you realize it was inspired by the psychological horror film The Silence of the Lambs.


6. The Mac Daddy

What’s better than a gooey grilled cheese sandwich? One filled with oodles of mac and cheese like the inventive sandwiches from The Big Cheeze in Bloomington, Indiana.


7. Mac & Cheetos

Flamin’ Hot Cheetos seem to be everywhere right now. We’ve seen them on sushi rolls, chicken breasts, omelettes, and now mac and cheese thanks to the folks at The Attic on Broadway.

8. Mac 'n' Cheese Pizza

Za Pizza and Salad has managed to combine two American faves: a pizza pie topped with macaroni and cheese.