The Unlikely Pasta Type You Should Use For Baked Mac And Cheese

Mac and cheese is a home staple food for a reason. According to MEL Magazine, the cheesy, creamy pasta dish has existed in various capacities since 1390, and hundreds of years later, it's clear that the classic macaroni and cheese is not going anywhere any time soon. Kraft boxed mac and cheese was first invented in 1937 amid the Great Depression, and since then, there has been a plethora of ideas on how to upgrade the meal (per Smithsonian Magazine).

With such a wide variety of pasta shapes and cheeses out there, how do you know which ones will achieve the tastiest (and more importantly, the cheesiest) results? Besides making sure to salt your pasta water generously, a delicious homemade baked mac and cheese can be made with something other than the typical penne, bowtie, or elbow macaroni. In fact, spaghetti is one of those underrated pasta types that is usually overlooked when it comes to the famous comfort dish.

Spaghetti baked mac and cheese is often used in New Orleans

As The Takeout points out, spaghetti isn't just for red sauce and meatballs — the long pasta can also be utilized quite well in baked mac and cheese. Per "Chopped" champion Kenneth Temple, this often happens in New Orleans restaurants, as the chefs will bake the meal and cut it into squares for customers. Spaghetti may allow for a thicker, casserole-adjacent dish that allows the cheese to soak into the pasta differently from shorter pastas that may not absorb the ingredients as eloquently.

Though spaghetti works specifically well in baked mac and cheese, keep in mind that it may not be the best choice for a traditional stovetop mac recipe. Another unexpected pasta The Takeout suggests using in your mac and cheese is orecchiette. This pasta shape would likely yield an end result similar to stuffed shells, as the cheese and seasoning will fit well in the pasta's concave shape. No matter which pasta you are feeling at dinner time, both of these less-conventional shapes are sure to be deliciously cheesy.