This is my recipe to spice up store-bought mac & cheese from a box. I like the Annie's Shells and Real Aged Cheddar. This kind uses powder cheese mix, which is better for this type of thing than the kind with the squeezy liquid cheese because you make your own sauce. I also prefer to use a mix where the cheese is colored orange (Annie's uses natural colorings) because otherwise with the tuna and pasta, the result looks so sad and beige.
1 box mac and cheese mix with powdered cheese
3 cloves garlic, minced finely
2/3 c beer (a darker beer is good for a heavier taste, lighter beers for a lighter taste, but stay away from things like Hefeweizen or flavory beers like fruity ones or spicy ones or it will taste weird. I've used Shiner Bock and Tecate with fine results)
1/3 c plain yogurt (if you don't have yogurt, you can use less milk, whatever the box calls for)
1 package of tuna (the kind in the pack is better than the kind in the can, in my opinion)
2 tbsp vegetable oil
Salt & pepper to taste
1. Fill pot with as much water as recommended on your mac & cheese package, bring to boil.
2. Once water is boiling, pour pasta into pot, bring back to boil, simmer for time allotted on package. While pasta is cooking, you can do the following. Whenever pasta is done, drain, and then set aside if ready before you are done making the sauce.
3. Heat oil in skillet over medium-low heat.
4. When oil is heated, add garlic, cook until softened, but don't let it brown. Add salt and pepper.
5. Add beer, stir and allow to reduce somewhat
6. Mix powdered cheese mix with yogurt or milk until blended completely.
7. Turn heat off on pan. Add cheese mixture and stir until well incorporated.
8. Add pasta to skillet. Stir to coat in sauce. Turn heat back on to low.
9. Mix up tuna by squeezing sides of tuna packet or breaking up with fork and add to pan. Mix well into pasta.
10. If sauce seems too watery, allow to reduce on low until thicker, but stir often to ensure that pasta and tuna don't start to burn or stick to bottom of pan.
You can add minced and/or caramelized onion, too, but make sure the onion is fully softened on its own before adding garlic or beer so that it doesn't cook too long.