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BLT Mac and Cheese

SAMSUNG CSC

Want to take a traditional kids' meal up a notch? For a dinner that will please the adults AND the children at the table, try adding a ton of meat and veggies to that cheese and carb favorite. Old-fashioned macaroni from a box combines with bacon, lettuce and tomato for a casserole that's out of this world.

Ingredients:

1 (7.25 ounce) package boxed macaroni, prepared

1/4 cup heavy whipping cream

2 cups frozen spinach, thawed and drained

1/2 cup cherry tomatoes, diced

5 slices bacon, cooked until crispy and diced

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees.

Directions:

Make macaroni per package instructions and add an additional 1/4 cup heavy whipping cream at the end to make it extra-creamy.

Grease a shallow casserole dish and fill with half the macaroni. Layer frozen spinach on top.

Layer the rest of the macaroni on top of the spinach.

Add cherry tomatoes and top with diced bacon.

Serve warm.

Just about any household is bound to have these items on-hand, so it's a quick and easy fix when you need dinner in a flash or guests show up and you require some extra food in a hurry. Make it even more fun with shaped mac, or use organic white cheddar. Spice it up with some chopped jalapeños, even! If you don't have cherry tomatoes in the refrigerator, you can grab some salsa in its place, and even top it all off with a few slices of avocados. Just like the sandwich, this BLT recipe can be tailored to any family's tastes.

RELATED: Recipes for the Bacon Obsessed

Heavy whipping cream is a good way to make any macaroni and cheese extra-creamy. It can make day-old macaroni nice and edible again, and in this recipe it helps keep the top layer from drying out as the vegetable layers cook through.

If the kids are picky about veggies, you can make double the boxed macaroni and pull some out for them before layering the grown-up dish with the spinach and tomatoes. You'll probably still want to reserve some bacon for them. Everybody loves bacon, after all.

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