Macaroni and cheese, also known as "mac and cheese", "macaroni cheese" in British English, or "macaroni pie" in Caribbean English, is a common casserole consisting of cooked macaroni with a cheese sauce. Macaroni and cheese is often prepared using a packaged food mix.
Packaged versions of the dish are available as a convenience food, consisting of boxed pasta and either a liquid cheese sauce, or the powdered ingredients to prepare it. In the latter case, the consumer may add either milk or water, and margarine, butter or olive oil. In preparing the dish, the macaroni is cooked and drained, then mixed with the cheese sauce. Extra ingredients, such as cooked ground beef, jalapeños, sliced hot dogs, SPAM, Tabasco sauce, fried bacon, canned tuna or salmon, peas, broccoli or other vegetables are sometimes incorporated into the dish. The product can be prepared in a microwave, baked in a traditional oven, or cooked on a kitchen stove.
There are a number of different products are on the market which use this basic formulation with minor variations in ingredients. Kraft Macaroni and Cheese, known as "Kraft Dinner" in Canada, introduced in 1937, a packaged dry macaroni and cheese mix, was the original brand name product.