Simply put, cheese is the answer to all when it comes to mac and cheese, says Werlin, and almost any cheese works — it just depends on how you use it.
"A creamy cheese like Brie becomes pure seduction when it's part of a mac and cheese, and a hard cheese like Parmigiano-Reggiano won't melt, but its cheesy crunch on top of a mac and cheese is legendary," she says. "A fresh goat cheese is not only creamy, but it also serves as the tangy yin to the casserole's rich yang. And basically anything you would put in a grilled cheese sandwich or use in fondue is an excellent candidate. The important thing is that if it's a firm cheese, you must take the time to grate it. Slices of cheese just won't do. You'll more likely end up with cheese clumps instead of a smooth sauce."