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    I Tested Famous Mac 'N' Cheese Recipes And Found The Very Best One

    Not all recipes are created equal.

    Alice Yoo / BuzzFeed

    Mac 'n' cheese is one of the greatest foods in the world.

    NBC

    I mean, it's almost impossible not to like it — but not all recipes are created equal.

    So, in an attempt to find the absolute best, I decided to test four popular recipes:

    Alice Yoo / BuzzFeed

    This was my lineup:

    1. Patti LaBelle: Because Patti is not only known for her singing, but her cooking. Her sweet potato pie gained a lot of attention, and she has been making her famous mac 'n' cheese recipe for years (even cooking it for Oprah herself). I had to try it.

    2. Khloé Kardashian: Because I love the texture of baked mac 'n' cheese, and Khloé cooks hers in mini muffin tins so every bite has the perfect combination of crispy and soft.

    3. Gordon Ramsay: Because he uses ~fancy~ cheese and puts whole florets of cauliflower in his mac 'n' cheese — which is unusual — but if there's anyone who can pull that off, it's Gordon Ramsay.

    4. Rihanna: Because her recipe calls for mustard, ketchup, and grated raw onion (among other untraditional add-ins), so I knew it was going to be interesting. Also, it's RIHANNA. Need I say more?

    Here are their methods and how they stacked up:

    First was Patti LaBelle's legendary "over the rainbow" mac 'n' cheese. She starts by boiling pasta in salted water with a bit of oil.

    Ben Gabbe / Getty Images, Jesse Szewczyk / BuzzFeed

    Then she adds five types of cheese: shredded Muenster, Monterey Jack, mild and sharp cheddar, and cubed Velveeta...

    Ade Mangum / BuzzFeed

    ...along with eggs, half-and-half, and seasoning. It all goes into a buttered baking dish, and is topped with EVEN MORE cheese and butter, then is baked until bubbling.

    So, did it live up to the hype?

    Jesse Szewczyk/BuzzFeed

    YES. It was really good. Because the cheese wasn't fully melted or made into a sauce, the finished product had little pockets of melted cheese that made it super decadent. It was creamy, rich, and exactly what I want mac 'n' cheese to taste like. This was the epitome of comfort food and made me very happy while eating it.

    Rating: 🧀🧀🧀🧀

    Get Patti LaBelle's recipe (and watch her make it).

    Up next was Khloé Kardashian with her mac 'n' cheese bites. She starts by boiling pasta in salted water until al dente.

    Frazer Harrison / Getty Images, Jesse Szewczyk/BuzzFeed

    Then she melts butter in a saucepan, adds flour, and cooks until thickened (aka a roux).

    She boils milk — then adds chopped American cheese slices, shredded cheddar, an egg yolk, and smoked paprika.

    Ade Mangum / BuzzFeed

    Everything is baked in a buttered mini muffin pan. The finished product looked equal parts ridiculous and cute — but how did it taste?

    Ade Mangum/BuzzFeed

    To be honest, not great. While the flavor wasn't bad, the texture was way too firm. The cheese and egg mixture bound it up way too tight, and it was like it had no sauce at all. It was dry, kinda bland (the recipe didn't even call for salt), and tough. While they didn't necessarily taste bad, the texture ruined it for me.

    Rating: 🧀🧀

    Get Khloé Kardashian's recipe.

    Then came Gordon Ramsay. He cooks cauliflower in salted water, fishes it out, then cooks pasta in the same water, and tosses the two together with butter.

    Ethan Miller / Getty Images, Jesse Szewczyk / BuzzFeed

    Then he makes the sauce with milk, three cheeses — cheddar, Lancashire, and Cheshire — and adds the cooked cauliflower and pasta back in.

    Jesse Szewczyk / BuzzFeed

    Transfer to a gratin dish, top with bread crumbs, fresh thyme, and even more cheese, and bake until golden.

    So, how did cauliflower in mac 'n' cheese taste?

    Ade Mangum / BuzzFeed

    It was delicious! You almost couldn't even tell there was cauliflower in it — the florets became super tender and almost "melted" into the pasta. The cheese flavor was out of control, but not in an overpowering way. It tasted like something you would get in a fancy restaurant — like mac 'n' cheese all dressed up. I loved the texture the bread crumbs gave it, and I couldn't stop eating it.

    Rating: 🧀🧀🧀🧀🧀

    Get Gordon Ramsay's recipe.

    Last but not least? Rihanna, with her recipe for "mac a Rih's." She starts by boiling and draining her pasta...

    Dimitrios Kambouris / Getty Images, Jesse Szewczyk / BuzzFeed

    ...then adding grated onion, bell pepper, spring onions, mustard, ketchup, and scotch bonnet pepper sauce.

    Ade Mangum/BuzzFeed, Jesse Szewczyk/BuzzFeed

    Then stir in Colby-Jack cheese by the handful — thinning it out with water until nice and creamy. Garnish with even more spring onions, and that's it.

    It looked (and smelled) interesting...but did it taste any good?

    Ade Mangum / BuzzFeed

    OK, I'll admit that I was really skeptical about this one (sorry, Rih), but it was actually pretty good. It definitely didn't taste like your typical mac 'n' cheese, but the flavors ~worked~. The onion, ketchup, and mustard almost made it taste like a burger, and a lot of my coworkers said it tasted like a hamburger casserole. The scotch bonnet pepper sauce gave it a little hit of heat, but nothing too intense. It was weird, but weird in a good way (kinda like the music video for S&M).

    Rating: 🧀🧀🧀

    Get Rihanna's recipe.

    SO WHO WON?

    Alice Yoo / BuzzFeed

    THE WINNER: Gordon Ramsay

    This mac was flavorful, rich, and had the perfect ratio of crispy and creamy textures. The cauliflower was a surprisingly delicious addition that actually worked. It tasted like something you would get at a nice restaurant — the fancy cheeses gave it a ton of flavor — and I'll certainly be making it again. Get the recipe.

    SECOND PLACE: Patti LaBelle

    This was a great, classic mac 'n' cheese recipe. It's loaded with all kinds of cheese (five whole cups!), is insanely decadent, and certainly not for calorie counters — but isn't that what makes mac 'n' cheese taste so good? Get the recipe.

    THIRD PLACE: Rihanna

    I'll admit, I was skeptical of this recipe — but it was actually pretty darn good. The combination of ketchup, onion, and mustard made it taste kind of like a cheeseburger casserole, and the scotch bonnet pepper sauce gave it the perfect hit of heat. Get the recipe.

    FOURTH PLACE: Khloé Kardashian

    Sure, these mini macs looked cute, but they didn't taste all that great. They had too much cheese and flour in them, so it made the sauce really thick and tight (instead of creamy). Combine that with baking them and they pretty much turned into little hockey pucks. These were definitely not my favorite. Get the recipe.

    TL;DR: If you're OK with putting cauliflower in your mac 'n' cheese, then go with Gordon Ramsay's absolutely delicious macaroni, cheese, and cauliflower bake — but if you're more of a mac 'n' cheese purist, Patti LaBelle's recipe is a great, comforting classic.

    What ultimate recipes should we test next? Let us know in the comments below!