Unless you’re lactose-intolerant, there’s never a bad time for a cheesy recipe—but June 4 is National Cheese Day, so it may be the perfect occasion.
It’s hard to find a snack or a meal that isn’t immediately improved with the addition of cheese (and made even more awesome when it’s melted cheese). Take, for example, the common tortilla chip. Melt some cheese on it and you’ve got the ultimate rebrand: nachos. Add whatever toppings you want—preferably some jalapeños, maybe some sour cream, black beans, salsa—and you’re in business. But if you want to get more elaborate, there’s always mac and cheese, or cheesy gougeres. Basically, we love cheese in any form.
Related Reading: 7 Rules for the Perfect Grilled Cheese Sandwich
Check out these 17 gloriously cheesy recipes and make sure your refrigerator is stocked with cheddar (and parmesan…and blue cheese…and lots of other fromage for good measure). You’re gonna need it.
1. Cacio e Pepe
Our recipe for fancy homemade nacho cheese contains a blend of sharp cheddar, Gruyere, cold wheat beer, and the magic ingredient, sodium citrate, that gives it the perfect concession-stand-worthy consistency. Get our Perfectly Melting Cheese recipe.
Garlic and onion powder, baby spinach, and 1/2 cup of mozzarella make this pull-apart bread a walk to remember. Get the Creamed Spinach Pull-Apart Bread recipe.
A classic comfort dish, this cheesy baked rice has garlic, onion, cream, extra-sharp white cheddar cheese, and a bunch of fresh scallions to top it off. It’s easy, and ever better, a cheap gourmet dinner. Get our Cheesy Baked Rice recipe.
Light, airy, and packed with cheese, these Brazilian delicacies are delicious alongside a meal any time of day. Get the Pão de Queijo (Brazilian Cheese Puffs) recipe.
A pull-apart feast made with pizza dough, jalapeños, and shredded mozzarella cheese, this monkey dough is best dipped in marinara sauce for the full pizza experience. Get our Pizza Dough Monkey Bread recipe.
Smoking fresh cheese adds an entirely new flavor dimension—start with a ball of fresh mozzarella and smoke over fresh hickory wood chips and lump charcoal for the best smoked cheese you’ve ever tasted. Get our Smoked Mozzarella recipe.
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Perfect for a fancy lunch or dinner salad, this blue cheese dressing comes together with whole-milk yogurt, white wine vinegar, kosher salt, sugar, crumbled blue cheese, and a dash of Worcestershire sauce. Get our Blue Cheese Dressing recipe.
Related Reading: Salad Dressing Recipes That’ll Make You Excited to Eat Your Greens
10. Pimento Cheese
Warm cheesy bean dip is certainly fantastic, but this cheese-forward spread has the benefit of no cooking required—it’s perfect for summer snacking. Get our Pimento Cheese recipe (in addition to the classic cheddar, it also has cream cheese and pepper Jack).
You need a good mac and cheese recipe in your repertoire, and there are so many variations it’s hard to pick a favorite, but this Classic Macaroni and Cheese recipe is gooey and creamy with a crisp panko topping.
12. Juicy Lucy
If you eat meat, you also need a solid cheeseburger recipe—whether it involves bacon, follows the smashburger format, or gets grilled. But cheese hounds will be partial to a Juicy Lucy Burger recipe since it stuffs the center with molten fromage. Feel free to put more on top! (And if you’re truly devoted to cheese, you can even make your own American cheese for this one.)
That classic red box of cheesy orange crackers is a must-grab in the snack aisle, but if you like to DIY, try our Nacho Cheese Crackers recipe. Add jalapeño slices on top for a kick.
14. Baked Feta
Who says a block of cheese can’t be the centerpiece of a meal? This hearty vegetarian main dish is a great one-pan dinner that surrounds feta cheese with kale and chickpeas and bakes them til crisp and creamy. Get the Baked Feta recipe.
Not in a cooking mood? Marinate those delicious (and adorable) balls of mozzarella known as bocconcini in a mix of olive oil, herbs, and capers for a super easy and super delicious snack. They’re great for packing in picnics too! Get our Marinated Bocconcini recipe.
Cheese can be dessert too! Simply paired with fruit, it’s a worthy way to end any meal, but if you like to bake, cheesecake is obviously the top option. Easier, though, is our Ricotta and Honey Tart recipe, a great baked good you can make ahead and bring out to cap off a Greek BBQ. (For extra credit, make your own ricotta too.)
Related Video: These Cheese-Stuffed Arepas Are Another Treat
Header image by Chowhound.