This selection of recipes is fairly self-explanatory:

It’s the end of January.

The world is wild. (And much of it is quite cold right now.)

Melted cheese is supremely comforting.

To help, we’ll turn to our cheesiest recipes with maximum melt: We’ve got the usual (quesadillas, fondue) and the unique (bread boats filled with oozing cheese!). We also offer a few dairy-free recipes for our friends who can’t handle lactose. But if all this proves to be too much, you’ll be happy to know that we tried 20 store-bought mac and cheese brands and are here with the best (and worst) options. Happy cheesing, dear readers.

Quesadillas With Onion and Poblano Chile Peppers, above. A quesadilla such as this presents the perfect pairing of comfort: Toasted corn (in the form of tortillas), mild but melty cheese (Oaxacan if your local market has it, mozzarella or Monterey Jack if not) and the slight spice from roasted poblano peppers. Serve with salsa or, um, barbecue sauce. (Trust us on this one.)



(Goran Kosanovic for The Washington Post)

Chloe’s Vegan Sweet Potato Mac ’n’ Cheese. Lest you think this a collection of recipes for dairy consumers only, here’s a very tasty vegan macaroni and “cheese” recipe. Mashed sweet potato mixed with nondairy milk, garlic, mustard and a few other ingredients makes for a silky, creamy pasta sauce.



(Renee Comet for The Washington Post; styling by Bonnie S. Benwick)

Pimento Fundido. This Southern and Tex-Mex mash-up comes from chef Edward Lee. It’s got sharp cheddar, mild cheddar, cream cheese, Parmigiano-Reggiano, Monterey Jack and panela cheese, plus a few other savory goodies tucked in.



(Deb Lindsey for The Washington Post)

Ajaran Khachapuri (Acharuli Khachapuri). We’re feeling the need for more carbs in these recipes, so here’s a bread boat filled with mozzarella, feta, yogurt and an egg. If your carbohydrate of choice is rice, then try Dorie Greenspan’s Cheesy Rice With Asparagus.



(Tom McCorkle for The Washington Post; food styling by Lisa Cherkasky for The Washington Post)

Delicata Squash Nachos. The vegan nacho sauce keeps for up to two weeks in your refrigerator, so double up and keep it on hand for cheese emergencies. Use it as a dip or drizzle it anywhere you want a cheesy sauce — including, of course, nachos.



(Renee Comet for The Washington Post; styling by Bonnie S. Benwick)

Shrimp and Avocado Fondue. Do the ‘due and get a little funky with a smidgen of pungent Taleggio cheese.



(Stacy Zarin Goldberg for The Washington Post)

Soft Cheese Tacos. We’ll end with a recipe featuring the meltiest cheese of them all: loud, proud, American. You’ll have leftover sauce after making these Tex-Mex tacos, but we don’t think that’s a bad thing.

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