This Mexican mac and cheese recipe transforms the classic comfort food favorite into a spicy casserole bursting with peppers and plenty of gooey cheese.
Get ready to dive into the ultimate comfort food with a delicious twist — Mexican mac and cheese. It’s like the classic homemade mac and cheese you know and love, but with a fiesta-worthy upgrade that takes it to a whole new level of yum.
Creating this flavorful masterpiece is as easy as can be. Picture yourself whipping up a batch effortlessly, transforming basic macaroni into a spicy sensation that’ll have everyone asking for seconds.
Whether you’re looking for a quick and satisfying weeknight meal or planning a laid-back get-together with friends, Mexican macaroni and cheese has got you covered. The irresistible blend of cheesy goodness and spicy flair makes it a go-to option that never disappoints.
So, why settle for ordinary mac and cheese when you can have the best of both worlds? Treat your taste buds to the joyful fusion of homemade comfort and zesty taco goodness with every mouthwatering bite of Mexican mac and cheese.
How to Make Mexican Mac and Cheese
A full printable version of this recipe with ingredient measurements is available at the bottom of this post.
STEP ONE: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Cook your pasta of choice until al dente.
STEP TWO: Meanwhile, combine butter and diced bell pepper in a saucepan over medium-high heat. Cook for about 4 minutes, until the butter is bubbling and the peppers are soft.
STEP THREE: Stir in the flour until fully combined. Then, add milk, Velveeta, and Dijon mustard. Stir constantly until the cheese melts, about 6 minutes.
STEP FOUR: Mix in shredded cheese, taco seasoning, jalapeño peppers, salt, and pepper. Continue stirring until the cheese is smooth and the sauce comes together about 3 minutes.
STEP FIVE: Combine cheese sauce with cooked pasta, stirring until every noodle is well coated. Transfer to a 9×13 baking dish, then top with green onions and crushed tortilla chips.
STEP SIX: Bake for 20 minutes, until the cheese is bubbly and the topping is browned. Let rest for 3-5 minutes, then serve with cilantro as garnish.
What to Serve With Mexican Macaroni and Cheese
- Cajun Corn on the Cob
- Air Fryer Avocado Fries
- Smoky Red Pepper Crema
- Air Fryer Tortilla Chips
- Ninja Foodi Rice
- Mango Habanero Salsa
Variations for Mexican Macaroni
- Add some protein. Stir in one pound of browned ground beef or turkey when combining the cheese and pasta. For a vegetarian option, black beans would be tasty.
- Try a different cheese. If you can’t find a Tex-Mex cheese blend, your favorite cheddar will work just as well! Both Monterey and Colby Jack also melts beautifully, and Pepper Jack is another way to up the spice level.
- Adjust the spice level. Enhance the dish’s spiciness and depth by mixing in your favorite salsa. Or, to reduce the heat, cut back on the jalapeños or omit them entirely.
- Make it gluten-free. Swap out traditional pasta with your favorite gluten-free pasta brand. Make sure the other ingredients are gluten-free certified too!
More Pasta Recipes
- Bacon Ranch Pasta Salad
- Spicy Chicken Chipotle Pasta
- Simple Italian Pasta Salad
- Ninja Food Spaghetti
- Air Fryer Gnocchi
- Instant Pot Tortellini Soup
How Do I Reheat Mexican Macaroni and Cheese?
Reheating leftovers is easy. For the best results, gently reheat the dish in the microwave in 30-second intervals, stirring occasionally.
Alternatively, you can reheat it in the oven at a low temperature (around 300 degrees F), covered with aluminum foil to prevent the top from over-browning. Adding a splash of milk while reheating helps maintain its creamy consistency.
What Type of Cheese is Best For Mexican Macaroni?
While there isn’t a single “best” cheese for Mexican mac and cheese, a combination of Tex Mex cheddar and Velveeta is a popular choice. Cheddar contributes a rich flavor, and Velveeta makes it extra creamy.
However, feel free to tailor the cheese blend to your taste preferences – experiment with different cheese brands and combinations to create your unique twist on this classic dish.
How Can I Make Mexican Mac and Cheese Keto-Friendly?
Yes, you can create a keto-friendly version of this casserole by making a few simple substitutions.
Instead of traditional pasta, use low-carb alternatives like zucchini noodles or cauliflower rice. Opt for keto-friendly flour in the cheese sauce, and use high-fat, low-carb dairy cheeses for creaminess.
More Mac and Cheese Recipes To Try
- 12 Leftover Mac and Cheese Recipes
- 5-Ingredient Instant Pot Mac and Cheese
- Slow Cooker Mac and Cheese
- Mac and Cheese with Cream Cheese
- Mac and Cheese Without Milk
- Mac and Cheese Stuffed Acorn Squash
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 1 cup (5 ounces) diced bell pepper
- 2 tablespoons flour
- 2 cups (16 ounces) milk
- 2 cups (8 ounces) Velveeta
- 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
- 2 cups (8 ounces) shredded Tex-Mex cheese
- 1 package (2 tablespoons) taco seasoning
- 1/4 cup (1 ounce) pickled jalapeño peppers
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon black pepper
- 1 pound (16 ounces) pasta, cooked to al dente
- 1/4 (1 ounce) cup sliced green onion
- 1 cup (6 ounces) crushed tortilla chips
- fresh cilantro, to taste
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
- In a medium saucepan, combine the butter and the bell pepper over medium-high until the butter is boiling and the peppers are soft about 4 minutes.
- Add the flour and combine fully. Add the milk, Velveeta, and Dijon mustard and continue cooking over medium heat, stirring continuously until the processed cheese is melted, about 6 minutes.
- Add the shredded cheese, taco seasoning, pickled jalapeño peppers, salt, and pepper and continue heating and stirring until the cheese is melted and the sauce is smooth, about 3 minutes.
- Pour the cheese sauce over the cooked pasta and stir, making sure that all the pasta is covered in the cheese sauce.
- Pour the cheesy pasta into a 9x13 baking dish. Sprinkle the top with green onions and the crushed tortilla chips.
- Bake in a preheated oven for 20 minutes. Let stand for 3 minutes before serving. Top with fresh cilantro. Serve warm.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 74Total Fat: 6gSaturated Fat: 3gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 2gCholesterol: 15mgSodium: 371mgCarbohydrates: 4gFiber: 1gSugar: 1gProtein: 2g
This nutrition information is based on the exact products I used in this recipe. Brands and sizes of products could alter exact nutrition and should always be calculated independently.