A Southwestern Twist: Green Chili Mac and Cheese Recipe
Spice Up Your Mac and Cheese Game with a Southwestern Kick
Mac and cheese is already a comfort food classic, but why not take it up a notch? This Green Chili Mac and Cheese recipe adds a Southwestern twist to the beloved dish, infusing it with the zesty flavors of green chilies and spices. It’s a creamy, cheesy, and slightly spicy delight that’s sure to become a favorite in your household.
- 8 ounces elbow macaroni
- 2 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese
- 1 can (4 ounces) diced green chilies, drained
- 1/2 cup diced tomatoes (canned or fresh)
- 1/2 cup diced onion
- 1/2 cup diced red bell pepper
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 1 cup milk
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
- Salt and black pepper to taste
- Chopped fresh cilantro and sliced jalapeños for garnish (optional)
1. Cook the Macaroni:
- Cook the elbow macaroni according to the package instructions until al dente. Drain and set aside.
2. Prepare the Cheese Sauce:
- In a large saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat.
- Add the diced onion, red bell pepper, and garlic to the saucepan. Sauté for about 3-4 minutes or until the vegetables are tender.
- Stir in the all-purpose flour and cook for another 1-2 minutes until the mixture is lightly browned, stirring constantly.
- Gradually add the milk to the saucepan, stirring constantly to avoid lumps. Cook for about 2-3 minutes until the mixture thickens.
- Reduce the heat to low, then add the shredded cheddar cheese, diced green chilies, diced tomatoes, ground cumin, chili powder, salt, and black pepper. Stir until the cheese is fully melted and the mixture is smooth.
3. Combine and Serve:
- Add the cooked macaroni to the cheese sauce, stirring to coat the pasta evenly with the cheesy mixture.
- Cook for an additional 2-3 minutes over low heat to heat through.
4. Garnish and Enjoy:
- If desired, garnish the Green Chili Mac and Cheese with chopped fresh cilantro and sliced jalapeños for an extra burst of flavor and color.
- Serve hot and savor the delightful Southwestern twist on this classic comfort food.
- For an even spicier kick, you can use hot diced green chilies or add a pinch of cayenne pepper.
- Adjust the level of spiciness to your preference by using mild, medium, or hot green chilies.
- Customize the recipe by adding cooked and crumbled ground beef or ground turkey for a heartier version.
For a heartier and more substantial dish, you can top the mac and cheese with crushed tortilla chips or breadcrumbs mixed with melted butter before baking it in the oven until the topping is crispy and golden brown.
This Green Chili Mac and Cheese is a delightful side dish for barbecues, potlucks, or as a comforting meal on its own. Leftovers can be refrigerated and reheated in the microwave or on the stovetop for a quick and delicious meal anytime.