Mexican Mac and Cheese

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The other day I woke up craving Mexican food and mac and cheese. I decided to use both of those cravings to create this recipe for Mexican mac and cheese! #YesYouCAN #ad

I’m always in the mood for Mexican food.  Literally…always.  So the other day when I was craving Mexican food and mac and cheese?  You guessed it, I decided to combine the two and created the most flavorful recipe for homemade Mexican Mac and Cheese!  This is one I’ll be making again and again!

The other day I woke up craving Mexican food and mac and cheese. I decided to use both of those cravings to create this recipe for Mexican mac and cheese!

What is Mexican mac and cheese you ask?  Well the answer is simple.  It’s drool-worthy magic.  Kidding!  I’m kidding!  …kinda.  😇  It’s definitely drool worthy, and anyone who tastes it will firmly believe in its magic – I’m sure you’ll be a believer too after you see how easy it is to make!  The best part of this dish is that you don’t have to be a magician (or even a professional chef) to make an amazingly flavorful heaping mound of this Mexican Mac and Cheese!

The other day I woke up craving Mexican food and mac and cheese. I decided to use both of those cravings to create this recipe for Mexican mac and cheese!

After my craving for Mexican Mac and Cheese set in, I headed out to Walmart to grab everything I needed!  I wanted this recipe to have some spice and traditional Mexican flavors so when I was brainstorming what to use I made sure to have pork chorizo, spicy pepper jack cheese and RO*TEL in my shopping list!  Those three ingredients really pack some heat into the dish, and the milk, cheddar, corn and avocado balance out the spice with a creamy sweetness.  This dish is a party of flavors in your mouth!

The Staple Ingredients:

  • 1 Box (1 lb) Uncooked Pasta (I used Rotini)
  • 1 Ear of Corn
  • 1 Can of RO*TEL
  • 1 Package of Mexican Pork Chorizo
  • 1 Tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil (for the Chorizo)

For the Cheese Sauce:

  • 3/4 Cup Cheddar Cheese
  • 1/2 Cup Spicy Pepper Jack Cheese
  • 2 Tbsp Flour
  • 1 or 2 Tbsp Butter
  • 1 Cup of Milk (I used 2%)

To Garnish:

  • 3 Avocados
  • 1 Bunch of Cilantro

The other day I woke up craving Mexican food and mac and cheese. I decided to use both of those cravings to create this recipe for Mexican mac and cheese! I like to measure and prep all my ingredients before I start, so that once the cooking process starts, I don’t have to mess around with measuring them out!  This recipe is so quick to make that having them all measured out on the counter and ready to go is handy.

The other day I woke up craving Mexican food and mac and cheese. I decided to use both of those cravings to create this recipe for Mexican mac and cheese!

The pasta is the component that takes the longest, so I started with that first.  Bring a pot of water to a boil and add your pasta!  I used rotini, because those spirals are so great at grabbing onto the cheese sauce and chorizo!  Speaking of which – while the pasta is cooking you can get started with the chorizo.  Mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm chorizo!  Want to know a secret about me and chorizo?  I had never cooked it before this recipe.  😱  OMG right?!  I guess I had always been nervous to make it, but now that I’ve made it once I’ll never be nervous again.  It was SO easy to cook!  I learned that the best way to cook it is to heat one tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil over medium heat and add the chorizo.  Stir to cook for about five minutes until it’s beginning to brown.  Mine didn’t really brown and I cooked it for about 7-10 minutes.  It was definitely cooked, and delicious though.  Don’t worry if yours doesn’t brown.  Here’s a photo to show you what it looked like when it was done.

The other day I woke up craving Mexican food and mac and cheese. I decided to use both of those cravings to create this recipe for Mexican mac and cheese!

I transferred the chorizo with a slotted spoon onto a paper towel to absorb some of the oil and tried to leave as much oil in the pan as I could.  The oil in the pan is actually going to be the beginning of the cheese sauce!

The other day I woke up craving Mexican food and mac and cheese. I decided to use both of those cravings to create this recipe for Mexican mac and cheese!

You start by making something called a roux.  Don’t be frightened, it’s super simple.  A roux is basically just an equal amounts of butter (or oil) and flour cooked together that is used to form the base of a sauce.  I turned down the heat a little to make this next step.  Since I had about one tablespoon of oil left in the pan, I added one tablespoon of butter.  When that was melted and starting to bubble slightly I added the two tablespoons of flour and stirred it around until they had combined (this only took a couple of minutes).  When it’s combined it looks a little like polenta.  Next I added the milk and stirred.  Slowly add in the cheese until it’s all combined and smooth.  And that’s it, you have a super easy homemade cheese sauce!  Plus, see all those little flecks of red/brown color in the photo?  That’s from the chorizo that was cooking earlier.  TONS of flavor here my friends!

The other day I woke up craving Mexican food and mac and cheese. I decided to use both of those cravings to create this recipe for Mexican mac and cheese!

Once the cheese sauce is done give yourself a high five for making a homemade cheese sauce from scratch and then remove it from the heat.  Now you can use the secret ingredient – RO*TEL!  If you’ve never used RO*TEL before you’re really missing out.  These canned diced tomatoes and green chilies have a ton of flavor!  My roommate actually saw me open the can and said “OMG I love that stuff.  I had some queso with RO*TEL in it once and it was amazing!”.  So there ya go, RO*TEL is roommate approved.  😊  It’s best to drain your can of RO*TEL.  The tomatoes and chilies have so much flavor and we need that in this dish, but if you use the liquid in the can, it will dilute your cheese sauce, which you don’t want.

The other day I woke up craving Mexican food and mac and cheese. I decided to use both of those cravings to create this recipe for Mexican mac and cheese!

While the RO*TEL is draining, it’s time to prepare your corn!  Remember earlier when I mentioned magic?  Have you ever wondered how to shuck corn cleanly without getting those annoying strings all over everything?  Well if you have, you’re in luck.  I have the easiest tutorial to shuck corn without any stringy mess!

The other day I woke up craving Mexican food and mac and cheese. I decided to use both of those cravings to create this recipe for Mexican mac and cheese!Step 1. Take your ear of corn and put it in the microwave for two and a half minutes.  When you remove the corn it will be EXTREMELY hot, so it’s best to do this with a dish towel!

Step 2. Hold the corn in one hand with the towel, and with the other, chop off the butt of the corn.  Don’t cut it too close to the butt, make sure you cut about an inch or so off.

Step 3. Grab the top of the corn with the dish towel and squeeze it until the corn starts to slide out of the bottom.

Step 4. The corn will slide out cleanly and with no strings on it!  Just like magic!  Mexican Mac and Cheese magic!!!!!!  Now you can cut the corn off the cob with no strings!

The other day I woke up craving Mexican food and mac and cheese. I decided to use both of those cravings to create this recipe for Mexican mac and cheese!

By this point, your pasta should be done cooking.  Drain it and add the RO*TEL, corn, chorizo and cheese sauce.  One thing worth mentioning – when I was cooking this, I had taken like 8 million photos by this point and my cheese sauce had cooled and looked a little solid.  I just put it back over medium heat and when it still looked a little thick, I added a dash of milk.  If your cheese sauce has solidified, you can do the same thing.  Just be careful and add a little milk at a time (you can always add more) until you get to your desired level of cheese-y-ness.  Chees-y-ness.  Cheesiness?  Oh goodness.  Well whatever the word is, you know what I mean! 😜

The other day I woke up craving Mexican food and mac and cheese. I decided to use both of those cravings to create this recipe for Mexican mac and cheese!

Top with plenty of chopped fresh cilantro.  I firmly believe there is no such thing as too much cilantro.  Man, even just thinking of cilantro makes me want to eat some.  haha!

The other day I woke up craving Mexican food and mac and cheese. I decided to use both of those cravings to create this recipe for Mexican mac and cheese!

You can enjoy it by yourself, or you can enjoy it with a friend!  This recipe makes about five servings, so you don’t have to be afraid you won’t have leftovers!  Invite a friend, invite two, invite three…but maybe not four, because then you won’t have leftovers.  And trust me…you will want to have leftovers.  Actually, if you are set on sharing this with a ton of friends, just make a double batch!  And please, make sure to invite me to your Mexican Mac and Cheese party!  (OMG that would be the best party idea!! 😍)  Also guys…I think this recipe falls into the category of five star leftovers.  You know how some leftovers taste even better (if that’s possible) than the original?  Well that’s this Mexican mac and cheese for sure!!!  Just pop it in the microwave to reheat!  I dare you not to open the door and taste test while it’s reheating.  😋

The other day I woke up craving Mexican food and mac and cheese. I decided to use both of those cravings to create this recipe for Mexican mac and cheese!

Top with some fresh avocado and you’re ready to eat it!  I absolutely love having avocado with this.  I’ve had the dish with and without avocado and I firmly believe that topping it with avocado just adds so much.  The dish has some heat to it, so having the occasional bite of creamy avocado helps balance the heat!  I wouldn’t say it’s fire-level-spicy, but it’s definitely not bland or mild.  I am a child when it comes to spicy, and I can still really enjoy it.  You can really taste all the distinct flavors in this dish and I love that!

Mexican Mac and Cheese
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Serves: 5 Servings
Ingredients
  • 1 Box (1 lb) Uncooked Pasta (I used Rotini)
  • 1 Ear of Corn
  • 1 Can of RO*TEL
  • 1 Package of Mexican Pork Chorizo
  • 1 Tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil (for the Chorizo)
  • ¾ Cup Cheddar Cheese
  • ½ Cup Spicy Pepper Jack Cheese
  • 2 Tbsp Flour
  • 1 or 2 Tbsp Butter
  • 1 Cup of Milk (I used 2%)
  • 3 Avocados
  • 1 Bunch of Cilantro
Instructions
  1. Measure out your ingredients so they're ready to go (this recipe is quick once it starts going and it's easier to have everything handy).
  2. Bring a pot of water to a boil and add your pasta and cook to your liking.
  3. Heat one tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil over medium heat and add the chorizo.
  4. Stir to cook for about five minutes until it's beginning to brown. (Mine didn't really brown and I cooked it for about 7-10 minutes. It was definitely cooked, and delicious though. Don't worry if yours doesn't brown.)
  5. Transfer the chorizo with a slotted spoon onto a paper towel to absorb some of the oil (try to leave as much oil in the pan as you can. The oil in the pan is actually going to be the beginning of your cheese sauce!)
  6. Start the cheese sauce by making a roux. A roux is basically just an equal amounts of butter (or oil) and flour cooked together that is used to form the base of a sauce. I turned down the heat a little to make this next step. Since I had about one tablespoon of oil left in the pan, I added one tablespoon of butter. When that was melted and starting to bubble slightly I added the two tablespoons of flour and stirred it around until they had combined (this only took a couple of minutes). When it's combined it looks a little like polenta.
  7. Add the milk and stir. (I used 2% because I wanted to save a few calories. If you want to use whole milk that's fine too!)
  8. Slowly add in the cheese until it's all combined and smooth.
  9. Drain your can of RO*TEL.
  10. Microwave your ear of corn for two and a half minutes and slice if off the cob.
  11. Take your pasta and add the RO*TEL, corn, chorizo and cheese sauce. (If your cheese sauce has cooled and looks a little solid at this point that's ok. Just put it back over medium heat and if it still looks a little thick, add a dash of milk. Just be careful and add a little milk at a time (you can always add more) until you get to your desired level of cheesiness.
  12. Top with chopped fresh cilantro and avocado! I used half an avocado for each serving, but listen to what your hear (and tummy) says!

Check out more Mexican inspired recipes here and be sure to check out the Ibotta offer for ConAgra products too!

The other day I woke up craving Mexican food and mac and cheese. I decided to use both of those cravings to create this recipe for Mexican mac and cheese!

Thanks so much to ConAgra for sponsoring this post!  I had a blast using RO*TEL to make this amazing(ly easy) Mexican Mac and Cheese!

Looking for a quick dinner the whole family will love? Check out my recipe for Easy Chicken Fajitas. They're delicious and quick to make!

If you liked this recipe, you might also want to check out my recipe for Easy Chicken Fajitas!  Do you have any favorite Mexican food recipes you want to see me recreate?  Let me know in the comments!

Disclosure of Material Connection: This is a "sponsored post." One of the companies who sponsored it compensated me via a cash payment, gift, or something else of value to write it. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."

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