Mac and cheese with avocado
Food,  Other,  Recipes

Mexican Mac and Cheese – Quick and Easy 30 Minute Meal

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!

Mexican mac and cheese!

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!

pasta dishes

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!

Making Mexican Mac and Cheese

 

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
  • 1/2 pound 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%)

And To Garnish:

  • 2 Avocados
  • 1 Bunch of Cilantro

ingredients for Mexican mac and cheeseI 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.

plates of pasta

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.

cooked chorizo

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!

cheese sauce in a pan

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!

diced tomatoes

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.

ear of corn

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!

chorizo corn and tomatoes

Time to drain the pasta

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! ?

plate of 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!

 

You can enjoy it by yourself, or you can enjoy it with a friend!  This recipe makes about eight 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!! ?)  

Can this Mexican Mac and Cheese be reheated?

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.

Pin this Mexican Mac and Cheese for later.

Would you like a reminder of this recipe for macaroni and cheese Mexican style? Just pin this image to one of your cooking boards on Pinterest.

Mexican Mac and Cheese with avocado

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!

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!

Admin note: This post first appeared on the blog in April of 2016. I have updated the post with new images and a printable recipe card.

Yield: 8

Mexican Mac and Cheese

Mexican Mac and Cheese
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes

Ingredients

  • 16 oz Uncooked Pasta (I used Rotini)
  • 1 Ear of Corn
  • 14 oz RO*TEL
  • 1/2 lb of Mexican Pork Chorizo
  • 1 Tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil (for the Chorizo)
  • 3/4 Cup Cheddar Cheese
  • 1/2 Cup Spicy Pepper Jack Cheese
  • 2 Tbsp Flour
  • 1 Tbsp Butter
  • 1 Cup of 2 % Milk
  • 2 small Hass Avocados
  • 1 Bunch of Cilantro

Instructions

  1. Measure out your ingredients so they're ready to go
  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.
  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.
  6. Start the cheese sauce by making a roux.I 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
  7. Add the milk and stir.
  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
  11. Take your pasta and add the RO*TEL, corn, chorizo and cheese sauce.
  12. Top with chopped fresh cilantro and avocado!

Nutrition Information:

Yield:

8

Serving Size:

1

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 551 Total Fat: 28g Saturated Fat: 10g Trans Fat: 0g Unsaturated Fat: 15g Cholesterol: 52mg Sodium: 555mg Carbohydrates: 54g Fiber: 5g Sugar: 2g Protein: 22g
Nutritional information is approximate due to natural variation in ingredients and the cook-at-home nature of our meals.

 

 

Disclosure of Material Connection: Some of the links in the post above are "affiliate links." This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive a small commission from the sale, but the price is the same for you. 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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