Wednesday, November 16

Tex-Mex Mac & Cheese

A Tex-Mex spin on the comfort food classic, made with pepper jack cheese, corn, and two types of peppers

Tex Mex Mac and Cheese

I’m always writing down recipe ideas (on my iPad, on random stickies on my desk at work, by emailing them to myself) to serve as inspiration for future menu planning. I usually forget half of them until I look at my notes, but this idea for Tex-Mex mac and cheese has been living in the back of my mind for nearly a year. I finally tried it out when we had some friends over to watch Monday night football (my boyfriend is a die-hard Vikings fan) and it was the perfect game-day meal. The spiciness of the pepper jack cheese goes really nicely with the sweet bell peppers and corn, and I love the crunchy breadcrumbs on top. You can assemble the whole dish in advance and bake it right before your guests come over and any leftovers can be gently reheated in the oven.

More Tex-Mex Recipes:
- Corn, Zucchini, & Poblano Lasagna
- Roasted Chile & Cheese Egg Bake

Tex-Mex Mac & Cheese:
  • Heat 1 tbsp. olive oil in a pan and saute 1/2 chopped onion and 1 bell pepper until soft, about 8-10 minutes. Set aside.*
  • Melt 1 tbsp. butter and toss with 1/3 c. panko breadcrumbs. Set aside.
  • Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add in 1 lb. of macaroni pasta.
  • Cook the pasta until it's underdone by a few minutes (usually 5-6 minutes total). Drain and set aside.
  • Meanwhile, melt 2 tbsp. butter in a large pot. Whisk in 2 tbsp. flour and cook for 2 minutes.
  • Slowly whisk in 1 1/2 c. whole milk and continue to cook for 1-2 minutes, or until thickened.
  • Turn off the heat and stir in 1/2 lb. grated pepper jack cheese and 1/2 lb. grated white cheddar cheese.
  • Stir in the pasta, the pepper and onion mixture, 1 c. corn kernels,** and 1/4 c. roasted, chopped green chilies.***
  • Pour into a large baking dish and top with breadcrumbs.
  • Bake in a 375°F oven for 30-40 minutes, or until the top is golden and the cheese is bubbling.
  • Cool for 10 minutes, then divide and serve.

Serves six - eight
*Can be done a day ahead of time and refrigerated.
**Removed from fresh ears of corn or defrosted from a bag of frozen corn kernels.
***From a can of roasted green chilies.