Damn Delicious

Chorizo Mac and Cheese

A fun tex-mex twist on the traditional mac and cheese that the whole family will love!

Chorizo Mac and Cheese - A fun tex-mex twist on the traditional mac and cheese that the whole family will love!

So Jason and I went to Costa Rica a couple of years ago, and when we went, we took a couple of those disposable underwater cameras. We developed one of the cameras but saved the other one since there was still some film left to take more photos. But “saving it” really meant that it would be left in the back of the closet for over 2 years.

I completely forgot about it until Jason mentioned it last night in passing since we are planning on doing some water activities up in Lake Tahoe in a couple of weeks. He wanted to just use the remaining film on this 2-year-old camera but instead, I surprised him by finally developing the photos.

Waiting over 2 years to develop these photos is completely ridiculous but seeing them actually made the wait all the more worth it. This picture here is my absolute favorite. It’s funny how much younger we look here, but Jason and I were able to reminisce about what a great time we had white water river rafting in Río Pacuare. It was such an adventure, but I don’t think I could ever do it again because it is freaking scary as hell.

At least I have my memories, right?

Chorizo Mac and Cheese - A fun tex-mex twist on the traditional mac and cheese that the whole family will love!

Anyway, there’s my spiel about my camera developing irresponsibility.

Now on to this pasta. Yes, I made mac and cheese but it’s definitely not your ordinary mac and cheese. It’s filled with red bell pepper, jalapeños, black beans, corn and best of all, chorizo. Just a couple of months ago, I never even had chorizo and now I’m adding it to everything!

This is definitely my favorite kind of mac and cheese yet. It’s spicy, meaty and chock full of veggies. Best of all, it’s not too cheesy, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but when it’s too stringy and thick, I get a bit nauseous from eating it. But with this, it’s a bit lighter on the cheese side since you stuff this baby with all sorts of goodies so you could definitely have more than 1 serving at a time!

So here’s how you make this:

Let’s first start with some chorizo…

Chorizo Mac and Cheese - A fun tex-mex twist on the traditional mac and cheese that the whole family will love!

and then throw about 6 ounces of it into a saucepan, letting it crumble as it cooks.

Chorizo Mac and Cheese - A fun tex-mex twist on the traditional mac and cheese that the whole family will love!

Then we’ll add some red onion, bell pepper and jalapeños. We’ll let that cook until the onions begin to soften.

Chorizo Mac and Cheese - A fun tex-mex twist on the traditional mac and cheese that the whole family will love!

Next, we’ll add in some flour, giving it a good stir to make sure it gets fully incorporated.

Chorizo Mac and Cheese - A fun tex-mex twist on the traditional mac and cheese that the whole family will love!

Then comes the milk and cheeses…

Chorizo Mac and Cheese - A fun tex-mex twist on the traditional mac and cheese that the whole family will love!

stirring until it gets all cheesilicious and smooth.

Chorizo Mac and Cheese - A fun tex-mex twist on the traditional mac and cheese that the whole family will love!

Let’s remove it from the heat and throw in the rest of our ingredients – our cooked macaroni, corn, black beans and lime juice.

Chorizo Mac and Cheese - A fun tex-mex twist on the traditional mac and cheese that the whole family will love!

Give it a good stir, taking a bite or two to “sample.” I think I had a whole bowlful at this point.

Chorizo Mac and Cheese - A fun tex-mex twist on the traditional mac and cheese that the whole family will love!

Then we’ll pack it up into a baking dish, top with Panko and pop it into the oven for about 25 minutes.

Chorizo Mac and Cheese - A fun tex-mex twist on the traditional mac and cheese that the whole family will love!

Let it cool for 10 minutes and serve.

Chorizo Mac and Cheese - A fun tex-mex twist on the traditional mac and cheese that the whole family will love!

Chorizo Mac and Cheese

A fun tex-mex twist on the traditional mac and cheese that the whole family will love!

10 minutes35 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups elbow macaroni
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 6 ounces Mexican chorizo, casing removed
  • 1 small red onion, diced
  • 1/2 red bell pepper, diced
  • 2 jalapeños, diced
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup milk, warmed
  • 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1 cup shredded jalapeño pepper jack cheese
  • 1 cup corn kernels
  • 1 cup canned black beans
  • 2 teaspoons lime juice
  • 2 tablespoons Panko

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Lightly oil an 8×8 baking dish or coat with nonstick spray.
  2. In a large pot of boiling salted water, cook pasta according to package instructions; drain well.
  3. Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium high heat. Add chorizo and cook until dry and crisp, about 2 minutes, making sure to crumble the chorizo as it cooks. Add red onion, bell pepper and jalapeños and cook until the onions begin to soften, about 3-4 minutes.
  4. Whisk in flour until well combined. Then gradually whisk in milk and cook, whisking constantly, until incorporated, about 1-2 minutes. Whisk in cheeses until smooth, about 1-2 minutes. Remove from heat. Stir in pasta, corn, black beans and lime juice.
  5. Spread pasta mixture into the prepared baking dish. Sprinkle Panko evenly over the top. Place into oven and bake for 20-25 minutes, or until golden brown.
  6. Let cool for 10 minutes before serving.

Adapted from Simply Recipes.

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36 comments

  1. Rated 5 out of 5

    This looks amazing, what other things would be good to serve with it?

  2. Rated 5 out of 5

    My husband and I have been eating this for a few years now, and we love it every time!
    The recipe is spot on as written, but it’s easily adaptable if things aren’t on hand.
    Pepperjack can be elusive round our way, so we just do all cheddar and add some chilli flakes.
    Black beans are only in bigger shops here, so we’ve subbed with any other kind of canned bean if we’re too lazy to make the trip.

    I also wanted to make something a bit different when we had some vegetarian visitors, and this worked a treat. I subbed out chorizo for extra veg, and threw in some hot and smoked paprika to try to replicate the missing chorizo flavour. They asked for the recipe – as did the meat-eaters that were round too!

    It also reheats pretty well – we always do the full recipe and have two meals from it.

    Sorry for the mini essay – we just love how versatile and delicious it is! Thank you so much for this firm favourite of ours 🙂 🙂

  3. think this could be made ahead of time? it sounds wonderful

  4. is there anyway I can throw this all into a slowcooker? But maybe cook the chorizo first? PS, I make your chicken, lemon, orzo soup on the regular & it’s always a hit. xx

    • Unfortunately, it is very difficult to give exact conversion information to translate a traditional stovetop recipe to be used in a slow cooker without further recipe testing. However, here is an article worth checking out on a possible conversion guide. Hope that helps!

  5. I am making this tomorrow. Do you drain the can of black beans and corn?

  6. I basically make a more simple (*cough* lazy) version of this. I only use jalopenos, chorizo, cheese, milk, and elbos, and add Rotel tomatoes+chilis to it. I cook the chorizo, stir the rest of the stuff in the pan, add the pasta, and don’t bake it, because that requires too much waiting.

    I have made this many times by now, and my boyfriend is always asking for it. Though I only use half the ingredients you do, I couldn’t have made it without you, thank you so much for this! Definitely one of my favorite meals. I send all my friends to this site, because they are always admiring the dishes I make. (:

    • UPDATE: Nearly a year later, and I still make this all the time. My friends adore this meal, and my boyfriend is constantly asking  me to make it, you are a food wizard!

  7. My son has just asked me to make this dish for dinner this evening. Could someone please tell me what panco is. Looking forward to trying this recipe as it looks delicious – bang goes the diet (again!)

    • Panko is a Japanese-style breadcrumb and can be found in the Asian section of your local grocery store.

  8. Just made this for dinner. Simply AMAZING! Great flavors with the spicy sausage and the sweet corn! Did not use jalapeños, since I didn’t have them, but I threw some hot sauce in so we didn’t miss them! And no breadcrumbs for ours! Delish!! Thanks!

  9. What do you think, can i substiute the chorizzo with ground pork or maybe cubed bacon?
    Thanks!

  10. Hey! quick question, when you say corn kernels — is it fresh off a cob? frozen? canned? thanks!!!

  11. OMG. I saw this and I was thinking, “NOOOOOO…” I’m sooo excited to make this for my Christmas potluck for my friends!!! I’ve done some of your other recipes and they’re soooo good!!!

  12. If I were looking to put this into a 13×9″ pan, would I just need to double everything? I know that doubling everything doesn’t always work, instead you need to only add a bit more of certain things instead of twice the amount. Thanks!

  13. Ok this was seriously one of the best things I’ve ever eaten. We happened to have some really good homemade chorizo on hand, so I think if I were to make this again, it would never be as good. Seriously heavenly

  14. hey this looks awesome 😀 apart from the meat aspect 🙁 … plus where i live, we cant find many meat substitutes.. is there any way that this recipe could be adapted for vegetarians, without a meat substitute, but still have a similar taste (e.g spices)? if so, what do you suggest?
    sorry for the trouble :/
    Thanks

  15. So, I have just discovered your website and my boyfriend is convinced that you have created MONSTER! I have been all over this site ohhing , ahhing, and mmmm-ing every delicious recipe. I can’t wait to try them all! I have already tried you Swedish meatballs and they turned out beautifully. I can not wait to give this one a go because I adore chorizo, especially when it is used in Chori Pollo! Speaking of Chori Pollo, I would be beyond excited if you could post a recipe for it. It is a wonderful chicken dish covered in crumbled chorizo, cheese and pineapple, I think you might really like it. Anywho, thanks for helping me ruin my boyfriend’s diet with all of your great recipes and keep up the great work!

  16. Do I need two cups uncooked macaroni or 2 cups cooked one?

    • Cloey, as indicated in the recipe, you will use uncooked elbow macaroni and will be cooking it to package instructions.

  17. Holy cow this is delicious! I had an extra link of chorizo to use up and found this recipe: perfect! I’m not typically one to completely alter a recipe, but hubby can’t do spice and I didn’t have a lot of ingredients on hand so I had to make-do. I used…no onion, no jalapeno, no pepperjack, no corn. Subbed chihuahua cheese, extra cheddar, and strained cream corn. Then I broiled for 4 minutes instead of baking and it was perfect! I can’t wait to make this the right way 🙂

  18. This was soooo good! By far is the best recipe I have found on pinterest, I couldn’t find chorizo, I found chourico, I don’t know it could be the same, but I got hot and spicy italian sausage and it was awesome! I cannot wait to make it again. I am going to try and “veganize” the recipe so I can make it formy daughter

  19. I may never make regular mac n cheese again. Thanks for the great recipe! Lately I have been exclusively using your recipes for my weekly meal planning. My family has never been happier. Thanks again!

  20. I’ve been following you since your Tumblr days and legit freaked out when I couldn’t find it in my bookmarks anymore. I’ve made this dish 3+ times already with vegetarian chorizo and it’s always a hit! Thanks again for the awesome recipe!

    http://cafecraftea.blogspot.com

  21. Good recipe! enjoyed the flavor and the veggies and beans, although when i make it again i’d close to double the cheese and cut the onions in half… defiantly a good, flavorful dish I will be making again!

  22. OH man this looks gooooooooooooooood

  23. Pingback: Gratuitous Food Porn: Chorizo Edition |Foodbeast