REALLY Spicy Mac & Cheese

Yesterday I spent $7 on cara cara oranges to kick the sniffles that I got Friday out of my system. The rest of the day consisted of eating those oranges, watching the Law & Order man-athon and making this mac and  cheese. I’d say it was a pretty good day. I accomplished things.

But really though, how was your weekend? Are you the kind of person who gets excited about the super bowl or the puppy bowl? Tell me everything.


This recipe has simple microwave preparation that promises to yield homey yet sassy results.


If you are feeling super nervous about the spice factor, simply exclude the peppers and you’ll have a delicious classic macaroni and cheese. I won’t judge you for that either. I appreciate mac and cheese whether it has attitude or not.


REALLY Spicy Mac & Cheese
Recipe adapted from the LA Times & my mom’s recipe


  • 1 pound pasta (I used medium shells)
  • 2 T butter
  • 3 T flour
  • 1 cup milk
  • salt and pepper
  • 1-2 T puréed canned chipotle peppers in adobo sauce
    (purée in food processor or blender)
  • 1 t dry mustard
  • 8 oz (2 cups) monterey jack cheese, grated
  • 8 oz (2 cups) extra sharp cheddar cheese, grated
  • 1/2 cup panko bread crumbs
  • 1 1/2 t olive oil


  1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Preheat the oven to 375°F.
  2. Make the roux. In a medium microwave safe bowl, melt butter. When it’s melted, add flour and stir until it resembles a paste (like the first picture below). Add milk and stir. The mixture will be lumpy. Microwave for 3 minutes stirring after every minute, or until the mixture is puffy and light. Add salt, pepper, puréed peppers and dry mustard (added to the puffy mixture in the second picture below). Stir until combined. Add cheese and stir into the mixture. Microwave for 2-3 minutes stirring after each minute until the cheese is melted and incorporated.
  3. Cook the pasta according to the directions on the packaging. For medium shells it’s about 10 minutes. Drain and place in a large bowl. Stir the cheese mixture into the noodles.
  4. Spray a large baking dish with cooking spray. Place the macaroni and cheese in the prepared baking dish.
  5. In a small bowl mix together the bread crumbs and olive oil and mix until the bread crumbs are coated. Sprinkle over the macaroni and cheese. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until the cheese is bubbling and the top is golden. Remove from heat and cool slightly before serving.

5 thoughts on “REALLY Spicy Mac & Cheese”

  1. Megan, you are a genius. I love spicy foods and of course I love mac and cheese. But I never thought to combine them!! Can’t wait to try this. “Homey yet sassy” — isn’t that what we’re all looking for?

    I think I’m equal parts Super and Puppy Bowls, btw, but I missed the latter, this year 🙂 What about you?

  2. Thanks Beckie! Those chipotle peppers are the spice factor I’d been missing when I attempted to spice up this recipe before. I sure hope you love it! It totally has a high sass level. 🙂

    I’m definitely more of a puppy bowl kind of girl. Although yesterday, I slipped and fell into a Law & Order marathon and couldn’t seem to find my way out.

  3. off work with the first of the winter bugs and browsing old bookmarked recipes to find something comforting to eat wrapped in a blanket on the sofa… I think this has to be it, even I can cope with microwave cooking today and those chipotles are sure to kick my sinuses into submission. Thanks for the rescue recipe….!

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