Mexican Mac and Cheese combines the best of two comfort foods into a baked taco mac & cheese recipe. A quick and easy recipe that’s perfect for busy nights!
Mexican Mac and Cheese (Gluten-free)
This Mexican Mac and Cheese recipe actually came about by accident. I had Mexican cheese in my fridge, and the weather was cold outside. Of course we needed dinner for the evening, and I knew that a comfort food would be the perfect thing. I started mixing and adding things and the end result was a unique mac and cheese recipe that I’m putting on the permanent rotation! This would also make a great freezer meal or a dish to give to a family in need.
How to make mac and cheese easy
While many people opt for boxed mac and cheese, once you learn how to make stovetop mac and cheese, I don’t think you’ll ever go back. The biggest factors to convince me were that with making a homemade recipe, you knew all of the ingredients that were going in. This is important for anyone, whether you are gluten free, have other food sensitivities, or just choose to be wise about what you eat. Kraft Macaroni and Cheese has a number of ingredients including food dye, which, in my opinion, is just not necessary. But honestly, the big kicker was that the cleanup was virtually the same. So why not make your own?!
A baked taco mac and cheese recipe
To make this recipe, you’ll first make a basic homemade mac and cheese; they you’ll simply add in taco seasoning to the flour/butter mixture before adding in the milk. The spice addition is what flavors the dish; the salsa kicks it up a notch.
After making the cheese sauce, you combine it with cooked pasta. I added in black beans because I wanted this to be a vegetarian dish but to include a bit more protein. You can also include a number of other additions, depending on your preference. My husband is a big meat eater, so I may consider adding chicken next time – but initially I just gave him some cooked chicken on the side.
Other additions/toppings for Mexican Mac and Cheese:
- Green chilis
- Crushed tortilla chips
- Black olives
- Fresh cilantro
- Shredded chicken
- Sliced tomatoes
- Black beans
Make your own homemade taco seasoning
Homemade taco seasoning is an easy way to get the exact flavors, salt levels, and knowledge of what ingredients are within. I like to make a big batch of it and store it for when I need it. Here is the taco seasoning recipe that I use:
- 2 TBSP Chili Powder
- 1 tsp Garlic Powder
- 1 tsp Onion Powder
- 1 tsp Oregano
- 1/2 tsp Crushed Red Pepper Flakes
- 1 tsp Paprika
- 1 tsp Ground Cumin
- 2 tsp salt
- 2 tsp black pepper
Mexican Mac and Cheese combines the best of two comfort foods into a baked taco mac & cheese recipe. A quick and easy recipe that's perfect for busy nights!
- 12 oz pasta (I used gluten free elbows)
- 1/4 cup butter
- 1/4 cup flour (I used gluten free flour)
- 1 tbsp taco seasoning
- 3 cups milk (I used whole milk)
- 2 1/2 cups Mexican cheese
- 1 can black beans , drained
- 1 cup salsa OR canned tomatoes (drained)
- 1/2 cup frozen corn (optional)
Preheat oven to 375 degrees and spray a 9 x 13 baking dish. Cook pasta as directed on package. Set aside.
Melt butter in a large pan over medium heat. Add flour and whisk for one minute. Add taco seasoning and whisk for another minute. Slowly stir in milk and cook over medium heat, stirring often with a whisk as it thickens. This should take 5 - 10 minutes. Remove pan from heat and immediately stir in cheese.
Add drained beans and tomatoes/salsa and corn to pasta and mix. Place in prepared baking dish. Pour cheese mixture over pasta and mix.
Spray a piece of tin foil and place it sprayed-side down over pasta. Bake pasta for 20 minutes and enjoy.
Other Mexican Recipes You May Love
Healthy Chicken Sweet Potato Casserole
And of course – if you are vegan, I have just the thing for you Vegan Mac and Cheese! Enjoy!