Mac and cheese made festive with tasty Mexican flavors in this delicious Mexi Mac and Cheese! An easy meal-in-one that the whole family will love!
We love homemade mac and cheese, but sometimes wish it had a little more to it so we could call it a meal. While the boys are thrilled to eat mac and cheese as their main dish alongside some veggies, Brandon and I prefer to eat it as a side dish with some meat and a salad. And since we make mac and cheese quite frequently, I though it was due to time to make a full meal out of it.
There are so many possibilities with mac and cheese from the type of cheese you melt in it to the seasonings and all the yummy add-in options. I was craving Mexican food one day while the boys were begging for mac and cheese so I just spiced a simple mac and cheese recipe up with Mexican flavors and add-ins and we all loved it!
I love how easy it is to throw together and that it’s pretty much a meal in one, expect we usually pair it with a salad because salads are a given at most of our meals.
You can make it spicy or mild. I usually keep it pretty mild so the boys can eat it too and then serve some hot sauce with it so Brandon and I can spice it up even more. You can also serve it straight from the stove-top or transfer it to a casserole dish and bake it with a bubbly layer of cheese on top. We love a good crispy cheesy top to our mac and cheese sometimes, but if we’re in a rush to get dinner on the table, the stove-top version tastes just as great.
It’s super cheesy and extremely flavorful. I use lean ground turkey as the meat add-in, but you could certainly use ground beef or chicken. A variety of bell peppers, tomatoes and green chiles along with taco seasoning, enchilada sauce and plenty of cheese make it mexilicious.
This Mexi Mac and Cheese is crazy delicious! I’m always thankful it makes a lot so we usually have leftovers to devour again the next night.
I hope you and your family enjoy this easy peasy Mexi mac and cheese as much as we do!
Mexi Mac and Cheese
- Prep Time: 30 mins
- Cook Time: 10 mins
- Total Time: 40 mins
- Yield: 10 1x
- Category: Main
Mac and cheese made festive with tasty Mexican flavors. An easy meal-in-one that the whole family will love!
- 1 pound large elbow macaroni
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 cup chopped bell pepper (red, green and/or yellow)
- 1/2 cup chopped red or white onion
- 1 (10 ounce) can chopped tomatoes with green chiles (I used Rotel)
- 1 pound lean ground turkey
- 1 (1 ounce) packet taco seasoning mix
- 1 (10 ounce) can red enchilada sauce
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 2 tablespoons flour
- 1 cup milk
- 2–1/2 cups shredded mexi-blend cheese
- salt & pepper to taste
- If baking, preheat oven to 450°F. Spray a 9×13-inch baking dish with non-stick cooking spray and set aside.
- In a large pot, cook the macaroni to al dente according to package directions and drain. Return to large pot.
- Heat the olive oil over medium-high heat in a large skillet. Add the chopped bell pepper and onion and cook until onions become translucent. Stir in can of tomatoes with green chiles. Saute for another 3 minutes. Add pepper mixture to pot with cooked macaroni.
- Add the ground turkey to the hot skillet and break up the meat with a spoon. Cook until meat is cooked all the way through, 4-5 minutes. Drain grease off meat, if necessary, and return to skillet. Add taco seasoning mix and stir until turkey is completely coated in seasoning. Add cooked turkey to pot with cooked macaroni and pepper mixture.
- Pour enchilada sauce over everything in the pot and stir gently to coat.
- Add butter to hot skillet. Once butter is melted, whisk in flour until a thick mixture forms. Turn heat to medium low and add milk, whisking constantly until mixture starts to thicken. Add 2 cups cheese and stir until cheese is melted. Season cheese sauce with salt and pepper to taste.
- Pour cheese sauce over the macaroni mixture in the large pot. Serve immediately or transfer mixture to prepared baking dish. Sprinkle with remaining 1/2 cup shredded cheese. Bake in preheated oven for 10-15 minutes or until cheese is bubbling and starting to brown and crisp on top. Let set for about 5 minutes before serving.
Can you make this ahead of time? The night before and bake in the morning?
Hi Brooke! Absolutely, just cover and store it I the refrigerator overnight. Allow it to sit at room temperature for about an hour before baking. Wait to top it with additional cheese until right before baking. Hope this helps. Enjoy!
I skip the enchilada sauce (and just add a touch more milk) and make my own taco seasoning, but follow everything else exactly and my family LOVES this recipe!!! It’s a huge hit!! I call it “chili mac” because it tastes kind of like my chili and my Mac n cheese in one! So delicious!
Made it for my family, it was a huge hit!