Chorizo Mac and Cheese

Mexican chorizo has been one of our family’s food staples for as long as I can remember. There’s almost always some in the fridge; my mother typically uses this sausage to mix in with scrambled eggs for breakfast. It’s spicy, soft, and usually some crazy vibrant orange red color from the chili the meat is mixed with. This week we tried our hand at a chorizo version of mac and cheese. (As if regular mac and cheese wasn’t good enough, hah!) Aye aye aye, this turned out great. Spicy, creamy, cheesy. I tossed some pieces of avocado over mine for kicks which worked well to balance the spiciness of the chorizo, but it’s fine on its own. Assuming you like heat.

Do you use Mexican chorizo in your cooking? If so, what do you do with it? Please let us know in the comments.

  • Prep: 10 minutes
  • Cook: 50 minutes
  • Yield: Serves 4.

We used El Mexicano brand chorizo for this recipe, as it is very soft, almost like a pâté. It integrates with the sauce better than other styles of Mexican chorizo. This recipe makes a small casserole, you can easily double the ingredients for a large casserole.

Ingredients

  • 2 cups elbow macaroni
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 teaspoon corn starch
  • 4 ounces shredded cheddar cheese (about 1 cup)
  • 4 ounces shredded pepper jack cheese (about 1 cup)
  • 6 ounces Mexican chorizo
  • 1/2 cup minced red onion
  • 2 Tbsp flour
  • 2 teaspoons lime juice
  • 2 Tbsp breadcrumbs
  • 1 Tbsp butter

Method

1 Mix the corn starch with the 2 cheeses in a bowl and set aside. The corn starch will help prevent the cheese sauce from getting too stringy.

2 Put the milk into a small saucepan and heat until steamy. Keep warm while you are preparing the recipe, do not let boil.

3 Put 2 quarts of water, salted with 1 Tbsp salt, into a large pot and heat to a boil. Once the water is at a full boil, add the macaroni to the pot. Return to a boil, and cook, uncovered, for about 2 minutes less than the macaroni package specifies, so that it is al dente, cooked, but still firm to the bite.

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4 While the water is heating and the macaroni cooking, prepare the chorizo cheese sauce. Remove chorizo from its casing and put into a medium thick-bottomed saucepan on medium high heat. When the chorizo begins to sizzle, reduce the heat to medium. Cook the chorizo, stirring often, for 2 minutes. Add the minced red onion and cook the mixture until the onions soften, about 3-4 minutes.

5 When the macaroni is cooked, but still a bit firm, drain it and set aside. Preheat oven to 375°.

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6 Add the flour to the pot with the chorizo and mix well. Everything will clump up. Reduce the heat to medium-low and cook, stirring constantly and scraping the bottom of the pot, for 2 minutes. Add the hot milk a tablespoon at a time, stirring constantly. When all the milk has been added, heat the mixture to a gentle simmer and cook for 2 minutes.

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7 Mix the grated cheese into the chorizo milk sauce. Mix in the cooked macaroni into the chorizo cheese sauce. Stir in the lime juice. Pour the macaroni and cheese into a small casserole dish. Make sure the top is level. Dust the top with the breadcrumbs, then dot with the butter. Bake until the breadcrumbs are golden, about 20 to 25 minutes.

If you want, serve with chopped avocados, crema fresca, and chopped fresh cilantro.

Main Ingredients

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