Chorizo Mac and Cheese

Baked macaroni with a sauce of cheddar and pepper jack cheese and Mexican chorizo.

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Photography Credit: Elise Bauer

Mexican chorizo has been one of our family’s food staples for as long as I can remember. It’s spicy, soft, and usually some crazy vibrant orange red color from the chili the meat is mixed with. There’s almost always some in the fridge; my mother typically uses this sausage to mix in with scrambled eggs for breakfast.

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.

Chorizo Mac and Cheese Recipe

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  • Prep time: 10 minutes
  • Cook time: 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 cornstarch
  • 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 cornstarch with the 2 cheeses in a bowl and set aside. The cornstarch will help prevent the cheese sauce from getting too stringy.

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

3 Cook the macaroni pasta: 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.

4 Cook the chorizo and onion: 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 Drain macaroni, preheat oven: When the macaroni is cooked, but still a bit firm, drain it and set aside. Preheat oven to 375°.

6 Make the chorizo cheese sauce: 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.

Mix the grated cheese into the chorizo milk sauce.

7 Add the cooked macaroni to the chorizo cheese sauce. Stir in the lime juice.

8 Bake: 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.

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Links:

Green Chile Mac and Cheese here on Simply Recipes

Colombian-style Mac and Cheese, with Chorizo - from My Colombian Recipes

Chipotle Mac and Cheese with Bacon - from Homesick Texan

Showing 4 of 50 Comments

  • Carolyn

    We are going to try but use Portuguese sausage instead. My guess it will be fabulous. If you have not had Portuguese sausage you can buy online from famous food. Com

  • Sleeping Should Be Easy

    I just had this literally 10 seconds ago and wanted to let you know it tasted great! I did however make a huge change, as in, I didn’t use chorizo, I used ground turkey (I had it in the freezer already). I still liked it!

  • Kevin @ Closet Cooking

    I really like the sound of using spicy chorizo in mac n cheese and th avocado topping sounds perfect! I most often use chorizo in tacos.

  • John Copeland

    Thanks for the absolutely killer mac and cheese recipe! I put this together as listed with the exception of using some fresh bulk chorizo from a local latin market and whole wheat elbow mac. A recipe like this ought to be doubled, just on general principle, so that is exactly what I did. The results: A perfect lasagna dish of mac and cheese. The first taste was perfect, but I have to say, this dish kept getting better each day. the last morsel was scarfed up today for lunch (5 days later)and it just as good, or better, than Thursday night’s fresh batch.

  • Tina

    We made this tonight…it was fabulous! I used the Mexican-style Chorizo as well. It was kind of funny because my husband asked if there was cinnamon in the mac and cheese, and I thought it smelled like cinnamon when the sausage was frying. Either way – it was wonderful and much easier than I had anticipated. The balance of flavors was just perfect. I will definitely be making this again.

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