Chorizo Mac and Cheese

Comfort FoodMexican and Tex MexMac Cheese

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

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 52 Comments / Reviews

  • Ron Ridley

    We had this earlier in the week. The flavor was great, but the family agreed that it could have been saucier. The next time I will double the milk and cheese. Do you think I would need to add any extra fat and flour to thicken up that large of an increase in liquid for the sauce?

    xxxxxyyyyy

  • 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

  • Nikki

    I take a little bit and stir it into my chili. It adds a little more kick to the heat that’s already in it. :D

  • CathyC

    An interesting use of chorizo! I’ll have to try it. I typically add chorizo to a grits casserole instead of sausage. It is also great in a quiche.

  • Jenny

    Have you made this using soy-rizo rather than traditional chorizo? I’m curious how this would turn out–with that substitution. Thanks!

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