Finally sharing this long awaited recipe with you all today and Im so excited! I tried this two different ways and this was definitely the best version! I wanted the mac and cheese to be creamy, spicy, and cheesy!! This recipe is similar to my Pav Bhaji Pasta- but with just more added heartiness 🙂
You could definitely bake this off in the oven and top it with a bread crumb topping but I love me a stove top mac and cheese- I feel like its always just creamier, plus if you have a bird in the oven- this is one less thing that needs to fit in there!
Based on how AL DENTE you cook your pasta- it will soak up more or less liquid- making it less or more creamy so please eyeball this part. After you add the pasta to the sauce you will notice it getting thicker (as the noodles get plumper) so keep adding additional half and half until you have your desired creaminess. Make sure you also adjust salt after this!
Preparing Ahead of time:
Cut all of your veggies one or two days before to save yourself time- especially get all the garlic peeling out of the way and have it chopped/blended ahead of time.
If you’ll be taking this somewhere or making it ahead of time- I suggest reheating it with some additional milk or half and half to bring back the creaminess ! You can take this in a crock pot/Instant Pot so you can just plug it in, a regular pot so you can just put it right on the stove- or a casserole baking dish if you plan on placing it in the oven to heat up !
If you like a lot of spice- use the tiny green chilis instead of serrano and if you don’t like too much spice- use jalapeños with the seeds removed!
Spicy Mac & Cheese
Yield 6 Servings
- 16 oz. elbow macaroni, cooked until al dente
- 1 onion, finely diced
- 1 green bell pepper, finely diced
- 3 serrano chilis, finely diced (leave seeds if you like spicy)
- 2 tbsp minced garlic
- 3 tbsp butter
- 2 tbsp all purpose flour
- 2 cups half & half
- 2 cups whole milk
- 1 cup cheddar cheese, grated
- 1 cup pepper jack cheese, grated
- 6 slices amul cheese (sliced) OR sliced American cheese
- 1 tbsp pav bhaji masala
- 2 tsp cayenne powder/chili powder
- 2 tsp garam masala
- 1.5 tsp cumin powder
- 1 tbsp sriracha
- 1/4 cup chopped cilantro
- 2 tbsp oil
-Purchase 32 oz. container of half & half so you can have additional on hand as needed.
-Subsitute thai green chilis if you like a lot of spice or use deseeded jalapeños if you like less spice.
-Do not forget the salt- even with all the cheese- you will need salt!
- Heat a large pot over medium high heat and add oil. Once oil is hot, add the serrano chilis and let them splutter for a few minutes.
- Add the onions, and bell peppers and saute until soft (about 5-6 minutes). Turn the heat to medium-low and add the minced garlic, and let cook slowly so garlic doesn't brown or burn) and continue to cook for 4-5 minutes.
- Once the garlic is fragrant- add the pav bhaji masala, chili powder, garam masala, salt, cumin powder and stir continuously. Add butter, flour while continuously stirring. The mixture will become very clumpy but keep stirring until you get a nutty aroma and flour looks slightly golden.
- Slowly stir in the liquid (milk & half and half) in small amounts - stirring well after each addition (heat should be set so there is a simmer- but not a a boil).
- Once all of the liquid has been added, add the boiled macaroni, and stir well.Add all of the different cheeses and stir well over low heat. Add in the noodles and adjust half and half or milk as needed since noodles will soak up some liquid as they cook. Continue to stir over low heat until macaroni noodles become plump and fully coooked. Stir in siracha and cilantro. SERVE HOT!