Southwestern Spicy Macaroni & Cheese

Enjoy this satisfying main dish with a southwestern flare. Plum tomatoes are perfectly complimented by the garlic, sautéed onions and spicy peppers that lend a hint of fiery goodness to the rich cheese flavors.

Recipe makes 6 servings.


  • 1 1/2 cups finely chopped onion
  • 2 large (4 small) cloves garlic, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons minced pickled jalapeño or 2 tablespoons chipotle in adobo sauce
  • 1/2 of a stick unsalted butter
  • 1/4 cup all purpose flour
  • 3 cups milk
  • 2 cups light cream
  • 1 large can (28 ounces) plum tomatoes, drained and finely chopped
  • 1 pound elbow macaroni
  • 2 cups grated pepper jack cheese
  • 2 cups grated extra sharp cheddar cheese
  • 1/4 cup bread crumbs
  • 1/4 cup fresh grated parmesan cheese


  1. In a large saucepan, cook onion, garlic, jalapeños or chipotles in butter, stirring until onion is softened.
  2. Stir in flour and cook mixture while stirring for 3 minutes.
  3. Add milk and the light cream, whisking continually. It will thicken somewhat as you are mixing.
  4. Bring to a boil, and then reduce heat.
  5. Blend in the drained plum tomatoes and simmer 5 minutes.
  6. Add sea salt and coarse ground black pepper to taste.
  7. Boil macaroni in salted water according to package directions, and drain well.
  8. In a large bowl, combine pasta with the tomato mixture.
  9. Stir in cheeses.
  10. Transfer to a 13×9 inch buttered baking dish or 3 quart gratin dish.
  11. Sprinkle parmesan cheese and bread crumbs on top.
  12. Bake macaroni and cheese for 20-25 minutes or until golden brown and bubbly.