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Fiesta Macaroni and Cheese

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When I lived in Iowa, the only “real” grocery store that we had was Hy-Vee. I still receive their weekly emails for wellness and recipes, and a recipe for Fiesta Macaroni and Cheese popped up a couple of weeks ago. I was intrigued, but the ingredients did not work for me. A store brand box of macaroni and cheese, packaged black bean salsa from the deli…..

Cheesy and delicious with a touch of heat make this Fiesta Macaroni and Cheese the perfect meal for dinner tonight | Cheesy and delicious with a touch of heat make this Fiesta Macaroni and Cheese the perfect meal for dinner tonight | cookingwithcurls.com

frozen corn and sour cream. It sounded good, but needed to be tweaked to be less processed. 😉

I started with my favorite Homemade Macaroni and Cheese recipe, and added my own Black Bean Salsa recipe {minus the mango}. I  messed up with the cayenne pepper {which I will explain in a minute} but it turned out perfectly!!

Excite your taste buds and change up your normal dinner routine with Fiesta Macaroni and Cheese | cookingwithcurls.com

Well the flavor is perfect, the experience was yet another crazy adventure! I decided to make the black bean salsa while the water was boiling. Everything was going great until I realized that I didn’t have any chili powder…..I’ll just use cayenne instead. It took about a minute to realize that cayenne is spicy, chili powder is not…..oops!

I kept going and then realized that I did not have green onions…..this is not going well. I continued on until I started prepping for the actual macaroni and cheese, only to realize that I do not have dry mustard powder or paprika. Time to put everything away and go to the store. 🙁

How to make Fiesta Macaroni and Cheese:

Melt the butter in a large pan/Dutch oven over medium heat. Add the flour and whisk to combine. Simmer, stirring constantly for 1 to 2 minutes……

Fiesta Macaroni and Cheese roux cookingwithcurls.com

This is the roux that thickens our cheese sauce. 🙂 Pour in the milk and whisk to combine and remove all lumps. Add the salt, pepper, onion powder, paprika, cayenne*, and mustard. Stir to combine…..

Fiesta Macaroni and Cheese spices cookingwithcurls.com

Continue cooking until mixtures starts to simmer, 6 to 8 minutes. Remove from heat and add the grated cheese. Stir until melted and completely combined…..

Fiesta Macaroni and Cheese cheese cookingwithcurls.com

Add the drained pasta and stir until completely coated…..

Fiesta Macaroni and Cheese pasta cookingwithcurls.com

Stir in the black bean salsa just enough to evenly distribute…..

Fiesta Macaroni and Cheese salsa cookingwithcurls.com

That is 1 cup, which was not enough after I stirred it together, so I added a second cup which was the perfect amount. 🙂

Fiesta Macaroni and Cheese | cookingwithcurls.com

In the Hy-Vee version, they added diced chicken which I was not too sure about…..so I did not add it into the recipe. I decided to cook my Southwest Chicken separately and serve it on the side…..which I ended up stirring in anyways, LOL

Fiesta Macaroni and Cheese with Southwest Chicken | cookingwithcurls.com

It is completely up to you if you add the chicken or not, but it was actually good mixed in…..even though I still think it’s strange to have chunks of chicken in macaroni and cheese, but that’s just me. 🙂

As for the heat – it was not too spicy, and I’m a wimp, but you could definitely tell that the cayenne was there. If you have picky eaters, I would suggest sticking to the chili powder in the black bean salsa.

More family friendly pasta recipes:

Chicken Enchilada Pasta

Chipotle Bacon Macaroni Cheese

Pasta for a Crowd

Double Shrimp Pasta

Stove-top Pastitsio

Enjoy!!

Cheesy and delicious with a touch of heat make this Fiesta Macaroni and Cheese the perfect meal for dinner tonight | Cheesy and delicious with a touch of heat make this Fiesta Macaroni and Cheese the perfect meal for dinner tonight | cookingwithcurls.com

Fiesta Macaroni and Cheese

Cheesy and delicious with a touch of heat make this Fiesta Macaroni and Cheese the perfect meal for dinner tonight, or any night!
5 from 1 vote
Print Rate
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Keyword: marcaroni, pasta, cheese, recipe, black beans, corn, bell, pepper, easy
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 25 minutes
Servings: 6 Servings
Calories: 810kcal
Author: Lisa Johnson

Ingredients

  • ¼ cup unsalted butter
  • cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 ½ cups milk or half & half I used cashew milk
  • ½ teaspoon sea salt
  • ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
  • ¼ teaspoon paprika
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 Tablespoon dry mustard powder
  • pinch cayenne pepper
  • 8 ounces sharp cheddar cheese grated (almost 3 cups)
  • 1 pound pasta/macaroni cooked and drained
  • 2 cups Black Bean Salsa
  • cilantro to garnish
  • 1 pound Southwest Chicken optional

Instructions

  • Melt butter in a large pan/Dutch oven over medium heat.
  • Add the flour and whisk to combine. Simmer, stirring constantly for 1 to 2 minutes.
  • Pour in the milk and whisk to combine and remove all lumps.
  • Add the salt, pepper, onion powder, paprika, cayenne*, and mustard. Stir to combine.
  • Continue cooking until mixtures starts to simmer, 6 to 8 minutes.
  • Remove from heat and add the grated cheese. Stir until melted and completely combined.
  • Add the drained pasta and stir until completely coated.
  • Stir in the black bean salsa just enough to evenly distribute.
  • Serve with Southwest Chicken on the side, or chopped into bite sized pieces and mixed in with the salsa. Garnish with chopped cilantro.

Notes

You can find the Black Bean Salsa here.

Nutrition

Calories: 810kcal | Carbohydrates: 77g | Protein: 41g | Fat: 37g | Saturated Fat: 18g | Cholesterol: 127mg | Sodium: 752mg | Potassium: 675mg | Fiber: 7g | Sugar: 7g | Vitamin A: 927IU | Vitamin C: 3mg | Calcium: 437mg | Iron: 3mg

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8 Comments

  1. Thank you, Lisa, for sharing with Foodie Friends Friday this week. We love this recipe so much we’re featuring it today as part of our new Weekly Menu Plan series. Would love for you to come over!

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