Queso Mac and Cheese

 

I have to say, I was a bit conflicted on what to title this post (and recipe.)  I mean, yes, it’s mac and cheese.  However, queso is Spanish for cheese, right?  Maybe the name is a bit redundant, even if by queso I’m referring to the cheesy dip stuff.  And then I didn’t use macaroni noodles, I used these cute ruffles.  So is it really queso mac and cheese?  I don’t know, I’ve spent the last few days debating this point in my head only to come up with this as the best name (I swear, I’m not a total nut job! Ok, maybe I am.)

But one thing my husband weren’t confused about this holiday weekend was that we were craving some serious comfort food.  We couldn’t agree who would be doing the cooking, so the Mac and Cheese Cook-Off gauntlet was thrown!  I have to admit, he took the first round with his “six-cheese, full-fat, slightly-spicy” version.  But I don’t give up easily.  I remade the recipe with a few tweaks and mine kicked his “high-cholesterol, belt-widening, slightly-salty” noodles.  Sorry, Honey, still love you!

 

Queso Mac and Cheese
 
Prep time: 2 mins
Cook time: 20 mins
Total time: 22 mins
Serves: 2
Ingredients
  • 2 cups ruffled pasta
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 cups vegetable stock
  • 1 teaspoon cumin powder
  • 1 teaspoon ancho chili powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper (optional)
  • 1/2 cup reduced-fat pepper jack cheese
  • 1/4 cup extra sharp cheddar cheese
  • 1-2 tablespoons milk, depending on desired sauce consistency
  • Salt and pepper
  • Fresh cilantro anto garnish
Instructions
  1. Bring a pot of salted water to a boil and add the noodles. Cook until al-dente and drain.
  2. Meanwhile, melt butter in a heavy-bottom sauce pan. Add the flour and whisk 1-2 minutes. Slowly add the vegetable stock, 1/4 cup at a time, whisking in between each addition.
  3. Add the cumin and ancho chili powder and cook 2-3 minutes to allow sauce to thicken.
  4. Add the cheeses and whisk again until smooth. Add the desired amount of milk (more for a thinner sauce.) Pour cheese sauce over the pasta. Garnish with cilantro. Serve immediately.
 

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Ramona - I love a healthier option you gave and you maximized flavor and reduced the fat! Love it. :)

Erin @ Dinners, Dishes and Desserts - Doesn’t really matter what you call it, looks good!!!
Love the idea of a cook off, how fun!

Stephanie @ Eat. Drink. Love. - Love the idea of mac and cheese cook-off, lol. This looks amazing! Definitely something my husband would love too!

Nami | Just One Cookbook - I’ve never used ruffled pasta. So pretty! I must check it out at store. :) What a great comfort food indeed! I seriously don’t care what the name is but your pictures show exactly how delicious this is anyway! Plus, I didn’t know what queso means… I took two years of Spanish yet I don’t remember a thing. Haha. Thanks for sharing the recipe!

Kelly @ Inspired Edibles - Well, if we’re going to get picky about titles, this isn’t macaroni either ;-) but who cares?!! You’ve put together something far more interesting and delectable! I love all of the heat you’ve added to this version… a spicy delight. Your styling is simply beautiful Alyssa.

Steven - Hacrackers dont be too polite when snomeoe doesnt know to mind their language or behave themselves, I dont care whether you are American or Indian, all are human beings.

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Queso Mac and Cheese | Mom de Cuisine

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