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Twist On A Classic Comfort Food = Green Chile Macaroni & Cheese

I come from a family that loves food just as much as I do. My sister, Ellyn, is what I guess you could call my “partner in crime” when we go out to restaurants. There are two things I can always count on her ordering: Caesar salad and Mac and Cheese. If there is such a thing as a Mac and Cheese connoisseur, she would definitely be one. One of her latest food conquests was over the summer at the Minnesota State Fair. Leave it up to her to find Deep Fried Mac and Cheese!


Lately she’s been spending a lot of time hanging out at our apartment on the weekends. We have been going out to eat a lot.  I decided next time she came over I would make her Mac and Cheese. I guess I’ve never made it for her because I was afraid it wouldn't live up to her high standards. So where do you go when you want a Mac and Cheese recipe that will impress the girl with the most discerning tastes?, obviously! I wanted to make her something a little out of the ordinary- not just the plain ol’ Mac and Cheese. My choice is Green Chile Macaroni & Cheese. It is creamy and cheesy but also has little added kick from the chiles.  I think it is sure to be a winner!

Not only is this recipe mouth-watering good, it only takes about a half hour to prepare! And there are only a handful of ingredients: penne pasta, American cheese, milk, green chiles, roasted red pepper, cumin and fresh cilantro. I think it’s the fresh cilantro that really elevates this recipe to the next level- it just adds a certain “zing” of freshness that sets it apart from other Mac and Cheese recipes.


Preheat the oven to 350°F and get a big pot of water boiling for the pasta. Cook the penne according to the package directions, drain and set aside.


Now combine all of the remaining ingredients in a small saucepan.


Heat the mixture over medium heat until the cheese is melted.


Now add the cheese sauce to the pasta you set aside and mix it together.


Pour this mixture into a greased 2-quart casserole dish.


Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, until it’s bubbly, browned and beautiful!  Divide into serving dishes and garnish with a little cilantro on top.


Such a delicious twist on standard Mac and Cheese!  I guarantee this is sure to please even the pickiest Mac and Cheese lovers. Ellyn seemed to enjoy it!


Why don’t you try out this recipe, Green Chile Macaroni and Cheese, for dinner, for guests, or even just for yourself? Make sure to come back and let me know how it turned out for you and rate and review the recipe.

Looking for another fun twist on a classic recipe? Come back in a few days when Amanda will be sharing a spin on crab cakes.

Mallory is a consultant for the Test Kitchens at Land O'Lakes and writes for our Recipe Buzz® Blog.


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