Mexican Mac and Cheese


Mexican-Mac-and-Cheese with a jalapeño pesto that will knock your socks off!

My husband and I don’t get out to eat alone very often because it’s just easier that way then trying to round-up a babysitter.  And being a stay at home mom, I don’t get to try a lot of different restaurants for lunch.  There is one Mexican restaurant in downtown Cincinnati, that has come up regularly as a place we need to visit.  When people talk about this restaurant, they mention two things, the margaritas and the Mexican mac and cheese.  I’m a big fan of both margaritas and cheesy pasta dishes, so I knew I had to check this place out.

Since my kids were out-of-town this week, my husband and I felt it the opportune time to visit this restaurant.  I’m sooo glad we did!  It met all my expectations!  I love spicy food and I was not disappointed!  The best part was we had an exceptionally friendly and talkative waiter who divulged the ingredients to everything I consumed.  It was fantastic!    Now, I must admit, I did have a few too many blueberry vodka lemonades, so I was a bit worried that some ingredients would be lost by the time I actually went to make up my own Mexican mac and cheese.  I asked my husband for a pen so I could write it all on my arm, but he refused to hand one over.

Somehow,  I was able to recreate the infamous Mexican mac and cheese the next day.  The big secret was adding jalapeno pesto.  This gives the Mexican mac and cheese the heat which hits you a few seconds into each bite.   The poblano pepper gives it the smokiness and I HATE to admit this, but the creaminess comes from none other than Velveeta cheese!  I  threw in corn mainly because we had left over cobs and I also added rotisserie chicken to make it more of a meal than a side dish.  You could leave out both.  This is an amazingly creamy and flavorful mac and cheese.   This is the perfect accompaniment for margaritas!    If you love Mexican food and you love mac and cheese,  I strongly urge you try this…!  Go!!

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If you like this pasta dish, here a few others:

Jalapeno Popper Mac and Cheese with Andouille                           Lemons for Lulu

Busy Night Pasta Jambalaya                                                                Lemons for Lulu


Look at these fabulous dishes I found on Pinterest!

Fiesta Ravioli                                                                  Pearls, Handcuffs, and Happy Hour

Mexican Pasta Bake                                                       Taste for Adventure

Jalapeno Cheddar Pasta                                                 Created by Diane

5.0 from 2 reviews
Mexican Mac and Cheese
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Pasta drenched in creamy, cheesy goodness. Each bite come packed with flavor from jalapeno pesto and poblano peppers.
Recipe type: Entree, Pasta
Serves: 8
  • 1lb shell shaped pasta
  • Rotiserrie Chicken
  • 5 ½ cups milk
  • ¼ cup flour
  • 10 T butter, divided
  • 1 cup bread crumbs
  • 8 oz white cheddar, grated
  • 4 oz smoked Gouda, grated
  • 8 oz Velveeta Cheese, cubed
  • 8 oz cream cheese
  • ¼ cup diced roasted poblano pepper *
  • jalapeno pesto
  • pepper
  • Jalapeno Pesto
  • ¼ cup cilantro
  • 1 jalapeno pepper diced
  • 1 T pine nuts
  • 1 clove garlic
  • splash lime juice
  • 1 T olive oil
  • salt
  1. Prepare Pesto:
  2. Mix all ingredients in a food processor. Season to taste. Set aside
  3. In a large saucepan, simmer milk until warm but not boiling. In a separate sauce pan, melt 6 tablespoons of butter on medium low heat. Whisk in flour for 1 minute. Slowly add warm milk constantly stirring. Whisk until milk starts to bubble and becomes thick.
  4. Meanwhile, prepare pasta according to package directions.
  5. When milk is thick remove from heat and whisk in cheeses, stirring constantly until all the cheese has melted. Season with pepper. When pasta is ready, drain and run under cool water. Return to pan, toss with chicken and poblano pepper. Add cheese sauce stirring to combine. Add pesto. Pour onto a greased 9x13 baking dish.
  6. Melt 4 T butter. Toss with bread crumbs. Pour bread crumbs over pasta and bake in a 375 degree oven for 30 minutes.
  7. *to roast poblano pepper, line a baking pan with foil. Roast in a 400 degree oven for about 10 minutes or until the skin has blistard. Place pepper in a brown paper bag and let sit for about 15 minutes or until cool enough to handle. Remove skins from pepper.


I’ll be linking this recipe at:     as well as  here:  Link Parties.   Come check them out!


35 Responses

  1. I honestly have no words. Big shocker: I love mac and cheese. And this Mexicanified version? SO awesome. I totally want to stick my head in that pot of cheesy goodness and never come out. SO trying this!!

    • I love homemade mac and cheese, especially when it’s spicy!

  2. Big fan of Mac & Cheese. Let’s be honest. When I make some, although meant for a side dish, more often than not it will be my dinner. Yours, here, has chicken. If I’m going to make a meal of Mac & Cheese, at least this will have a little protein in it — and a little heat, to boot! Thanks for sharing.

    • Sometimes, I eat mac and cheese straight from the pan, with the big wooden cooking spoon. It’s one of my favorite foods!

  3. Oh wow! Best dish EVER!!! I can’t wait to try this one. I might not share it with anyone either. Is that bad?

    • It was heavenly, but I’m very partial to anything with jalapeno’s and cheese!

  4. This looks so amazing! What a fun twist to mac and cheese!! I am a new follower! I would LOVE for you to join my site as well!

    • Thank you! I’m coming to check you out!

  5. Thanks so much for sharing at Heavenly Treats Sunday! Now this looks good! I will be trying this, my hubbie would love this!

  6. This looks so good. My boys love any mac and cheese and I love this version! Thanks for sharing at Church Supper. Have a blessed week & come back soon !

    • Never met anyone who doesn’t love mac and cheese!! Thanks for stopping by and for the party!

  7. Good Morning! I found you via I Freakin’ Did It Friday – this looks amazing! I’m a huge mac and cheese girl and can’t wait to try this :) I’m pinning your recipe now.
    Happy Monday!

    • Hi! I love Mac and cheese too!!! This was good for me, because I love spicy food!

  8. Looks very tasty!! Glad you were able to make it to your restaurant too!! Thanks for linking to Foodtastic Friday.

    • Thank you! The restaurant was a needed break from the kitchen!

  9. I totally have a love-hate relationship with Velveeta!

  10. We are big mac n cheese lovers and this looks amazing! Thanks for linking up to our Strut Your Stuff Saturday! We loved having you and hope you will come back soon! -The Sisters

    • Thanks for the party! We love mac and cheese around here too!

  11. You totally have me curious! I MUST try this! YUM!

    Thanks so much for sharing this at The DIY Dreamer.. From Dream To Reality!

    • Yes! You must try it out, you’ll be hooked! Thanks for hosting!

    • Thank you! I know Mac and Cheese doesn’t really need to be improved.

  12. Mac and cheese with three kinds of cheese and mexican flavor…hold me back!!! I want to eat the entire pan of goodness!!! Spicy food is my friend!

    • I actually may have eaten the entire dish! Thanks for checking it out!

  13. You had me at “I’m a big fan of both margaritas and cheesy pasta dishes”! <3 This mac and cheese just looks and sounds incredible! I love the combo of roasted poblano pepper, pine nuts, FOUR different cheeses, lime juice…. mercy! :)

    • We’d get along famously! This was a really yummy pasta dish!


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