Wednesday, December 22, 2021

Spicy Baked Mac and Cheese

This is the ultimate comfort food. Mac and cheese that is spicy with habanero jalapeno cheddar, chili flakes....YUM! The spicy kick from the habanero jalapeno cheddar adds to the flavor dimesion. With a crunchy pine nut-bread crumb topping, this is heaven! This has veggies and is very healthy too! The colors of this pasta (green broccoli, orange carrots and cream sauce) make it a perfect one for Christmas meal too!

This is the most loved food. Try making the mac and cheese like this and you'll always love it and won't turn to the boxed versions. This is easy and quick to make. I prefer to add the veggies while boiling pasta as it helps save time. Add the carrots along with elbow pasta and it cooks perfect in five minutes. Broccoli, cauliflower, peas, or corn can be added for the last one minute as they cook faster. When the pasta cooks, make the sauce, mix and bake. The topping is optional but adds amazing texture and taste to the pasta.

This can be made ahead till the baking step. Just refrigerate and add the toppings when needed to be baked. This would be fit for a weeknight dinner or for feast. This is a huge crowd pleaser and is easy to make. The leftovers refrigerate well for a couple of days. Honestly, this gets over so quickly that it is impossible to have leftovers. You'll have to make a fresh batch!

Mac and cheese is a versatile comfort food and many variations of it are possible and are delicious too! This Chipotle Mac and Cheese made using leftover Instant Pot Slow Cooked Chipotle Corn Chowder is thoroughly comforting and no doubt about that!. 

Baked Pastas are always amazing when the weather is cold. And Mexican Pasta BakeBaked Feta PastaPaneer, Masoor Dha, and Veggie Lasagna are amazing choices that can be doubled to make weeknight meals easier. The creamy pastas like Curried Roasted Cauliflower with Curried Alfredo Pasta and Gluten-Free Vegan Cilantro Cream Quinoa Spaghetti are perfect for weekend meals. The simple and delicious Angel Hair Pomodoro is all time comfort meal that noone can deny!

I am linking this to Bakeathon, Full Plate Thursday, Wonderful Wednesday, and Happiness is Homemade.

Serves 4 - 6
Prep time - 10 minutes
Cook time - 15 minutes
Bake time - 25 minutes

Elbow pasta - 2 cups
Salt - 2 tsp
Broccoli florets - 1 cup
Peas - 1/2 cup, frozen
Carrots - 2/3 cup, sliced

For the sauce

Butter - 2tbsp
Garlic- 1 tbsp, finely chopped
Flour - 3 tsp
Half and half - 1 and 3/4 cups
Heavy cream - 1 cup
Salt - 2/3 tsp
Black pepper powder - 1/2 tsp
Chili flakes - 1 tsp
Jack cheese - 3/4 cup, shredded
Mozzarella cheese - 3/4 cup, shredded
Habanero and jalapeno cheddar cheese - 3/4 cup, shredded
Dried parsley  - 1/2 tsp

For the topping (optional)

Bread crumbs - 1/4 cup
Pine nuts - 1/4 cup
Garlic powder - 1/8 tsp
Parsley - 1/2 tsp
Salt - a pinch


Mix all the ingredients for the topping and set aside. 

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Bring a pot of water to boil and when it boils add salt and a teaspoon of olive oil. Add the pasta and carrots. Cook for five minutes. Add the broccoli and peas, cook for a minute and drain. Set aside.

Heat a pan on medium flame. Add the butter and when it is melted add the garlic. Saute for 40-50 seconds. Add the flour and cook for 30-50 seconds, till the raw smell goes, but do not let it brwon.

Add the half and half, cream, salt, pepper, and chili flakes. Mix and simmer for 2 minutes. Add half cup of each cheese, mix.

Add thecooked pasta and veggies and mix. Add the parsley.

Transfer to a ovensafe bowl. Sprinkle the remaining cheese on top. Sprinkle the bread crumb pine nut mixture.

Bake for 25 minutes , the mixture will be golden on top and bubbly. Remove from the oven. 

Serve warm.


  1. We love mac and cheese. The options you have included sound so yummy Radha. There was a time when I used to make this so regularly...I have started making it over the stovetop.. a great meal!

  2. I love how creamy your pasta and mac looks even after baking... Totally looks absolutely delicious...