This Salsa Macaroni & Cheese is made from scratch and is one of the most delicious mac and cheese recipes ever, in my humble opinion. It’s cheesy, creamy with a little bit of a kick from the incredible salsa.
I love macaroni & cheese, but have you ever tried it with salsa? OMG. I know some people like to add ketchup to their mac and cheese (not me though!) so it’s not really that much of a stretch to add a little salsa to your favourite recipe.
I also have a recipe for Mac and Cheese Cups if you are looking for a cute and tasty appetizer recipe. They’re cute, tiny, and the perfect handheld snack or quick appetizer.
Why You’ll Love This Easy Recipe
- Who doesn’t love a nice bowl of mac and cheese- the ultimate comfort food?
- It doesn’t’ take that much longer to make than the stuff from the box, but it tastes a heck of a lot better
- This recipe is super easy to increase to make for so you can easily feed a crowd
- This will quickly become your families new favorite macaroni and cheese go to recipe
- This simple salsa macaroni and cheese is super easy to customize to suit your tastes
- Salted butter
- All-purpose flour
- Salsa – Try my garden salsa.
- Shredded cheddar cheese
- Green pepper
- Macaroni noodles
How to Make Salsa Macaroni and Cheese
- Step One: Preheat the oven to 350F. Grease a 9×13 casserole dish. Set aside.
Step Two: Cook macaroni according to package directions. Drain and set aside.
- Step Three: Melt butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Stir in flour and cook for one minute. Gradually add in milk. Stir in salsa and salt. Bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring constantly until mixture thickens. Remove from heat.
- Step Four: Stir in 1 3/4 cup cheese and green pepper. Add macaroni and stir to combine.
- Step Five: Pour mixture into a casserole dish. Top with remaining 1/2 cup cheese.
- Step Six: Cover with aluminum foil and bake for 15 minutes. Remove cover and bake for 5 minutes. Serve with more salsa, if desired.
Helpful Kitchen Equipment Needed
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What To Serve With Salsa Mac n Cheese
This hearty mac and cheese is perfect to serve up with some other things to make a complete meal. It’s the ultimate comfort food and would do just about anything. Here are some tasty ideas:
- Easy Stuffed Burgers
- Taco Chicken Burger
- Black Bean and Rice Open Faced Tacos
- Taco Grilled Cheese Sandwich
- Chicken Taco Twice Baked Potatoes
Helpful Tips and Tricks
- Don’t skip out on the last 5 minutes of baking without the foil because that really helps bring the perfect texture to your mac and cheese.
- When you cook the macaroni pasta, you can cook it a little al dente and it’ll continue to cook a bit in the oven.
- You can use whatever heat level of salsa that you prefer. Use your favorite brand so you know you’ll enjoy the flavor. Like hot salsa? Feel free to try that out, like more of a mild heat? Use a mild salsa. If you still want more heat, feel free to add some jalapenos or other peppers of your choice.
Recipe Variations and Substitutions
- I tossed some green bell pepper in there for color and crunch, but if you don’t like it you can omit the bell peppers. Also, you can swap it out for any other colored peppers. Red, yellow, or orange bell peppers would all work nicely.
- Want to add some protein? Feel free to add some shredded chicken, ground beef, or some pork for a nice change.
- Want to make a homemade salsa to use instead of a store bought jarred salsa? Feel free to do so.
- If you prefer a macaroni and cheese that isn’t super creamy, I have a secret tip for you- add some mustard! Crazy sounding, I know! Add a dash of any powdered or grainy mustard. Yellow and Dijon would both work well. You won’t taste an overwhelming amount of mustard, but you will notice a difference in the creaminess level.
Leftover macaroni and cheese with salsa should be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 4-5 days.
Always give leftovers a good stir when reheating to help make sure everything gets all mixed back together that may have separated while being stored.
Can I Freeze This?
Absolutely, you can totally freeze leftovers. Freezing leftover mac and cheese makes dinner on a different night even easier since you already have this ready and waiting.
Once your Salsa Macaroni and Cheese has cooled, transfer it to a freezer safe bag or container and place in the freezer. It should freeze nicely for up to 2-3 months.
Remove leftovers from the freezer and let them thaw overnight in the fridge before reheating.
When you go to reheat your mac and cheese, you may want to add a splash of milk to help bring the creamy cheesiness back to life!
What Else Can I Add?
You can bulk up mac and cheese with so many different things. Here are a few of our favorite things to add into your macaroni to help it go further (and it’s a great way to get in some extra veggies for kids!):
- Other spices: Thyme, Cayenne Pepper, Basil, Rosemary, Oregano, Cumin, Nutmeg, etc.
What Other Cheeses Can I Add?
If you’re looking to change up the typical cheddar cheese mac and cheese to something a little different, here are a few cheese options to try adding in to your recipe:
- Monterey Jack
- Sharp Cheddar
More Easy Mac and Cheese Recipes
- Stovetop Mac and Cheese
- Pumpkin Macaroni and Cheese
- Mom’s Macaroni
- Chili Macaroni
- Baked Macaroni and Cheese
Do you like your Macaroni & Cheese with a twist or do you prefer the regular version with no extras?
If you make the recipe, rate it on the recipe card below and tag me on Instagram and use #simplystacie. I like sharing the photos on my Instagram stories!
Salsa Macaroni & Cheese
- 2 tbsp salted butter
- 3 tbsp all-purpose flour
- 2 cups milk
- ½ cup salsa
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 2 ¼ cups cheddar cheese shredded, divided
- ½ cup green pepper chopped
- 3 cups macaroni noodles uncooked
- Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease a 9×13 inch casserole dish. Set aside.
- Cook macaroni according to package directions. Drain and set aside.
- Melt butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Stir in flour and cook for one minute. Gradually add in milk. Stir in salsa and salt. Bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring constantly until mixture thickens. Remove from heat.
- Stir in 1 ¾ cup cheese and green pepper. Add macaroni and stir to combine.
- Pour mixture into casserole dish. Top with remaining ½ cup cheese.
- Cover with aluminum foil and bake for 15 minutes. Remove cover and bake for 5 minutes. Serve with more salsa, if desired.
The information shown is an estimate provided by an online nutrition calculator. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.