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?
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Salsa Macaroni & Cheese
Classic mac and cheese with a Tex Mex twist! Spice levels can be controlled by using medium or hot salsa, which is a great compliment to the cheesy, creamy sauce.
- 2 tablespoons salted butter
- 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 2 cups milk
- 1/2 cup salsa
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 2 1/4 cups cheddar cheese, shredded, divided
- 1/2 cup green pepper, chopped
- 3 cups macaroni noodles, uncooked
- Preheat oven to 350F. Grease a 9x13 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 3/4 cup cheese and green pepper. Add macaroni and stir to combine.
- Pour mixture into casserole dish. Top with remaining 1/2 cup cheese.
- Cover with aluminum foil and bake for 15 minutes. Remove cover and bake for 5 minutes. Serve with more salsa, if desired.
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Nutrition Information:Yield: 6 Serving Size: 1 bowl
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 703Total Fat: 20.1gSaturated Fat: 10.9gTrans Fat: 0.4gUnsaturated Fat: 6.7gCholesterol: 54mgSodium: 606.4mgCarbohydrates: 100.8gFiber: 4.5gSugar: 8.5gProtein: 28g
wendy hutton says
Ilove mac and cheese with salsa it gives it a nice kick, I also like adding beans(pork and beans) to my mac and cheese my son thinks I am crazy
Help. I think I’ve just fallen in love with a blog post. As if I didn’t love mac and salsa enough on their own!? This looks absolutely incredible!
Barbara Montag says
This looks and sounds like a great mac n’ cheese recipe!
Alison's Allspice says
I have never thought to add salsa to mac and cheese! I usually add lots of black pepper, so I’m sure I will love this!
Sara @ Magical Mama Blog says
This sounds delicious!! My husband is going to get excited when he comes home tonight and smells this!
Lori Morgan says
I found your site thru Dear Crissy’s and so glad I did! This looks so delicious!! I love that it has a spicy kick! I’d use red peppers cuz NY husband loves those. Can’t wait to try this!
I love the idea of adding salsa. I can use this when my vegetarian daughter visits for something a little different.
I’ve never had it with salsa but I think I would love the flavour! Yum.
This looks absolutely amazing!! What a genius idea – I would totally toss in a few black olives and top with cilantro! Thanks for sharing at Merry Monday! Pinning!