Southwest Mac and Cheese

No more boring mac and cheese!  The addition of cumin, chili powder and jalapeños, give this version extra flavor and excitement.

Prep Time
20 Min
Cook Time
15 Min
Recipe by
Plugrà® Kitchens


½ cup (36g) buttery cracker crumbs
2 tblsp. (28g) Plugrá® Premium Butter, salted, melted

Macaroni and Cheese:

2 tblsp. (28g) Plugrá® Premium Butter, salted
1½ tblsp. (12g) all-purpose flour
1 tsp. (2g) cumin
½ tsp. (1.5g) chili powder
½ tsp. (3g) salt
1¼ cup (305g) milk
1½ cups (170g) shredded cheddar cheese
8 ounces (227g) dry macaroni
½ cup (68g) fresh or frozen sweet corn kernels
½ cup (90g) tomatoes, chopped, seeded
2 tblsp. (18g) jalapeño peppers, chopped, seeded
Topping: Preheat oven to 350°F. Spray a 9 x 9-inch pan with non-stick cooking spray. Combine the cracker crumbs with the melted butter; set aside.
Macaroni and Cheese: Melt the butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Whisk in the flour, cumin, chili powder and salt and continue cooking for one minute. Gradually whisk in the milk making sure there are no lumps and continue cooking for about 5 minutes or until the mixture begins to boil and to thicken. Remove from heat and stir in the cheese until it is melted; set aside.
Meanwhile, cook the pasta according to package directions adding the corn for the last minute of cooking. Strain and return to cooking pot.
Stir the cheese sauce into the cooked pasta. Gently stir in the tomatoes and jalapeños. Transfer to the prepared pan and top with the buttered cracker crumbs.
Bake for 15 minutes or until the sauce begins to bubble at the sides of the pan and the crumbs have browned.
Don’t like to bake your mac and cheese? Melt the 2 tablespoons of butter in a small skillet over medium-low heat and add the cracker crumbs. Cook, stirring occasionally for 2 to 3 minutes or until the crumbs have browned. Remove from heat and sprinkle over the mac and cheese immediately before serving.
For spicier mac and cheese, leave the seeds in the jalapeño before chopping.