Home Dinner Mexican Mac and Cheese

Mexican Mac and Cheese

If you think regular mac and cheese is good, just wait until you try this Mexican mac and cheese.

It’s fully loaded with corn, peppers, cheese, and black beans. So every bite is textural and tasty.

I like it with Mexican chorizo, but it’s just as good without it. But whatever you do, don’t skip the jalapeños – they really make it sing!

A bowl of Tex-Mex mac and cheese with corn, peppers and black beans
Enter your email below & we'll send it straight to your inbox.

Why You’ll Love This Mexican Mac and Cheese

Spicy Twist on A Cheesy Classic: Mexican mac and cheese combines the comforting familiarity of cheesy pasta with a zesty kick of Mexican spices and chilies. Even without the chorizo, there’s no denying the south-of-the-border flair. 

Kid-Approved: Although this dish features diced jalapeños, the cheesy sauce makes it mild enough for kids. 

Leftovers Galore: Not only is it delicious when freshly made, but the flavors also tend to meld and intensify when reheated, making the leftovers just as enjoyable, if not more so! 


  • Pasta – Use elbow macaroni for that classic mac and cheese finish.
  • Olive Oil and Butter – To sauté the veggies and make the roux base for the cheese sauce.
  • Mexican Chorizo – This is optional, but it adds a ton of incredible, meaty flavor.
  • Veggies – You’ll need onion, bell pepper, corn, black beans, and diced jalapeños. Feel free to add to that, too!
  • Flour + Spices – To make the sauce thick and flavorful, add chili powder and cumin for a Mexican flair, and salt and pepper to taste.
  • Milk – To thin out the sauce so it coats the pasta.
  • Cheese – I like a blend of Monterey Jack and sharp cheddar, but Pepper Jack works, too. Just be sure to get something that melts well.
  • Cilantro – Leave it off if you’re a hater, but I love the pop of color!
Spicy Mexican mac and cheese, featuring cheesy sauce, jalapenos, bell peppers, black beans and cilantro

How to Make Mexican Mac and Cheese

Full disclosure: This is harder to make than a box of mac and cheese. But the payoff makes it more than worth it!

1. BOIL the pasta to al dente per the package instructions. 

2. SAUTÉ the chorizo (if using) with the onion and pepper. Add the other veggies and cook for 1-2 more minutes when the chorizo is cooked. 

3. ROUX. Make the roux with the butter and flour, slowly adding the milk until it’s smooth.

4. SAUCE. Add the cheese a little at a time, then mix everything in the sauce to coat. 

5. SERVE with extra cheese and cilantro. 

Baked Mexican Mac and Cheese

If you want to bake this to bubbly perfection, you totally can! You just need to tweak the recipe a little:

1. Cook the pasta to 2 minutes under al dente. If you overcook it, it will turn mushy in the oven.

2. Sauté the veggies and make the sauce as instructed. 

3. Combine the cooked pasta, veggies, and sauce, then transfer to a 9×13-inch casserole dish. 

4. Top with the extra cheese and breadcrumbs, if desired. Bake for 20-30 minutes, until the top is golden and the sauce is bubbly.

Baked Mexican Mac and Cheese with breadcrumbs

Tips For the Best Mexican Mac and Cheese

After you try this, you’ll never make plain old mac and cheese again. And with these tips, your dinner will be perfect every time:

  • Use evaporated milk. It’ll make the cheese sauce richer and creamier.
  • Add roasted peppers for flavor and color. Or go spicy with chipotles in adobo. Measure with your heart, and be sure to taste the sauce!
  • Mexican chorizo. It’s incredibly tasty and available in ground form or as links. I like how the ground kind blends into every bite, but feel free to use slices of yummy sausage if you prefer!
  • Add protein. If you don’t want the chorizo, add shredded chicken, ground beef, turkey, or even smoked sausages. 
  • Cook the pasta al dente. Any longer, and it goes mushy. But remember to undercook it if you plan to bake the dish!
  • Use taco seasoning. Skip the chili and cumin and add 1-2 teaspoons of taco seasoning instead. Taste and add more as needed. 
  • Make it your own. Add extra jalapeños, use different cheeses, or top it with cotija or crushed tortilla chips.
Fully loaded Mexican mac and cheese with black beans, red bell peppers, yellow onions and cilantro

How to Store

This was gone before I could blink when I first made it. But if you happen to have leftovers, here’s how to store them:

To Store: Cover the cold leftovers tightly with plastic or transfer them to an airtight container. Keep in the fridge for 5 days. 

To Reheat: Reheat individual portions in the microwave with a splash of milk, stirring every 30 seconds, until heated. Alternatively, add a splash of milk, cover the dish with foil, and bake at 350°F for 15-20 minutes.

Note: I don’t recommend freezing Mexican mac and cheese. Between the cheese sauce and pasta, the texture just won’t be the same after thawing.

Enter your email below & we'll send it straight to your inbox.

More Mac and Cheese Recipes You’ll Adore

White Cheddar Mac and Cheese
Broccoli Cheddar Mac and Cheese
Homemade Mac and Cheese with Ritz Crackers
Buffalo Chicken Mac and Cheese

Mexican Mac and Cheese

Course: Main CourseCuisine: Mexican, American


Prep time


Cooking time





If you think regular mac and cheese is good, just wait until you try this Mexican mac and cheese. It’s loaded with corn, peppers, black beans, and more.


  • For the Pasta
  • 8 ounces elbow macaroni, uncooked (2 cups)

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil

  • 6-8 ounces Mexican chorizo links, sliced, optional

  • 1/2 yellow onion

  • 1 red bell pepper, diced

  • 1/2 cup frozen corn kernels, thawed

  • 1/2 cup canned black beans, drained and rinsed

  • 1-2 jalapeños, seeded and finely chopped

  • For the Sauce
  • 2 tablespoons butter

  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour

  • 1 teaspoon chili powder

  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin

  • 2 cups milk

  • 3/4 cup shredded Monterey Jack, divided

  • 1 1/4 cup shredded sharp cheddar, divided

  • salt and pepper to taste

  • chopped fresh cilantro for garnish


  • Cook the pasta to al dente, per the package instructions. Drain and set aside.
  • While the pasta cooks, warm the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the diced chorizo (if using), yellow onion, and bell pepper, and sauté until the chorizo is cooked, about 5-10 minutes (depending on how thick the slices are).
  • Stir in the corn, drained black beans, and jalapeños, and cook for 1-2 minutes. Set aside.
  • Melt the butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Sprinkle the flour, chili powder, and cumin over the top, then whisk well until smooth.
  • Very slowly pour the milk into the pan, whisking constantly until blended. Cook, stirring frequently, until thick, then turn off the heat.
  • Add 1/2 cup Monterey Jack and 1 cup cheddar, 1/4 cup at a time, mixing well until smooth and melted. Taste and season with salt and pepper as needed.
  • Add the cooked pasta and cheese sauce to the large skillet with the vegetables and mix until everything is well coated in the sauce.
  • Serve with extra shredded cheese and chopped cilantro on top, and enjoy!


  • For baked mac and cheese, undercook the pasta by 2 minutes. Make the dish as instructed, but then transfer to a 9×13-inch baking dish. Top with the extra cheese and breadcrumbs, and bake at 350°F for 20-30 minutes.
  • Feel free to use ground chorizo instead of links. It’s cooked just like ground beef and needs about 10 minutes in the pan.

Did you like the recipe?

Click on a star to rate it!

Average rating 5 / 5. Vote count: 1

No votes so far! Be the first to rate this post.


Share on social media:

We are sorry that this post was not useful for you!

Let us improve this post!

Tell us how we can improve this post?

author avatar
Kim - InsanelyGood
Hey there! I'm Kim. I love running, cooking, and curling up with a good book! I share recipes for people who LOVE good food, but want to keep things simple :)

Leave a Comment