Spicy Southwest Mac & Cheese

‘Tis the season for comfort foods, am I right? And what better comfort food on a cold winter’s night than spicy southwest ooey gooey stringy steamy macaroni and cheese hot from the oven?

I rarely eat cheese (lactose tolerance issues 😦 ), and I try to keep dinners in my house pretty healthy. But I also believe in treating oneself every now and again. mac-and-cheese-and-pieSo for Christmas dinner, I let Dear Husband pick one of the sides I was to make. He chose mac and cheese, and I decided to give it a little cowgirl kick with some hot peppers and spices.

The secret to making this dish so creamy is to use heavy whipping cream and butter (I know, I know, not very healthy, but it was Christmas, and life is short!). The secret to making it spicy is Rotel and various spices.

I prefer my mac and cheese baked like a casserole, rather than the soupy kind you’ll get from a box of Kraft. mac-and-cheese-2So, before popping it in the oven, I top it with slices of deli cheese, whatever I happen to have in the fridge.
On Christmas, I didn’t have enough of any one type of cheese for the topping, so I ended up doing a patchwork of smoky sharp cheddar and pepperjack.

Tell me, what is your favorite way to do mac and cheese? Elbow pasta or shells? Bread crumbs or extra cheese on top?

Enjoy! Charlotte xoxo

Spicy Southwest Mac & Cheese


  • 3 dry cups elbow macaroni
  • 2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1/2 stick butter
  • 1 3/4 cup heavy cream
  • 1 can Rotal, drained
  • 4-5 slices deli cheese of choice
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground mustard
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon chili pepper


  • Preheat oven to 325.
  • Cook macaroni according to package instructions. Drain.
  • Spray a saucepan with nonstick spray. Melt butter in saucepan over low heat.
  • Add heavy cream and shredded cheese, stirring frequently.
  • Stir in Rotel and spices.
  • Continue heating and stirring until all cheese has melted and sauce is stringy/gooey.
  • Dump pasta into a casserole pan. Pour cheese sauce over pasta and stir to make sure it reaches the bottom of the casserole pan.
  • Cover with slices of deli cheese and bake for 15 to 20 minutes.


  1. I do not always want to spend a lot of money on cheese. Making a Mornay with gorgonzola and scalding a shallot in the milk has enough flavor to satisfy me.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. YUM! This reminds me of how my dad makes it. I’m pretty sure it’s the same casserole dish and everything! My dad puts some kind of spice in it that gives it a kick. I don’t think he uses heavy whipping cream, so I WILL be telling him to!!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I’m lactose as well, but this recipe looks too good to pass up! All of my mac recipes are always no-boil because I’m laaazy. I’ll have to give yours a try, it just sounds so tempting!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Mmmmmmm macaroni cheese – my all time favourite. There are some tablets you can take if you are lactose intolerant. You take them a little while before you consume dairy containing lactose and they are supposed to help your body break it down and deal with it. Might be worth a try.

    Liked by 1 person

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