Classic Macaroni and Cheese is the quintessential comfort food; it’s an offering on every southern “vegetable” menu, and is the favorite of almost American child (with or without hot dogs), most likely because it is mild and creamy. The boxed version can be made in 15 minutes, and is recognizable to almost everyone, not, of course because it is delicious (which is a relative term in this case), but because it is familiar.
The following Easy Mexican Macaroni is nothing like the classic version; it’s bold and slightly spicy. It’s colorful, too and can be proudly served as a side dish instead of Spanish rice at a Mexican buffet or as a vegetarian main dish. This fabulous twist on macaroni and cheese is great with grilled meats, poultry, or fish, and can be served as a quick luncheon dish with a salad and crusty bread. According to the late Teofila Padilla (an incredible Mexican cook), whose recipe this one was adapted from, the only trick to this dish is to let it cook without stirring to prevent it from going gummy. If you’re bored with your classic recipe for macaroni and cheese, it’s time to try this quick, fun, budget wise, and delectable version.
1 tablespoon vegetable oil, or shortening
1 cup small shell macaroni
1 1/2 to 2 cups chicken broth
1 cup medium salsa
1 to 2 cups shredded cheddar jack cheese
- Heat the oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat; add the macaroni shells and stir until they turn a golden brown.
- Mix 1 1/2 cups chicken broth with the salsa; pour the broth mixture over the macaroni and stir once.
- Turn the heat to high and bring to a boil without stirring.
- When the mixture boils, turn the heat down to the lowest setting and cook uncovered without stirring again until the broth is absorbed.
- Taste a piece of pasta to see if it is cooked through, but still al dente; add more broth if necessary and cook a little longer until the pasta is just tender. Do not stir again until the pasta is done.
- When the macaroni is fully cooked al dente, stir in the cheese until melted and serve immediately.
Amount Per Serving
Calories 179 Calories from Fat 82
Percent Total Calories From: Fat 45% Protein 18% Carb. 37%
Nutrient Amount per Serving
Total Fat 9 g
Saturated Fat 4 g
Cholesterol 20 mg
Sodium 640 mg
Total Carbohydrate 17 g
Dietary Fiber 1 g
Sugars 0 g
Protein 8 g
Vitamin A 9% Vitamin C 9% Calcium 0% Iron 5%