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taking a spoonful from a pan of Nacho Mac N’ Cheese

Nacho Mac N’ Cheese

Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 25 minutes
Servings: 4 servings
Calories: 1120kcal
Author: Holly
Try this tasty southwest twist on a classic mac n cheese recipe!


  • 2 scallions
  • 2 Poblano peppers
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 4 tablespoons smoky Red Pepper Crema
  • 12 ounce Cavatappi Pasta
  • 2 tablespoons Southwest Spice Blend
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 12 tablespoons cream cheese
  • 2 cups white cheddar cheese
  • 3 ounces blue corn tortilla chips
  • 1 cup Mexican cheese blend
  • 1 teaspoon hot sauce
  • 1 teaspoon vegetable oil
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • salt and pepper


  • Heat broiler to high. Bring a medium pot of salted water to a boil. Wash and dry all produce. Core, deseed, and dice poblano into ½-inch pieces. Trim and thinly slice scallions, separating whites from greens. Peel and mince garlic. Place smoky red pepper crema in a small bowl. Add water 1 tsp at a time until mixture reaches a drizzling consistency. Season with salt and pepper.
  • Once water is boiling, add Cavatappi to pot. Cook until al dente, 9-11 minutes. Drain
  •  While pasta cooks, heat a drizzle of oil in a medium, preferably ovenproof, pan over medium heat (use a large pan for 4 servings). Add poblano and season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring, until softened, 4-5 minutes. Add 3 tablespoons butter, scallion whites, garlic, and Southwest Spice; cook, stirring, until butter melts and scallion whites are softened, 1 minute.
  • Stir flour into pan and cook until pasty, 1 minute. Gradually stir in ¾ cup water until fully combined. Add cream cheese and cook, stirring, until fully incorporated and sauce has thickened, 1-2 minutes. Turn off heat; stir in cheddar until melted and smooth. Taste and season with salt and pepper.
  • Stir drained cavatappi into pan with sauce until coated. Taste and season with salt if needed. If mixture is too thick, add a splash more water. TIP: If your pan isn’t ovenproof, transfer mixture now to a baking dish. Using your hands, crush tortilla chips and evenly sprinkle over mac ’n’ cheese. Top with an even layer of Mexican cheese. Broil until cheese melts, 2-3 minutes. TIP: Watch carefully to avoid burning.
  • Drizzle mac ’n’ cheese with smoky red pepper crema. Top with scallion greens and as much hot sauce as you like. Serve.


Calories: 1120kcal | Carbohydrates: 99g | Protein: 37g | Fat: 64g | Saturated Fat: 37g | Cholesterol: 165mg | Sodium: 930mg | Fiber: 7g | Sugar: 8g