This Creamy Mac and Cheese recipe is most definitely a keeper. A vegetarian masterpeice, hugged in four cheeses and topped with Flamin’ Hot Cheetos. Wowza! Love cheesy recipes? Make sure to try these Fully Loaded Philly Cheesesteak Sliders and Pepperoni Pizza Garlic Knots; they’re true crowd pleasers!
I’m such a sucker when it comes to cheese. Add carbs and spicy goodness and you’ve got me smitten. True fact: One of my high school besties was named Kim. We would eat Flamin’ Hot Cheetos practically every day and were obsessed with dipping them in cream cheese. The combo is truly addicting.
As a nod to my vegetarian bestie, Kim, I’ve decided to make this dish with a plant-based protein.
OZO Foods makes a great tasting Mexican Seasoned Ground that works flawlessly with this recipe. Their products are made with a fermented mix of peas and mushrooms, resulting in an iron-rich, high quality blend. The ground has a whopping 21 grams of protein that’s perfectly seasoned with no GMO’s or soy.
When I’m making Creamy Mac and Cheese from scratch, the macaroni to cheese ratio is one of my main focuses. Cream cheese is obviously included here, along with an ooey-gooey trifecta of Monterey Jack, sharp cheddar and mozzarella. Oh, and I can’t stress this enough… SHRED YOUR OWN CHEESE. It might take a few extra minutes, but the end result is worth it. See the cheese pull? SWOON.
TIPS FOR THE BEST CREAMY MAC AND CHEESE:
- Cook the pasta a little less than all dente, as the pasta will continue to cook in the oven. Nobody likes overcooked macaroni… nobody.
- To create a super creamy sauce, we start with a roux (which is basically equal parts of butter and flour). Whisk the two ingredients together for a couple minutes, until golden. Next you’ll whisk in cold milk and bring to a soft boil. The final step is folding in the mustard, cheese and noodles.
- If using OZO Food’s regular ground, add a teaspoon of paprika, a teaspoon of cumin and a dash of cayenne to this recipe. It’ll give you that extra bite that is oh-so-yummy.
OTHER RECIPES YOU MIGHT LIKE:
Learn How To Make Roasted Pistachio Pesto
Supreme Spaghetti Pizza Casserole
HOW TO MAKE SUPER CREAMY MAC AND CHEESE:
- 12 oz. OZO Foods Mexican Seasoned Ground
- 1 lb. Elbow Macaroni
- 4 oz. Monterey Jack Cheese
- 8 oz. Sharp Cheddar Cheese
- 8 oz. Mozerella
- ½ cup Unsalted Butter
- ½ cup All Purpose Flour
- 6 cups Whole Milk
- 8 oz. Cream Cheese
- 1 tbsp. Yellow Mustard
- 1 tsp. Kosher Salt
- 1 tsp. Freshly Cracked Black Pepper
- 3 cups Flamin' Hot Cheetos
- Green Onions, as needed for garnish
- 1 Large Egg
- Pre-heat the oven to 350F.
- Cook the OZO Foods Mexican Seasoned Ground according to packaged directions, set aside.
- Bring water to a boil in a large stockpot and cook the macaroni a little less than al dente.
- While the macaroni cooks, shred the cheeses. Set half the mozzarella to the side for the topping.
- Drain the pasta and rinse with cold water to help speed the cooling process. Leave in strainer until needed.
- Add the butter and flour to the hot stockpot over medium-high heat and whisk until golden, about a minute.
- Add the milk, slowly whisking simultaneously until the mixture is well combined. Continue cooking until the milk has come to a light simmer. Cut the cream cheese into cubes and add one by one into the warmed milk, mixing until melted.
- Fold in the mustard and three shredded cheeses and turn off the heat.
- Pour cooled pasta into a large bowl. Whisk egg in a small bowl and then toss together with the pasta.
- Add pasta and Mexican Seasoned Ground to the cheese mixture and fold together until coated. Pour into a greased baking dish and top with remaining shredded mozzarella that you set aside. Bake for 30 minutes, uncovered.
- Remove the Mac and Cheese from the oven and cover with slightly crushed Flamin' Hot Cheetos. Sprinkle with green onions and serve immediately.
NOTES ON THIS RECIPE:
- Yellow mustard isn’t mandatory in this recipe, but I highly recommend it! I add a dash of mustard to most of my macaroni and cheese recipes. You could also use mustard powder, about 2 teaspoons should do the trick.
- Why do we use an egg in this recipe? It helps pull everything together and thickens the entire dish.
- Do not add the Flamin’ Hot Cheetos until just before serving, otherwise they won’t stay crunchy.
This post is sponsored by OZO Foods. Per the usual, all opinions here are mine alone and I would never recommend an ingredient that I did not immensely enjoy myself. Thank you for supporting the brands that support SliceOfJess.com!
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