Creamy Cajun Mac & Cheese

8 Servings
35 min

I don’t know about you but homemade macaroni and cheese is up there as one of my all time favourites. I love this twist on the comforting classic dish and I bet you will as well!


Tender macaroni noodles, perfectly sautéed peppers & onions come together with the most delicious cheese sauce. The addition of Cajun seasoning really adds the perfect amount of heat.


Want to know my secret for the smoothest cheese sauce? Grate your own cheese! Pre-shredded cheese contains additives that prevents it from getting all melty and smooth so I definitely recommend grating your own to get that perfectly creamy and smooth cheese sauce you know and love.


Enjoy this delicious dish!

Just the creamiest Mac & cheese I ever did see!

Recipe details

  • 8  Servings
  • Prep time: 20 Minutes Cook time: 15 Minutes Total time: 35 min
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Ingredients

For the macaroni

  • 1 - 500 gram box macaroni
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 1 red bell pepper, diced
  • 1 tsp each: salt & pepper
  • 2 tsp Cajun seasoning
  • 1/2 cup Panko bread crumbs
  • 2 Tbsp melted butter

For the cheese sauce

  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 1 tsp each: salt, pepper, garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp each: dry mustard, red pepper flakes
  • 3 1/2 - 4 cups milk
  • 3 Tbsp hot sauce
  • 2 cups shredded cheese (I like 1 cup cheddar and 1 cup Monterey Jack)

Instructions

For the macaroni

In a large pot of water, cook macaroni noodles according to package instructions until tender. Drain and place back in pot, cover and set aside.
In a large frying pan, heat oil over medium high heat and sauté diced vegetables until tender crisp. Season with salt, pepper and Cajun seasoning and cook for an additional 2 minutes. Remove vegetables from frying pan, cover and set aside.
In a small mixing bowl, combine panko bread crumbs and melted butter. Stir to combine then set aside.

For the cheese sauce

In a medium sauce pan, melt butter over medium heat. Whisk in flour and cook for a minute or two.
Add in all seasonings, dry mustard and red pepper flakes. Stir to combine.
Begin to add in milk, adding one cup at a time while whisking. The mixture will be super thick! Add remaining milk and continue to whisk until smooth and bubbling.
Add in hot sauce and give everything a stir.
Add in cheese and whisk until smooth. Set cheese sauce aside.

To assemble

Preheat oven to 400. Grease a 9 x 13 pan.
To the prepared pan, add in noodles and cooked vegetables. Stir until combine.
Next drizzle over cheese sauce. Give everything a big stir until noodles are totally coated.
Top mixture with prepared panko bread crumbs.
Bake for 15 minutes then switch oven to low broil. Broil until bread crumbs are golden brown, about 3-4 minutes. Keep a close eye so the top doesn’t burn!
Top with cilantro if you’d like. Serve hot and enjoy!

Tips

  • If heat isn’t your thing, omit the red pepper flakes and hot sauce although I think it adds a really nice flavour!
  • If you like your sauce extra creamy, add in 3 1/2 cups of milk although you can use up to 4 if you’d like!

Karlie's Kitchen
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