Tomorrow is National Macaroni and Cheese Day!  I love food holidays, the more ridiculous the better.  Macaroni and cheese is one of my favorite foods, so this holiday is especially important on my calendar.  But let’s celebrate with flair.  No box.  No plain Jane noodles.  Add some spice and some veggies with this MexiMac to have an extra special holiday.


MexiMac (Serves 6-8)


1 box (13.25 ounce) whole wheat macaroni
2 tablespoons butter
1 small onion, diced
1 bell pepper, diced
1 jalapeno, diced small (seeds and membranes removed per preference)
1 clove garlic
2 tablespoons taco seasoning
2 tomatoes, chopped
¼ cup flour
2 ½ cups skim milk
1½-2 cups grated colby jack cheese
2 green onions, chopped small

1. Preheat oven to 350.

2. Bring a large pot of water to boil. Add macaroni and cook until just al dente – the minimum time on the box or even a minute less. Drain.

3. While macaroni cooks, melt butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add onion, bell pepper, and jalapeño to pan. Saute 3-5 minutes, until slightly softened. Add garlic and taco seasoning; cook 1 minute more. Add tomatoes. Cook until softened and most of the liquid is gone.

4. Add in black pepper and flour. Stir constantly, cooking for 1-2 minutes until just beginning to brown. Whisk/stir in milk, stirring constantly. Cook until sauce thickens, stirring frequently to prevent lumps, about 5 minutes.

5. Remove sauce from heat. Stir in cheese until melted and smooth. Add in drained pasta. Stir until well combined. Pour into a 2 quart baking dish. Sprinkle green onions over the top.

6. Bake for 20-25 minutes, until casserole is bubbling.

Nutritional Information (Amount per serving):

Calories: 446
Protein: 21 g
Fat: 14 g
Saturated Fat: 8 g
Cholesterol: 39 mg
Carbohydrates: 63 g
Fiber: 7 g
Sodium: 429 mg

Recipe notes: You could easily add some chicken or pork to this.

Source: adapted from The Pioneer Woman

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