Friday, April 15, 2011

Spicy Macaroni & Cheese

Happy Friday guys!  You don't even know how happy I am that the weekend is finally here!  It was a crazy week back at work - or maybe I'm just being a baby and wanted one more week (or a few) of vacation.  But such is life.  Bills need to be paid and my butt needs to work.  Regardless... the weekend is here.

Tomorrow should be plenty of fun.  It's Thunder Over Louisville and we'll be heading to Slugger Field for the Bats game and a permanent seat for all the fireworks festivities!  I should have some good pictures next week so look out for them!

Now let's talk macaroni.  Macaroni and cheese, to be exact.  There's so many different ways to make the mac, how does one choose a favorite?  Andy... he's a big fan of "the cheesier, the better" - and he makes a mean mac, that's for sure.  But he makes it on the stove, and that's all well and good - But me, I kind of like to spice things up.  Be unique.  I am a fan of baked macaroni and cheese.  You know, you get the crunch of the exterior noodles and then you have the underneath layers of smooth and creamy macaroni.  Definitely good stuff.

Something I don't like is dry macaroni and cheese.  You know, the baked ones that don't have any creaminess to them at all.  Just pretty much flavorless noodles that have cheese (that's not really gooey or creamy) just sort of stuck to the noodles.  Don't know what I mean?  Well... then you're lucky, and you go on eating your good and creamy mac!

How about you guys?  What your favorite way to make the mac?!?  I'd love new suggestions to try!


12 oz. fusilli pasta
1/4 cup unsalted butter
5 large garlic cloves, minced and divided
1/4 cup flour
2 cups milk (I used 2%)
salt and pepper, to taste
1 & 1/2 cup sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
1 tablespoon sriracha sauce (more or less, depending on your preference)
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 & 1/2 cups wheat bread, cut into small cubes (about 1/4 inch)

Preheat oven to 350 F.

Bring a large pot of water to a boil and cook pasta according to package directions (I did about 10-11 minutes).  Drain pasta well and return to pot.

Grease a large baking dish (9x13) and set aside.

In a large skillet, melt butter under medium high heat.  Stir in about 1 tablespoon of the minced garlic and cook until fragrant.  Whisk in flour and stir constantly for about a minute.  Then whisk in milk, and season roux with salt and pepper. 

Bring mixture to a boil, whisking constantly.  Stir in shredded cheddar cheese, sriracha, and cayenne pepper.

Pour mixture over pasta and mix well.  Spoon mixture into an even layer in the baking dish.

Wipe skillet clean (or use another one, but I like to keep the dishes to a minimum!) and heat under medium high heat.  Add olive oil to pan and heat until shimmering.  Add bread cubes and cook about 5-7 minutes, or until starting to brown.  Stir in remaining garlic during the last couple minutes of toasting bread to infuse a little bit more flavor.

Top pasta with garlicky bread crumbs and bake for about 30 minutes, or until top is golden brown and sauce is bubbling.

This is a perfect side dish to any spring/summer cookout, or you could be like us and just eat a big plateful for dinner!  I loved the garlicky crunch of the bread in contrast with the subtle heat of the macaroni and cheese.  Give this one a go if you're a macaroni and cheese aficionado like us!

Have a great weekend guys!


  1. Everyone loves this dish.
    Happy Friday for your too ♥

  2. Maccorni and cheese sounds awesome delicious.

  3. I love both wet or drier Macaroni versions, it's all delicious. Spicy well you know I'm going to love that:) My husband also makes a spicy version. Have a great weekend!

  4. Hi Peggy! Sriracha sauce in Mac & Cheese! I cook for the kids sometimes but I didn't think of adding sriracha sauce and cayenne pepper for adults! And the bread cube idea! I'm going to do that next time and probably every time from now on. It gives crunchiness and I think this is a great idea that I have to follow.

  5. Looks yummy! Adding bread cube is such a nice idea, will try this next time...

  6. Macaroni and cheese; true comfort food at our house. Love your versionl looks and sounds terrific; a must try.
    Happy Weekend.

  7. I definitely have mac and cheese moods. Sometimes I want baked and sometimes I want stovetop but I think I could have spicy pretty much all the time. Looks delicious!

  8. Having vacation blues, ha? :)
    You know I have had Mac and Cheese only twice in my eleven years in the US. The reason is either, like you said, was try or way too creamy! Will keep your proportions and try it at home one time an see how it turns out!

  9. Spicy mac n' cheese is definitely the thing for me. I love sriracha sauce.

  10. Mmmm mac & cheese is so tasty! I bet it's even better with a little spice to it!

  11. Sounds delicious! I make my Spicy Macaroni and Cheese using cayenne as well and it gives it such a kick that it really pairs well with the cheeses. We usually douse ours in Tapatio hot sauce but maybe I'll dry including it in the actual baking. Hmmm... Good idea! Thanks!

  12. I love making home made mac and cheese, but I hate to admit that I still crave that simple box of Kraft! Thank you for sharing your sweet self and this yummy recipe with me tonight. I always know I can find something delicious and uplifting when I visit. I hope you have a safe and happy Sunday.

  13. A classic American family meal. I loved it while in the States. Your spicy tweak certainly livens things up!

  14. Cooked to perfection... Would be yum to have anytime

  15. I am really not picky with macaroni. Anything with cheese and noodles is usually fine by me :)

  16. What a great twist on a traditional recipe ;) Yummmmm! TFS ;)

  17. Fusilli is my absolute favorite pasta shape. I never thought of spicing up mac 'n cheese, but my husband would LOVE it!

  18. You have me at some hot mac and cheese! Looks so delish!

  19. Oh this looks so delicious!! Spicy n cheesy..
    US Masala

  20. Made it yesterday and it was delicious (and my boyfriend liked it too :)

  21. You know I love macaroni and cheese! Spicy mac and cheese is definitely excellent :) Sriracha is a great addition here! I recently did Buffalo chicken mac and cheese on my blog, and it was so amazingly good, but I really like mac and cheese in all of its glory, all kinds of cheese, bread crumb toppings galore. It's hard to go wrong. YUM!

  22. Thanks for the great feedback guys!

    @Julie - so glad you (and your boyfriend!) liked it! =)



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