Chipotle Mac ‘n Cheese with Chorizo and Fire-Roasted Tomato

Updated 3.2.2018.

Back when I was trying to figure out what to do with all my leftover chipotle peppers, I found a recipe for smoky chipotle mac and cheese at food

I find almost any flavor works well in mac and cheese so of course it seemed like a good idea to pair chipotle with mac and cheese. The first time I made this almost 8 years ago it didn’t turn out the best. I was more of a novice chef at the time. Eight years later I’ve dealt with a lot of ups and downs in cooking and baking and I know how to save almost any disaster. So when I made this again the second time and the sauce turned out kind of thick and grainy I did something really simple: added more milk. It turned the sauce into a creamy dream. And this time, I was very satisfied.


  • 1 lb. macaroni elbows or cavatapi corkscrew shaped pasta twists
  • Salt
  • 1 T. extra-virgin olive oil, 1 turn of the pan, plus some for drizzling
  • 16 oz chorizo
  • 1 15-oz can diced fire roasted tomatoes, drained
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • 2 chipotle in adobo and their juices, chopped or 1 T. ground chipotle chili
  • 3 T. all-purpose flour
  • 3 c. whole milk
  • 1 c. chicken stock (or use all whole milk)
  • 3 c. shredded smoked Cheddar (regular cheddar works fine too if you don’t have the smoked variety)
  • fresh cilantro leaves or parsley


  1. Place a small nonstick skillet over medium-high heat and add a drizzle of extra-virgin olive oil and chorizo. Brown the chorizo then add the canned tomatoes to the pan and heat them through. Remove from heat.
  2. Meanwhile, place a pot of water on to boil for macaroni. When it boils, salt water and cook pasta until a little under done, just shy of al dente. Drain pasta and add the past back to the pot.
  3. Heat a medium sauce pot over medium-low heat. Add 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil, then add onions and chipotles and cook 3 to 5 minutes to sweat it out and turn the juices sweet. Raise heat up a bit, add the flour and whisk together until mixture bubbles up. Add more olive oil at this point if necessary. Cook 1 minute more. Whisk in milk and stock and raise heat up a little more to bring the sauce to a quick boil. Once it bubbles, drop heat back to a rolling simmer sauce to thicken, 3 to 5 minutes. (If your sauce doesn’t thicken just add the cheese and it will thicken at this point.)
  4. If you haven’t already done so, add cheese to milk sauce and stir to melt, a minute or so. Stir in chorizo and tomatoes and season sauce with salt and pepper. Pour sauce over cooked pasta in large pot and toss to combine. Transfer to a large serving platter, garnish with additional cheese and fresh herbs (if desired) and serve.

Here’s what I said about this dish back in 2010:

I like mac and cheese, chipotle, and chorizo separately and since it’s a Rachael Ray recipe, I figured it ought to be good.

Good it was, but slightly complicated to make with three pots and pans going at once. Also I ran into a bump while trying to make the sauce. I swear there is way too much flour in this recipe because when I added the flour to the oil there was big mound of dough in the middle of the pot. I had to add a stick of butter in order to get ingredients back down to liquid form. Perhaps that’s why the cheese sauce didn’t end up creamy? It seemed that the cheese I used melted in tiny clumps. Nevertheless, it tasted pretty good. BF suggested next time we cook the dish together. I think the recipe would be phenomenal if the sauce was actually creamy.

Recipe rating: 

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