A smooth and surprising macaroni and cheese recipe with savory Mexican meatballs that will make you say 'Ole! Gimme more!'

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Ingredients

8
Original recipe yields 8 servings
The ingredient list now reflects the servings specified

Directions

  • Preheat oven to 325 degrees F (165 degrees C). Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Add macaroni and cook for 8 to 10 minutes or until al dente; drain.

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  • In a large bowl, mix ground beef with adobo seasoning and powdered jalapeno pepper. Roll into small, 1 inch meatballs. Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add meatballs, and cook until browned on all sides, then remove to drain on a paper towel-lined plate. The meatballs do not need to be thoroughly cooked at this point as they will finish cooking in the oven.

  • While the meatballs are cooking, melt the butter in a large saucepan over medium heat. Gently cook the butter until it begins to brown, and acquires a nutty fragrance, about 1 minute. Stir in the cream, sour cream, Cheddar cheese, cottage cheese, cotija cheese, garlic powder, and cilantro. Bring to a simmer, stirring constantly until the cheese has melted. Season to taste with salt and white pepper.

  • Stir the cooked macaroni and diced chiles into the cheese sauce, and pour into a 9x13 inch baking dish. Slice the meatballs in half, and place onto the pasta cut-side down.

  • Bake in preheated oven until the cheese sauce is bubbly, and the meatballs are no longer pink in the center, about 25 minutes.

Partner Tip

Reynolds® Aluminum foil can be used to keep food moist, cook it evenly, and make clean-up easier.

Nutrition Facts

589 calories; 36.4 g total fat; 121 mg cholesterol; 915 mg sodium. 29.2 g carbohydrates; 35.7 g protein; Full Nutrition

Reviews (19)

Read More Reviews

Most helpful positive review

Rating: 4 stars
10/24/2007
I made this tonight and am eating it right now. I was not sure what "adobo seasoning" was but I found something by Goya that had the word Adobo on it so I used that. I couldn't find any jalapeno powder so I used a whole jalapeno minced fine. I don't know what it would be like if you added the jalapeno powder but just by adding the jalapeno it wasn't spicy at all. The flavor of the dish is really good but when I went to serve it there was a lot of runny liquid in the casserole. I think the next time I might leave out the cream and see if that helps. Also the meatballs are very salty there is a lot of salt in the adobo seasoning so the next time I will only use 1 Tbls of the seasoning. Instead of putting the meatballs on top of the dish I cut them in half and mixed them in with the macaroni and cheese. The sauce is really good. I will definitely make this again it's really good. UPDATE: the pasta must have absorbed the excess liquid because I ate the leftovers today and it wasn't too runny. Read More
(17)

Most helpful critical review

Rating: 3 stars
09/22/2008
I personally liked the macaroni and cheese a lot but hubby and kids did not. No one liked the meatballs. That's a lot of seasoning for the amount of meat and I followed the recipe to a tee except I used dried cilantro had no jalapeno pepper powder. I did not however have any problems with it being runny just be patient and let the cheese melt and stir. It was the perfect consistency! I'd love to make the mac & cheese without the meatballs sometime because I thought it was a great mexican-type dish all by itself. I also supplied the photo. Read More
(9)
22 Ratings
  • 5 star values: 7
  • 4 star values: 4
  • 3 star values: 2
  • 2 star values: 0
  • 1 star values: 9
Rating: 4 stars
10/24/2007
I made this tonight and am eating it right now. I was not sure what "adobo seasoning" was but I found something by Goya that had the word Adobo on it so I used that. I couldn't find any jalapeno powder so I used a whole jalapeno minced fine. I don't know what it would be like if you added the jalapeno powder but just by adding the jalapeno it wasn't spicy at all. The flavor of the dish is really good but when I went to serve it there was a lot of runny liquid in the casserole. I think the next time I might leave out the cream and see if that helps. Also the meatballs are very salty there is a lot of salt in the adobo seasoning so the next time I will only use 1 Tbls of the seasoning. Instead of putting the meatballs on top of the dish I cut them in half and mixed them in with the macaroni and cheese. The sauce is really good. I will definitely make this again it's really good. UPDATE: the pasta must have absorbed the excess liquid because I ate the leftovers today and it wasn't too runny. Read More
(17)
Rating: 4 stars
10/24/2007
I made this tonight and am eating it right now. I was not sure what "adobo seasoning" was but I found something by Goya that had the word Adobo on it so I used that. I couldn't find any jalapeno powder so I used a whole jalapeno minced fine. I don't know what it would be like if you added the jalapeno powder but just by adding the jalapeno it wasn't spicy at all. The flavor of the dish is really good but when I went to serve it there was a lot of runny liquid in the casserole. I think the next time I might leave out the cream and see if that helps. Also the meatballs are very salty there is a lot of salt in the adobo seasoning so the next time I will only use 1 Tbls of the seasoning. Instead of putting the meatballs on top of the dish I cut them in half and mixed them in with the macaroni and cheese. The sauce is really good. I will definitely make this again it's really good. UPDATE: the pasta must have absorbed the excess liquid because I ate the leftovers today and it wasn't too runny. Read More
(17)
Rating: 5 stars
06/22/2016
Javagoddess are you going to come back and make more food? Read More
(16)
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Rating: 5 stars
05/04/2010
I made this over the weekend for some friends. Although I did change up the recipe (used already made/frozen meatballs and added adobo seasoning to it) still was a hit. I personally thought the recipe was 4 stars but this turned out to be the favorite dish of the night amongst everyone else. Definitely be patient and let all the cheese melt together before adding the pasta. The combination of the different cheeses was great (I actually used a 4 c of a mexican blend rather than 4 c of plain cheddar cheese). Tastes great reheated the next day as well. Read More
(13)
Rating: 5 stars
11/05/2007
I've made this twice and it's really good. The other poster mentioned it being liquidy which happened the first time I made it. The second time I took my time and really let the cheese melt into the cream before mixing in the noodles and it was perfect. The adobo meatballs are a great touch and round out the dish. My adobo seasoning is salt-free (from Penzeys Spices not Goya) so the meatballs were a great compliment to the cheesiness (sp?) and not overly salty. Also a great idea to add coriander to the macaroni--it's the perfect substitute for nutmeg that I like to add to my regular macaroni. GREAT DISH! Read More
(11)
Rating: 3 stars
09/22/2008
I personally liked the macaroni and cheese a lot but hubby and kids did not. No one liked the meatballs. That's a lot of seasoning for the amount of meat and I followed the recipe to a tee except I used dried cilantro had no jalapeno pepper powder. I did not however have any problems with it being runny just be patient and let the cheese melt and stir. It was the perfect consistency! I'd love to make the mac & cheese without the meatballs sometime because I thought it was a great mexican-type dish all by itself. I also supplied the photo. Read More
(9)
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Rating: 5 stars
12/30/2010
Delicious! Meatballs: I used ground turkey added diced onions and garlic to the meat mixture added chopped jalapeno peppers instead of powder and used less Adobo than called for (used dashes until it seemed right). The amount in the recipe would have been way too much with Adobo that has salt. Cheese mixture: Instead of cotija cheese I used a shredded Mexican mixture and used chopped garlic rather than powder. It was so tasty and the meatballs really compliment this dish! Read More
(7)
Rating: 5 stars
01/15/2009
This is very good though I did omit the jalapeño because we like our food milder. The sauce was perfectly creamy and the green chilies added enough heat for us that it was still "exotic". Next time I'll try turkey meatballs to reduce the fat. Liked the coriander in the recipe too. Read More
(7)
Rating: 1 stars
04/30/2012
Disappointing! I wish I read the reviews first before I made this dish I bet it would've saved the flavors and textures. The fat free cottage cheese was a bad idea!!! Read More
(7)
Rating: 3 stars
10/07/2011
mac n cheese was ok but the meatballs were missing some flavor! dont know if i will make again Read More
(7)