Southwest Style Mac-and-Cheese Recipe

  • Yield:

    8 to 10 servings

  • Total Time:

    1 hr

  • Prep Time:

    30 mins

  • Cook Time:

    30 mins


  • 1/4 cup instant corn masa or tamale flour
  • 1 tablespoon Mazola® Chicken Flavor Bouillon Powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin seed
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt or to taste
  • 1/4 cup Mazola® Corn Oil
  • 2-1/2 cups milk OR half and half
  • 2 cups water
  • 3 cups (12 ounces) shredded Mexican cheese blend
  • 2 cups (8 ounces) shredded sharp cheddar cheese, divided
  • 1 can (4 ounces) chopped mild green chilies
  • 2 tablespoons Mazola® Corn Oil
  • 1-1/2 cups diced red bell, poblano OR pasilla chile peppers
  • 1 cup fresh OR thawed frozen corn
  • 1 can (15 ounces) black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 pound penne rigate OR similar size pasta, cooked
  • 1 cup panko bread crumbs
  • 2 tablespoons minced fresh cilantro


  1. Step 1) Preheat oven to 350°F.
  2. Step 2) Combine corn masa mix, bouillon powder, cumin, garlic and salt in a small bowl; stir to blend and set aside. Heat 1/4 cup oil in a large saucepan over low heat. Add the flour mixture and blend with a whisk until smooth and bubbling but not browned, about 1 minute.
  3. Step 3) Increase heat to medium and stirring constantly, gradually add milk and water. Continue to stir and cook until mixture is smooth, thickened and gently bubbling, about 6 to 8 minutes. Remove from heat and gradually stir in Mexican blend cheese and 1 cup of cheddar cheese until melted and sauce is smooth. Stir in green chilies and remove from heat.
  4. Step 4) Heat 2 tablespoons oil in a large skillet over medium high heat. Add peppers and cook for 4 to 5 minutes or until heated through and softened. Remove from heat; stir in corn and beans then combine with pasta in a large mixing bowl. Pour cheese sauce over pasta and stir to combine.
  5. Step 5) Pour pasta into greased 13 x 9-inch baking dish, top with remaining 1 cup cheddar cheese. Sprinkle with bread crumbs. Bake for 20 to 30 minutes or until lightly browned and bubbling around the edges. Remove from oven and sprinkle with cilantro. Serve immediately.
  6. Recipe Tips: Two (14 ounce) bags of frozen Southwest Style vegetable blend can be substituted for the vegetables in the recipe, if available. Try adding 1-1/2 cups diced cooked chicken or Mexican Chorizo sausage.
  7. For an extra spicy version add minced jalapeno or serrano chile peppers.