Who loves mac and cheese? We really do, and this Mexican-style orzo mac and cheese is so easy and delicious you won’t even believe it! Made with diced poblano and Ortega chili peppers, red bell peppers, and plain yogurt, it’s super creamy with a delicious cheesy topping baked to a perfect golden crunch! It’s one of our all-time favorite comfort foods!🌶
This recipe is also easy to double, so you can make it and freeze half for another day. This makes meal planning quick during a busy work schedule. And, if you are serving just two or three people for dinner, use two 8×8 aluminum tin pans, and freeze one of them. This size pan fits perfectly into the gallon Ziploc baggies, which makes it great for freezing.
The types of peppers you use is up to you, and if you like it on the spicy and hot side, be sure to include some diced jalapeño, but if you prefer it more mellow, stick to mostly Ortega chilies, with a little bit of poblano pepper for a little zip.
We love to cook with peppers and some of our favorite recipes include: Stuffed Poblano Peppers, Chicken Tortilla Soup, Poblano & Pistachio Pesto, Blue Cheese & Cheddar Queso, and Spicy Southwest Cornbread. As with this Orzo Mac and Cheese, you can use spicy or “not so spicy” peppers when making these recipes.
Other additions you could make to this recipe might include crumbled bacon, cilantro leaves, chili-lime seasoning, or even sautéed onions. We love it plain and simple, to taste the fresh peppers, but these all sound great to us, too!
Orzo Mexican Mac and Cheese
- 1 lb. orzo pasta cooked in boiling water to al dente and drain
- 1 whole poblano pepper, stems and seeds removed, and diced
- 1 whole Ortega pepper, stems and seeds removed, and diced
- 1 whole jalapeno pepper, stems and seeds removed, and diced *optional
- 1 whole red bell pepper, stems and seeds removed, and diced
- 1 tbsp. Louisiana hot sauce
- 1 cup nonfat plain Greek yogurt
- 2 cups grated mixed Mexican cheese divided
- 1 avocado, sliced for garnish
- Preheat oven to 350° F. Grease or spray a 9×11 inch casserole dish.
- Bring a large pot of water to a boil and cook orzo until al dente. Remove from heat and drain. Turn the pasta out into a large mixing bowl.
- Mix orzo with diced peppers, 1/2 cup of the cheese and the yogurt. Mix well to integrate. Turn the mixture into the prepared pan and sprinkle remaining cheese evenly over the top of the pasta mixture.
- Bake for 25-30 minutes, or until heated through, slightly puffed, golden brown and bubbly.
- Serve with your favorite salsa or hot sauce and avocado slices.Garnish with a few sprigs of cilantro if you are inclined to garnish your dinner meals!