Spicy cheeto mac and cheese

By: Beard + Bonnet

Hey fellow cheeto-holics, I have 5 words for you: Spicy Cheeto Mac and Cheese!!!

I confess, we have a stash of Cheetos on hand at all times. The fruit bandit is a fan of traditional crunchy Cheetos while the rest of us are obsessed with spicy Cheetos. I know, they aren't the healthiest of snacks, but I am a big believer of balance – we eat so healthy the majority of the time that I don't have a problem indulging every now and then with a dish like this!

Whatever your eating philosophy, I don't judge. I just highly recommend occasionally slapping some junk food on top of you mac and cheese. It's freaking AMAZING!!!

Prep time: 30 minutes
Cook time: 25 minutes
Total time: 55 minutes

2 tablespoons unsalted butter
3 tablespoons sweet rice flour
1½ cups skim milk
½ teaspoon black pepper
¼ teaspoon sweet paprika
¼ teaspoon Kosher salt
1¼ cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese, divided
1 cup shredded white cheddar cheese, divided
10 ounces gluten free penne pasta
¾ cup crushed spicy cheetos or regular cheetos
1 scallion, light and dark green parts, thinly sliced
¼ cup cilantro leaves

Bring a large pot of heavily salted water to a boil for the pasta.
Lightly grease a 9-inch cast iron skillet and preheat the oven to 400°F.
In a 2-quart saucepan, melt the butter then whisk in the sweet rice flour until it forms a smooth paste. Allow the paste to cook over medium heat until it starts to bubble and smell toasted, whisking frequently. Remove the pan from the heat, slowly whisk in the milk until blended, then return to the heat. Cook, whisking constantly until the sauce begins to bubble and has thickened. Remove from the heat and whisk in the pepper, paprika, salt and all but ¼ cup of each the cheeses (you should have ½ cup cheese remaining). Set aside while you cook the pasta.
When the pasta water is boiling add the dry pasta and cook for 5 minutes less than the package suggests. Drain thoroughly and transfer to a large bowl. Pour the cheese sauce over the penne and stir gently until all of the pasta is coated.
Pour the pasta into the prepared skillet, top with the remaining shredded cheese and cover with the ground cheetos. Bake in the preheated oven for 25 minutes or until the top is turning golden brown.
Garnish the mac and cheese with the scallions and cilantro right before serving.

If your cheetos start to brown too quickly simply cover the baking dish with foil.

For the full recipe from Beard and Bonnet, click here.

More great recipe ideas:
Mexican chocolate bundt cake
Smoky lentil taquitos
Savory cheddar waffles
Read Full Story

Sign up for the Best Bites by AOL newsletter to get the most delicious recipes and hottest food trends delivered straight to your inbox every day.

Subscribe to our other newsletters

Emails may offer personalized content or ads. Learn more. You may unsubscribe any time.