Turn up the Heat

Chorizo mac and cheese

One of the nice things about the return of cooler temps is turning on the oven and baking again. Here in the Pacific Northwest, it’s pretty rare to find someone with air conditioning in their home, so during the summer months we all sweat and open windows and complain, (even though we just spent the last six months complaining about the rain). Mac and cheese is one of those warm comfort foods. I don’t remember actually having “gourmet” mac and cheese growing up, just the Kraft boxed stuff. That being said, a fancy gourmet mac and cheese made with real cheese is hard to beat. Plus, it keeps for a few days and is ah-mazing if you reheat it in a frying pan on the stovetop. So. Good.

Chorizo Mac and Cheese

  • ½ pound elbow macaroni
  • ½ pound chorizo
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 3 tablespoons flour
  • 1 tablespoon powdered mustard
  • 2½ cups milk
  • ½ cup yellow onion, finely diced
  • 1 bay leaf
  • ½ teaspoon paprika
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 cup Kerrygold Aged Cheddar Cheese
  • 1 cup Kerrygold Dubliner Cheese
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • Fresh black pepper


  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 1 cup panko bread crumbs
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a large pot of boiling, salted water, cook the pasta to al dente.
  2. While the pasta is cooking, cook the chorizo and set aside.
  3. In a separate pot, melt the butter. Whisk in the flour and mustard until it’s lump-free, and keep it moving for about five minutes. Stir in the milk, onion, bay leaf, and paprika. Simmer for 10 minutes, and remove the bay leaf.
  4. Temper in the egg. This means stir it to combine into the hot liquid. You want to continue to stir quickly and pur slowly so it doesn’t scramble. Next stir in 3/4 of the cheese. Season with salt and pepper. Fold in the macaroni and chorizo, and pour into a 2-quart casserole dish. Top with the remaining cheese.
  5. To make the topping, melt the butter in a sauté pan, and toss the breadcrumbs to coat. Top the macaroni with the buttered breadcrumbs.
  6. Bake for 30 minutes. Remove from oven and let it rest for 5 minutes before serving.
is a South Sound contributor and a blogger, writer, photographer, designer, and author at Delightfully Tacky.
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