South of the Border Mac n Cheese

South of the Border Mac n Cheese

Crowd Pleaser: South of the Border Mac n Cheese


Mac n Cheese is as American as apple pie. It is an everywhere food in the US. When folks think about Mac n Cheese, it comes out of a box with bright yellow cheese and it is done in 15-25 minutes on the stovetop. I’m not putting that down especially since most of us have the boxed stuff in our cabinets. I just don’t like the box stuff. It is boring and the day glow cheese freaks me out. I’m always looking to try new ways to breed live into comfort food classics. Add a little healthy to it. This recipe for South of the Border Mac n Cheese packs in a lot of protein with three kinds of beans. You can a can of regular diced tomatoes, but if you like a little heat, I would recommend using diced canned tomatoes with chopped chilis in them. Don’t be shy with the cheese. That’s what make the meal Mac n Cheese. Tons of cheese. I add some cilantro to liven up the flavor. You can also keep some hot sauces on hand to liven up the favor more.  You can make this Mac n Cheese in less than 30 minutes.




South of the Border Mac n Cheese Recipe



South of the Border Mac N Cheese Ingredients


  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 yellow onion chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • 2 tablespoon chili powder
  • 15 oz. can diced tomatoes or 15 oz can diced tomatoes with chopped chilis
  • 15 oz. can tomato sauce
  • 15 oz. can kidney beans
  • 15 oz. can black beans
  • 15 oz. can pinto beans
  • 1 cup frozen corn kernels
  • 2 cups vegetable broth
  • 2 cups uncooked elbow macaroni
  • 1-3 cups shredded sharp cheddar
  • Bunch cilantro chopped for garnish
  • Hot sauces for extra flavor



Three Kinds of Beans for South of the Border Mac N Cheese
Garlic, Onions, and Chili Powder
South of the Border Mac N Cheese simmering
Adding the cheese to South of the Border Mac N Cheese
Mac n Cheese
  1. Dice the onion and mince the garlic. Sauté the onion and garlic with olive oil in the bottom of a large pot (5 qt) over medium heat for 2-3 minutes, or until the onions are soft and transparent.
  2. Add the flour and chili powder to the sautéed onions and garlic. Continue to stir and sauté for about two minutes, or just until the flour and chili powder begin to coat the bottom of the pot.
  3. Drain and rinse the kidney beans, black beans, and pinto beans. Add the diced tomatoes, tomato sauce, all three beans, corn, and vegetable broth to the pot. Stir to combine and to dissolve any flour and chili powder off the bottom of the pot.
  4. Add the uncooked macaroni noodles and stir to combine. Place a lid on the pot, turn the heat up to medium high, and let the pot come up to a boil. Stir every other minute or so to loosen the noodles from the bottom of the pot as it heats up.
  5. When the pot reaches a boil, turn the heat down to low, or just above low, so it continues to gently simmer. Let the pot gently simmer for 12-15 minutes, or until the pasta is tender and the liquid is thick and saucy. Stir frequently as it simmers to make sure the pasta does not stick to the bottom of the pot.
  6. Once the pasta is tender, add the shredded cheddar and stir it in until melted. Serve hot.

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