Jan 312016


It’s time for the first Potluck of 2016 for  I Heart Cooking Club

I spent about 3 days searching through the recipes of the chefs and finally came across this one. We love mac & cheese so I was excited when I found it. I was extra excited when I realized I had all the ingredients in my fridge and pantry.

Rick Bayless: Salsa Mac & Cheese
Recipe from Season 7, Mexico—One Plate at a Time
Servings: 8

2 tablespoons butter
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
2 cups milk
1 1/2 to 2 cups Fire-Roasted Tomato Salsa or your favorite salsa
2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
1 pound dried pasta (though elbow macaroni will do, I suggest you try cork-screw cavatappi or the spiral rotini or fusilli)

Pour 4 quarts of water into a large pot, cover and set over high heat.

In a medium-size saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat, then stir in the flour and whisk until the mixture turns a deep golden, about 2 minutes. Add the milk and continue to whisk constantly until the mixture thickens and comes to a full boil, 4 or 5 minutes. (Whisk diligently and there will be no lumps.) Stir in the salsa, remove from the heat, then stir in cheese. Continue stirring until all the cheese has melted. Taste and season generously with salt, usually 1 1/2 teaspoons. Cover to keep warm until the pasta is done.

When the water has come to a boil, add the dried pasta. Stir well to keep the pasta from sticking together and boil until the pasta is al dente, about 10 minutes. Drain thoroughly and add the pasta to the sauce. Stir until all the pasta is covered in the salsa cheese sauce. You’re ready to dig in.

Rick Bayless Mac & Cheese

I substituted the salsa for my second favorite (my very favorite has corn and black beans in it and I wasn’t sure how that would work) and used elbow macaroni since that’s what I had.

The mac & cheese turned out really good and I plan on making it again. I also want to try some of his other recipes since this is the first one of his that I’ve made. You can visit his site here.


I made this for I Heart Cooking Club


  11 Responses to “Rick Bayless’s Salsa Mac & Cheese”

  1. I was just thinking how delicious this dish looks and realized I do indeed have all the ingredients in my pantry. Yay!

  2. I never thought about using salsa but now j want to try it! It looks great. I just made a mac & cheese featuring broccoli.

  3. Yum! I made this back when we cooked with Rick–a vegan ‘cheeze” version and loved how quick, easy and delicious it was. Thanks for joining in Potluck this week! 😉

    • My son and his family are vegan so they’d like it with vegan cheese. I would too because I think vegan cheese tastes really close to regular cheese.

  4. Hi Vicki, nice meeting you! 🙂

  5. I have bookmarked this to make for several weeks now! Have not bought my favourite salsa yet! This looks delicious! I can’t wait to give this a try!

  6. I love potluck week (it is my favorite) but sometimes I find it somewhat overwhelming all the recipes from all the chefs and all the possibilities. I love when I find a recipe where I have all the ingredients on hand (such as this one) because then it makes the choice easier for me! This looks delicious and who in their right mind wouldn’t love it? Yum, yum!

  7. I like this idea with mac/cheese. Bet it made it so much more tasty.

  8. Like the sound of this.

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