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Spanish Mac & Cheese

On a recent trip to New York I had to make a Mac n cheese and one of the other chefs was preparing some empanadas. Sometimes in the kitchens cultures blend and meet each other. She took some of her empanada filling and placed on top of my southern mac n cheese and that triggered an idea to do a Spanish hamburger helper style dish.
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time20 mins
Total Time30 mins
Course: Appetizer, Main Course, Side Dish
Cuisine: American, Spanish
Servings: 6


Spanish Ground Beef

  • 2 tablespoons oil
  • 1 lbs. 80/20 ground chuck
  • ½ onion chopped
  • 1 bell pepper chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic chopped
  • 1 chipotle in adobo sauce chopped
  • 15 oz. tomato sauce
  • ¾ cup sliced green olives
  • ½ cup red currants or raisins
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 ½ teaspoons black pepper
  • 2 teaspoons cumin
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1 teaspoon dry oregano
  • 2 teaspoons achiote
  • ½ bunch cilantro chopped, garnish

Mac n Cheese

  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ½ teaspoon dry mustard
  • 1 ½ cups half and half
  • 4 oz. cream cheese
  • 2 cups manchego cheese shredded
  • 8 oz. elbow macaroni cooked
  • 2 cups gruyere cheese shredded


  • To make Spanish ground beef:
  • Heat a heavy bottom skillet over medium heat, add oil and ground beef cook for 5 minutes until water evaporates. Add onion and bell pepper cook for 3 minutes. Add remaining ingredients except for cilantro. Bring to a boil and then simmer for 10 minutes.
  • To make mac n cheese:
  • Heat a pot over medium heat add butter once melted add flour and make blonde roux. Add salt, pepper, garlic powder, dry mustard.
  • Add half and half in thirds. Add cream cheese and 2 cups manchego cheese. Stir until sauce thickens about 2 minutes. Stir in elbow macaroni. Stir in half of the beef mixture and place the remaining on top. Top with gruyere and pop in oven until cheese melts. Garnish with cilantro, serve hot.


Preheat broiler on hi