Queso mac and cheese combines all your favorite flavors of a taco, macaroni or pasta and salsa with a creamy queso cheesy sauce! QUESO MAC AND CHEESE has every flavor you love, in a rich and creamy dish guaranteed to make the whole family smile. A great way to enjoy mac and cheese while getting in some protein to keep you full. Plus, it is easy to make and ready in about 20 minutes, what could be better. No special cooking gadgets are required, just you and your stovetop!
What Do You Need To Make Queso Mac and Cheese
Queso mac and cheese combines all your favorite flavors of a taco, macaroni or pasta and salsa with a creamy queso cheesy sauce, therefore, we are going to need all of that. Only a couple ingredients go into this dish, and really, you can customize it as you see fit.
- Elbow pasta
- Ground chicken
- Taco sauce
- Mexican cheese
- Salso con queso
- Greek yogurt
- Taco seasonings
Suggestions and Substitutions for Queso Mac and Cheese
Elbow pasta just screams Mac and cheese, am I right. However, you can certainly use any shape of pasta, or try this with a pasta substitute such as hearts of palm.
Don't hate me but I totally use minced garlic from a jar, but you can mince your own. I also get my onions pre-diced but you can dice your own as well. These are optional but I really think it adds flavor and I love the crunch of an onion. You can use this veggie chopper to make it easier as well. Use any brand of taco sauce that you prefer, I believe I typically use just Taco Bell brand; however, really any works just fine.
I use 99% fat-free ground chicken breast. Ground chicken breast in Mac and cheese, especially this queso Mac and cheese, just speaks to me. However, any ground meat will generally work the same if you prefer a chorizo, beef or something else.
You cannot have a taco Mac and cheese without some Mexican cheese. I use TJ's reduced fat, lite shredded Mexican; however, use whatever you like, it really does not matter all too much.
Salsa con queso is the star of this queso Mac and cheese, hence the name. Generic or name brand works fine, I am convinced they are all the same.
Greek yogurt is the secret ingredient here, do not tell anyone. I use plain, nonfat greek yogurt, you know, keeping it healthy. However, sour cream works very well too. I use anywhere from 2-4 tablespoons, depending on how creamy I am feeling. But, do not worry, you will not taste it. Trust me, I am not the biggest greek yogurt fan but it is the key to a creamy queso mac and cheese!
Finally, taco seasonings, it is not taco macaroni with out it! Either use a prepackaged one or make your own. I show you what I use and I typically make big batches of it for my convenience.
How To Make Queso Mac and Cheese
First, we will start off simple, just cook your pasta according to the package instructions. Taco macaroni does call for macaroni! Then, drain well and set aside. Great!
Next, let's cook everything else for the queso Mac and cheese. Heat a pan over medium high heat. Either grease it with cooking spray or drizzle a little oil. If keeping this healthy, go with the cooking spray.
Place minced garlic in the pan and cook for one minute, then, add in the diced onion and cook until soft and translucent, about 3 more minutes. These are optional but I really think it adds flavor and I love the crunch of an onion.
Add ground chicken, breaking it apart while cooking. Once slightly broken up, season with the seasonings then cook until it is fully cooked, all the pink is gone. I love using this meat masher to chop up ground meat, it really creates the best meat.
Reduce the heat to a medium/ medium-low. Pour in the taco sauce, stirring to combine. Then, add in the shredded cheese and mix until fully melted.
Remove from heat and add pasta in, tossing to combine, then add in yogurt and salsa con queso and stir everything together. You can adjust the amount of yogurt that you use, depending on how creamy you like it, I do anywhere from 2-4 tablespoons.
Top with any additional taco seasonings that you love! Think shredded lettuce, salsa, jalapeños, the options are endless! There you have it, the best queso mac and cheese pasta!
What To Do With Leftovers
If you somehow have leftover Queso Mac and Cheese, store it in an airtight contianer in the fridge, it will be good for four days. It can also make an amazing meal prep.
To put the extra salsa con queso to good use, make my queso smothered chicken casserole, it is famous!
Once you make this, you have to try some similar recipes such as my fajita Mac and cheese, salsa chicken bake, taco ground chicken or regular Mac and cheese.
Are you more of a visual learner? Watch me make this queso Mac and cheese here! Then, we'll get on to the recipe.
Queso Mac and Cheese
Creamy Mac and cheese with queso as the sauce!
Queso Mac and Cheese
- 6 ounces elbow pasta dry
- 4 cloves minced garlic
- ⅛ cup diced white onion
- 16 ounces ground chicken breast
- 1 tablespoon Taco Bell Sauce
- ½ cup shredded lite Mexican cheese
- ½ cup salsa con queso
- ¼ cup plain, nonfat Greek yogurt
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- ½ teaspoon onion powder
- ½ teaspoon cumin
- ½ teaspoon paprika
- 1 pinch oregano
- 1 pinch black pepper
- Cook pasta according to the package directions, drain well and set aside
- Heat a large pan on the stove over medium/high heat, greased with cooking spray.
- Place minced garlic in the pan and cook for one minute, then, add in the diced onion and cook until soft and translucent, about 3 more minutes.
- Add ground chicken, breaking it apart while cooking. Once slightly broken up, season with the seasonings then cook until it is fully cooked, all the pink is gone.
- Reduce heat to a medium / medium-low.
- Pour in the taco sauce, stirring to combine. Then, add in the shredded cheese and mix until fully melted.
- Remove from heat and add pasta back in, tossing to combine, then add in yogurt and salsa con queso and stir everything together.
- Top with any of your favorite taco toppings.
Click the link below and it will bring you to your WW recipe builder where your points will be calculated automatically for you!
Leave a Reply