Hey fellow cheeto-holics, I have 5 words for you: Spicy Cheeto Mac and Cheese!!!
I confess, we have a stash of Cheetos on hand at all times. The fruit bandit is a fan of traditional crunchy Cheetos while the rest of us are obsessed with spicy Cheetos. I know, they aren’t the healthiest of snacks, but I am a big believer of balance – we eat so healthy the majority of the time that I don’t have a problem indulging every now and then with a dish like this!
Whatever your eating philosophy, I don’t judge. I just highly recommend occasionally slapping some junk food on top of you mac and cheese. It’s freaking AMAZING!!!Print
Spicy Cheeto Mac and Cheese
- Prep Time: 30 mins
- Cook Time: 25 mins
- Total Time: 55 mins
- Yield: 4 servings 1x
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 3 tablespoons sweet rice flour
- 1½ cups skim milk
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon sweet paprika
- ¼ teaspoon Kosher salt
- 1¼ cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese, divided
- 1 cup shredded white cheddar cheese, divided
- 10 ounces gluten free penne pasta
- 3/4 cup crushed spicy cheetos or regular cheetos
- 1 scallion, light and dark green parts, thinly sliced
- ¼ cup cilantro leaves
- Bring a large pot of heavily salted water to a boil for the pasta.
- Lightly grease a 9-inch cast iron skillet and preheat the oven to 400°F.
- In a 2-quart saucepan, melt the butter then whisk in the sweet rice flour until it forms a smooth paste. Allow the paste to cook over medium heat until it starts to bubble and smell toasted, whisking frequently. Remove the pan from the heat, slowly whisk in the milk until blended, then return to the heat. Cook, whisking constantly until the sauce begins to bubble and has thickened. Remove from the heat and whisk in the pepper, paprika, salt and all but 1/4 cup of each the cheeses (you should have 1/2 cup cheese remaining). Set aside while you cook the pasta.
- When the pasta water is boiling add the dry pasta and cook for 5 minutes less than the package suggests. Drain thoroughly and transfer to a large bowl. Pour the cheese sauce over the penne and stir gently until all of the pasta is coated.
- Pour the pasta into the prepared skillet, top with the remaining shredded cheese and cover with the ground cheetos. Bake in the preheated oven for 25 minutes or until the top is turning golden brown.
- Garnish the mac and cheese with the scallions and cilantro right before serving.
If your cheetos start to brown too quickly simply cover the baking dish with foil.