Recipe courtesy of Rachel Fontenot and Joyce Maloney

Habanero Mad Mac

  • Level: Easy
  • Total: 1 hr 20 min
  • Prep: 20 min
  • Cook: 1 hr
  • Yield: 1 serving
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2 tablespoons olive oil

2 tablespoons diced fresh habaneros, plus 1 whole and de-stemmed, for garnish

8 ounces Mac Sauce, recipe follows

1/2 cup Cheese Mix, recipe follows

1 teaspoon habanero powder

8 ounces cooked bowtie pasta

3 tablespoons Hell Fire Crunch, recipe follows

3 tablespoons shredded Parmesan

Mac Sauce:

1 cup diced white onion

Olive oil

3 tablespoons minced garlic

4 cups heavy cream

4 cups half-and-half

2 teaspoons granulated garlic

2 teaspoons granulated onion

1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg

1/4 teaspoon cayenne

Cheese Mix:

1 cup shredded Cheddar Jack cheese

1 cup shredded mozzarella

1 cup shredded Parmesan

Hell Fire Crunch:

1 tablespoon habanero powder

1/2 cup seasoned tortilla chips, such as Doritos


  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. 
  2. Heat the olive oil in a saute pan over medium heat until the oil ripples. Add the habaneros and cook until they turn yellow. (To make the dish hotter, you can adjust the amount of diced habanero and/or habanero powder.) Add the Mac Sauce, Cheese Mix and habanero powder. Stir constantly until all the cheese is incorporated and the sauce thickens. Then add the bowtie pasta. Once everything is mixed together, portion the mac into a bowl. Top each dish with the Hell Fire Crunch. Sprinkle the Parmesan cheese on top. Place in the oven until the cheese starts to slightly brown, 4 to 5 minutes. Garnish with the whole habanero. 

Mac Sauce:

  1. Saute the onions in a little olive oil in a saucepan over medium heat for 3 minutes. Add the minced garlic and continue to saute until translucent. Add the cream, half-and-half granulated garlic, granulated onion, nutmeg and cayenne. Stir until the spices are incorporated. Let simmer for 30 to 45 minutes. 

Cheese Mix:

  1. Mix the cheeses together in a medium bowl until combined. 

Hell Fire Crunch:

  1. In a blender, place the tortilla chips and habanero powder and pulse a few times until well blended.
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