Roasted Red Pepper Macaroni and Cheese


Roasted Red Pepper Macaroni and Cheese


I’m not sure what has happened to macaroni and cheese over the years but it’s definitely gone from a dorky, lame, kids food to a gourmet experiment and I’m totally all about playing around with flavors which is probably why this grown up macaroni and cheese is totally delicious in my opinion, and why I couldn’t resist making a roasted red pepper macaroni and cheese. There’s nothing that shouts dairy like a good macaroni and cheese so at least one of my Utah Dairy Council Posts had to include it.


Roasted Red Pepper Macaroni and Cheese


Macaroni  and cheese is macaroni and cheese. No bacon, no lobster, certainly no avocados, but definitely cheddar cheese. That’s the classic. And I love it. Everyone needs a good classic macaroni and cheese recipe. Our Grandma Carol is famous in our family for her Southern Macaroni and Cheese, but even that I think is different than a classic mac. In fact, I’m such a connoisseur of mac that I divide it out into categories.


Roasted Red Pepper Macaroni and Cheese


You’ve got your classic macaroni and cheese which should be creamy, cheesy and should never have any mixins. Then there’s the southern macaroni and cheese which should always have an elbow pasta and totally is more about the cheese than the creamy factor. Then there’s the baked macaroni and cheese which I happen to adore, this one totally needs the golden, buttery bread crumbs or panko on top and can include small mixins like little bits of bacon or peppers.


Roasted Red Pepper Macaroni and Cheese


Oh, don’t worry I’m totally not done. Then we have our gourmet macaroni and cheese where different flavors of cheeses, consistencies, and pastas are used and last but certainly not least there’s the macaroni and cheese pasta dishes. I just don’t know that I can truly call this a straight mac and cheese because these are the ones where the roasted red peppers or avocados come into play. It’s almost more of a cheesy sauce than a macaroni and cheese.


Roasted Red Pepper Macaroni and Cheese



Did I miss any categories? Those are the ones that I think of. My kids are actually opinionated about their macaroni and cheese as well, if it’s Kraft it has to be a shape like Arthur or Scooby Doo, otherwise it’s all about Back to Nature Bugs. This particular macaroni and cheese pasta they loved. Like, really loved. The shells hold in extra sauce which is always a fantastic little surprise when you bite into it, and the sauce is seriously so creamy with a hint of that full roasted pepper taste that adds a little something without overpowering the dish.


So I’m curious, are you a purist, a gourmet gal, or like me where you like a little bit of everything depending on your mood. And have you found your go to recipe?


Can Macaroni and Cheese Sit Out Overnight?

Macaroni and cheese should be discarded if left for more than 2 hours at room temperature.

Bacteria can grow at temperatures above 40 degrees F.


Can Macaroni and Cheese Be Made In Advance?

Macaroni and cheese can be made ahead of time and placed in a baking dish.

It should be cooled completely, covered and stored in the refrigerator for up to 2 days before baking.


Will Macaroni and Cheese Hurt a Dog?

Dairy products are hard for dogs to digest.

You should not let your dog eat mac and cheese as it may cause a pretty bad stomach ache.



Roasted Red Pepper Macaroni and Cheese

Roasted Red Pepper Macaroni and Cheese


  • 1 lb small shell pasta (16 ounces)
  • 3 roasted red bell peppers (I buy the jarred ones but you could roast your own)
  • 1/2 Cup butter, unsalted
  • 1 clove of garlic, minced
  • 1/2 Cup Flour
  • 1 Cup Milk
  • 1 Cup Heavy Cream
  • 1 Cup Medium Cheddar Cheese, shredded fine
  • 1 Cup Mild Cheddar Cheese (or sharp for more of a bite), shredded fine
  • 1 pinch of nutmeg
  • 1 1 /4 Teaspoon Kosher Salt
  • 1/4 Teaspoon Pepper


  1. In a large pot add water halfway up and add 1-2 Teaspoons Kosher salt (the water should taste slightly salty)
  2. Heat over high heat until boiling and add the pasta, cooking per package instructions.
  3. Set aside.
  4. In a blender puree the roasted red peppers until smooth, set aside.
  5. In a separate pot, over medium heat add the butter and cook until melted.
  6. Add the garlic and saute for 20-30 seconds and then whisk in the flour.
  7. Continue to whisk for 30 seconds or until a nutty aroma fills the air.
  8. Whisk in the roasted red pepper until it’s all mixed together and then continue to whisk as you slowly pour in the milk and cream.
  9. Once the mixture is smooth add the salt, pepper, nutmeg and cheeses.
  10. Whisk until all of the cheese is incorporated and spoon the pasta into the mixture, adding a tablespoon or two of pasta water if needed.

Serve immediately.

Shredding the cheese with the extra small holes on your grater will produce a creamier sauce.

Nutrition Information

Yield: 1 lb macaroni and cheese, Serving Size: 1

  • Amount Per Serving:
  • Calories: 4673 Calories
  • Total Fat: 272.5g
  • Cholesterol: 825mg
  • Carbohydrates: 424g
  • Fiber: 19.1g
  • Sugar: 41.6g
  • Protein: 135.8g
All images and text ©Carrian Cheney for Oh Sweet Basil.


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Carrian Cheney

Lover of all things beautiful, good and delicious. Wife, mother, friend, foodie.

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36 comments on “Roasted Red Pepper Macaroni and Cheese”

  1. This was pretty great. I replaced cheddar with smoked Gouda and added 2 tbsp of parsley and it was fantastic. Thanks for posting this!

  2. Do you drain the roasted red peppers of the juice before you blend? Or do you just pour the entire contents of the jar into the blender?

  3. Pingback: Menu Plan Monday Nov. 18 | Mama Sonshine

  4. I love your descriptions of the different types of mac and cheese! I’m a baked m&c girl myself. This recipe looks delicious!

  5. My mouth is watering just thinking about having a bowl of this 🙂 I love this idea!!

  6. Just when I begin to think that mac & cheese can’t get any better. 🙂 I love this version with the roasted red peppers. Totally divine. Must try.

  7. You totally nailed the mac n’ cheese family. If I could add one, it might “meat and mac” b/c here in WI, people get REALLY into their pulled pork on mac n cheese…and even bologna. Don’t ask–I didn’t grow up here 😉
    PS. Great minds think alike! I have a “baked” mac I’ll be sharing tomorrow. Glad I know how to classify it now 🙂

  8. You’re my hero. What a great way to include some more veggies in a comfort food. 😀 Mmm!

  9. I heart roasted red peppers. And you too ; ) Duh ha!

  10. Yum! I love mac and cheese, and have never thought of adding roasted red peppers!

  11. This looks awesome! Love the idea of just adding in one flavor twist, but still keeping it mostly classic. Cheers!!

  12. I’ll take any kind of mac and cheese to be honest! Although I am partial to fun mix ins and flavors! Love the roasted red pepper in this!!!

  13. I just bought a brand new jar of roasted peppers and wasn’t sure what I was going to do with them (I just thought they were pretty)… I’m pretty sure this is a sign that this needs to happen. 🙂

  14. This looks like my kind of Mac and cheese! Thanks for sharing.

  15. Looks so creamy and delicious! Love your new profile pic!

  16. I am always game for a big bowl of mac and cheese and adding in roasted red peppers is just genius!

  17. This looks perfect!! Personally, I don’t discriminate against ANY kind of mac and cheese — all are welcomed. 🙂

  18. I could eat roasted red peppers all day long!! Yummy.

  19. Yum! I love just about any kind of mac and cheese. This one looks so creamy and delicious. And I’m loving the new head shot! So pretty! 🙂

  20. I know what I am making for dinner tonight!!

  21. I love that you divided mac and cheese into categories. 🙂 But it’s true! I’m a big fan of the classic stuff but throwing in other flavors, like with this one, is super yummy too!

  22. Nothing like a big bowl of creamy mac and cheese! Love the addition of roasted red peppers!

  23. I love using shells in pasta! My favorite part of the WHOLE thing is that they hold a little extra cheese sauce! So good when you bite into them. I want some now!!

  24. I love playing with mac and cheese. There are so many great additions to this classic comfort food!

  25. This looks beyond words delicious.

  26. Wow wow wow. This looks SO good!!

  27. Gourmet mac is the best. This looks amazing; I love the roasted peppers. Pinned.

  28. I’m craving this like it’s nobodies business!! YUM!

  29. This looks awesome! I love roasted red peppers!