Prep 35 mins
Cook 25 mins
This is a family favorite!
- 1 onion, chopped
- 1 tablespoon fresh minced garlic
- 1 -2 jalapeno pepper, seeded and finely chopped
- 1 teaspoon coriander
- 1 1⁄2 teaspoons cumin
- 1⁄4 cup butter
- 1⁄4 cup flour
- 4 1⁄2 cups half-and-half cream (can use half of each to make 4-1/2 cups) or 4 1⁄2 cups full-fat milk (can use half of each to make 4-1/2 cups)
- 1 (28 ounce) can plum tomatoes, well drained and chopped
- 1⁄4 teaspoon cayenne pepper (or to taste)
- 2 cups chopped cooked ham (or to taste)
- 1 lb elbow macaroni (cooked only to VERY FIRM-tender and drained)
- 3 cups cheddar cheese
- 1 1⁄2 cups fresh breadcrumbs
- 1⁄2 cup grated parmesan cheese
- Set oven to 375 degrees.
- Butter a 3-quart casserole dish or a 13 x 9-inch baking dish.
- In a large heavy saucepan melt the butter and cook the onion, garlic, jalapenos, coriander and cumin over low heat, stirring until the onion has softened.
- Stir in flour and cook stirring for 3 minutes.
- Add in half and half cream and/or milk; bring to a boil, whisking until mixture thickens (about 2 minutes).
- Add in well-drained tomatoes; simmer for 2 minutes.
- Add in cayenne, salt and pepper.
- In a large bowl, mix together cooked macaroni, and tomato/cream mixture.
- Add in the chopped cooked ham.
- Stir in the cheddar cheese to combine.
- Transfer mixture to prepared baking dish.
- In a small bowl, mix together the bread crumbs and Parmesan cheese, then sprinkle over the casserole.
- Bake on the second-lowest oven rack for 20-25 minutes, or until golden and bubbling.
Very good! The family really enjoyed it. A nice change from plain mac and cheese type casseroles. I loved the addition of spices and tomatoes. As written, this is not too spicy so I'll use 2 fresh jalape?os, minced, and 1/4 t cayenne without worry. This makes a huge 13x9 dish, plenty to feed my family of five at least two meals. So next time, I'll freeze half to bake later. Thanks for sharing the recipe!
OMGosh this is killer good. I didn't have fresh jalapenos but used the pickled jarred ones and just minced them and added to the saute pan. I used 4 cups of half and half and a 1/2 cup of cream. The mixture came out very thick and creamy. Hubby and I both agreed that you could use either cooked chicken, cooked sausage, cooked ground beef or even kielbasa in this recipe in place of the ham. Can't wait to make this again ~ Thanks Kittencal for a WONDERFUL recipe.