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This creamy baked Spicy mac and Cheese is made with a spicy Thai red curry roux, thick and creamy coconut milk, grated sharp cheddar and Monterrey jack cheeses, topped with crispy panko bread crumbs and baked until bubbly and browned on top – have I got your attention?
Good. Because I’m pretty sure you need this spicy mac and cheese in your life.
If you’re not a fan of curry, well you probably shouldn’t have clicked on this recipe…but if you did anyway just because you love it over here, don’t worry, the curry flavor in this mac and cheese is mild! It’s just enough to add a little kick to that otherwise boring old mac and cheese.
Making a roux out of the curry paste, butter and flour is what helps us to keep the curry macaroni and cheese creamy, preventing it from separating.
**NOTE: if you have leftovers and microwave them, the sauce will likely start to separate – I haven’t found a good way to prevent this when preheating.
The boyfriend and I just stood in the kitchen and ate this curry mac and cheese out of bowls. We didn’t even bother to sit down, set the table, or make eye contact. Just inhaled this deliciously creamy, mildly spicy and cheesy mac and cheese perfection.
The Ingredients for Spicy mac and Cheese
Pick ’em up at your grocery store, or order them on Amazon through the below links (affiliate links – I earn a small commission is you buy through these links):
**I usually recommend using fresh made red curry paste (like this one from Nagi at RecipeTin Eats), however, I understand that we don’t all have time to make out own. I included a link to a decent store bought version above if you don’t have time to make it yourself. But one of these days, when you do have time, I highly recommend making it yourself, you’ll totally notice the difference!
Is Thai Red Curry Paste Spicy?
In a battle between yellow, red and green curries, red is in the middle. It’s not as mild as yellow, but not as fiery hot as the green. I find red to be just perfect. In this recipe, the coconut milk and pasta work to cool much of the heat from the curry paste, so I wouldn’t worry too much about this Thai red curry mac and cheese being too spicy.
How to Make Spicy Mac and Cheese
Cook the pasta, drain and place in a 9 x 13″ baking dish. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees.
How to make a roux for mac and cheese
Heat the butter and flour in a deep skillet or dutch oven over medium heat until a paste forms. Add the curry paste and stir continuously for about 3-5 minutes. The mixture will be very thick, like a paste. You want to stir continuously to keep it from burning. This roux will help keep your curry mac and cheese sauce creamy, not chunky and separated as happens when you don’t use a roux.
Add the coconut milk, just a little at a time VERY SLOWLY, stirring continuously. If you add it too quickly, your sauce may become lumpy instead of smooth. Once the coconut milk has been fully incorporated, the sauce should be smooth and creamy. Add the salt and stir.
Remove from heat and add the grated cheeses. Stir until cheese is melted.
**STEP BY STEP INSTRUCTIONS WITH PHOTOS BELOW:
Pour the mixture over the cooked macaroni and stir to make sure it is coated with the sauce. Sprinkle with breadcrumbs and cover with foil.
Bake for 10 minutes covered. Remove the foil, and bake another 5-10 minutes, until top is browned and bubbly. Serve hot.
Tools I used to make this spicy mac and cheese:
The best part about fall/winter is that we can eat all the comfort we want!! I always feel bad about it in the summer, but once cooler weather comes, games on!! Here’s some other ultra comforting recipes:
Thai Red Curry Ramen with Caramelized Pork
Crispy Baked Cranberry and Turkey Stuffing Balls
Spicy Korean Seafood Stew
Instant Pot Beef Pho
Spicy Crawfish Pie
New Orleans Seafood Gumbo
One Pot French Onion Smothered Pork Chops
Did you make this spicy Mac and Cheese? Rate the recipe and leave a comment to let me know how it turned out!
Spicy Mac and Cheese
- Cook the pasta al dente (Cook it for 1-2 minutes less than package instructions).
- Drain and place in a 9 x 13" baking dish. Preheat the oven to 450F degrees.
- Heat the butter and flour in a deep skillet or dutch oven over medium heat until a paste forms.
- Add the curry paste and stir continuously for about 3-5 minutes. The mixture will be very thick, like a paste. You want to stir continuously to keep it from burning.
- Add the coconut milk, just a little at a time VERY SLOWLY, whisking continuously.
- Stir in the salt. Remove from heat and add the grated cheeses. Stir until cheese is melted.
- Pour the mixture over the cooked macaroni and stir to make sure it is coated with the sauce.
- Sprinkle with breadcrumbs and cover with foil.
- Bake for 10 minutes covered. Remove the foil, and bake another 5-10 minutes, until top is browned and bubbly. Serve hot.
- I recommend cooking the macaroni 1-2 minutes less than the package instructions. This will prevent it from getting mushy when baking it in the cheese sauce.
- When making the roux, it is important to stir continuously to prevent it from burning. Tips on Making a Roux.
- Add the coconut milk very slowly while whisking constantly. Adding it too quickly could cause your sauce to become lumpy.