Your eyes don’t deceive you: you really are looking at the creamiest, crunchiest Cheetos Mac and Cheese you’ll ever find!
My Cheetos Mac and Cheese recipe was originally published in 2019, but it’s been updated just for you!
Introducing my second ever Mac of the Month: I’m proud to present Cheetos Mac and Cheese! Cheetos are one of my very favorite snacks, so this was an obvious choice. When you use them as a topping for mac and cheese, it’s like using Cheetos breadcrumbs.
And as amazing as breadcrumbs are, Cheetos crumbs are a whole new type of deliciousness.
Okay, so we’ve covered that you’ll need Cheetos, but what else goes into this?
Here’s what you’ll need to make this mac and cheese recipe for yourself.
- Noodles (I’ve used cavatappi, penne, rotini, and regular macaroni noodles for this recipe before and they all work great!)
- Cheetos: You can use Crunchy Cheetos (my favorite), Cheetos Puffs, Flamin’ Hot Cheetos, whatever you like best!
- Sharp cheddar cheese that you shred yourself from the block (it’s so much better than buying shredded–here’s why)
- Whole milk and a bit of whipping cream
- Garlic powder, mustard powder, and onion powder
- Butter (some for the roux and some for the Cheetos topping)
Fun fact: If you’re Canadian and wonder why recipes always talk about “sharp” cheddar but you never see that type of cheese at the grocery store, it’s because in Canada it’s just called old cheddar. And honestly, sharp is probably a better word for it than old!
To pulverize (I love that word) the Cheetos, I put them in my food processor. I highly recommend getting a food processor if you don’t already have one. Mine is a KitchenAid brand version and I love it! Shop my Amazon link for the same food processor here.
If you don’t have one, you can get creative with crushing your Cheetos. You can put them in a big Ziploc bag and crush them with a rolling pin or a kitchen mallet or even a wine bottle! Whatever you’ve got to do to get them to a finely ground texture.
The mac and cheese recipe I use for this gives you a very rich and creamy result! If you have a recipe you already know and love, feel free to use it and then try adding Cheetos to the top!
Feel free to use less or more Cheetos/butter for the crust until you get the amount you like. This recipe is very forgiving!
Cheetos Mac and Cheese
Cheetos Mac and Cheese
- 170 g noodles (I use rotini, penne, or macaroni noodles) Measured uncooked
- 2 tbsp butter for roux
- 2 tbsp flour
- 2 cups milk/cream I use 1.5 cups milk, ½ cup whipping cream
- ½ tsp garlic powder
- ½ tsp onion powder
- ¼ tsp ground mustard
- ¼ tsp salt Or more, to taste
- 1.5 cups sharp cheddar, shredded
For the Crunchy Cheetos Topping
- 1 cup Crunchy Cheetos, crushed go ahead and use the Flamin' Hot or Jalapeno Cheddar kind too!
- 1 tbsp melted butter
- In a large pot of salted water, boil your pasta according to package directions. Cook for one minute less than the package states if you like your pasta more al dente. While the pasta cooks, preheat your oven to 350F.
- In a large saucepan, melt 2 tbsp. of butter on medium heat. Once the butter has melted, whisk in the 2 tbsp. of flour, mixing constantly.
- Once the butter and flour are mixed and begin to form a paste, SLOWLY add the milk and cream. Stir constantly! Add the salt, garlic powder, onion powder, and mustard powder, and mix well. Keep cooking this mixture on medium heat until it begins to thicken and gently bubble.
- Once the roux is gently bubbling and has thickened up a little bit, turn off the heat*. Now, add your shredded cheese and stir gently.
- Add your cheese mixture to the noodles once all the cheese has melted and incorporated. Stir gently and pour into a butter, oven-safe dish.
For the Cheetos Topping
- Add Cheetos and one tbsp. melted butter to the base of your food processor. Mix until it turns into a breadcrumb consistency.**Spoon the Cheetos crumbs on top of the macaroni and cheese. Bake for 10 minutes.
- Remove from the oven, serve hot, and enjoy!
- Feel free to use different types of cheese, but I always, always, always recommend shredding it yourself rather than buying pre-shredded cheese.
- Use more or less Cheetos according to how thick and dense you want the Cheetos crust to be. Be sure to use more/less butter for the topping as well according to how much Cheetos crust you use.
- I stored leftovers in the fridge and ate them for the next two days. The Cheetos topping isn't QUITE as crunchy after being in the fridge, but it didn't get soggy and still tasted awesome.
Okay – I really hope you guys try this one! I think you’ll find it’s pretty much impossible to screw it up and not end up with something incredible!
Looking for more unique mac and cheese recipes? Here are some to check out:
xo – C
PS. Did you miss the first ever Mac of the Month? You’ll find it here.
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