Colombian-Style Mac and Cheese

by Erica Dinho on November 13, 2011

There are a lot of flavors coming together in this Colombian-Style Macaroni and Cheese, but they all harmonize perfectly with each other. A classic American meal with a hint of Colombian flavors. It’s a fantastic alternative to the regular Mac and Cheese for sure.

Buen provecho!



  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 4 Colombian chorizos, diced
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 cup corn kernels
  • 12 oz. dry elbow pasta
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 3 cups whole milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon paprika
  • 8 oz. cheddar cheese, shredded
  • 2 oz. crumbled queso fresco or Colombian quesito
  • 2 oz. mozzarella cheese, shredded
  • Salt and pepper
  • 2 cups of hogao for serving
  • 1/4 cup fresh cilantro for serving


  1. Preheat the oven temperature to 400ňö F. In a nonstick skillet, heat the olive oil and cook the chorizo. Drain cooked chorizo on paper towel lined plate. Return the pan to stove and add garlic and corn. Cook for about 2 minutes.
  2. †Bring a large pot of water to boil. Cook the pasta about 2 minutes or until al dente according to the package directions.
  3. Drain in a colander.  Return the pasta to the pot and set aside.  Meanwhile in a medium saucepan, melt the butter over medium-high heat.
  4. †Whisk in the flour and cook, stirring constantly, until light golden, about 2 minutes.
  5. †Whisk in the milk, cumin, and paprika. ¬†Cook, stirring occasionally, until the sauce comes to a low boil and thickens.
  6. †Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the cheddar and queso fresco. ¬†Whisk until the cheese is completely melted. ¬†Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  7. Pour the sauce over the drained pasta and toss to coat well.  Transfer to a lightly greased baking dish and top with the mozzarella cheese.  Bake for 15-20 minutes or until the top is browned and the cheese is bubbling.
  8. †Let cool at least 5-10 minutes before serving.¬†Top with the hogao and garnish with fresh cilantro.
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{ 16 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Belinda @zomppa November 13, 2011 at 10:25 AM

Love the twist!! Who can resist mac and cheese?


2 Debbie @ Easy Natural Food November 13, 2011 at 1:22 PM

Hi Erica, I’ve just discovered your site, and have bookmarked so I can browse through some of your yummy looking recipes, like this delish mac n cheese! Also, if you have any great soup recipes to share, I host a soup/stock/chowder blog carnival every Sunday. Love to see you there!


3 nammi November 13, 2011 at 11:23 PM

yumm , i like the additional spices


4 Chef E November 14, 2011 at 9:27 AM

This looks great. I grew cold to mac n cheese for years, but now want it like no tomorrow.

Hope you are doing well Erika :)


5 A Canadian Foodie November 14, 2011 at 11:56 AM

Hi, Erika!!!!!
Just returned from Italy, am retiring at the end of this month and am excited to hopefully “be back”!
I love this idea and the flavours look very dynamic. This would be an incredibly flavourful and comforting dish, especially with the hogao. I have tasted queso fresco but what could I substitute do it or Colombian quesito as I can not consistently get either, here?


6 Erica November 14, 2011 at 1:39 PM

Hi Valerie,
You can use Mozzarella.


7 Juliana November 14, 2011 at 9:33 PM

Honestly I am not a big fan of mac and cheese, but yours, i must admit that I would love to try it…love the extras in it…looks delicious.
Hope you have a wonderful week ahead Erica, and thanks for this mac and cheese recipe :-)


8 Joanne November 15, 2011 at 6:54 AM

I love my mac and cheese with a little extra oomph. This sounds amazing!


9 Jeannie November 16, 2011 at 12:53 AM

Oh yummy! I love mac and cheese very much, and so do my boys! Yours looks so scrumptious! so many ingredients!


10 Karen November 16, 2011 at 10:37 AM

I would much rather have this than plain old mac & cheese. I hadn’t seen your recipe for hogao before, but it sounds so good, I’m going to make some today!


11 Sook November 16, 2011 at 2:24 PM

Mmm this mac and cheese looks delicious, Erica! I would love to try Colombian version! Yum!


12 grace November 16, 2011 at 7:06 PM

i like your version for many reasons, not the least of which is the cilantro on top!


13 Chris November 19, 2011 at 9:34 AM

What a gorgeous mac and cheese! That little touch of hoago makes it top notch!


14 Erica December 2, 2011 at 9:55 AM

Thank you,guys!


15 Gwen October 7, 2012 at 11:01 AM

This sounds amazing! I really wasn’t to try it! I am not a very good cook and mostly follow recipes. Could you please clarify what to do with the chorizo and garlic and corn after returning the pan to the stove in step one? Thanks!


16 Erica October 7, 2012 at 1:44 PM

I added the step.


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