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So you’ve just RSVPed to a Friendsgiving party and you’re pondering what delicious dish to bring. Go ahead and nominate yourself to bring on this Texas-Style Mac and Cheese.

Texas-Style Mac and Cheese

First off, everyone loves Mac and Cheese– so you’ve got one thing in the bag. But everyone is going to accept just good-old-fashioned mac and cheese. But you’re going to bring something that makes their eyebrows curl and say, “woah, what’s in this?”. 

Texas-Style Mac and Cheese

I call this mine Texas-Style Mac and Cheese, why? Well, take a look at the ingredients. Two little tweaks give it a little flair (without overpowering the classic) that will make your tastes buds sing! [sour cream + a can of green chiles] Don’t worry about it being spicy, the green chiles just add a great depth of flavor and aren’t spicy *at all*. (i used a can of ‘hot’ green chiles and my kids devoured). Alongside the green chiles, you’ve also got a touch of sour cream to give it a little tanginess. It’s just delightful! 

Can I make this ahead of time?

Yes! Complete steps 1-7. Cover with saran wrap and press down onto the pasta so that it is completely suffocated and transfer to the party. Remove the saran wrap when you arrive, and finish it off in the oven at the party or the day of your feast! 

If you like this, try my even simpler One-Pot Mac and Cheese for a quick weeknight meal the family will love.

Texas-Style Mac and Cheese
5 from 14 votes

Texas Baked Mac and Cheese

Prep: 5 minutes
Cook: 20 minutes
Bake time: 10 minutes
Total: 35 minutes
Servings: 8 people


  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 cup very finely diced shallot
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 1.5 tsp kosher salt, plus more to taste
  • 1/2 tsp freshly cracked black pepper, plus more to taste
  • 12 ounce Gluten-Free Elbow Pasta I like Jovial brand brown rice pasta
  • 2 cups milk I use grass-fed whole milk
  • 2 cups water
  • 2.5 cups sharp cheddar cheese I like Tillamook brand
  • 1/4 cup low-fat sour cream
  • 1 [4 ounce] can diced green chiles, undrained
  • 1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp paprika
  • 1/4 cup gluten-free panko bread crumbs I like Aleia Brand
  • 1 tbsp finely chopped cilantro leaves, optional for serving


  • Preheat oven to 425 degrees F (convection mode is best if you have it).
  • Heat a large pot over medium heat with 1 tbsp of the olive oil. Add the shallot and garlic and cook, stirring, until just tender, about 2 minutes.
  • Add the butter, salt, and pepper and melt.
  • Add the uncooked pasta, the milk, and the water and bring slowly to a boil (I keep mine over medium heat). Cook, stirring often, until the pasta is tender and most of the liquid has absorbed, about 12 minutes.
  • Remove from heat and stir in only 2 cups of the shredded cheese, sour cream, the green chiles, nutmeg, and the paprika. Taste and add more salt if desired.
  • Transfer the mac and cheese to a casserole dish and top with the remaining 1/2 cup of shredded cheese.
  • In a small bowl, combine the panko breadcrumbs with the remaining tablespoon of olive oil. Toss until well combined, then sprinkle evenly over the mac and cheese.
  • Transfer to oven and bake (uncovered) until the cheese and panko are golden brown, 8 to 10 minutes, being careful not to burn.
  • Remove from oven and let cool for about 5 minutes before serving. Garnish with freshly chopped cilantro (if using), serve and enjoy!

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Additional Info

Servings: 8 people

Welcome! I’m Alex.

I’m a food lover sharing healthy, simple, delicious, recipes from my kitchen to yours. Here you’ll find lots of Whole30, lots of healthy, and a little indulgence here and there because…it’s all about balance y’all!

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Recipe Rating


  1. 5 stars
    This looks amazing! l’m making this for a party. Does this recipe taste better with gluten free pasta or regular pasta? None of the guests have gluten allergies.

  2. ALWAYS a favorite! This Mac N Cheese is my “go to” for meal trains, family gatherings and most requested Texas dish. Thank you Alex!

  3. 5 stars
    Wow, so easy and so good! The panko topping was perfectly crispy on top of the creamy Mac and cheese. This will be on repeat in our house.

  4. I love this recipe! So delicious! I usually make it and then serve it, however, is it possible to may in advance and then just bake before you serve it? Maybe make it in the morning–pop in fridge then bake right before you eat later that day?

    1. Absolutely! Complete steps 1-6. Cover with saran wrap and press down onto the pasta so that it is completely suffocated and store in your fridge. Remove the saran wrap, add the breadcrumbs then pop it into the oven as directed!