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Southwestern Pasta & Cheese

Total Time

Prep: 30 min. Bake: 20 min.


8 servings

Updated: Sep. 30, 2022
“I decided to give my old mac 'n' cheese recipe a new twist by including some of my favorite Southwestern ingredients. I especially like the smoky flavors of the chipotle and bacon…my family loves it all!” Serve with a salad or veggie. Naomi Reed - McMinnville, Oregon


  • 3-1/3 cups uncooked bow tie pasta
  • 1 medium sweet red pepper, chopped
  • 8 green onions, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon minced chipotle pepper in adobo sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 2-1/4 cups fat-free milk
  • 1 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese, divided
  • 4 center-cut bacon strips, cooked and crumbled
  • 2 tablespoons minced fresh cilantro


  1. Cook pasta according to package directions.
  2. Meanwhile, in a large skillet, saute pepper and onions in oil until tender. Stir in the flour, chili powder, chipotle pepper, salt and cumin until blended. Gradually stir in milk. Bring to a boil; cook and stir for 2 minutes or until thickened. Stir in 1/4 cup cheese until melted.
  3. Drain pasta; toss with sauce. Stir in bacon and cilantro. Transfer to a 2-qt. baking dish coated with cooking spray. Sprinkle with remaining cheese. Bake, uncovered, at 400° for 20-25 minutes or until bubbly.

Nutrition Facts

3/4 cup: 240 calories, 8g fat (4g saturated fat), 20mg cholesterol, 327mg sodium, 32g carbohydrate (6g sugars, 2g fiber), 12g protein. Diabetic Exchanges: 2 starch, 1 medium-fat meat, 1/2 fat.

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