Southwestern Macaroni and Cheese with Adobo Meatballs

Southwestern Macaroni and Cheese with Adobo Meatballs

Javagoddess 9

"A smooth and surprising macaroni and cheese recipe with savory Mexican meatballs that will make you say 'Ole! Gimme more!'"


1 h 5 m servings 589 cals
Serving size has been adjusted!

Original recipe yields 8 servings



  • Calories:
  • 589 kcal
  • 29%
  • Fat:
  • 36.4 g
  • 56%
  • Carbs:
  • 29.2g
  • 9%
  • Protein:
  • 35.7 g
  • 71%
  • Cholesterol:
  • 121 mg
  • 40%
  • Sodium:
  • 963 mg
  • 39%

Based on a 2,000 calorie diet

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  • Prep

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  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F (165 degrees C). Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Add macaroni and cook for 8 to 10 minutes or until al dente; drain.
  2. In a large bowl, mix ground beef with adobo seasoning and powdered jalapeno pepper. Roll into small, 1 inch meatballs. Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add meatballs, and cook until browned on all sides, then remove to drain on a paper towel-lined plate. The meatballs do not need to be thoroughly cooked at this point as they will finish cooking in the oven.
  3. While the meatballs are cooking, melt the butter in a large saucepan over medium heat. Gently cook the butter until it begins to brown, and acquires a nutty fragrance, about 1 minute. Stir in the cream, sour cream, Cheddar cheese, cottage cheese, cotija cheese, garlic powder, and cilantro. Bring to a simmer, stirring constantly until the cheese has melted. Season to taste with salt and white pepper.
  4. Stir the cooked macaroni and diced chiles into the cheese sauce, and pour into a 9x13 inch baking dish. Slice the meatballs in half, and place onto the pasta cut-side down.
  5. Bake in preheated oven until the cheese sauce is bubbly, and the meatballs are no longer pink in the center, about 25 minutes.
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  1. 21 Ratings


I made this tonight and am eating it right now. I was not sure what "adobo seasoning" was, but I found something by Goya that had the word Adobo on it so I used that. I couldn't find any jalap...

Thought that the fat-free cottage cheese wasn't exactly the most fun of textures in my opinion. The kids hated it the chunks of rubbery cheese. The problem with fat free cottage cheese is that i...

I made this over the weekend for some friends. Although I did change up the recipe (used already made/frozen meatballs and added adobo seasoning to it), still was a hit. I personally thought t...

I've made this twice and it's really good. The other poster mentioned it being liquidy, which happened the first time I made it. The second time I took my time and really let the cheese melt int...

I personally liked the macaroni and cheese a lot, but hubby and kids did not. No one liked the meatballs. That's a lot of seasoning for the amount of meat, and I followed the recipe to a tee e...

The meatballs need help, so season them however you'd like. I was excited to try this recipe honestly. I was a little skeptical of the fat free cottage cheese and the light sour cream. I highly ...

Disappointing! I wish I read the reviews first before I made this dish, I bet it would've saved the flavors and textures. The fat free cottage cheese was a bad idea!!!

mac n cheese was ok but the meatballs were missing some flavor! dont know if i will make again

Delicious! Meatballs: I used ground turkey, added diced onions and garlic to the meat mixture, added chopped jalapeno peppers instead of powder and used less Adobo than called for (used dashes...