Food Network Star Sunny Anderson’s Spicy Macaroni and Cheese Gets Its Kick From This Simple Ingredient

Food Network host Sunny Anderson’s macaroni and cheese takes the classic dish. to another level with this spicy version.

And this dish is just what the TV culinary personality’s fans have come to expect from her: it’s easy to make and pleases a crowd of hungry appetites.

Food Network personality wears a pink blouse in a 2019 visit to Build Studio.
Food Network star Sunny Anderson | Gary Gershoff/WireImage

Anderson’s Spicy Macaroni and Cheese is her top-rated Food Network recipe

With over 300 five-star comments from reviewers, Anderson’s spicy take on mac and cheese is her highest-rated recipe on Food Network’s site.

The co-host on The Kitchen achieves this zip mainly through the inclusion of cubed Monterey pepper jack cheese. A half teaspoon of cayenne pepper helps amp up the flavor of the pepper-studded cheese.

Along with cheddar and colby cheeses, flour, mustard, nutmeg, sour cream, one egg, heavy cream, half-and-half, grated onion, breadcrumbs, and of course, macaroni pasta, Anderson’s spin on the classic dish is just as rich and decadent as the original. And she has her mother to thank for her burst of culinary creativity.

“The reason I came up with my spicy macaroni and cheese recipe,” Anderson says in the dish’s Food Network video, “is because my mom, my own mom, would not give me hers. She’s very territorial.”

Find the full recipe on Food Network’s site.

No roux necessary for Sunny Anderson’s zesty macaroni and cheese

Unlike traditional mac and cheese recipes requiring a roux (that is, a combination of butter and flour cooked typically with milk), the Food Network host’s approach couldn’t be easier.

Cooked macaroni pasta is tossed with the cubed cheeses and placed in a baking dish (“We want to make these al dente; Make sure the macaroni is not super smushy when you get it out [of the water]”).

The flour, cayenne, dry mustard, and nutmeg are combined in a bowl, along with salt and pepper. The wet ingredients are stirred in, then the mixture is tossed with the pasta in the casserole dish. Sprinkle shredded cheddar over and bake in a preheated 350-degree F oven for a little over 30 minutes.

While the mac and cheese is in the oven, Anderson says it’s time to work on the breadcrumbs.

A few slices of bread are cut into a dice and toasted in a skillet with melted butter “until golden.” Once the casserole is done, the cubed bread is placed on the macaroni and baked for another 10 minutes.

Home cooks went ga-ga over Anderson’s take on the classic dish

It’s not hard to get mac and cheese right. But to get it divinely superb? It seems Anderson has hit on the right ingredient combo, judging by reviewers’ comments.

“This macaroni is perfect. Don’t even look at any other recipes,” one fan wrote.

Another added, “Best macaroni and cheese I ever ate, and easy to make — Thick and creamy, plenty of cheesy goodness.”

And another home cook wrote, “This is absolutely delicious. I am usually not a fan of pepper jack, but this was amazing. I followed the recipe exactly and it came out perfectly.”

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