Ancho Chili Mac & Cheese

  • READY IN 1 hour

This is an involved process, but hey, this recipe won the 2019 Mount Saint Mary Mac & Cheese Cook-off. It is pretty darn delicious and lots of fun to make. Give it a go and make some happy mouths at your next gathering. Bonus, you will have left over Ancho Chili Sauce to play with!



  1. You can make up the crème fraise and ancho chilli sauce days ahead of time to break up a bit of a demanding recipe.
  2. For the crème fraise, stir 250 ml of whipping cream and 2 tablespoons of buttermilk together in a loosely covered glass jar.  Leave on the counter for 12 – 16 hours.  After 12 hours stir to check the consistency…it should be magically thick and rich like yogurt.  Keep in the fridge for 10 – 14 days.
  3. Ancho chili sauce time…You will only use ½ of this sauce and you will reserve the left over for another batch of Mac or to be used anywhere a good salsa is needed.
  4. Add the chili powder, onion, tomato, Serrano peppers, garlic, cilantro and salt into a blender or food processor and puree until smooth.
  5. Preheat a large pot on medium high, add the oil and then carefully pour the contents of the blender into the hot oil.   Cook the sauce until it begins to thicken (about 7 minutes).
  6. Add the lime juice and zest, stir and check the taste.  Set aside for the moment or store in the fridge for up to 1 month.
  7. Add the whipping cream to a large pot and reduce by 50% by volume over medium heat.  This is a tricky task as the whipping cream will want to boil over if it gets too hot.  So make sure the pot is large, keep it at a simmer and take your time.  It will take 20 – 30 minutes depending on how hot you have it.
  8. Now it’s time to put it all together.  Add ½ of the ancho chilli sauce to the reduced cream and bring to a simmer.
  9. Add the Raclette cheese to the pot and stir with a whisk until the cheese is fully melted and incorporated.  This will take a few minutes.
  10. Next add the cooked macaroni to the pot and simmer until the noodles are hot and the sauce has thickened up.  Add a touch of fresh cream or milk if it gets too thick.
  11. Serve it up and garnish with breadcrumbs, bacon bits and drizzle crème fraise on top.  Enjoy!
  • PREP 45 mins
  • COOK 45 mins
  • READY IN 1 hour


  • Puree avocado into the crème fraise to make it just as I did. You can also use thinned down sour cream to save a step, but it is not nearly as good.

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