Made-from-scratch mac and cheese is easier to make than you'd think, and this is one of the best recipes we've ever tried. The chorizo adds a subtle heat and burst of salty flavor, and the Bloody Mary Rimming Spice provides a tangy zing to counterbalance the richness of the melty cheese. Baked until perfection with a crispy, buttery topping, this creamy and savory mac and cheese is the perfect comfort meal that you can always count on.
1 box of elbow pasta (or short pasta shape of choice)
Cook the pasta according to directions on the packaging, minus one minute (it will continue cooking later on in the oven.) Drain the pasta and rinse it with cold water so it doesn't stick together. Set aside.
In a small saucepan, melt 2 tbsp butter. Add the melted butter to a small bowl and stir together with panko breadcrumbs and 1 tbsp The Real Dill Bloody Mary Rimming Spice. Set aside.
Cook the ground chorizo in a cast iron or heavy skillet. Make sure to break the meat up as it cooks so that it is nice and crumbly. Once the meat is cooked through, drain it on a paper towel lined baking sheet.
Grate 2 cups of sharp cheddar cheese and 2 cups of gruyere cheese. Add to a bowl and mix to combine. Set aside.
Warm the whole milk in a saucepan and set aside.
In a large pot, melt 4 tbsp of butter. Sprinkle in 1/2 cup of all purpose flour and whisk to combine. It should form a sandy dough texture.
Slowly pour in 2 cups of the warm whole milk into the pot with the flour mixture and whisk until smooth. Pour the remaining 2 cups of the warm whole milk into the pot and whisk until it is smooth again.
Heat the milk and flour mixture on medium heat and whisk constantly until the mixture thickens enough to coat the back of a spoon. This step can take a few minutes, and it's important to wait until the mixture is nice and thick before moving on.
Once the mixture is thick, add 1 tsp of salt and 1 tbsp of The Real Dill Bloody Mary Rimming Spice. Stir to combine.
Add in 1 1/2 cups of the grated cheese blend to the pot and stir until smooth. Add in another 1 1/2 cups of the grated cheese and stir until smooth again.
Add the ground chorizo and elbow pasta to the pot and stir until all of the ingredients are combined.
Spoon the mac and cheese from the pot into a baking dish.
Top the mac and cheese with the remaining 1 cup of grated cheese blend. Sprinkle the panko topping evenly over the top.
Bake the mac and cheese in the oven for 20 minutes.