Spicy Macaroni and Cheese Recipe | Nutkrack

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RECIPE: Chili-spiked Candied Pecan Mac 'n' Cheese

Here's an easy to make, 30 minute mac 'n' cheese that you'll want bring to every party and picnic this summer! Adding a topping of chopped chili-spiked Firekracker pecans may sound unusual, but it's a great combination of spice and crunch with gooey, cheesy noodles. Add a few dashes of your favorite hot sauce (because you know you were going to anyway).


  • 2½ cups water
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 8 ounces elbow macaroni*
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • 1 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 1 cup finely chopped Firekracker
  • ½ cup pecan meal
  • Salt & pepper to taste
  • Hot sauce of choice 

    *Substitute gluten-free pasta if desired


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. In a medium saucepot combine the water, milk, and salt. Heat over medium heat. Stir occasionally while the liquid comes to a simmer, then reduce heat to low.
  3. Continue to cook over low heat, stirring often, until macaroni is fully cooked and most of the liquid has been absorbed, about 10 minutes.
  4. Remove the pot from heat. Add half the cheese, and stir until it has fully melted. Stir in the butter and half of the remaining cheese, saving about ¼ cup for topping. If the consistency appears a little too dry, stir in a small splash of hot water. Taste and adjust seasoning as desired.
  5. Transfer the mac & cheese into a baking dish, top with pecan pieces, pecan meal and remaining cheese. Bake until bubbly and browned on top, about 8 to 10 minutes. Enjoy!

Adapted with permission from Recipes | ILovePecans

spiced Firekracker pecans pouring out of a bowl

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