After you make harissa mac ‘n cheese, you’ll never back to the regular version – the spiciness from the harissa works perfectly with the béchamel sauce. You’re going to love this fiery, spicy mac ‘n cheese recipe, I promise!
Harissa mac ‘n cheese is going to be your new weeknight side dish go-to. It’s so easy to prepare but the flavors are just incredible.
How to Make Harissa Mac ‘n Cheese Recipe:
Don’t let the béchamel sauce intimidate you – just whisk consistently and keep an eye on your heat and you’ll end up with the most beautifully creamy sauce ever, I promise.
I recommend using tubed harissa (such as DEA or Entube) instead of jarred as I prefer the consistency and find that it works better into sauces.
Now that’s out of the way, make your mac ‘n cheese! First, cook the elbow noodles and set them aside. Wipe out the pot and start the béchamel sauce. Prepare a roux by melting butter and adding flour. Once the roux is lightly golden, whisk in milk and cream. Next, add the harissa and then the cheese. Be sure to use freshly grated cheese!
Once the sauce is thick and creamy, add in your noodles and that’s it! A perfectly smoky, spicy harissa mac ‘n cheese awaits you!
Looking for more vegetarian recipes? Check my archives!
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Harissa Mac ‘n Cheese
- Large pot
- 16 ounces elbow noodles
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 3 tablespoons flour
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 1 cup milk plus more, to thin out the sauce if desired
- 2-3 tablespoons harissa paste more or less to taste
- 2 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese
- Cayenne powder to taste
- Dash of white pepper
- Salt to taste
- Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and cook the elbow noodles according to package instructions. Drain and rinse and wipe out the pot. In a large measuring cup, combine the milk and heavy cream.
Prepare the béchamel:
- Heat the butter in a skillet over medium high. Once melted and frothy, add the flour and use a wooden spoon to incorporate. Cook until smooth and just a touch golden, about 2-3 minutes. Add a ladle of the milk-cream mixture and whisk to thoroughly combine. Continue adding the milk-cream mixture, whisking after each incorporation until there is no more left and the sauce is smooth and creamy.
Add the harissa:
- Reduce heat to medium low. Stir in the harissa paste and whisk until smooth.
Melt the cheese:
- Stir in the shredded cheddar cheese and whisk constantly until the cheese is melted and the sauce is smooth. If the sauce seems too thick, add a bit more milk and whisk until smooth. Continue adding milk until desired consistency has been reached.
Finish the sauce:
- Taste the sauce and season with a dash of white pepper, a bit of salt, and cayenne powder if you’d like to add more heat.
Finish the mac ‘n cheese:
- Add the cooked elbow noodles and stir to combine. Cook over medium low for another minute or two to warm the noodles. Remove from heat.
- Divide mac ‘n cheese between bowls. Serve with a touch more cayenne powder on top if desired. Enjoy!