Ranch House Macaroni and Cheese

The ultimate comfort food–macaroni and cheese–gets a Southwestern twist spiked by jalapeño chiles and cumin. Sharp Wisconsin Cheddar adds more outstanding flavor to this warming dish.

Ranch House Macaroni and Cheese


  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 2 tablespoons jalapeño chiles, seeded and finely chopped
  • 2 cups (8 ounces) sharp Wisconsin Cheddar cheese, shredded
  • 1 (7 ounce) jar roasted red peppers, drained well, thinly sliced
  • 1/4 cup bottled ranch style dressing
  • 8 ounces wagon wheel pasta, cooked al dente according to package directions, drained
  • 2 tablespoons green onions, sliced


  1. Heat oven to 375 degrees F.
  2. In large, deep saucepan, heat butter until sizzling. Stir in flour. Cook over medium heat, stirring, 1 to 2 minutes or until flour is golden.
  3. Gradually whisk in milk and cook, stirring 8 to 10 minutes or until mixture is thick and smooth.
  4. Turn off heat, stir in salt, cumin, red pepper flakes, pepper, chiles and Cheddar. Stir until cheese melts.
  5. Add red peppers, dressing and cooked pasta, mixing well.
  6. Pour into oval 8 x 10-inch lightly buttered casserole or similar baking dish.
  7. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, until cheese is bubbly.
  8. Sprinkle with the sliced green onions.

Yield: 6 to 8 servings

Recipe and photo used with permission from: Dairy Farmers of Wisconsin