Mango Habanero Mac and Cheese Recipe

Mango Habanero Mac and Cheese Recipe

I find the beauty of Mac and cheese in its simplicity and ability to simultaneously be complex in what it offers. A recent example of this versatility was a dish I made that utilized Henning’s Cheddar Mango Fire in concert with Red Apple Smoked Provolone. These two cheeses together create a Mango Habanero Mac and Cheese that requires little effort while offering an abundance of beautiful flavors.

To me this is one of those dishes that will convert you to the dark seductive powers of a “fancy” mac and cheese. Which is to say, it  can provide a glimpse to flavor profiles that can be achieved without being intimidating. 

While I list specific cheeses in this particular recipe if you prefer to shop local at a farmers market or grocery store it can absolutely be done. The important part is that one of your cheeses is smoked. I would also highly recommend a bourbon aged gouda for this. The other cheese should be a habanero infused one or really any other pepper if you have a preference. The important part of this second cheese is that it will add a fresh spice to open up the flavor of the mac on every bite. If you prefer a milder version, pepper jack will suit the recipe perfectly.

The last part I want to emphasize is the importance of the toppers on this mango habanero mac and cheese.  While a topper won’t make or break a dish it does have the power to kick it up to a next level.  In this particular dish I recommend crispy fried onions.  Their flavor plays and balances perfectly with the spice and smoke you get from the cheeses.  Additionally it adds a  layer of texture for a more enjoyable experience.  You could also try green onions, croutons or our toasted breadcrumbs. 

Rigatoni pasta in a white sauce topped with green onions and grilled chicken in a black bowl with a pink plaid background

Mango Habanero Mac and Cheese Recipe

Provolone and habanero cheddar create a Mango Habanero Mac and Cheese that requires little effort while offering an abundance of flavors.
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Course Entree, Sides
Cuisine American
Servings 6 servings


  • 16 oz Pasta
  • 2 tbsp Butter
  • 2 tbsp Flour
  • 2 Cups Whole Milk
  • 3/4 cup Red Apple Smoked Provolone, grated or chopped into small pieces
  • 1 cup Henning’s Cheddar Mango Fire Cheese
  • Salt to taste
  • Crispy fried onions to taste


  • Prepare the pasta according to package directions.

Prepare the sauce

  • Pre heat your milk in the microwave for 45 seconds – just enough to take the chill out of it.
  • Melt butter in a sauce pan over medium heat and let it heat until it becomes foamy.
  • Mix in flour. Make sure flour and butter are fully combined before moving to the next step. 
  • Slowly add warmed milk to the butter mixture 1/4 cup at a time. Whisk it continually until combined.
  • Once all of the milk is incorporated, continue to heat the sauce while stirring. Do not let it boil. The sauce is ready for the cheese when you rub a small amount between your fingers and it feels silky.
  • Remove from heat and gradually add your cheese a little at a time until it’s melted and mixed into the sauce.
  • Once the cheese is incorporated, use a cooked noodle to taste your sauce. If it doesn’t taste cheesy enough try adding a little salt to bring out the flavor.
  • Combine your noodles and sauce.
  • Garnish with crispy onions and serve