Mac and Cheese Nachos Recipe

Mac and Cheese Nachos Recipe

Do you remember when making pasta chips was a thing? People would season and air fry pasta to create these crispy chips perfect for dipping into delicious sauces. I made my own variety with a mac and cheese twist and it’s still one of the more fun recipes here. I began to consider other applications for these crispy bites, and the idea for mac and cheese nachos began to form.

Today is National Mac and Cheese day, and I’m creating a mac and cheese recipe for every meal. When contemplating snack mac and cheese recipes, I kept landing on pasta chips and how delicious they would be smothered in cheese sauce and nacho toppings. Mac and cheese nachos feels like the perfect snack food version of our favorite food and I am obsessed with how great this is.

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Lasagna Pasta Chips

Pasta chips are fun, crispy vehicles for sauce. Making them took more time than I expected, but the result was absolutely worth it. Our air fryer is relatively small and took a few rounds to get everything fried to the right consistency. With a larger air fryer I’m sure you could knock out a full batch of these much quicker than I did.

Just like when you eat nachos, the edges of the dish were crunchy, while the chips under the toppings absorbed some of the sauce and became softer. If you aren’t a fan of soggy chips, serving these dip style with the cheese sauce and toppings in a bowl would be a perfectly acceptable compromise.

Mac and Cheese Nachos Sauce

When you taste a piece of cheese the flavor of a cheese tends to lean toward the beginning of the bite or the end. Well balanced cheese sauce makes use of cheeses that fit on both ends of the spectrum. Cheddar is an opener cheese. the flavor hits at the beginning of the bite. On the other hand, Parmesan sits at the end of the bite making it a closer cheese. When you pair these two cheeses together the cheesy flavor carries throughout the entire bite.

I wanted my cheese sauce to have a little bit of a kick, but after making the chipotle mac and cheese from the Gilmore Girls Cookbook I was skittish about using a whole can of chipotle in my sauce. I wanted it to have a little spice, but not so much that I couldn’t taste anything else. Rough chopping a can of chipotle in adobo and then gradually stirring it in gave me the flexibility to adjust the spiciness to our taste.

Mac and Cheese Nachos Toppings

While the cheese sauce packs a ton of flavor, toppings are arguably the best part of nachos. I kept mine relatively basic with sour cream, Hellmann’s cilantro lime sauce, shredded chicken, and green onions. If you’re looking for a little more of a kick, sliced jalapenos would be an easy upgrade.

Add a Fork

Mac and cheese nachos is the perfect snacky upgrade to the best food in the world. It is a little more time intensive than other recipes here, but well worth the effort.

Mac and cheese nachos

Mac and Cheese Nachos

Pasta chips serve as the base for nachos smothered in chipotle cheese sauce, sour cream, and cilantro lime sauce.
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 30 minutes
Servings 6 people


  • 1 lb Lasagna Sheets
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 4 oz Extra Sharp Cheddar
  • 1 can Chipotle in Adobo
  • 3 tbsp Butter
  • 3 tbsp Flour
  • 3 cups Whole Milk
  • 4 oz Parmesan
  • Sour Cream
  • Hellman's Cilantro Lime Drizzle Sauce
  • Hatch Chile Verde Seasoning


Make the Pasta Chips

  • Cook lasagna according to package directions.
  • Cut lasagna sheets into triangles.
  • Drizzle chips in olive oil and season generously with chile verde seasoning.
  • Air fry the pasta chips at 400* for 15 minutes until crispy. Shake the basket regularly for even cooking.

Prepare the Chipotle Cheese Sauce

  • Melt butter in a saucepan over medium heat.
  • Combine the flour and cook it for 1 minute.
  • Gradually add milk until fully incorporated. Cook the milk mixture until it begins to thicken and feels silky between your fingers.
  • Remove from heat and add cheese, stirring until fully melted and incorporated in the sauce.
  • Spoon the chipotle in adobo into the sauce mixture until desired spiciness level.

Plate the Nachos

  • Add a generous layer of pasta chips to a plate.
  • Smother pasta chips in cheese sauce, sour cream, and Chile lime sauce.