Good Morning AZ: NACHO Mama's Mac N Cheese

It's a sMACk down of cheesey goodness on Good Morning Arizona! I'm squaring off against Scott Pasmore in celebration of the Mac N Cheese Fest here in Scottsdale on October 7!

Scott is bringing his PLAIN JANE mac n cheese against my NACHO Mama's Mac N Cheese! It's up to the judges to crown the winner, but I think this dish is a WINNER!

Nacho Mama's Mac N Cheese

Prep Time: 15 minutes / Cook Time: 30 minutes / Servings: 6-8


  • 1 lb. macaroni elbows

  • 1 lb. Open Nature Australian Grass-Fed ground beef

  • 1 1/2 tbsp. McCormick taco seasoning

  • 2 cans Juanita's Nacho Cheese Sauce, medium heat (15 oz.)

  • 1 cup half & half

  • 16 oz. Mexican shredded cheese blend (reserve about 1/2 cup for garnish)

  • 1 medium tomato, diced

  • 2 tbsp. chopped fresh cilantro

  • 2 large, chopped green onions

  • 2 tbsp. diced jalapeños (canned or fresh)

  • 6 corn tortillas

  • 1 cup vegetable oil

  • 1 tsp. kosher salt


  1. Using a large knife or pizza cutter, slice the tortillas into 1/2 " wide by 2" long strips. Heat the oil on medium heat in a medium saucepan. Fry the tortilla strips in batches, until golden brown. Remove from the oil with a slotted spoon and transfer to a dish that's lined with a paper towel. Sprinkle with salt as soon as they come out of the oil. Set aside until ready to use.

  2. Bring a large pot of heavily salted water to a boil. Add the macaroni elbows, boil for about 7 minutes until al dente, drain and set aside.

  3. Heat a large skillet to high heat. Add the grass-fed beef and season with the taco seasoning. Cook on high heat for 7-10 minutes, breaking it up as it browns and cooks through. Remove from heat and set aside until ready to use.

  4. In a medium saucepan, add the nacho cheese sauce, half & half and shredded cheese. Heat on medium heat, stirring occasionally until the sauce is smooth, creamy and warm.

  5. Add the macaroni to a very large mixing bowl. Stir in the cheese sauce and the cooked ground beef until combined.

  6. Transfer to a large serving bowl and top with additional cheese, chopped tomatoes, green onions, cilantro and diced jalapeños. Garnish with the fried tortilla strips. Serve immediately.

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