Hard Rock Cafe Twisted Mac & Cheese is cavatappi pasta tossed in a slightly spicy cheese sauce with roasted red peppers and topped with Parmesan parsley breadcrumbs. A copycat version of a favorite restaurant dish!
This was the first weekend in a long time that we didn’t have tons of plans. It felt amazing. Mr. Williams decided we should have a BBQ.
He’s always in charge of meat and I make the sides.
I wanted to make something new so I checked out the copycat cookbook I had downloaded to my Kindle Fire a few weeks ago.
There are a ton of recipes I want to try but I started with this macaroni and cheese recipe.
We have a Hard Rock Cafe in Detroit but we haven’t been in years. Last time I went, this macaroni and cheese was what I ordered.
Normally I don’t like recipes that call for Velveeta but it was really good. Very cheesy with a little kick from the cayenne pepper and I love mac & cheese with breadcrumb topping.
I doubled the recipe because we were serving about 15 so I’ll tell you how I adapted it.
Tips for making this copycat Twisted Mac & Cheese a success:
- To roast the red bell pepper, you can either take it out to the grill, like I did, or if you’re not grilling, set it directly over the flame of a gas stove set to medium heat. Turn the pepper as the skin blisters and chars black. Place the pepper in a bowl and cover it with plastic wrap. After a few minutes you can easily remove the skin.
- If you have an electric stove (like I now do…or it’s winter & your grill is put away), you can use your broiler. Rub the bell pepper with olive oil and salt, roast for 10 minutes under the broiler, then peel and dice.
- You can also use a jar of roasted red bell peppers.
- If you’re an area that doesn’t sell Velveeta (or you just don’t like it), you could skip it, but it adds to the creaminess. To replace it, I would up the cheddar cheese and throw in some cubed cream cheese.
- If you can’t find twisted cavatappi noodles, no worries, use whatever kind of pasta you like.
Other cheesy recipes you may like…
Morton’s Copycat Macaroni & Cheese
Hard Rock Cafe Twisted Mac & Cheese
- 1 lb cavatappi pasta
- 2/3 cup milk plus a splash more
- 8 oz. Velveeta cubed
- 1 1/4 cup shredded cheddar cheese
- 1 cup shredded Monterey Jack cheese
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1/4 cup roasted bell pepper diced
- 4 t. Italian seasoned bread crumbs
- 4 t. grated Parmesan cheese
- 1/4 t. finely minced parsley
- In a large saucepan, bring salted water to boil to cook your cavatappi. Once cooked, drain the pasta and set aside.
- To the same saucepan, add the milk, Velveeta, cheddar cheese, Monterey Jack cheese, cayenne pepper and black pepper and heat over low for about 10 minutes until the cheese is melted and sauce is smooth.
- Add in the cooked pasta and roasted pepper to the pan, and then toss to coat the pasta.
- To a small bowl, add the breadcrumbs, Parmesan cheese and parsley in a small bowl and toss to combine.
- Pour your pasta into a serving bowl and then sprinkle Parmesan breadcrumbs over the top.