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!
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HARD ROCK CAFE TWISTED MAC & CHEESE
I have only been to Hard Rock Cafe a handful of times – Detroit doesn’t even have one anymore – but this Twisted Mac & Cheese was what I liked to order.
Because there aren’t any around, I needed to find a copycat recipe to make it at home.
TWISTED MAC & CHEESE INGREDIENTS
- Cavatappi Pasta
- Velveeta Cheese
- Cheddar Cheese
- Monterey Jack Cheese
- Cayenne Pepper
- Black Pepper
- Roasted Red Pepper
- Italian Bread Crumbs
- Parmesan Cheese
WHAT IF I DON’T HAVE VELVEETA CHEESE?
If you live in an area that doesn’t sell Velveeta cheese (which is a processed cheese product – it melts really evenly and adds to the creaminess), you can replace it with cubed cream cheese.
Normally I don’t like recipes that call for Velveeta but it is really good in this mac & cheese.
Very cheesy with a little kick from the cayenne pepper and I love breadcrumb topping.
You’ll melt all the cheeses together to get a really smooth, creamy, cheese sauce.
If you don’t like a little kick, skip the cayenne pepper, but it adds a nice contrast.
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.
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