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.
Serve a whole copycat meal with this twisted mac & cheese, TGI Friday’s Jack Daniels Sauce with some grilled chicken, and a Starbucks Passion Tea Lemonade.
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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Bethany Kline says
wow, this looks amazing! I love mac and cheese, but it’s so hard to find a GOOD recipe for one! I’m gonna give this a whirl! I’ll let you know how it turns out when i get around to fixing it! 😉
I thought I would come by and say hello, from the online blog con, and be your newest follow! so there!
<3 Bethany @ thesepiapuppy.blogspot.com
Dorothy @ Crazy for Crust says
I am in loooove with mac n cheese. This looks so good!
We are welcoming a new bride to the family and she’s vegetarian. This recipe seems to have all the qualities of being vegetarian – friendly. Am I right? There are so many rules for this kind of eating. She does eat cheese/milk products, but not sour cream. I’m dying to try it out!
Melissa Williams says
vegetarian – yes. Vegan – no. As long as she’s not vegan, you’re safe 🙂
So I worked at the Hard Rock Cafe Detroit for ten years. My daughter’s father was a cook there for over ten years. If there’s anyone who knows this recipe in and out, it’s me haha. Tonight was a night that we all just couldn’t make up our mind on what to have for dinner and with a 9yr old that loves Mac and cheese and a boyfriend who isn’t the biggest fan of plain old regular Mac and cheese, I thought about my old favorite, my number one pick to eat on my breaks from serving drinks there, twisted Mac chicken and cheese! I know the recipe like the back of my hand but I always find recipes to back my knowledge to compare. I looked this one up and was honestly surprised to see copycat recipes but after merely reading yours, it’s spot on and I know will be the closest thing to it, if not exact. Thanks for posting this recipe, it takes me back and gives me really fond memories of the years I spent there. I wouldn’t have my daughter if it wasn’t for the HRC 313!
Melissa Williams says
Aww, that makes me happy 🙂
Thank you for confirming this I’m pregnant and all i can think about is hrc mac and cheese and i live 4hrs from the nearest one
If I wanted to make this recipe ahead of time and heat in the oven, could I do that without it drying out?
Melissa Williams says
I think it should be fine. Cover it & heat at a low temp.