Coconut milk mac + cheese

Coconut milk mac + cheese

There is nothing I love more than mac + cheese. And I'm not fussy about it either. I practically lived off of Annie's mac + cheese in college, so much so that I would mess with the boxed stuff to make it my own. Chiles in adobo? Wild mushroom + rosemary? Yeah, I made those happen.

But I never really attempted my own mac + cheese recipe. Something was always daunting about building the sauce PLUS really looking at all of the butter, cheese + milk that goes into it is freaky.

So when I wanted to make my own, I went a different route. Coconut milk builds the base of this mac + cheese. I love the flavor + how creamy it is, but it's way lighter than a traditional base. There's a teeny bit of cheddar in this mac + cheese, but a majority of the color (plus flavor) comes from smoked paprika + turmeric.

It's indulgent, but definitely not your typical BBQ eats for Memorial Day weekend. Oh and that reminds me! Scroll down to the bottom of this post for a special BBQ surprise!

Coconut milk mac + cheese

  • 1 lb. dried mezzi rigatoni
  • 13.5 oz. coconut milk
  • 1 tablespoon flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1/4 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1 cup grated cheddar cheese
  • 1/4 cup bread crumbs
  • 2 tablespoon butter, melted
  • Salt + pepper
  1. Start by cooking the mezzi rigatoni to al dente according to your package instructions. Drain the pasta + return the pot to the burner.
  2. Pre-heat the oven to 350 degree Fahrenheit.
  3. Add the coconut milk to the pot + bring it to boil on medium heat. Reduce the heat to low + continue to stir until the milk slightly thickens. Add the flour + stir. The coconut milk should thicken considerably when you do.
  4. Continue stirring while adding the turmeric, smoked paprika + cheddar cheese. Allow the cheese to melt then add the rigatoni to the pot. Stir to make sure the sauce coats the pasta. Add salt + pepper to taste.
  5. Add the pasta + sauce to a shallow baking dish, + set aside.
  6. To make the topping combine the breadcrumbs + melted butter. Evenly top the mac + cheese with the breadcrumb mixture.
  7. Bake the mac + cheese in the oven until the breadcrumbs brown, around 20 minutes. Enjoy right away. 

And oh yes! With the upcoming holiday, it's basically the start of barbecue season! In celebration, I've teamed up with fellow bloggers to bring you 50+ recipe ideas for your summer plans. See all the recipes for our Great Blogger BBQ below!

50 recipes for the perfect summer get-together! Whether you're planning a barbecue, picnic, or outdoor party, check out everything from appetizer recipes, entree recipes, cocktail recipes, dessert recipes, side dish recipes and more to go with your BBQ! #greatbloggerBBQ
50 recipes for the perfect summer get-together! Whether you're planning a barbecue, picnic, or outdoor party, check out everything from appetizer recipes, entree recipes, cocktail recipes, dessert recipes, side dish recipes and more to go with your BBQ! #greatbloggerBBQ


Korean BBQ Tofu Sliders with Kimchi Slaw by Hello Little Home
Corn, Black Bean, and Feta Dip by Lizzy is Dizzy
Crab, Bacon & Guacamole Crostinis by That Square Plate

Cocktails and Drinks

Blackberry Gin Slush by The Speckled Palate
Homemade Lemonade by Winstead Wandering
Blood Orange Mocktail by Body Rebooted
Fleur Collins Cocktail by Hungry Girl por Vida
Fourth of July Sparkler by Mixplorology
Black Stripe Cold Rum Cocktail by Honey and Birch
Fresh Watermelon Mojito by Twin Stripe
Mint Hibiscus Lemonade by The Little Epicurean
Wine Slushy by Living Well Kitchen
Basil Gin Lemonade by Glisten and Grace


Salt Plate Shrimp by The Mexitalian
Jamaican Jerk Chicken Burgers by Simple and Savory
Roasted Vegetable Grilled Pizza with Garlic Herb Oil by Ciao Chow Bambina
Memphis Style Pulled Pork by Two Places at Once
Balsamic & Honey Chicken Skewers with Strawberry-Kiwi Salsa by No Spoon Necessary
Amazing Basic Spice Rub for Grilling by An Oregon Cottage
Mediterranean Chicken Kebabs by PasadenaDaisy
Smoked Porchetta Pork Loin by Tasty Ever After
Pressure Cooker Pulled Pork by Appeasing a Food Geek
Peach Barbecue Sauce by The Beach House Kitchen
Tuna Stuffed Sweet Peppers by SugarLoveSpices
Herb Marinated Steak Gyros Plates with Tomato-Onion Salad and Green Tahini Sauce by Feed Me Phoebe
Marinated Skirt Steak with Sweet Corn and Cherry Salad by Domesticate ME!
Sweet & Sour Chicken Kebabs by Tastefully Frugal

Side Dishes

Caprese Pasta Salad by Club Narwhal
Cranberry Almond Broccoli Salad by Two Sisters Kitchens
Coconut Milk Mac & Cheese by A Little Gathering
Cherry Quinoa Salad by Food Lovin Family
Cheddar, Corn and Bacon Potato Salad by Family Food on the Table
Lemon Rocket Pasta Salad by Lauren Caris Cooks
Green Goddess Potato Salad by Love & Flour
Red White & Blue Watergate Salad by A Joyfully Mad Kitchen
Zesty Potato Skewers by Pamela Salzman
Quinoa Tabouli by A Fork's Tale


Banana Pudding Ice Cream Cake by Feast + West
Strawberry Beer Floats by bethcakes
Cherry Cheesecake Dessert by The Little Blonde Baker
Light Berry Angel Food Cake by The Creative Bite
Lemon Cream Tarts with Berries by Girl Heart Food
Fresh Strawberry Muffins by Spiced
Lemon Pie Sundae by Flavours & Frosting
Strawberry Lemon Shortcakes by Dash of Herbs
Grasshopper Pie by 2 Cookin' Mamas
Berry Mango Smoothie Pops by HÄLSA Nutrition
Mixed Berry Vanilla Bean Cake by Cake 'n Knife
No Churn Cookies and Cream Strawberry Ice Cream by The Secret Ingredient Is
Coconut Blueberry & Vodka Ice Pops by Nik Snacks
Strawberry Key Lime Margarita Greek Yogurt Ice Pops by Beer Girl Cooks
Cherry & Rhubarb Tart by Crepes of Wrath