Grilled Mac 'n' Cheese Pancakes with Mojo Rojo Sauce

For when you want cheesy pasta, but you're also trying to grill
35 Ratings
100% would make again
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Photo: David Loftus

If you go by the name DJ BBQ, chances are you have a grilling trick or two up your sleeve. This recipe from the YouTube cooking star's new book, Fire Food, more than supports that claim: I'm willing to place a nickel on the fact that you're not out there grilling up mac 'n' cheese pancakes every Saturday. Leave out a pepper or two from the sauce if you're not one for heat and remember these are pancakes—meaning they're a perfectly fine breakfast choice.

Make it a meal with these grilled salad recipes, then learn the best way to clean a grill.

Grilled Mac 'n' Cheese Pancakes with Mojo Rojo Sauce

Recipe adapted with permission from 'Fire Food,' by Christian Stevenson (DJ BBQ), published by Quadrille May 2018

Yield: 4 servings

Prep Time: 20 minutes, plus cooling time

Cook Time: 30 minutes

Total Time: 50 minutes, plus cooling time


For the Mojo Rojo Sauce:

4 Romano peppers, deseeded and roughly chopped

8 garlic cloves, roughly chopped

3 jalapeño chiles, deseeded and roughly chopped

1 tablespoon cumin seeds, toasted and crushed

2 tablespoons smoked paprika

Handful of coriander (cilantro) leaves

Handful of thyme leaves

2 rehydrated chipotle chiles

3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar

3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

2 teaspoons salt

For the Macaroni:

12 ounces macaroni pasta tubes

1¾ ounces butter, plus 2 tablespoons for frying

1¾ ounces all-purpose flour

1⅔ cups whole milk

10½ ounces Red Leicester cheese, grated

3½ ounces Roquefort or blue cheese

2 tablespoons Dijon mustard

1 jalapeño chile, sliced

Handful of coriander (cilantro) leaves, chopped, for garnish


1. Make the mojo rojo sauce: In a food processor, blitz all the sauce ingredients up to and including the chipotle chiles. Once blended, pour into a bowl and stir in the vinegar, oil and salt.

2. Make the mac and cheese: Boil the pasta until al dente and drain. Set aside.

3. In a medium saucepan, whisk the butter, flour and milk over medium heat until smooth and thick. Once the sauce is bubbling and the flour is cooked out, add all the cheese, the mustard and the jalapeño slices. Keep stirring until melted.

4. Add the cooked pasta into the cheese sauce, stir well and leave to cool for about an hour. This recipe works better when the mac and cheese is cold.

5. When you're ready to eat, start your outdoor cooker, half with direct heat and half indirect. Divide the cooled mac and cheese into 8 balls. On the direct heat, melt the extra 2 tablespoons of butter in a skillet. Throw a couple of the mac and cheese balls into the pan and use your spatula to flatten them into pancakes.

6. Fry the pancakes until you have a thick golden crust. Then flip and fry the other side.

7. You might lose a couple of stray bits of macaroni when you flip, but don’t fret, just let them crisp up. They are actually part of the recipe—you are going to top everything with these mac and cheese "burnt ends."

8. When you have a thick crust on both sides, remove the pancakes from the heat and repeat with the remaining ones. When they are all cooked, spoon the mojo rojo sauce over the pancakes and top with the chopped cilantro and burnt bits to serve.

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