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Gochujang Mac and Cheese

Looking for a satisfying twist on classic mac and cheese? Gochujang Mac and Cheese is your answer! This Korean-inspired dish brings a spicy kick to your favourite cheesy comfort dish.

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Why you’ll love this recipe!

Why You’ll Love This Gochujang Mac and Cheese:

  1. Cheesy Comfort with a Kick: This dish combines the creamy indulgence of traditional mac and cheese with a spicy kick from the Korean gochujang paste.
  2. Fusion Flavour: Experience a rich blend of cheesy goodness and a bit of a bite, creating a Korean mac and cheese.
  3. Quick prep and simple to make: Whip up this recipe using basic ingredients like gooey cheddar cheeses, pasta, creme fraiche, and spring onions for a tasty meal.

Ingredients needed

  • 350g Dried Macaroni or any other type of dried pasta
  • 2tbsp Butter
  • 3tbsp Flour
  • 500ml Milk
  • 2tbsp Gochujang paste
  • 250g Grated Cheddar
  • Salt and pepper
  • 50g Panko crumbs (optional)
  • 2 Spring onions, finely chopped to serve (optional)
  • Any Fresh herbs to serve, chives, coriander, parsley (optional)

What is gochujang?

Gochujang is a staple in Korean cuisine, a spicy and slightly sweet fermented chilli paste. It’s made from red chili peppers, glutinous rice, fermented soybeans, and salt. This versatile condiment adds depth and heat to dishes, making it a popular ingredient in Korean cooking.

Ingredient Substitutions and Recipe Variations

  • Nutritional Yeast: If you prefer a cheesy flavour without dairy, you can substitute nutritional yeast for some of the grated cheeses to add a savoury, nutty taste.
  • Soy Sauce: Add a splash of soy sauce for an extra umami flavour that complements the gochujang paste.
  • Sesame Seeds: Toasted sesame seeds can be sprinkled on top for a nutty crunch and an added depth of flavour.

How to make Gochujang Mac and Cheese

  1. Preheat oven: Preheat your oven to 180°C (350°F).
  2. Cook the Macaroni or pasta of your choice: Follow the packet instructions to cook the macaroni in a large pot of salted boiling water until al dente. Drain and set aside.
  3. Make the Cheese Sauce: In a saucepan, melt 2tbsp butter over medium heat. Add the 3tbsp of flour and cook for one minute and then gradually start to pour in your milk whisking together until you have a lump free sauce. Simmer for 5 minutes, whisking all the time until the sauce has thickened.
  4. Stir in grated cheeses (use a mix of your favourites), stir until melted and smooth.
  5. Add your gochujang paste to the cheese sauce, adjusting to your desired level of spiciness. Mix well until combined.
  6. Combine Everything: Pour the cooked macaroni into the cheese sauce, stirring until the pasta is well coated.
  7. Season to Taste: Season with salt and black pepper to taste, adjusting the flavours as needed.
  8. Bake in the Oven: Transfer the cheesy mixture into a baking dish.
  9. Sprinkle panko crumbs over the top for a crispy finish.
  10. Bake in the preheated oven for about 20-25 minutes or until the top is golden brown and bubbly.
  11. Serve and Enjoy: Once done, remove from the oven and let it cool slightly.
  12. Garnish with additional chopped spring onions or fresh herbs if desired.
  13. Enjoy! 🙂

Top tips for this recipe

  1. Adjust Spiciness: Start with a small amount of gochujang paste and gradually add more to suit your own taste preferences.
  2. Cheese Selection: Experiment with different cheeses like cheddar, mozzarella, or Gruyère for a unique flavour combination.
  3. Cook the Pasta Al Dente: Be mindful not to overcook the pasta. Cook it just until al dente so it holds its shape and texture in the final dish.
  4. Add Fresh Herbs: Aside from spring onions, consider adding fresh herbs like parsley or coriander for added freshness and colour.
  5. Preheat Oven: Make sure your oven is fully preheated before baking the mac and cheese to ensure even cooking and to achieve that golden crust.
  6. Customise Toppings: Sprinkle additional toppings like toasted sesame seeds or crispy bacon bits on top before serving for extra flavour and texture.

FAQ

Can I make this recipe vegetarian or vegan?

Yes, you can easily adapt this recipe to be vegetarian or vegan. Use plant-based cheeses and dairy-free alternatives such as vegan butter and non-dairy milk.

Can I use different types of pasta?

Absolutely! While macaroni is traditional, feel free to use any pasta shape you prefer, such as penne, shells, or fusilli.

How can I store leftovers?

Store any leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3-4 days. Reheat gently in the microwave or on the hob before serving.

What can I serve with Gochujang Mac and Cheese?

This dish can be enjoyed on its own. But you can also pair it with a simple side salad or roasted vegetables for a complete dinner.

Can I freeze Gochujang Mac and Cheese?

While it’s best enjoyed fresh, you can freeze leftovers in a freezer-safe container for up to 1-2 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator before reheating.

If you like this recipe, I think you’ll like my garlic chilli chicken noodle recipe.

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Gochujang Mac and Cheese

Looking for a satisfying twist on classic mac and cheese? Gochujang Mac and Cheese is your answer! This Korean-inspired dish brings a spicy kick to your favourite cheesy comfort dish.
Course Main Course, pasta, Side Dish
Cuisine American, Korean
Keyword pasta, Quick & Easy, vegan, vegetarian
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 4
Calories 553kcal
Author Karolyn

Ingredients

  • 350 g Dried Macaroni or any other type of dried pasta
  • 2 tbsp Butter
  • 3 tbsp Flour
  • 500 ml Milk
  • 2 tbsp Gochujang paste
  • 250 g Grated Cheddar
  • Salt and pepper
  • 50 g Panko crumbs optional
  • 2 Spring onions finely chopped to serve (optional)
  • Any Fresh herbs to serve chives, coriander, parsley (optional)

Instructions

  • Preheat oven: Preheat your oven to 180°C (350°F).
  • Cook the Macaroni or pasta of your choice: Follow the packet instructions to cook the macaroni in a large pot of salted boiling water until al dente. Drain and set aside.
  • Make the Cheese Sauce: In a saucepan, melt butter over medium heat. Add the 2tbsp of flour and cook for one minute and then gradually start to pour in your milk whisking together until you have a lump free sauce. Simmer for 5 minutes, whisking all the time until the sauce has thickened.
  • Stir in grated cheeses (use a mix of your favourites), stir until melted and smooth.
  • Add your gochujang paste to the cheese sauce, adjusting to your desired level of spiciness. Mix well until combined.
  • Combine Everything: Pour the cooked macaroni into the cheese sauce, stirring until the pasta is well coated.
  • Season to Taste: Season with salt and black pepper to taste, adjusting the flavours as needed.
  • Bake in the Oven: Transfer the cheesy mixture into a baking dish.
  • Sprinkle panko crumbs over the top for a crispy finish.
  • Bake in the preheated oven for about 20-25 minutes or until the top is golden brown and bubbly.
  • Serve and Enjoy: Once done, remove from the oven and let it cool slightly.
  • Garnish with additional chopped spring onions or fresh herbs if desired.
  • Enjoy! 🙂

Nutrition

Calories: 553kcal | Carbohydrates: 95g | Protein: 33g | Fat: 28g | Saturated Fat: 15g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 6g | Trans Fat: 0.02g | Cholesterol: 78mg | Sodium: 611mg | Potassium: 525mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 14g | Vitamin A: 911IU | Vitamin C: 2mg | Calcium: 670mg | Iron: 2mg

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