Smoked Cheddar and Olive Mac ‘N Cheese


  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 cup yellow onions, sliced
  • 1/3 cup Anaheim chili peppers, diced (1/4-inch)
  • 2 tablespoons all purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons garlic, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon cumin, ground
  • 2 1/2 cups whole milk
  • 1 1/4 cups California Black Ripe Olives, halved
  • 2 tablespoons green onions, chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt
  • 1 1/4 cups cheddar cheese, shredded
  • 1 1/4 cups smoked cheddar cheese, shredded
  • 5 1/2 cups cooked macaroni pasta
  • 2 slices white bread, coarsely chopped
  • 1/4 cup cilantro, chopped


  1. Heat 2 tablespoons of butter in a medium saucepan pan over medium heat.
  2. Add onions and peppers and cook for 2-3 minutes.
  3. Stir in flour and continue to cook, stirring constantly for 2-3 minutes.
  4. Add garlic, chili powder and cumin and continue cooking for one more minute.
  5. Whisk in milk, 1 cup of California Ripe Olives, green onions and salt and bring to a boil, whisking continuously.
  6. Turn heat down to a low simmer, continue to stir and cook for 5 minutes.
  7. Remove from heat and stir in cheese until just melted.
  8. Toss with macaroni and pour into a 7-inch by 11-inch baking dish. Set aside.
  9. Melt remaining butter and combine with bread and cilantro in the bowl of a food processor. Pulse until processed into a coarse crumb.
  10. Transfer to a small mixing bowl and stir in remaining California Ripe Olives.
  11. Sprinkle crumb mixture over the top of the macaroni and cheese casserole and bake in a 375-degree oven for 25-30 minutes until golden brown and bubbling.