Creamy, spicy and cheesy Indian style veg tandoori masala macaroni and cheese! This tandoori pasta cheese sauce is full of spices and so easy to make. My sister and I thought this tastes like a paneer pasta dish without the paneer. This dish came together through experiment. Growing up eating traditional food with flavor and a kick makes me want to add spice and level up all types of dishes like in my Cheesy Chole Pasta Indian fusion dish. So if you are looking for a way to up the flavor in your usual pasta, here it is!
Make this quick meal because…
- A quick way to satisfy craving for Indian flavor
- Sneak in some veggies
- Make a comforting meal to dig into
Ingredient Notes And Substitution Ideas
Tandoori masala is key for this dish. I highly recommend getting tandoori masala from an Indian grocery store. At times, I find the Indian blends at stores such as Whole Foods to be inauthentic blends. When buying a tandoori or tikka masala blend, check the ingredients to make sure there aren’t unnecessary colors added to it such as Red 40. I used MDH brand for this recipe.
Small shell pasta is my favorite type of pasta to use but you can use any type. I really enjoy how the cheesy sauce is captured in the shells giving a burst of flavor when you eat it!
Cheese – avoid using cheese that is already shredded. Use either a block that you shred yourself or slices as I did. This is because cheese that is already shredded has added ingredients to prevent clumping and that can at times change the texture of the sauce.
Making it vegan
Although I have not tried it this way yet, I would substitute a can of coconut milk for the evaporated milk and a cup of nutritional yeast in place of the cheese. Note, this is just a suggestion, I have not made it this way so I can’t confirm the amounts and consistency of the sauce it would produce.
Jain friendly pasta
Skip the onion and garlic to make this Jain friendly. You can add in a little asofetida (hing) to add more depth of flavor.
This is an easy meal:
- Finely chop garlic, tomatoes, jalapeno (deseeded) and onions
- Melt butter in pan. Saute onions, garlic, jalapeno and tomatoes.
- Add evaporated milk and cheese.
- Add spices.
- Add in milk to get the right consistency
- Mix in boiled pasta.
Indian macaroni and cheese is ready!
Try it? Leave a review, love to hear feedback! Or tag me on Instagram @some_indian_girl
Tandoori Masala Macaroni and Cheese – Indian Style Pasta
- 1 tbsp butter
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- ⅓ cup onion 35g chopped finely
- 1 roma tomato chopped finely (125g)
- 8 oz cheese slices or shredded 228g (dont use pre-shedded)
- 1 cup evaporated milk 8oz
- 1 jalapeno 34g chopped finely
- 2 tsp tandoori masala
- ½ tsp kashmiri chilli
- ¾ tsp salt taste and adjust to preference
- 2½ cups small shells 10oz / 290g
- 3 tbsp whole milk
- Heat water to boil in pot and add pasta to cook per instructions. Once cooked, drain and set aside.
- Meanwhile, melt butter in pan on medium high. Add onions and garlic. Cooking about two minutes and mixing. Add in tomatoes and jalapenos. Cook two more minutes.
- Add in evaporated milk and cheese, stir until cheese melts. Add in spices/salt and mix. Add in 3 tbsp milk to thin the consistency a little. It will thicken as cools.
- Add cooked pasta to cheese sauce and mix well.
- Prep ingredients by chopping all very finely!
- Make sure to use an authentic tandoori masala spice blend
- Use cheese from a block or cheese slices to avoid the extra anti-caking ingredients that comes in pre-shredded cheese bags
- You can always change the consistency of the cheese sauce by adding milk to make creamier
- When reheating, adding a little water or milk will also help to loosen consistency of the sauce