This football season, we’ve partnered with Taste of the NFL and their favorite tailgating experts to share great game-day recipes for an even greater cause. All season long, these chefs are bringing food and football fanatics together to help defeat one common opponent: hunger. Join these chefs in raising awareness and funds for hunger relief across the country by taking the Kick Hunger Challenge with your favorite football team and making a donation to their local food bank.

Chef Kelly Fields is a partner at the restaurant Willa Jean, located in New Orleans Louisiana. This week, she shares her take on Pimento Mac and Cheese.

Pimento Mac & Cheese


• ½ cup butter, unsalted
• ½ cup all purpose flour
• 4 cups whole milk
• 1 t-smoked paprika
• 1-garlic powder
• 1-t cayenne
• 1-tablespoon onion powder
• 2 T crystals hot sauce
• 1-T Worcestershire
• 6 oz pimentos (peeled and dice)
• 3 cups cheddar cheese
• 4 oz cream cheese
• Salt and pepper to taste
• 1/3 cup of panko crumbs/use robe coupe
• 1 lb elbow macaroni or shells


Heat oven to 400. Heat large pot of salted water for pasta; make sure water comes to a boil before adding pasta. Heat a second pot on med high and add butter. Once butter has melted, Stir in flour and stir constantly until flour taste is gone, about 4 min and roux is blonde in color. If pasta water is boiling add in pasta, cook for 5-6 min or until tender but still firm to bite. Slowly whisk in the milk to your roux and add in seasonings, paprika, mustard powder, garlic powder, onion powder, cayenne and Worcestershire (do not add crystal hot sauce). Once the sauce has thickened add in cream cheese and cheddar cheese. Mix well, until smooth, if sauce is to thick add more milk, make sure milk is hot. Add hot sauce to, the Sauce should be a cake batter texture. Drain pasta and add it to the sauce. Pour mixture into 2-inch hotel pan or casserole dish and Sprinkle with crumb topping and Bake until topping is crisp and sauce is bubbling, about 25 minutes. Let stand 10 minutes.