Choosing between ordering in a Hawaiian pizza or making mac and cheese on a lazy night is a difficult decision, so I found a way to have both. Seeking inspiration from Hawaiian pizza and the spicy mac and cheeses I've found throughout the South, this gooey, Havarti mac and cheese– complete with pineapple chunks and a creamy kick– will surprise and please everyone.

Spicy Hawaiian Mac and Cheese

  • Prep Time:30 mins
  • Cook Time:30 mins
  • Total Time:1 hr
  • Servings:8
  • Easy


  • 8 oz grated havarti cheese
  • 4 oz grated pepper jack cheese
  • 2 cups diced pineapple
  • 4 oz pancetta diced
  • 20 oz box pasta
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 2 cups milk
  • Italian bread crumbs
  • Salt and pepper to taste
coffee, tea
Prairie Broughton
  • Step 1

    Start the pasta. While the water is boiling, grate the cheeses and dice the pineapple.

    breadfruit, sweet, pineapple, vegetable
    Caroline Liu
  • Step 2

    Brown the pancetta in a small frying pan over medium heat. Rotate with a spatula periodically over the course of five to ten minutes to ensure even cooking. When the pancetta is crisp on the outside and visibly browned, remove from the oil and set aside.

    beans, bacon
    Prairie Broughton
  • Step 3

    As the pasta is cooking, make the béchamel sauce. First, melt the butter in a medium sauce pan over low heat. Once melted, add the flour, then slowly whisk in the milk until the béchamel sauce is visibly thickened.

    dairy product, milk, egg
    Prairie Broughton
  • Step 4

    Add the cheese to the béchamel sauce by the handful, stirring until the cheese is melted and the sauce is smooth.

    white sauce, batter, cream, egg
    Prairie Broughton
  • Step 5

    Set the oven to 350°F. Pour the cheese sauce over the cooked pasta, then stir in the browned pancetta and diced pineapple.

    cream, milk
    Prairie Broughton
  • Step 6

    Move to a large casserole dish, then coat in more cheese and breadcrumbs. Bake for about 10 minutes, then broil until the bread crumbs are toasted (time will vary by oven).

    wheat, cereal
    Prairie Broughton
  • Step 7

    Serve and enjoy!

    macaroni, cheese
    Prairie Broughton

This spicy, Hawaiian mac and cheese is a proven barbecue hit and summer essential. Pair it with  tomato and avocado salad and a pineapple mojito for the ultimate summer meal. And if you're still hungry? Add bacon mac and cheese to the menu, or head to these 9 spots that make the best mac and cheese in NOLA