Home » Savory » 30-Minute Meals » Jalapeno Mac and Cheese

Jalapeno Mac and Cheese

Elevate your mac and cheese game with this easy jalapeno mac and cheese! It’s creamy and cheesy with the most perfect hint of spice!

Back to school season! I always love it, even if it comes too soon and I’m never ready for it. The excitement in the air and all of the new schedules and programs, it’s all so exciting; however, with it usually comes some cooler weather and I will forever mourn the end of summer!

I do have to admit that I look forward to the warm, cozy foods that come with fall. Soups and sweaters, right? Turning on my oven without guilt is definitely appreciated, and let me assure you, this spicy jalapeno mac and cheese is certainly worth turning the oven on for!

It’s got everything you know and love from your usual baked macaroni and cheese, but with a little kick of spice.

jalapeno mac and cheese

What is jalapeno mac and cheese?

If you’ve ever had homemade macaroni and cheese, as in baked in a casserole dish using home-cooked noodles and fresh, shredded cheese, it’s basically that! But with the addition of some spice using fresh jalapenos.

It’s still creamy, cheesy and everything you’d expect from homemade mac and cheese, but a little spicy. You can completely control the spice level, too!

How do you make mac and cheese spicy?

To begin the recipe, gather all of your ingredients together. You’ll need:

  • milk (I use 2% milk)
  • fresh jalapeno peppers, seeded and diced
  • unsalted butter
  • all-purpose flour
  • dried pasta (macaroni, or other short-cut pasta)
  • Monterey jack and cheddar cheese
  • Panko crumbs

1. Preheat the oven to 350 F and grease a 2-quart baking dish with nonstick spray or with softened butter. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and add the dried pasta, cooking until al dente or only slightly chewy. Drain the pasta and rinse it with cool water while you prepare the sauce.

2. While the pasta is cooking, add the milk and sliced jalapeno(s) and bring to a gentle simmer. Remove the pot from heat and let the milk steep for up to 30 minutes. If you want only a mildly spicy dish, strain out the jalapenos after 5 minutes. For a fairly spicy macaroni and cheese, steep the chilis for the full 30 minutes. After straining the jalapenos, set them aside.

3. In a large saucepan, melt the butter, then whisk in the flour for about 1 minute or until a paste is formed. Slowly pour in the reserved milk, whisking continuously until the milk thickens. Add in the half the shredded cheese and whisk to combine, then remove the pan from heat and add in the cooked pasta and reserved chilis.

4. In the prepared pan, add half of the pasta, followed by half of the reserved cheese. Add the remainder of the cheesy noodles followed by the remainder of the shredded cheese. Top the casserole dish with Panko crumbs and place the pan into the oven for 25-30 minutes or until bubbling.

jalapeno mac and cheese

How many people does this baked mac and cheese feed?

This dish makes a great side but it is also a perfect main! If you’re serving it as a side dish, it’ll be good for many servings, up to 10 people. If you’re serving this as a main dish, it’ll be perfect for 4-6 people.

You could serve this dish alongside:

How long does this dish keep for?

In the fridge, in an airtight container, this macaroni will keep as great leftovers for 3-4 days. You could also freeze the dish for up to 2 months and reheat from frozen!

To reheat from frozen, place the (oven-safe) dish in the oven at 350 F for 20-25 minutes, covered with tinfoil.

jalapeno mac and cheese
jalapeno mac and cheese

Some of my other favorite main dishes from the blog:

Print
clock clock iconcutlery cutlery iconflag flag iconfolder folder iconinstagram instagram iconpinterest pinterest iconfacebook facebook iconprint print iconsquares squares iconheart heart iconheart solid heart solid icon
jalapeno mac and cheese

Jalapeno Mac and Cheese


  • Author: Katherine | Love In My Oven
  • Total Time: 50 minutes
  • Yield: 68 servings 1x

Description

Elevate your mac and cheese game with this easy jalapeno mac and cheese! It’s creamy and cheesy with the most perfect hint of spice!


Ingredients

Scale
  • 350g short-cut pasta (elbow macaroni, etc)
  • 2 cups 2% milk*
  • 12 jalapenos, seeded and diced
  • 2 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 1 1/2 tbsp all-purpose flour
  • 125g cheddar cheese, shredded
  • 125g jalapeno Monterey jack cheese, shredded
  • 1/4 cup Panko crumbs

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 F and grease a 2-quart baking dish with nonstick spray or with extra softened butter. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and add the dried pasta, cooking until al dente or only slightly chewy. Drain the pasta and rinse it with cool water while you prepare the sauce.
  2. While the pasta is cooking, add the milk and sliced jalapeno(s) and bring it to a gentle simmer. Remove the pot from heat and let the milk steep for up to 30 minutes. If you want only a mildly spicy dish, strain out the jalapenos after 5 minutes. For a fairly spicy macaroni and cheese, steep the chilis for the full 30 minutes. After straining the jalapenos, set them aside.
  3. In a large saucepan, melt the butter, then whisk in the flour for about 1 minute or until a paste is formed. Slowly pour in the reserved milk, whisking continuously until the milk thickens. Add in the half the shredded cheese and whisk to combine, then remove the pan from heat and add in the cooked pasta and the reserved chilis.
  4. In the prepared pan, add half of the pasta, followed by half of the reserved cheese. Add the remainder of the cheesy noodles followed by the remainder of the shredded cheese. Top the casserole dish with Panko crumbs and place the pan into the oven for 25-30 minutes or until bubbling. Serve immediately!

Leftover casserole can be kept in an airtight container, in the fridge, for 3-4 days or up to 2 months in the freezer. 

Reheating instructions: Place the (oven-safe) frozen casserole dish, covered with foil, in the oven at 350 F and bake for 20-25 minutes or until bubbling.

 

Notes

*I haven’t tried this recipe with a non-dairy milk but you could successfully use non-fat milk or 3.25% milk.

  • Prep Time: 25 minutes
  • Cook Time: 25 minutes
  • Category: casserole
  • Method: oven bake
  • Cuisine: american

Keywords: jalapeno mac and cheese

Recipe Card powered byTasty Recipes
Jalapeno Mac and CheeseJalapeno Mac and Cheese

3 Comments

  1. This looks so amazing, Katherine – all the most incredible flavors! It would be perfect to share at a potluck or for a simple game day meal!

  2. Totally drooling over this, Katherine! Love the addition of the jalapenos!

  3. Those jalapenos is a nice addition to mac and cheese, I love when a dish have that extra kick on it like this one

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.

Recipe rating

*

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.