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!
- 350g short-cut pasta (elbow macaroni, etc)
- 2 cups 2% milk*
- 1–2 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
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
*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