Jalapeño Popper Mac and Cheese

The cheesiest jalapeño popper mac and cheese with extra creamy béchamel sauce, chunks of bacon and a crispy, breadcrumb topping. This is the mac and cheese recipe that dreams are made of. If you love the flavors of jalapeño poppers, you’ll love this Mac and cheese recipe.

Jalapeño Popper Mac and Cheese

Ingredients

If you’re not making your mac and cheese with béchamel sauce, I would strongly suggest you start. The béchamel bakes perfectly creating the creamiest baked mac and cheese. I like to flavor the sauce with a variety of strong cheeses. Mature or sharp cheddar cheese is my go-to.

  • Butter. 
  • Flour. 
  • Milk. 
  • Cream. Heavy/Whipping cream. Half and half can also be used.
  • Cream cheese. 
  • Mozzarella cheese. 
  • Cheddar cheese. Gruyere, Jack cheese, Havarti or Raclette can also be used.
  • Salt and pepper. 
  • Pasta. Use any short pasta shape of your choice. Macaroni, penne, elbow macaroni, shells, etc.
  • Fresh breadcrumbs. Panko or dried can also be used.
  • Dried oregano. 
  • Jalapeños.
  • Bacon. 

How to make jalapeño popper mac and cheese

  1. Make the cheese sauce: Start by making a roux. Melt the butter in a saucepan then stir in the flour. Cook for 2 minutes, stirring, then whisk in the milk and cream. Allow to simmer over low heat, stirring regularly, for  8-10 minutes until the sauce is thick and smooth. Stir in the cheeses and season with salt and pepper. Remove from the heat.
  2. Make the breadcrumb topping: Combine the breadcrumbs with the oregano and season with salt and pepper. Add a small handful of grated cheese.
  3. Assemble: Stir the cooked pasta through the cheese sauce then add the jalapeños and crispy bacon. Transfer to a baking dish then top with the breadcrumbs.
  4. Bake: Place in the oven and allow to bake for 15-20 minutes until golden and bubbling. Remove from the oven and allow to cool for 5 minutes then serve.

Jalapeño Popper Mac and Cheese

Mac and cheese recipes

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  3. Classic baked mac and cheese
Jalapeño Popper Mac and Cheese

Jalapeño Popper Mac and Cheese

The cheesiest jalapeño popper mac and cheese with extra creamy sauce, chunks of bacon and a crispy, breadcrumb topping.
5 from 1 vote
Print Pin Rate
Course: Dinner
Cuisine: American
Keyword: baked mac and cheese, Jalapeño Popper Mac and Cheese, mac and cheese
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes
Calories: 419kcal
Author: Alida Ryder
Servings: 6 - 8

Ingredients

  • ½ cup butter
  • ½ cup flour
  • 1-2 cups milk
  • 1 cup cream
  • ½ cup cream cheese room temperature
  • 1 cup grated mozzarella cheese
  • 1 cup grated cheddar cheese
  • salt and pepper to taste

For the breadcrumbs

  • 1 cup fresh breadcrumbs
  • 2 tsp dried oregano
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ¼ tsp pepper
  • ½ cup grated cheese

For the Mac and cheese

  • 500 g (1lb) cooked pasta
  • 1-2 jalapeños finely chopped
  • 8 strips streaky bacon cooked and roughly chopped

Instructions

  • Melt the butter in a saucepan then stir in the flour.
  • Cook for 2 minutes, stirring, then pour in the milk and cream.
  • Allow to simmer over low heat, stirring regularly, for a 8-10 minutes until the sauce is thick and smooth.
  • Stir in the cheeses and season with salt and pepper.
  •  Combine the breadcrumbs with the oregano and season with salt and pepper. Add a small handful of grated cheese. 
  • Stir the cooked pasta through the cheese sauce then add the jalapeños and crispy bacon. Transfer to a baking dish then top with the breadcrumbs. 
  • Place in the oven and allow to bake for 15-20 minutes until golden and bubbling.
  • Remove from the oven and allow to cool for 5 minutes then serve.

Nutrition

Calories: 419kcal | Carbohydrates: 39g | Protein: 18g | Fat: 21g | Saturated Fat: 8g | Cholesterol: 33mg | Sodium: 626mg | Potassium: 199mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 4g | Vitamin A: 979IU | Vitamin C: 8mg | Calcium: 313mg | Iron: 2mg