Who can resist mac and cheese? We sure can’t, especially when it’s transformed into something a whole heck of a lot spicier. For instance, this spicy jalapeño mac and cheese recipe featuring plenty of pepper jack cheese and chilies. It’s mouth-watering just reading it.
Jalapeño Mac and cheese is delicious as a side (we particularly love it with barbecue of all types). But you might find yourself craving this as a lunch all on its own. This recipe makes plenty and keeps relatively well when refrigerated, so consider making a batch on a weekend for a lunch or two during the week.
Want to turn it up a notch? Consider swapping in serrano chilies to kick up the heat. Serranos can be more than twice as spicy as jalapeños, so you may want to decrease the amount used. Need it milder? Remove one or two of the jalapeños or try using regular jack cheese instead of pepper jack.
Like mac and cheese? You’ll love these recipes too:
- Jalapeño Popper Mac And Cheese: All your favorite popper ingredients in Mac and cheese form.
- Spicy Grilled Mac And Cheese Sandwich: Yes, this is a thing, and it’s glorious.
- Habanero Mac And Cheese: Looking for a more extreme version? Habs bring a more aggressive spiciness to the everyday dish.
Jalapeño Mac and Cheese
- 1 pound macaroni
- 1.5 pounds pepper jack shredded cheese (typically 4 packages if buying pre-shredded)
- 2 cups milk
- 5 jalapeño peppers chopped (remove seeds for less heat)
- 1 white onion chopped
- 1 tablespoon chopped garlic
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 2 tablespoons flour
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit
- Cook the macaroni in boiling water with a pinch of salt until the pasta is al dente. Remove from heat and drain.
- In a medium pan, heat the olive oil and sauté the jalapeño peppers, garlic and onions for 2 to 3 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside.
- In a skillet, heat the butter until melted and add in the flour. Mix to a paste.
- Add in milk very slowly (a few tablespoons at a time) and whisk to combine properly.
- Continue to whisk and heat mixture. Once combined and slightly thickened, add in 2/3 of the cheese and stir.
- Stir in the macaroni and the hot peppers.
- Spray a 9″ x 13″ baking pan with non-stick oil and pour the mixture into the pan.
- Sprinkle the mix with the remaining cheese (optional: also top with jalapeño wheels) and bake for 15 minutes. Look for the cheese on top to turn a golden brown.
- Remove from oven and let the mac and cheese sit for 5 minutes.
Decrease the heat by substituting pepper jack for a mild cheese like white cheddar.