A quick and easy macaroni and cheese dish that gets its spiciness from jalapenos and green chilies.
I love macaroni and cheese. There's no two ways about it. Two of my favorite foods are pasta and cheese so macaroni and cheese is a no brainer for me.
While I'm fine having the boxed mac and cheese for a side dish if I'm having macaroni and cheese as my main entree it had better be from scratch. I have several recipes for it on my blog already but there's always room for one more and when it has jalapeno popper in the title you know it's going to be full of spicy flavor.
On this blog you will find recipes for Roasted Vegetable Mac and Cheese, Gnocchi Mac and Cheese, Butternut Squash Mac and Cheese, and several others. I like them all for different reasons and for different occasions. I think it's important to have a stove top recipe, a baked recipe, and even a skillet version.
The Jalapeno Popper Mac and Cheese is made on the stove top but I think it's important to mention that it is easily heated up in the stove if you choose to make it ahead of time. I actually made it during J's nap time and put it in the refrigerator. Then when we were ready for dinner I added a little additional milk and put it in the oven to bake.
I like this version because it definitely wakes your mouth up from the spice but it isn't overly spicy. There are pickled jalapenos and canned green chilies both of which add heat but aren't too hot. If you want yours spicier go ahead and add fresh jalapenos to the mix.
The cheese sauce is made with a base of milk and cream cheese which makes it extra creamy. Then I mixed in the sour cream and shredded pepper jack cheese. Mixed in with the macaroni noodles this is not one of those dishes that is dripping in sauce. It has enough to give you all the flavors but it isn't excessive like some recipes.
The end dish is really tasty. Spicy peppers flavor the creamy cheese sauce and stick to the pasta noodles. While this version doesn't have any meat in it you could certainly add in crumbled bacon or spicy chorizo. Either would be a great addition and would lend to a more entree type mac and cheese.
Pro Tips and Substitutions:
- For extra spice add 2 chopped jalapenos that have been seeded.
- If you want your version a little milder you can add cheddar cheese to the sauce instead of pepper jack.
- You can add a topping of breadcrumbs, butter, and Parmesan cheese to the top and bake it all in the oven at 350 for 10 minutes to get a nice crunchy topping on your mac and cheese.
- 10 oz. macaroni noodles
- 1 T. olive oil
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- ⅔ c. milk
- 4 oz. cream cheese
- ½ c. sour cream
- 1 t. salt
- 1 t. black pepper
- 1 can (4 oz) pickled jalapenos, chopped
- 1 can (4 oz) green chilies, diced
- 4 oz. pepper jack cheese, shredded
- 2 oz. cheddar cheese, shredded
- Cook the pasta according to the package directions. Drain and keep warm.
- Meanwhile, heat the olive oil in a large saute pan over medium heat. Add the garlic and saute for one minute.
- Add the milk, cream cheese, sour cream, salt, and pepper. Stir until the cream cheese has melted, about 3 minutes.
- Stir in the jalapenos and green chilies and mix until well combined. Remove from heat.
- Add the drained pasta and the shredded cheeses to the skillet and mix until well combined and the cheeses have melted.
- Serve immediately.
Recipe adapted from Fresh April Flours
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Amount Per Serving: Calories: 325Total Fat: 22gSaturated Fat: 12gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 8gCholesterol: 58mgSodium: 643mgCarbohydrates: 20gFiber: 1gSugar: 2gProtein: 12g
Magnificent Mac and Cheese
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