If you love creamy, cheesy Macaroni and Cheese, you are going to flip when you taste this spiced up version; Jalapeno Popper Mac and Cheese. Full of indulgent flavors from bacon, jalapenos, cream cheese and sharp cheddar, this macaroni and cheese recipe will instantly become a new fam favorite!
Easy Jalapeno Popper Macaroni and Cheese is pure comfort food, but easy enough you can have it for dinner any night of the week, like these other 30 minute meals. This cheesy pasta recipe is perfect for a simple dinner at home, or whip this up for any dinner party and blow your guests away.
If you are worried about this being too spicy, that really is up to you; you can easily make this bacon jalapeno mac and cheese recipe as hot or mild as your fam prefers, without missing out on all of the flavor.
Jalapeno Mac and Cheese Ingredients
This recipe starts out with the basic recipes as homemade mac and cheese, with a few additions that take it over the top. To make Jalapeno Popper Mac and Cheese you will need the following:
Full ingredient measurements and recipe instructions can be found in the recipe card at the bottom of this post.
Tips and Tricks to Make Jalapeno Mac and Cheese
Let’s walk through the simple steps for making the sauce with some added in tips and tricks so this comes out perfect every time you make it at home.
Step 1: in a large oven safe skillet, like this 12 inch cast iron pan, cook the bacon pieces until they are crispy and golden. This will take 3-5 minutes, depending on the thickness of your bacon.
Remove the bacon from the pan and place on a paper towel lined plate and all but 2 tablespoons of the bacon grease. The grease can easily be removed by soaking up with a paper towel, just be careful of the heat.
Step 2: over medium heat, melt in 3 tablespoons of butter with the bacon grease.
Step 3: add in the diced jalapenos and the whites of the green onion and cook and stir for 1 minute
Step 4: add in the flour and stir with the melted butter and bacon grease until a thick paste is formed in the pan.
Step 5: pour in the milk, stirring frequently until it is well combined with the flour mixture and no lumps remain. Turn down the heat to low and allow the sauce to simmer while you continue stirring until it thickens, as pictured above.
Step 6: add in the cream cheese and stir until it is fully melted and incorporated, this works best if the cream cheese is cut into smaller pieces. Turn off the heat, or remove the pan from the heat and stir in the shredded cheddar cheese until melted and smooth.
Step 7: season the sauce with salt, black pepper and garlic powder and stir to combine. You can taste and adjust the saltiness at this time if you need to. Sometimes the bacon you use can really make it more or less salty.
Step 8: add back in all but about 1/4 cup of the bacon into the cheese sauce.
Step 9: add the pasta to the sauce and stir until it is well coated in the cheesy, bacon, jalapeno sauce.
Step 10: sprinkle additional cheese and bacon on the top of the pasta and place under the broiler in the oven for 1-2 minutes, until the cheese is golden and bubbly on top. Lastly, top with the sliced green parts of the green onion before serving.
How to Store and Reheat Leftovers
If by some crazy chance you have leftovers of this bacon jalapeno mac and cheese, you can store covered or in an air tight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. To reheat, place individual portions in the microwave for 30 second increments, stirring in between until heated thorugh.
This recipe can also be frozen in an air tight container for up to 3 months. To reheat, cover with foil and cook at 375º F for 30-45 minutes, removing the foil for the last 10 minutes of cooking time to allow the cheese to get golden brown on top.
What to Serve With Jalapeno Popper Mac and Cheese
This is definitely a whole meal on its own, but if you need something a little more I would suggest serving this mac and cheese recipe with:
If you are looking for other Family Friendly meals or desserts follow along with me on YouTube or Facebook where I share simple recipes to help you with Feeding Your Fam! Make sure to subscribe so you will be notified each time I post a new video!
⭐️ ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️Tried it and just loved it? Leave me a rating! I would love to hear how it turned out for you! Or even snap a photo and tag me on Instagram @feedingyourfam or #feedingyourfam so I can see what you made!
Jalapeño Popper Mac and Cheese
- ¾ pound bacon cooked and crumbled
- 2 tablespoons bacon grease
- 3 tablespoons butter
- 2-3 jalapeños seeds and ribs removed, diced
- 2 green onions, white part and green separated sliced
- 6 tablespoons flour
- 3 cups milk
- 4 ounces cream cheese
- 1 ½ cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese separated
- ½ teaspoons salt
- ¼ teaspoons black pepper
- 1 teaspoons garlic powder
- 1 pound trottole pasta
- Cook pasta according to package instructions.
- In a large oven safe pan cook bacon until crispy. Remove bacon from the pan and take out all but 2 tablespoons of the bacon grease.
- Melt the butter in the same pan and add in the jalapenos and white part of the green onions, cook and stir for one minute
- Whisk in the flour and stir until a thick paste is formed
- Stir in the milk and continue to stir until the milk thickens, about 2 minutes
- Cut the cream cheese into small pieces and melt into the sauce, stirring constantly until combined
- Turn off the heat and stir in 1 ¼ cup of cheese until melted, season the sauce with salt, black pepper and garlic powder.
- Add in all but ¼ cup of the bacon back into the sauce.
- Add the pasta to the sauce and stir to coat.
- Top the pasta with the remaining bacon and cheese
- Place under the broiler for 1-2 minutes, until the cheese is golden and bubbly. Sprinkle the remaining sliced green onion on top if desired.
- Nutrition facts are just an estimate
- can use all butter if you don’t want to use bacon grease