Rating: 4.5 stars
4 Ratings
  • 5 star values: 2
  • 4 star values: 2
  • 3 star values: 0
  • 2 star values: 0
  • 1 star values: 0

With an abundance of jalapenos in the garden, I was looking for new ways to use them, and this popper mac 'n cheese is a great one! This recipe is easily adjustable to add more heat or to take it away. The amount of jalapenos used in this recipe will yield a nice, spicy mac 'n cheese without being too over-the-top spicy. The mac 'n cheese itself is rich and creamy. Enjoy!


Recipe Summary

1 hr 5 mins
10 mins
1 hr 40 mins
25 mins
1 1 1/2-quart baking dish


Original recipe yields 8 servings
The ingredient list now reflects the servings specified
Ingredient Checklist
Crumb Topping:


Instructions Checklist
  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease a 1 1/2-quart baking dish.

  • Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Cook elbow macaroni in the boiling water, stirring occasionally, until tender yet firm to the bite, about 8 minutes. Drain and return to pot; set aside.

  • Melt butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Add onion and jalapenos; cook until just softened, 3 to 5 minutes. Add garlic and cook until fragrant, 1 to 2 minutes. Mix in flour, coating vegetables well. Whisk in milk slowly until smooth. Bring to a simmer, whisking constantly until thickened, about 3 minutes. Reduce heat to low.

  • Season sauce with garlic powder, seasoned salt, black pepper, and Worcestershire sauce. Stir in processed cheese and cream cheese until melted and sauce is smooth, about 5 minutes. Season with salt.

  • Pour macaroni into cheese sauce and stir to coat completely. Pour into the prepared baking dish.

  • Place bacon in a large skillet and cook over medium-high heat, turning occasionally, until evenly browned, about 10 minutes. Drain bacon slices on paper towels. Cool briefly.

  • Crumble bacon and mix with panko bread crumbs and Parmesan cheese in a small bowl. Sprinkle evenly over macaroni. Top with jalapeno slices.

  • Bake, uncovered, until browned and bubbly, 30 to 40 minutes. Let cool for 10 minutes before serving.

Cook's Note:

You can also use 2 tablespoons butter plus 2 tablespoons bacon grease instead of 1/4 cup butter, if desired.

Nutrition Facts

333 calories; protein 14.4g; carbohydrates 33.8g; fat 15.5g; cholesterol 44.7mg; sodium 785.6mg. Full Nutrition