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Jalapeno Popper Mac and Cheese

Jalapeno Popper Mac and Cheese


I absolutely love melding the delightful flavors of Mexico with traditional American comfort foods. Who doesn’t enjoy a warm, scrumptious bowl of savory macaroni and cheese made from scratch?


  • 12 slices bacon, cooked and coarsely chopped
  • 1 pound Cellentani (corkscrew) pasta
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 2  fresh jalapenos, 1 diced and 1 sliced (garnish)
  • 3 tablespoons flour
  • 1 tablespoon corn starch
  • 1 + 1/2 cups heavy cream (same as heavy whipping cream)
  • 1 + 1/2 cups whole milk
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 4 ounces cream cheese
  • 1 pound cheddar cheese, shredded


  1. In a large pot of very salted boiling water, cook Cellentani pasta according to package directions until 2 minutes before al dente – this is very important! The pasta will be almost done but still firm. Drain water completely. Set cooked pasta aside.
  2. Adjust your oven rack to the center of the oven. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  3. In a wide cast-iron skillet, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the diced jalapeno and saute for 1-2 minutes. Add flour and cornstarch. Continuously stir for 1-2 minutes until flour mixture is lightly golden brown.
  4. Add heavy cream and whole milk. Whisk to incorporate. Allow mixture to simmer for 3 minutes so it can thicken up nicely.
  5. Add the cream cheese, salt and pepper. Stir, stir, stir until cream cheese has completely melted, then quickly whisk the cheese sauce until it’s thick, smooth and creamy.
  6. Add 3/4 of the shredded cheddar cheese to the skillet, then immediately remove the pan from heat. Stir, stir, stir until the cheddar cheese is melted and completely incorporated.
  7. Add the cooked pasta, the remainder of the cheddar cheese, and half of the cooked bacon pieces to the skillet. Gently fold these ingredients into the cheese sauce until everything is fully combined.
  8. Transfer the cast-iron skillet to the oven and bake for 15-16 minutes. Remove promptly.
  9. Immediately garnish Jalapeno Popper Mac and Cheese with the remainder of the cooked bacon pieces and the sliced jalapeno. Serve warm. Enjoy!
  • Prep Time: 30 minutes
  • Cook Time: 15 minutes
  • Category: Lunch, Snack, Dinner
  • Method: Stovetop, Oven
  • Cuisine: American

Keywords: macaroni and cheese, jalapeno macaroni, homemade macaroni and cheese