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top down shot of mac in a skillet with a spoon in the skillet

Jalapeño Mac and Cheese

5 from 6 votes
Created by Mariam E.
A delicious twist to traditional Mac and Cheese. This Jalapeño Mac and Cheese is creamy, spicy and makes a super delicious meal.
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 15 mins
Total Time 25 mins
Course Pasta
Cuisine American
Servings 6 servings


  • 8 oz. large elbow pasta uncooked
  • 3 tbsps. butter
  • 3 tbsps. all purpose flour
  • 2 cups white cheddar cheese shredded, or Jalapeno white Cheddar for more spice
  • 1 cup mozzarella cheese shredded
  • 3 cups whole milk or 2 cups milk, 1 cup pasta water for lower calories
  • 4 oz. cream cheese low fat
  • tsp. onion powder
  • 4 cloves garlic minced
  • ¾ tsp. black pepper
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 2 large jalapeños one diced with seeds off, one sliced


  • 1 cup panko bread crumbs
  • 1 tbsps. butter


  • Preheat oven at 375 F.
  • Cook pasta al dente according to package direction. About 6-7 minutes.
  • In a large skillet over medium-low heat, melt 1 tbsp. of butter and add in the panko crumbs. Mix the crumbs with the butter and continue mixing over medium low heat until the crumb are "lightly" golden brown in color. Remove from skillet and set aside on a plate or bowl. Clean the skillet with a paper towel to remove any leftover crumbs.
  • In the same skillet over medium heat, melt 3 tbsps. of butter and add in the garlic and diced jalapeno to sauté for a minute or two. Then add in the flour and whisk well with the butter to obtain a nice smooth pasty texture.
  • Pour in the milk and continue whisking for a minute until any lumps of flour are completely gone. Add in the salt, black pepper and onion powder and cream cheese. Mix well to combine.
  • Reduce the heat to medium-low and allow the mixture to thicken up a little while you continue to mix slowly for a couple of minutes.
  • Add in the white cheddar cheese, mozzarella cheese and mix to combine well until the cheese melts completely and sauce thickens up. Pour in the pasta, sliced jalapenos and mix to coat well with the cheese sauce.
  • Pour the pasta into a baking dish or keep in the same skillet if skillet is oven proof to make it a one pot dish.
  • Top the pasta with the breadcrumbs mix and bake in the oven for 20 minutes. Remove from the oven and allow to cool for a couple of minutes before serving. Garnish with some freshy chopped parsley and sliced/ diced jalapeno peppers.


Serving: 1g | Calories: 587kcal | Carbohydrates: 51g | Protein: 28g | Fat: 30g | Saturated Fat: 18g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 90mg | Sodium: 931mg | Potassium: 414mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 9g | Vitamin A: 1005IU | Vitamin C: 6mg | Calcium: 607mg | Iron: 2mg
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