Jalapeno Popper Mac and Cheese
Quick and easy jalapeno popper mac and cheese recipe- A 30 minute weeknight meal loaded with cream cheese, cheddar cheese and requires one pot.
This jalapeno popper mac and cheese is rich, creamy, cheesy and the ultimate comfort food. It’s a simple meal for school nights that kids and adults would both LOVE!
How to make jalapeno popper mac and cheese?
- Saute onions, ginger, garlic, jalapenos in some butter and oil.
- Add heavy cream, broth, uncooked pasta, salt, pepper.
- Bring to a boil and lower heat and let it cook until pasta is cooked.
- Mix in cream cheese and cheddar cheese until fully melted.
- Garnish with more jalapenos.
Flavor variations for one pot jalapeno popper macaroni and cheese:
- Spicy Jalapeno Pasta– Make it even spicier by adding more jalapenos and leaving the seeds and also adding some red chili flakes.
- Smoked Jalapeno Popper Mac and Cheese– Add a little liquid smoke for bit of smoky flavor or you can use a smoker too (I haven’t tried the smoker yet).
- Jalapeno Popper Mac and Cheese Bites– Scoop portions of cooked pasta into the cavities of a muffin pan. Top with breadcrumbs and shredded cheese and bake until cheese has fully melted.
- Baked Jalapeno Popper Mac and Cheese– Place the cooked pasta in a casserole dish and top it off with breadcrumbs, Mexican seasoning (optional), parmesan cheese, cheddar cheese and broil in the oven until top is crispy and cheese has fully melted.
- Bacon Jalapeno Popper Mac and Cheese- Mix in or top off prepared pasta with 1/2 cup cooked bacon bits.
Tips for creamy jalapeno mac and cheese:
- Butter can be replaced with oil but I highly recommend it because it adds flavor to the recipe.
- Deseed the jalapenos if you don’t want the pasta to be too spicy.
- If the pasta is too dry, add more broth.
- Add more or less cheddar cheese, based on your preference.
- Use full fat cheeses for maximum creamy flavor and texture.
- Use fresh jalapenos rather than pickled/bottled jalapenos for best classic flavor.
- Use low sodium broth to prevent the jalapeno popper pasta from becoming too salty.
- You can make jalapeno mac and cheese with Velveeta by adding 1/4 cup of that to make it even more creamy. I, personally, don’t like the smell of Velveeta and don’t like using it.
Other Easy Mexican Dinner Recipes:
- Jalapeno Popper Stuffed Mushrooms
- Jalapeno Pineapple Rice
- Jalapeno Popper Stuffed Chicken Breast
- Jalapeno Avocado Pasta
- Jalapeno Garlic Mashed Potatoes Recipe
- Jalapeno Beef
- Jalapeno Chicken
- Honey Glazed Carrots with Jalapenos
Jalapeno Popper Mac and Cheese
- 1 tbsp Oil
- 2 tbsp Butter, Unsalted
- 1/4 cup Onions, Finely chopped
- 1 tsp Ginger
- 1.5 tbsp Garlic
- 3-4 Jalapenos, Roughly chopped, Can be deseeded to reduce spice
- 2 cups Vegetable broth, Or chicken broth, Low sodium
- 1 cup Heavy cream
- 2 cups Ditalini pasta, Or mini shells Or elbow macaroni
- Salt, To taste
- Pepper, To taste
- 6 oz Cream cheese, Full fat
- 1 1/3 cups Cheddar cheese, Full fat
- Heat oil and butter in a large nonstick pot over medium high heat and saute onions until golden brown.
- Add ginger, garlic, jalapenos and saute until fragrant (About 1-2 minutes).
- Add broth, heavy cream, salt, pepper and mix.
- Bring to a boil. Then lower the heat to medium and let everything cook until liquid is reduced and pasta is cooked, stirring occasionally.
- Add cream cheese, cheddar cheese and mix until cheese is fully melted.
- Garnish with finely chopped jalapenos and enjoy!
- Read all my tips above.
- Tastes best when served fresh but leftovers can be stored in a sealed container for up to 2 days.
Until next time, tata my lovelies!