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  • Prep
    30 min
  • Total
    1H 15MIN
  • Servings
    6

BACON JALAPEÑO MAC AND CHEESE

Classics never go out of style… but that doesn't mean they don't deserve an update! Spice up your routine with this recipe for bacon and jalapeño mac and cheese. What makes it so good? The creaminess of our Medium Cheddar Cheese paired with the crunch of bacon and spicy peppers.

Ingredients

  • 3 jalapeño peppers
  • 5 mL (1 tsp) canola oil
  • 375 g (12 oz) rotini pasta
  • 60 mL (1/4 cup) butter, divided
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced 
  • 45 mL (3 tbsp) all-purpose flour
  • 750 mL (3 cups) whole milk
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 mL (1/4 tsp) each salt and pepper
  • 1 L (4 cups) Armstrong Medium Cheddar Cheese, shredded
  • 10 slices bacon, cooked crisp and crumbled 
  • 60 mL (1/4 cup) bread crumbs
  • 30 mL (2 tbsp) finely chopped fresh parsley

Directions

  1. Preheat broiler. Brush jalapeños with oil; place on foil-lined baking sheet. Broil, turning occasionally, for about 5 minutes or until tender and lightly charred all over. Let cool completely. Remove seeds; chop peppers and set aside.
  2. Meanwhile, preheat oven to 400˚F (200˚C). Cook pasta according to package directions; drain.
  3. Melt butter in large skillet set over medium heat; reserve half and set aside. Cook onion and garlic in skillet for about 3 minutes or until softened. Stir in flour; cook, stirring, for 2 to 3 minutes or until smooth. 
  4. Slowly whisk in milk. Add bay leaves; bring to boil, whisking constantly. Reduce heat to medium-low; cook, stirring constantly, for about 10 minutes or until thickened slightly. Stir in salt and pepper. Remove from heat. Remove bay leaves.
  5. Stir in 3 cups (750 mL) cheese; stir in reserved pasta, bacon and jalapeños. Transfer to greased 13- x 9-inch (3 L) baking dish. Sprinkle with remaining cheese. Toss bread crumbs with reserved butter; sprinkle over top.  
  6. Bake for about 20 minutes or until golden and bubbly. Sprinkle with parsley. Let stand for 10 minutes before serving. 

Tips: 

  • Serve with a squeeze of lime juice. 
  • Add 1/2 cup (125 mL) thawed frozen corn kernels to mac and cheese before baking. 
  • Substitute pickled jalapeños for roasted jalapeños if desired.

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