Spicy Jalapeño Macaroni and Cheese
If you like Jalapeño Poppers, Sriracha, Chipotle and all things spicy then this Spicy Jalapeño Macaroni and Cheese is the perfect recipe for you. It’s got heat, smoke, spice, cheesy pasta and crispy fried jalapeños. I made this for my husband’s office potluck, and it was a huge spicy hit. This recipe comes with an excellent basic mac and cheese recipe that you can use anytime you don’t want a spicy mac and cheese. And if you LOVE your own mac and cheese recipe then, by all means, use it, I share the way to do that below.
Once every couple months my husband’s office has a potluck to celebrate everyone’s birthday. I like that SO much better than chipping in to buy a crappy cake every other week. I love it so much I’m never annoyed when he suddenly gasps and says “oh no I have to take a dish for the potluck tomorrow!”
This spicy mac and cheese is the dish I whipped up for the last potluck, and it was certainly a different dish to send in. Usually, potluck dishes are bland, people seem afraid to get spicy. Not me, not anymore!
Mac and Cheese variations
I based this recipe on my Mexican Macaroni and Cheese recipe which I shared a while back. Both of the methods rely on simple additions to my favorite plain old macaroni and cheese recipe. This version leans heavily on a spice arsenal of chipotle chili powder, ancho chili powder, and smoked paprika. Then roasted red peppers and pickled jalapeños are minced and layered in to give it some interest. And finally, you stir in those crispy fried jalapeños, leaving some to sprinkle top, these give the dish some serious texture and a lot of heat.
Use YOUR OWN favorite Mac and Cheese Recipe!
I bet I know what you’re thinking; I love my OWN Mac and Cheese recipe, right?! Now If you have your own mac and cheese recipe that you can’t live without that’s awesome. Just use everything in the recipe except the pasta and cheese sauce ingredients, and you’ll have a dish you’ll make again and again! A nice variation for those spice loving peeps we all seem to have.
- 1 pound elbow macaroni, use any pasta you like though
- 1/4 cup butter
- 1/4 cup flour
- 2 cups milk
- 2 cups grated cheese, use a variety for best results
- 1 tsp chipotle powder
- 1/2 tsp smoked paprika
- 1/2 tsp ancho chili powder
- 2 TBSP roasted red pepper, minced
- 2 TBSP pickled jalapenos, minced
- 1 cup crispy fried jalapenos
- salt, to taste
- pepper, to taste
- 1/4 cup bread cumbs, or cracker crumbs *optional*
- cook macaroni according to package instructions
- meanwhile melt butter over medium heat
- once melted add flour, cook and stir for 3-4 minutes, don't let it burn
- slowly whisk in the milk and keep whisking until it's smooth
- once the sauce is smooth reduce the heat and add the cheese and stir until melted
- stir in the spices, red peppers, pickled jalapenos, 1/2-3/4 cup of the crispy jalapenos, taste for salt and pepper, add as needed
- stir the sauce in to the drained macaroni
- place it in a buttered dish, top remaining crispy fried jalapenos and bake for 10-15 minutes in a 350˚oven
- you can serve this once the sauce is done, just sprinkle the remaining crispy jalapenos over the top