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Creamy Jalapeno Mac & Cheese

Generously flecked with jalapeno peppers, this ooey gooey baked mac and cheese packs a good dose of nice, smoky heat.
Prep Time 25 mins
Cook Time 30 mins
Total Time 55 mins


  • 8 oz. 1/2 pound or roughly 1¾ cups, depending on your pasta medium-size elbow macaroni or other medium tubular pasta like penne
  • 3 tbsp butter
  • ¼ cup all-purpose flour
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ½ tsp dry mustard
  • ¼ tsp black pepper
  • cups milk whole or 2% works
  • 1 cup plus 1/2 cup grated smoked cheddar cheese divided
  • 1 cup plus 1/2 cup medium cheddar cheese divided
  • 2 medium jalapeno peppers stems removed and finely diced (include seeds for spicier chili; leave them out for a milder version)
  • 1 tsp jalapeno Tabasco sauce or more to taste.


  • Boil the pasta until al dente, according to package directions. Drain and rinse with cool water to stop the cooking, drain. Return to the pan you boiled it in and set aside. (Toss in a little butter or olive oil to help keep the noodles from sticking together if it’s going to be awhile before you make the sauce)
  • In a medium saucepan over medium heat, melt the butter.
  • Add the flour, dry mustard, salt, and black pepper. Whisk constantly over medium heat for about three minutes.
  • Continue stirring with the whisk and slowly pour in the milk.
  • Whisk frequently for about 5 minutes, and then constantly for another 5 minutes or so, until the sauce heats and thickens.
  • Remove from heat and stir in 1 cup of the smoked cheddar, 1 cup of the medium cheddar, jalapeno peppers, and Tabasco sauce, stirring until the cheese has melted.
  • Pour the cheese sauce over the pasta and toss gently until coated.
  • Add half the noodles to a two quart casserole dish and sprinkle on half of the remaining cheeses.
  • Add the remaining pastas and sprinkle on the remaining cheese.
  • Bake at 375 degrees Fahrenheit.for about 25-30 minutes or until bubbly and golden brown.