This Easy Stovetop Jalapeno Mac and Cheese is a quick fix to your dinner cravings and is for when you’re really tired but want to treat yourself to a bowl of comfort food. Who can say no to some creamy, dreamy, mac and cheese topped with jalapenos? Make extras so you can enjoy the yumminess for a little longer!
Mac and Cheese is the ultimate comfort food. There is nothing better than a big bowl of creamy cheesy pasta and it always manages to beat away the blues.
We weren’t allowed too much packaged food while growing up so I never ate those blue boxes of pasta. And mac and cheese was always made from scratch and while the blue boxes might be nostalgic, homemade mac and cheese tastes way better!
Since I always always love a hit of spice in my food, I love making this jalapeno mac and cheese. It’s not ‘hot’ but has a sharp flavor from the jalapenos which reminds me a little bit of the cheesy center in jalapeno poppers.
3 reasons to make jalapeno mac and cheese at home
- This is a one-pot recipe which means that you don’t need to boil the pasta separately or dirty a ton of dishes
- The flavor from the jalapenos really elevates mac and cheese and adds a nice sharpness and a little bit of heat
- This recipe is cheesy, without being gluggy or overcooked and there is a fair bit of sauciness
Most mac and cheese recipes require to be baked and I love the crunchy, cheese top – I do. But mum always made it this way and trust me, a warm bowl in your hand, your head against the pillow and a movie playing on the laptop. That’s all it takes to wash the tiredness away.
can jalapeno mac and cheese be baked?
Absolutely! Once you finish cooking the mac and cheese, transfer it into a baking dish, sprinkle some breadcrumbs and parmesan on top and broil it (top element only) for 5 minutes till the breadcrumbs are golden brown.
can jalapeno mac and cheese be made in advance?
If making this in advance, reduce the cooking time to 8 minutes so that the macaroni isn’t overcooked. To reheat, add some milk, stir well and simmer till heated through completely. To microwave, stir some milk in and microwave in 1-minute bursts till hot.
The day you try this out, make sure to wear your stretchy pants because I promise there won’t be any leftovers!
- 3 tablespoons Butter
- 4 Jalapenos
- 2½ tablespoons Flour
- 3 cups Milk
- 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
- 1 teaspoon Pepper
- 2 ½ cups Water
- 1½ cups Elbow Macaroni dry or any other small pasta
- 1 cup Cheese – grated I used a mix of Mozzarella and cheddar
- ¾ teaspoon Salt
- Start by deseeding the jalapenos and chopping the jalapenos
- In a large pot, add butter and jalapenos. Saute for 2-3 minutes.
- In the same pan, add the flour. Cook the flour on low flame for a minute. Slowly add milk while whisking it into the flour to make sure there are no lumps. Increase the heat, and keep whisking till the mixture comes to a boil. Lower the flame and cook for 3-4 minutes till the sauce thickens up and it’s consistency is almost like heavy cream.
- Add pepper, Italian seasoning and mix. Add water and macaroni and bring this to a boil. Simmer till the macaroni is cooked through (about 10 minutes), stirring occasionally.
- Add cheese and mix. The cheese will melt in under a minute. Serve hot.
- Pasta: This recipe works well with any pasta that cooks in 10 minutes so spirals, small shells etc all work in this recipe
- Jalapenos: If I’m making this for my family I don’t deseed the jalapenos because we love the heat, but if that’s too much for you make sure to remove the seeds. If you want the flavor to be even milder, use canned jalapenos
- Veggies: You can also add veggies such as mushrooms, broccoli, zucchini, carrots or any other vegetable you like.
- The trick to a creamy sauce is to keep whisking while adding milk to the roux (butter + flour) and making sure there are no lumps.