Cheesy, Spicy, and Oh So Nicey: The Smoky Jalapeno Mac and Cheese Recipe You Never Knew You Needed!

Mac and cheese has always been a favorite comfort food of mine, but I wanted to take it up a notch by adding some smoky and spicy flavors. That’s how I came up with this Smoky Jalapeno Mac and Cheese recipe.

I’ll admit, it took me a few tries to get the recipe just right. My first attempt was a bit too bland, so I added more cheese and spices to give it that extra kick. The smoky flavor comes from the addition of smoked paprika, which adds a delicious depth to the dish. And of course, the diced jalapeno peppers provide that perfect amount of heat that I crave in my food.

One of my favorite memories of eating mac and cheese goes back to when I was a kid. My mom used to make a version that had crispy breadcrumbs on top, which added a delicious crunch to the dish. I’ve since tried adding breadcrumbs to this recipe, but I find that I prefer it without. But that’s the beauty of mac and cheese – there are so many ways to make it your own.

I hope you enjoy this Smoky Jalapeno Mac and Cheese recipe as much as I do. It’s the perfect comfort food for any occasion, and it’s sure to please even the pickiest of eaters. Just be warned – it’s hard to resist going back for seconds!

Life is uncertain, but mac and cheese is always a good idea.

The Ingredients

  • 1 cup elbow macaroni
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup whole milk
  • 1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 jalapeno pepper, diced (seeds and membrane removed for less heat)
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Note: These ingredients should provide enough food for one serving. If making this recipe for more than one person, be sure to adjust the quantities accordingly.

The Directions

  1. Preheat your oven to 375°F.
  2. Cook the elbow macaroni according to package instructions until al dente, then drain and set aside.
  3. In a small saucepan over medium heat, melt the butter. Once melted, whisk in the flour and continue to whisk for 1-2 minutes, until the mixture starts to turn golden in color.
  4. Slowly pour in the milk, whisking constantly to prevent lumps from forming. Continue whisking until the mixture starts to thicken, about 2-3 minutes.
  5. Add the shredded cheddar cheese, smoked paprika, and garlic powder to the saucepan, stirring until the cheese is melted and the mixture is smooth.
  6. Stir in the diced jalapeno pepper and season the mixture with salt and pepper to taste.
  7. Add the cooked macaroni to the cheese sauce and stir until everything is well combined.
  8. Transfer the mac and cheese mixture to an oven-safe baking dish.
  9. Bake for 10-15 minutes, or until the top is golden brown and the cheese is bubbly.
  10. Remove from the oven and let cool for a few minutes before serving. Enjoy!

Note: If you prefer a more browned and crispy top, you can broil the mac and cheese for the last 1-2 minutes of baking time. Just be sure to keep a close eye on it to prevent burning.

In a world full of chaos, there’s always mac and cheese.