Bacon and Jalapeno Mac and Cheese

I’m crazy about a good mac and cheese, and as I have been making a variety for the past handful of years, I think we all decided that this bacon and jalapeno mac and cheese might just be the winner. Not too long ago I was teaching my boys how to smoke ribs, and as they were finished, well at least for the smoking portion, I decided that we all needed a couple of side dishes to pass along during the rib feast.  I decided to make not only this awesome mac and cheese recipe, but also smashed potatoes as I knew my oldest, and possibly youngest, would not make an attempt at the mac and cheese. You realize I have a picky eater that doesn’t like mac and cheese? Yep, I have one.

Bacon and Jalapeno Mac and Cheese

As I began making the mother sauce for the mac and cheese, that is when I decided that I was going to throw in some jalapeno peppers, and well, plenty of bacon. This was both of a favorite of my wife and myself, and I’m certain that if you love mac and cheese, you will really love this one.

Let’s get started.

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb elbow macaroni, cooked a minute before al dente
  • 3 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 3 tbsp all purpose flour
  • 2 cups of whole milk
  • 1 large jalapeno pepper, seeds removed, diced
  • 1 medium shallot, diced
  • 9 slices of American cheese
  • 1 cup of colby jack cheese, shredded
  • 6 slices of bacon, cooked and crumbled
  • 1/2 tsp cracked black pepper
  • Fork

Start by cooking your pasta, according to the directions, but cook it just before al dente as the sauce will continue cooking the pasta when we add it. Drain and place in a mixing bowl.

Cook your bacon. Towards the end, I lightly softened the diced shallot and jalapeno, just to soften it just a bit. I removed with a slotted spoon before adding it to the mac and cheese.

Next, let’s make the sauce. To a saucepan, add the butter, and bring this to a medium heat, cooking the butter, just before it browns. Add in the flour, and stir with a whisk or wooden spoon to incorporate the flour into the butter. Continue cooking, and as importantly stirring for several minutes to cook out the flour.

Next, slowly add in the milk, and continue to stir, breaking up the flour into the milk. This will take about 10 minutes. Be sure that your sauce has no clumps. Continue stirring until the sauce thickens. This is the start of the sauce.

Once the sauce has thickened, and you will know when it has thickened, add in the American cheese slices, a couple at a time. Continue stirring. Good workout for your arm, right? Add a couple of more cheese slices when the others have melted, and repeat until all of the American cheese is incorporated.

Slowly add in the colby jack cheese, stirring to melt that as well. Go slow otherwise you will notice the cheese will clump up, and well, that is no good.

How to make bacon and jalapeno mac and cheese

Pour the sauce over the pasta. Add in the shallots and jalapeno. Season with a pinch of salt, along with the pepper. Add in the cooked and crumbled bacon, and give that a good stir. Taste, and season with any additional salt and pepper according to your palette.

Now you have a couple of options here. You can bake it off in a 350 degree oven for about 20 minutes, or leave it as is. I left it as it. As I normally bake it off for those crispy edges, I refrained, and were we glad I refrained.

This mac and cheese was dynamite! It was creamy, not spicy, but well balanced with the crispy bacon and the awesome flavor of the jalapeno and shallot. We loved it, and as so much where we simply ate it as the main course the following evening during a busy schedule with the kids.

If you are looking for an awesome, creamy style mac and cheese with a great punch, give this one a shot. It’s sure to please.

Bacon and Jalapeno Mac and Cheese
Author: 
Recipe type: Sides
Cuisine: American
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 6
 
Ingredients
  • 1 lb elbow macaroni, cooked a minute before al dente
  • 3 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 3 tbsp all purpose flour
  • 2 cups of whole milk
  • 1 large jalapeno pepper, seeds removed, diced
  • 1 medium shallot, diced
  • 9 slices of American cheese
  • 1 cup of colby jack cheese, shredded
  • 6 slices of bacon, cooked and crumbled
  • ½ tsp cracked black pepper
  • Fork
Instructions
  1. Start by cooking your pasta, according to the directions, but cook it just before al dente as the sauce will continue cooking the pasta when we add it. Drain and place in a mixing bowl.
  2. Cook your bacon. Towards the end, I lightly softened the diced shallot and jalapeno, just to soften it just a bit. I removed with a slotted spoon before adding it to the mac and cheese.
  3. Next, let's make the sauce. To a saucepan, add the butter, and bring this to a medium heat, cooking the butter, just before it browns. Add in the flour, and stir with a whisk or wooden spoon to incorporate the flour into the butter. Continue cooking, and as importantly stirring for several minutes to cook out the flour.
  4. Next, slowly add in the milk, and continue to stir, breaking up the flour into the milk. This will take about 10 minutes. Be sure that your sauce has no clumps. Continue stirring until the sauce thickens. This is the start of the sauce.
  5. Once the sauce has thickened, and you will know when it has thickened, add in the American cheese slices, a couple at a time. Continue stirring. Good workout for your arm, right? Add a couple of more cheese slices when the others have melted, and repeat until all of the American cheese is incorporated.
  6. Slowly add in the colby jack cheese, stirring to melt that as well. Go slow otherwise you will notice the cheese will clump up, and well, that is no good.
  7. Pour the sauce over the pasta. Add in the shallots and jalapeno. Season with a pinch of salt, along with the pepper. Add in the cooked and crumbled bacon, and give that a good stir. Taste, and season with any additional salt and pepper according to your palette.
  8. Now you have a couple of options here. You can bake it off in a 350 degree oven for about 20 minutes, or leave it as is. I left it as it. As I normally bake it off for those crispy edges, I refrained, and were we glad I refrained.
  9. This mac and cheese was dynamite! It was creamy, not spicy, but well balanced with the crispy bacon and the awesome flavor of the jalapeno and shallot.

 

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Dax Phillips

Thank you for visiting my website. Truly, I do appreciate it. My free time and stress reliever is cooking for my family, friends, and everyone in between. The recipes you find on this site are those that I have either created, been part of, or those that I simply enjoy and have made my own in some shape, form, or other. My focus has always been on comfort food, because at the end of a long work day, you want something comforting. I currently am the father of three children, and married to a wonderful wife of thirteen years. There is nothing fancy with these recipes, just simple, and I will admit, not so simple ingredients, and a simple kitchen corner I can call my own. I learned early on that cooking and bringing family together was very important. After all, this notion of being together at dinner time was instilled early on by my parents. There are many memories of being in the kitchen with my parents, watching them cook, or preparing meals, or those home cooked smells while waiting for dinner. My parents who worked full-time, always had home cooked meals during the week, with the exception of Friday nights where we would enjoy a Wisconsin fish fry, and often on late afternoons on Sunday, where we would order Ann's pizza. I tend to cook by making things up. As a home cook, I think you have to take chances, and add or subtract ingredients that make up a dish, and make them your own. Remember to taste, and taste often. If a dish has potential, try it again, and make it your own. You should also note that I do not count calories, or break down recipes into grams of anything. To me, that's a bit boring. My philosophy is that if the food is good, eat it, and eat it in moderation. Life is just too short not to enjoy good food. Commonly Asked Questions: Can I use your photography/content on my website/blog? Please do not redistribute my photography or recipes without my permission. All of the recipes and photography on this website are my own unless noted, and is subjected to copyright  If you’d like to use a photograph or a recipe, please contact me for permission. Will you review my product/book/site? I am available for recipe development, food photography and/or styling, travel/press events, product reviews, brand promotion/ambassador, and sponsored posts. If you are interested in working with me, or if you have a question/comment regarding a recipe or about my blog, please send me an email.

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