Macaroni and cheese is the king of comfort foods, but sometimes it can feel more like a kids’ dish and less like a proper meal. But spicy jalapeño mac and cheese is just for adults, and Stephanie from I Am A Food Blog and Easy Gourmet shares her killer recipe…

Jalapeño Mac and Cheese
By Stephanie of I Am A Food Blog and Easy Gourmet

Mac and cheese is one of my favorite things to serve at a dinner party. It never fails to bring a smile to my guests. The best part is, it’s completely casual, making it easy to enjoy the company of friends instead of spending time worrying about a finicky entree. I like it when everyone’s chatting in the kitchen while I whip up a quick batch.

It’s fun to have different toppings that people can mix in as they wish (bacon, sausage, salsa, peas, spinach) but sometimes I just make the executive decision ahead of time. This jalapeño broccoli mac and cheese is super addictive. Broccoli and cheese go together hand-in-hand and the jalapeño adds just a hint of spice!

Jalapeño Mac and Cheese

You’ll need:

2 cups macaroni or small pasta of choice
1 1/2 cups broccoli florets
3 tablespoons butter
1/4 cup flour
2 1/2 cups milk
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
2 cups grated cheese of choice (I use a combo of cheddar and monterey jack)
1 diced jalapeño, or to taste

Boil your macaroni until al dente, according to the package directions. When there’s 30 seconds to a minute left on the cooking time, add the broccoli to the boiling water. Once the macaroni is finished and the broccoli turns bright green, drain, rinse with cold water and set aside until your sauce is finished.

In a large sauté pan or skillet, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the flour and stir constantly for about three minutes, until completely smooth and incorporated. Pour in one cup of the milk in a thin stream while whisking. It will start out lumpy, but keep whisking and it will smooth out into a thick paste. Add the rest of the milk and whisk until smooth. Keep on medium heat, stirring occasionally, for about 10 minutes, until the sauce thickens. Remove from the heat and add the salt and pepper, diced jalapeños and cheese. Stir until cheese is melted. Add the drained pasta and broccoli and gently mix. Taste and adjust seasonings if needed. Enjoy hot.

Thank you so much, Stephanie!

P.S. More best recipes, including a lazy egg sandwich and grown-up grilled cheese.

(Photos and recipe by Stephanie Le. Thanks to Caroline Donofrio for helping with this series.)