Food

Jalapeño Macaroni and Cheese

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.)

  1. Alison says...

    Hot damn, this was delicious! Will definitely be my go-to mac and cheese recipe from here on out.

  2. I made this for dinner last night after dreaming about it all week…it was SO GOOD. We left out the jalapeno because we weren’t in the mood for spice, but the broccoli was a nice addition. We used gruyere & cheddar. It was creamy, delicious, and so easy to make. Thanks for the recipe!

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  3. Mollg says...

    Made this tonight and it’s delicious!! I’m pregnant and craving spicy foods and cheese so this really hit the spot!

  4. I love mac and cheese. The jaapeno part only makes me want it more. Plus it will make my husband think it is extra special.

  5. Tried this the other night with cheddar jack, DELICIOUS! We will definitely be making this again. We served it as a side to pulled pork sliders. Such a great meal!

  6. I made this for dinner last night after dreaming about it all week…it was SO GOOD. We left out the jalapeno because we weren’t in the mood for spice, but the broccoli was a nice addition. We used gruyere & cheddar. It was creamy, delicious, and so easy to make. Thanks for the recipe!

  7. Immediately after reading this, I ran to the grocery store to buy jalapeños in order to make this dish. It was such a perfect, comforting meal! I used one handful of shredded parmesan and one handful of sharp cheddar along with about 1/4 of a cup of heavy cream. Turned out beautifully.

  8. I made this for dinner tonight and it was perfectly creamy. I did cut half a cup of milk out — I don’t really know why. Still delicious. Loved that there is no oven time to dry my noodles out.

    Using this as my base for macaroni and cheese from now on. Thanks, Stephanie!

  9. Don’t assume your kids wouldn’t enjoy this, too! My daughter is 21 months old and we were shocked to realize she wants hot sauce on everything – just like Daddy. She even pants a little iif she gets a lot in one bite but just drinks some water and tucks right back in. I will def. be offering her someof this mac n cheese when i make it!

  10. This looks scrumptious! I know what you mean about feeling like regular mac & cheese isn’t a real meal (albeit absurdly delicious and comforting). The broccoli and jalapeno really “adults” it up. Can’t wait to try it myself!

  11. My mouth is watering! This looks amazing!

    I think I will try with sharp cheddar!

  12. jm says...

    Can’t wait to try this. Love the addition of broccoli and jalapeno!

  13. What kind of cheese would you recommend using? It looks delicious!

  14. Hi Everyone!

    I used a combination of shredded cheddar and monterey jack.

  15. Sounds like an exceptional meal. Jalapenos are my favorite…this is right up my alley. Thank you for sharing. -Catherine xo

  16. What a great idea.
    I can’t wait to try it out.

  17. Is there a kind of cheese Stephanie recommends? I know some melt better than others or have a better texture once melted. This looks delicious! Thanks for posting!

  18. This looks great. The recipe calls for a “cheese of your choice” but I would like to know what cheese the chef used?

    Thanks Joanna!