Jalapeño Baked Mac & Cheese

Put a spicy twist the classic mac & cheese with a pop of jalapeño! An easy baked mac and cheese with sharp cheddar and Monterey jack sauce, kicked up a notch with jalapeño juice and topped with sliced jalapeños and crushed Mrs. Cubbison’s croutons! Oh so cheesy and delicious!

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Servings: 6 | Prep Time: 10 min | Total Time: 50 min


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INGREDIENTS (For the Mac & Cheese):

  • 8 ounces elbow macaroni

  • 4 tablespoons Challenge Butter

  • ¼ cup flour

  • 3 cups milk

  • 2 cups shredded sharp cheddar

  • 1 cup shredded Monterey jack cheese

  • ⅛ teaspoon garlic powder

  • ¼ teaspoon onion powder

  • ⅓ cup chopped pickled jalapeños

  • 2 tablespoons pickled jalapeño juice

INGREDIENTS (For the Topping):

  • 1 ½ cups Mrs. Cubbison’s Garlic and Cheese Croutons

  • 1 tablespoon Challenge Butter, softened

  • ½ fresh jalapeño, very thinly sliced



DIRECTIONS:

  • Preheat the oven to 350°F.  Butter a 9-inch x 13-inch casserole dish.  Cook macaroni according to package directions.  Set aside to cool.

     

  • In a food processor, combine the Mrs. Cubbison’s Croutons and 1 tablespoon softened Challenge Butter.  Pulse, then blend until you achieve small bread crumbs.  Set aside.

     

  • Place a large saucepan over medium heat.  Add the Challenge Butter and whisk until melted.  Add the flour, then whisk and cook for 2 minutes.

  • Slowly add the milk a little at a time, whisking constantly, until fully incorporated.  Bring the milk mixture to a low boil, whisking occasionally.  Remove from the heat and allow to cool for 5 minutes.

     

  • Add the cheddar, Monterey jack, garlic powder, onion powder, pickled jalapeños, and jalapeño juice to the milk mixture and whisk until the cheese melts.

  • Add the cooled macaroni and stir.  Season, as desired, with salt and pepper.

     

  • Pour the macaroni and cheese into the buttered casserole dish and top with the Mrs. Cubbison’s bread crumb topping. Arrange the fresh jalapeño slices on top. 

  • Bake the macaroni and cheese for 35 minutes in the preheated oven. Allow to cool for at least 10 minutes before enjoying.