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