Baked jalapeno popper macaroni & cheese is made in just 30 minutes with a creamy pepperjack cheese sauce, sliced jalapeños, and crispy breadcrumb topping.
This baked macaroni pasta thing is LIFE I tell ya. So much yum, so much delish, so much WOW this tastes so amazing I want to eat it for the rest of my life packed into one dish I can hardly stand it. The process is so simple, yet each step is crucial to creating the best macaroni and cheese of your dreams. So here’s how it goes…
First you boil your macaroni, drain, and set it aside. Easy stuff. Next whip up the cheesiest, creamiest, most finger-lickin’ combination of butter, milk, cream cheese and pepperjack cheese sauce your pasta loving self could ever wish for. Stir in your noodles and jalapeños and pile all of that wonderful stuff in a casserole dish and sprinkle more pepperjack cheese over the top. Because this is macaroni and CHEESE people. Live it up.
The last thing you have to do is toast your breadcrumbs with a bit of butter and Italian seasoning, sprinkle that crispy goodness on top of the pasta, and into the oven it goes for about 10-15 minutes. This is everything you love about jalapeno poppers meets everything you love about cheesy pasta in the best casserole-ish way possible. We ate this for three days straight and cried when the last of it was gone because this baked jalapeno popper macaroni and cheese is straight up heaven my friends.
- 12 ounces macaroni pasta
- 3 tablespoons butter
- 4 tablespoons flour
- 2 cups half & half (or milk)
- 1 12-ounce can evaporated milk
- 1 tablespoon corn starch
- 2 teaspoons dijon mustard
- 1 teaspoon dried Italian seasoning blend
- salt and pepper to taste (I used about 2/4 teaspoon salt and ¼ teaspoon pepper)
- 4 ounces cream cheese, softened
- 2 cups shredded pepperjack cheese, divided
- ½ cup sliced jalapeños (see note)
- ⅔ cup panko style breadcrumbs
- ½ teaspoon Italian seasoning
- 2 tablespoons butter
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees and lightly grease a large casserole or baking dish. Next, Cook macaroni pasta according to package's instructions. Drain and set aside.
- I a large pan or skillet melt the 3 tablespoons butter. Stir in flour. Slowly and gradually whisk in milk until a sauce forms. Stir corn starch into evaporated milk until dissolved, then add to pan and whisk to combine.
- Add dijon mustard, Italian seasoning, salt and pepper, cream cheese, and 1½ cups pepperjack cheese and stir until cheeses are melted and combined with the sauce.
- Stir noodles and jalapeños into the sauce. Transfer to prepared casserole/baking dish. Sprinkle remaining pepperjack cheese over the top.
- Next make the topping. In a pan on the stove, melt butter. Add breadcrumbs and Italian seasoning and stir over medium-high heat until breadcrumbs begin to brown. Sprinkle over pasta.
- Bake, uncovered, for about 10-15 minutes. Allow to cool slightly and serve.