Bacon Jalapeño Mac and Cheese

Spice up your mac and cheese game with this flavorful Bacon Jalapeño Mac and Cheese recipe. Easy to make, packed with flavor!

bacon jalapeno mac cheese

I love spicy food. I also like gourmet Mac & Cheese dishes. So why wouldn’t I like this Bacon Jalapeño Mac and Cheese recipe?

What I really like about this recipe is that you can easily control the heat by modifying the number of jalapeños you add. Want less spicy, fewer jalapeños. Want more heat, add more jalapeños! That simple.

bacon jalapeno mac cheese

This Mac & Cheese is packed with flavor and a sidekick of heat! If you don’t like spicy food, you can completely omit the jalapeños. I’ve never made it without the jalapeños but I’m sure it would turn out great. Only thing is you will be missing out for sure!

Tips

  • While you can pretty much use any brand of cream cheese, I highly recommend you use Philadelphia brand cream cheese. You will taste the difference.

If you’ve ever wondered what part of the pig Bacon comes from check out the picture below. Surprised?

Pork Cuts Diagram
bacon jalapeno mac cheese

If you struggle to make bacon perfectly, I’ve put together a short tutorial on How to Make Perfect Bacon – 3 Ways. Check it out! My preferred method is baking it in the oven.

Bacon Grease Tip

And don’t throw away that bacon grease! Bacon is expensive and the grease is great for making Scrambled Eggs, Grilled Cheese, Popcorn and even hash browns. It can keep up to 3 months if properly stored in the refrigerator.

bacon jalapeno mac cheese

For more of my great Macaroni & Cheese recipes, make sure you check out my collection of Gourmet Mac & Cheese Recipes. Some of my favorites are my Mexican Taco Mac & Cheese, my Easy Baked Mac and Cheese, my Low and Slow Mac & Cheese and my Whiskey Macaroni and Cheese.

pepper icon

How to Handle Hot Peppers

  • The capsaicin in hot peppers is what makes peppers hot. If you handle hot peppers gloveless, it’s a guarantee that you’re in for a nasty case of chili burn, both on your fingers and anywhere you rub. Like your face. Ouch!
  • Even if you wear disposable gloves, be careful about what you touch. The gloves are going to protect your fingers, but touching any part of your body with the gloves after you’ve handled hot peppers can lead to severe chili burn.
  • Resist the temptation to rub your eyes. Wait until you’ve removed your gloves and washed your hands thoroughly with soap.

The Scoville Scale is the measurement that tells you the spiciness of a given type of pepper.

Pepper TypeScoville Rating (Heat)
Bell Pepper0-0
Banana Pepper0-500
Poblano Pepper1000-1500
Jalapeño Pepper2500-8000
Serrano Peppers10,000-25,000
Manzano Pepper12,000-30,000
Tabasco & Cayenne30,000-50,000
Habanero Pepper100,000-300,000
Ghost Pepper855,000-1,000,000
Carolina Reaper1,500,000-2,300,000
bacon jalapeno mac cheese

When making Mac and Cheese, it’s important to cook the pasta al dente to ensure the best texture possible. If you are not familiar with the term “al dente”, it means cooking the pasta so it’s still chewy and form and that it will hold its shape when the sauce is added to it.

You will need the following ingredients to make this Bacon Jalapeño Mac and Cheese recipe. For ingredient amounts please refer to the printable recipe card at the bottom of this post.

  • Vegetable Oil – You can also use Olive Oil or Canola Oil
  • Yellow Onion – Sweet Brown Onion would also work
  • Jalapeños – Make sure you get all the seeds out. Nobody wants seeds in their Mac & Cheese
  • Garlic Cloves – Adjust quantity to taste
  • Macaroni – You can use whatever kind of macaroni you want for this recipe
  • Milk – I use Fat-Free milk
  • Cream Cheese – I prefer to use Philadelphia brand cream cheese (no affiliation)
  • Sharp Cheddar Cheese – You can substitute for mild or medium cheddar cheese
  • Bacon – Save time and use pre-cooked bacon
  • Soda Crackers – You can use panko breadcrumbs instead of crackers
  • Salt & Pepper – to taste
  1. Place oil, onion, jalapeños, and garlic into a large skillet and sauté over medium heat until the onions are translucent and fragrant.
    diced onions and jalapeño in a skillet
  2. Meanwhile, bring a pot of generously salted water to a boil. Add your macaroni noodles and cook until al dente. Drain and set aside.
    macaroni in boiling water
  3. Place the milk and cheese into the skillet and whisk until the cheese has melted approximately 10 minutes.
    cheese mixture in skillet
  4. Season with salt and pepper.
  5. Mix your macaroni noodles into your sauce until well combined.
    mac and cheese mixture in a skillet
  6. Add the crushed crackers and bacon pieces on top. Bake uncovered for 20 minutes.
    mac and cheese ready to be baked

Printable Recipe Card

bacon jalapeno mac cheese

Bacon Jalapeño Mac and Cheese

Spice up your mac and cheese game with this flavorful Bacon Jalapeño Mac and Cheese recipe. Easy to make, packed with flavor!
5 from 4 votes
Prep Time30 minutes
Cook Time20 minutes
Total Time50 minutes
Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Servings 8
Calories 440 kcal

Equipment

  • Skillet
  • Saucepan
  • Baking Dish

Ingredients
 

  • 1 Tbsp Vegetable Oil
  • ½ Cup Yellow Onion, diced
  • 1 Fresh Jalapeño, seeded & diced
  • 2 Garlic Cloves, minced
  • 16 oz Elbow Macaroni
  • 2 Cups Milk
  • 8 oz Cream Cheese, softened
  • 8 oz Sharp Cheddar Cheese, shredded
  • 1 Pkg Bacon, cooked and diced
  • 1 Sleeve Soda Crackers, finely crushed
  • Salt and Pepper, to taste

Instructions
 

  • Place oil, onion, jalapeños, and garlic into a large skillet and sauté over medium heat until the onions are translucent and fragrant.
  • Preheat the oven to 350°F.
  • Meanwhile, bring a pot of generously salted water to a boil. Add your macaroni noodles and cook until al dente. Drain and set aside.
  • Place the milk and cheese into the skillet and whisk until the cheese has melted, approximately 10 minutes.
  • Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  • Mix your macaroni noodles into your sauce until well combined. Add half of the bacon.
  • Add the crushed crackers and the remaining bacon pieces on top. Bake uncovered for 20 minutes.

Notes

→ I recommend wearing disposable gloves when cutting hot peppers. Avoid touching your face.

Nutrition

Calories: 440kcalCarbohydrates: 49gProtein: 18gFat: 18gSaturated Fat: 11gCholesterol: 51mgSodium: 341mgPotassium: 319mgFiber: 2gSugar: 6gVitamin A: 560IUVitamin C: 3.1mgCalcium: 331mgIron: 1mg

Nutritional information provided for this recipe is based on 1 serving. This information is an estimate and may vary based on several factors. If nutritional information is important to you and your diet, please verify this recipe with a Registered Dietitian.

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2 Comments

  1. Russ Frame says:

    Changed it up a bit by using 1 Carolina Reaper and 1 White Ghost pepper on a tripple batch and rottili pasta. Also did a 1/3 heavy cream 2/3 milk. and my own blend of seasoning. This is for a church diner LOL.

  2. Ken says:

    My family loved this Mac and cheese.