|Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)|
Mild and hot green chile peppers, jalapeno salsa, and optional cilantro give this cheddar macaroni and cheese a nice kick. Serve this flavorful green chile macaroni and cheese as a side dish or main dish for lunch or dinner. It's delicious with burgers or hot dogs.
- 8 ounces elbow macaroni, 2 cups uncooked
- 6 tablespoons butter, divided
- 4 tablespoons flour
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 2 1/2 cups milk
- 1/2 cup green jalapeno salsa
- 1 can (4 ounces) mild chopped green chile peppers
- 2 to 3 tablespoons finely chopped jalapeno peppers, canned or fresh, optional
- 8 ounces sharp Cheddar cheese, about 2 cups
- Salt, to taste
- 3 to 4 tablespoons chopped cilantro, optional
- 1 cup fresh finely ground breadcrumbs
Heat oven to 350 F (180 C/Gas 4). Grease a 2-quart baking dish.
Cook the macaroni in boiling salted water following package directions. Drain and rinse well.
In a saucepan over medium heat, melt 4 tablespoons of butter. Stir in flour and pepper until well blended and bubbly. Continue cooking for 2 minutes, stirring constantly.
Gradually add the milk to the roux, stirring constantly. Cook until thickened. Stir in salsa, chile peppers, and cheese. Cook, stirring, until cheese is melted. Taste and add salt, as needed.
Combine with the drained macaroni; stir in cilantro, if using. Spoon into the prepared baking dish.
Melt the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter and toss it with the breadcrumbs until the crumbs are thoroughly coated. Sprinkle the buttered bread crumbs over the macaroni and cheese. Sprinkle lightly with paprika.
Bake for 25 minutes, or until lightly browned and bubbly.
Serves 4 to 6.
Tips and Variations
Use a Mexican blend of cheeses instead of the cheddar cheese, or a cheddar jack blend. Taco seasoned cheese would add some spicy flavor as well.
Add finely chopped pimiento or bell pepper for extra color.
Use mini penne pasta, small to medium shells, or similar pasta shapes.
Before adding the bread crumbs, sprinkle the macaroni and cheese with an additional 1/2 to 1 cup of shredded cheese.