Jalapeño Macaroni and Cheese

Jalapeno Macaroni and Cheese

The Spruce


Prep: 15 mins
Cook: 35 mins
Total: 50 mins
Servings: 4 servings
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
1143 Calories
75g Fat
70g Carbs
48g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 4
Amount per serving
Calories 1143
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 75g 96%
Saturated Fat 45g 225%
Cholesterol 206mg 69%
Sodium 1364mg 59%
Total Carbohydrate 70g 25%
Dietary Fiber 4g 14%
Total Sugars 7g
Protein 48g
Vitamin C 34mg 172%
Calcium 1022mg 79%
Iron 5mg 25%
Potassium 411mg 9%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

This delicious jalapeño macaroni and cheese takes the classic macaroni and cheese casserole to a new level. The recipe calls for some Boursin cheese, but it may be omitted or replaced with about 3 to 4 ounces of cream cheese. Or add some extra cheddar or cheddar jack cheese to the sauce.

Use only half of a can of chopped jalapeño peppers if you'd like a milder mac and cheese, or use mild green chiles or a combination to replace the jalapeños. Finely minced fresh jalapeños may be used as well. For more heat, add some pepper jack cheese along with the cheddar!

Feel free to change it up with a different pasta shape. Ditalini, shells, or mini penne pasta would work well, too. 


  • Cooking spray

  • 8 ounces elbow macaroni

  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided

  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour

  • 1 1/2 cups half-and-half (or whole milk)

  • 1 (5-ounce) package Boursin cheese (garlic and herbs, pepper, or roasted pepper flavor)

  • 2 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese

  • 1 (4-ounce) can jalapeño peppers, coarsely chopped

  • Kosher salt, to taste

  • Freshly ground black pepper, to taste

  • 1 cup fresh fine breadcrumbs

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Jalapeño Macaroni and Cheese Recipe ingredients
    The Spruce
  2. Grease a 2-quart baking dish.

    baking dish
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  3. Heat oven to 350 F/180 C/Gas 4. 

  4. Cook the pasta in boiling salted water following package directions. Drain and rinse; set aside.

    cooked pasts in colander
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  5. In a medium saucepan over medium-low heat, melt 4 tablespoons of butter. Add the flour and cook for about 2 minutes, stirring constantly. ​

    melted butter and flour in pot
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  6. Gradually add the milk, or half-and-half, and Boursin cheese. Cook, stirring, until hot and thickened.

    milk, or half-and-half, and Boursin cheese added to pot
    The Spruce
  7. Add the cheese and peppers. Continue cooking until the cheese has melted, stirring constantly. Add salt and pepper, to taste. If necessary, thin slightly with extra milk.

    cheese and peppers added to pot
    The Spruce
  8. Combine the sauce with the pasta and stir to blend. Spoon into prepared baking dish.

    Jalapeño Macaroni and Cheese in baking pan
    The Spruce
  9. Melt the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter.

    melted butter in pot
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  10. Toss melted butter and bread crumbs together until the crumbs are thoroughly coated; sprinkle over the casserole.

    bread crumbs on casserole
    The Spruce
  11. Bake in the preheated oven for about 25 minutes, or until bubbly and lightly browned.

    Jalapeño Macaroni and Cheese
    The Spruce
  12. Scoop the mac and cheese onto serving plates or bowls and enjoy!


  • Jalapeño peppers are relatively mild when compared with other hot chile peppers, but the heat intensity can vary somewhat. Add as much or as little as you like, or substitute milder chiles for all or part of the jalapeños.
  • When working with fresh jalapeño peppers, wear gloves and don't touch or rub your eyes. Remove the stem end and slice a pepper in half lengthwise. With a spoon or melon baller, scrape out the seeds and lighter colored pith and ribs. Mince the peppers finely and use in the recipe.
  • Put your stale bread in the food processor and make fine or coarse breadcrumbs. Freeze the crumbs in bags—labeled with name and date—and you'll have breadcrumbs whenever you need them.

Recipe Variations

  • Use shredded pepper jack or a Mexican blend of cheeses instead of the cheddar cheese.
  • To substitute for the Boursin cheese, combine 4 ounces of softened cream cheese with 2 tablespoons of softened butter. Season with a dash of salt and pepper, 1/2 teaspoon of garlic powder, and 1 teaspoon of chopped fresh herbs—or 1/2 teaspoon of dried herbs—if desired.
  • Instead of elbows, use ditalini, mini penne, cavatappi, or another kind of small tubular pasta.