Did someone say spicy jalapeño mac 'n cheese grilled cheese? That's right! And with this quick and easy recipe, feel free to use any leftover mac n cheese you have on hand or follow the recipe below for my take on it.
If you're having a hard time imaging how all that mac n cheese doesn't fall out of the sandwich, don't worry, there's a trick...by letting the pasta get cool and firm, the sauce basically creates a cheesy glue which holds everything together.
- For the Mac 'n Cheese:
- 1 1/2 tablespoons butter (divided)
- 1 1/2 tablespoons flour
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 2 cups milk
- 8 ounces Wisconsin cream cheese (cubed)
- 2 cups/8 ounces Wisconsin cheddar cheese (shredded)
- 1/2 tablespoon yellow mustard
- 1/2 tablespoon garlic powder
- Pinch of sugar
- 2 dashes hot sauce (or to taste)
- 1 pound pasta shells (cooked al dente)
- For the Jalapeño Mac 'n Cheese Grilled Cheese:
- 2 slices Sara Lee Artesano Bread
- 2 slices American Cheese
- 2 slices Wisconsin Pepper Jack
- 1/3 cup Mac 'n Cheese
- 1/2 tablespoon pickled jalapeños (chopped)
- 1 pat of salted butter
Note: while there are multiple steps to this recipe, this mac 'n cheese dish is broken down into workable categories to help you better plan for preparation and cooking.
For the Mac 'n Cheese
Gather the ingredients.
Melt 1 1/2 tablespoons butter in large sauté pan over medium heat.
Stir in flour to form roux. Cook until roux is fragrant and light brown.
Whisk in cream and milk, little by little, until bubbles form around sides of pan and mixture begins to thicken.
Add cream cheese and cheddar; stir until smooth.
Add mustard, remaining 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder, sugar, hot sauce and chopped pickled jalapeños.
Mix in cooked pasta shells; cover and set aside. Let cool and refrigerate until firm.
For the Jalapeño Mac 'n Cheese Grilled Cheese
Once the mac 'n cheese is firm, place a slice of American and pepper jack cheese on top of one of the slices of bread.
Add pickled jalapeños and the 1/3 cup of the mac 'n cheese - mushing it all together to be formed more tightly.
Add the other slice of American and pepper jack cheese then put the other piece of bread on top.
Add 1/2 pat of butter to a medium fry pan and place sandwich in, moving it around to sop up all the melted butter.
Grill for a few minutes until the crust becomes golden and the cheese starts to melt.
Flip and repeat until the entire sandwich is warm and gooey on the inside and crispy on the outside.
Let the sandwich sit for a minute before serving.
Serve and enjoy!