Jalapeno Popper Mac & Cheese
Serves 10/Calories: 968
· 1lb Elbow Macaroni, cooked
· 2 Sticks (1C) Butter, divided
· 1/3C of flour
· 5C of Whole Milk
· 2t Salt
· 2t Garlic powder
· 1/2t Black Pepper
· 3C White Cheddar Cheese, shredded, divided
· 4C Pepper Jack Cheese, shredded, divided
· 8oz cream cheese, cubed
· 1lb bacon, cooked, chopped
· 8 Jalapenos, seeded and finely chopped, plus more for topping
· 1C Panko
1. Heat oven to 375 Degrees with rack in the middle of oven
2. Melt half of the butter in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add flour to melted butter whisking constantly until flour is fully absorbed in butter.
3. Slowly whisk in milk one cup at a time. (the slower you add the milk, the quicker the sauce will thicken.)
4. Once sauce is thick stir in cream cheese along with all grated cheese, reserving 1 cup, until cheese is melted.
5. Add salt, pepper, and garlic powder. Adjust seasoning if needed and add all but 2 tbsp of the bacon and jalapenos and remove from heat.
6. While the sauce is cooking, cook pasta in a large pot according to package instructions, Stir together the cooked macaroni noodles and the sauce then transfer to a 9 x 13 baking dish.
7. In a small skillet melt remaining butter. Remove from heat and toss panko into melted butter.
8. Top with remaining cheese and buttered panko. Bake in the oven until golden and bubbling, 30 – 40 minutes.
9. Once finished…top with sliced jalapenos and reserved bacon. Serve warm.