If you’re looking for comfort food with a twist, this slow cooker jalapeno mac and cheese recipe is the perfect dish to try. It’s made from scratch with ingredients you can actually pronounce and easily find at the grocery store. Trust us when we say this may become a new family favorite!
Why this recipe works
Most people are used to the store-bought, boxed macaroni, and cheese. While it can be quick and tasty, it’s not always the healthiest. With this crockpot jalapeno mac and cheese recipe, you’re making everything from scratch with minimal ingredients and just as much flavor. Along, with the bacon, this tastes like a jalapeno popper!
In addition to it being a better-for-you option, the prep time is minimal, and the cooking time is reasonable. This means you can start this meal just a couple of hours before you’re set to eat. It also pairs well with many main course options (more about that later).
- Macaroni noodles – elbow macaroni pasta is the best noodle choice for this recipe.
- Jalapeño – a must to make it jalapeno mac and cheese (and give it a bit of a kick).
- Cheese – five kinds of cheese come together for a creamy goodness cheese sauce (cream cheese, mozzarella cheese, provolone cheese, swiss cheese, and white cheddar cheese).
- Cream and butter – heavy cream and butter help create the cheese mixture.
- Bacon – adds a slightly meaty taste and overall balanced flavor.
- Other – mayo, egg and salt
Step One – Cook the pasta to al dente. Drain and add to the slow cooker.
Step Two – Add (melted) butter, the cheeses, and (whisked) egg, salt, and stir.
Step Three – Sprinkle bacon and jalapeno pepper on top of the mixture.
Step Four – Stir and cook on HIGH for 2 hours. (You’ll need to gently stir a couple of times throughout the cooking time.)
- Poblano peppers – These provide a much milder spice than jalapeno peppers.
- Mild – If you want to go completely mild in spice, substitute jalapeno peppers for green bell pepper.
- Fire-roasted green chiles – Typically used in sauces and Mexican dishes, the flavors of these peppers provide a charred and lightly sweet flavor. These can be purchased in the can.
- Pepper jack cheese – Trade out the different cheeses for this cheese that offer a hint of spice and cheesy flavors.
As with most pasta dishes, you can always play around with the different noodles used. Cavatappi and penne are two that would look good in this dish. Do not use egg noodles; they will fall apart.
When slicing your peppers, remove the seeds as they hold a lot of the spice.
It’s more economical to use only one type of cheese instead of four. If you use only one type, choose the white cheddar cheese or use sharp cheddar cheese.
Transfer the leftovers into an airtight container and store them in the refrigerator for up to 4 days. Reheat the stovetop over medium-low heat. You may need to add a splash of milk to prevent burning and help with melting the cheese.
Jalapeno Mac and Cheese Recipe
- 16 oz. box elbow macaroni
- 1/2 cup salted butter melted
- 1/2 cup mayo
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 4 oz cream cheese
- 1 egg whisked
- 1 cup shredded white cheddar cheese
- 1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
- 1 cup shredded provolone cheese
- 1/2 cup shredded swiss cheese
- 3/4 tsp. salt
- 3 jalapenos seeded and chopped
- 1/2 cup cooked chopped bacon
- Cook and drain the elbow pasta al dente; you will want to undercook your pasta slightly.
- Add pasta to the crockpot.
- Stir in melted butter, mayo, heavy cream, cream cheese, and whisked egg.
- Add all of the cheese and stir to combine.
- Next, add the jalapenos and bacon. Depending on spice preference, seed the jalapenos first. We prefer to keep the seeds from one jalapeno to give it a slight kick and let the flavor of the jalapenos shine through. Set aside a small amount of jalapenos for garnish. Stir well.
- Cover and cook on HIGH for 2 hours. Stir the pasta twice during this cooking time, once at the hour mark and then and the 1.5 hour mark. Be gentle when you stir.
- Garnish with jalapeno slices and enjoy!
Nutrition info is auto-generated. This information is an estimate; if you are on a special diet, please use your own calculations.