Not to be too cheesey but… anything is pastable with this Mac n’ Cheese recipe. Jalapenos, bacon and cheddar galore!
½ lb. dried elbow pasta
Precooked bacon bits
¼ cup unsalted butter
¼ cup all-purpose flour
¾ cup whole milk
1 ¼ cups half and half
4 cups grated sharp cheddar cheese
¼ tbsp salt
¼ tbsp black pepper
Dash of paprika
Chives for garnishing
Start by preheating your oven to 375 degrees. Grease a 9×13 baking dish (or your choice of an oven safe dish) and set aside.
Heat a large pot of salted water until you reach a boil. Once boiling, add pasta. Cook 1-2 minutes less than the package directs to keep it al dente. Once cooked, drain and drizzle with oil to prevent noodles from sticking together.
While your pasta is cooking, start your cheese sauce mixture. Melt the butter over medium heat in a large saucepan. Add flour and whisk until combined. Cook for about 1 minute, continually whisking.
Slowly add in about half of your milk and heavy cream mixture. Continue to whisk until smooth. Add the remainder of milk and half and half, whisking until smooth.
Continue cooking over medium heat. Keep whisking frequently and watch as mixture begins to thicken. Once it has reached a very thick consistency, it’s ready for the cheese.
Add in salt, pepper, and paprika with about 1 ½ cups your grated cheese. Stir until combined, then add in another 1 ½ cups of cheese. Stir until completely melted and smooth.
Take your mixture and cooked pasta noodles and combine in a large mixing bowl. Add in your chopped jalapenos and bacon bits (as much as you would like). Mix together.
Add half of your pasta mixture into your prepared oven dish and layer with more grated cheese. Pour over the rest of your pasta mixture, and finish it off with the remainder of your grated cheese.
Bake for 15-20 minutes, until cheese is bubbling and starts to turn a light golden brown.
Carefully remove once cooked and set aside. Add chopped up chives or fresh parsley and enjoy your fresh baked homemade loaded Mac n’ Cheese delight.