baked jalapeño popper mac & cheese

Sometimes I am amazed that I even remember to brush my teeth, considering the chaotic state of my mind these days.

I can barely put 2 and 2 together it seems, and I am sure missing having a brain.  I feel kinda like the scarecrow right now, ya know?

Anyways, I had a burst of cooking-energy this afternoon….

But I realized I was afraid to move much beyond things I can make in my (non-existent) sleep.   Which is why I just keep making brownies and mac & cheeses.  I know I can’t mess up if I’m making those!  :o)

This is a super easy mac & cheese…  meaning, no stovetop cooking (except for the noodles) – just some tossing together, pouring and baking in the oven!

One of our all-time favorite mac & cheese recipes is my Buffalo Chicken Mac & Cheese.

I started thinking about what other favorite foods I could turn into mac & cheese and Jalapeño Poppers was the obvious next choice.

I also have a Low-Carb version of this Jalapeño Popper Mac & Cheese, if that’s your thing!  SO so good!

baked jalapeño popper mac & cheese


  • for the topping:
  • 1/2 cup shredded cheddar (or mexican blend)
  • 1 cup finely grated parmesan cheese
  • 1 cup crushed tortilla chips
  • for the mac & cheese:
  • 1 lb penne or other short pasta
  • 2 cups diced pepper jack cheese
  • 1 (8oz) block cream cheese, cubed
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 cups shredded cheddar (or mexican blend)
  • 2-3 large jalapeños, seeded and finely chopped
  • 2 teaspoons flour
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon dry mustard
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 1/2 cups milk


Preheat the oven to 350ºF. Grease a 9x13" baking dish or a 12" cast-iron skillet and set aside.

In a small bowl, stir together the topping ingredients and set aside.

Cook the noodles according to package directions, draining them about a minute before they are done.

Combine the noodles, cheeses, butter & jalapeños, stirring well to melt the cream cheese. Dump this into the prepared baking dish.

In a small bowl, whisk together the rest of the ingredients and pour over the noodles and cheese in the dish.

Sprinkle the topping evenly over the top and bake for 40-50 minutes, until golden & bubbly!

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