This healthy Jalapeno Mac and Cheese is creamy and cheesy on the inside and deliciously crunchy on the outside - with just a hint of heat from the jalapeno.
jalapeno recipes, Mac and Cheese
1lbshort pasta(fusilli, bowties, macaroni, etc)
2 and 1/4tspsaltdivided (1 tsp for the pasta water, 1 tsp for the cheese mixture and 1/4 tsp for the breadcrumbs)
2cupsbreadcrumbs(cheaper if you use leftover bread, but can also use storebought crumbs or panko)
2tbsp + 1/4 cupbutterdivided (2 tbsp for the breadcrumbs and 1/4 cup for the cheese sauce)
2cups milkI used skim
1tbsp ground mustard
1/2 cupplain yogurt
2cupsold cheddar cheeseshredded
1/4 cupParmesan cheese
2-4jalapenosdepending on level of spice
If you're using homemade bread crumbs (and it's definitely cheaper to than using store-bought!) you'll need to turn your bread into crumbs using a food processor.
In a medium sized pot, melt 2 tbsp of butter and add the breadcrumbs and 1/4 tsp salt. Sautee the crumbs until they're nice and dark and toasty. Pour onto a plate. Wipe out the pot to reuse for the sauce.
Meanwhile, bring a large pot of water to a boil (around 16 cups) and add 1 tbsp salt, stirring well to dissolve. This water should taste like salt water from the ocean. Add your pasta and cook until al dente (firm but not crunchy), according to package instructions. Drain well but do not rinse.
While wearing gloves (or a plastic baggie on your hand!) seed jalapenos and cut out ribs. I recommend trying a tiny piece of the jalapeno to see how spicy your specific peppers are - it can vary quite widely. Mine were grown in our garden and I found them quite hot, so I left out the seeds and ribs and only used two. You can adjust according to your own taste.
In your medium sized pot (from the breadcrumb step), melt remaining 1/4 cup of butter. Add 1/4 cup flour and whisk over medium-low heat for around a minute. Start to slowly add milk, a few tablespoons at a time. At first the milk will bind up the butter-flour mixture. Whisk until all the milk is incorporated, then add a few more tablespoons. Continue until you have a liquid mixture. Then you can add the rest of the milk called for.
Add spices, yogurt, cheddar cheese, Parmesan cheese, jalapeno, pepper and 1 tablespoon of salt to the pot with the roux and milk. Add drained pasta and mix well.
Pour pasta and cheese mixture into a medium sized (2.5-3qt) oven-proof dish. Sprinkle generously with toasted breadcrumbs. Bake in 350 degree F oven for 15-20 minutes, until heated through.
Healthy Jalapeno Mac and Cheese
Amount Per Serving
Calories 631Calories from Fat 126
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 14g22%
Saturated Fat 7g35%
Total Carbohydrates 94g31%
Dietary Fiber 4g16%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.