Dinner is served with a creamy macaroni and cheese that has a light kick! This homemade dish lets you switch up a perfect comfort food dish so dinner isn’t dull. It can be as spicy as you want to make it, and it is perfect for dinner any day of the week.
Original recipe posted: January 2012 | Recipe update: October 2019
Macaroni & cheese and spicy foods are two of my all-time favorite food loves. There is no better comfort food on the planet than mac & cheese, in my opinion. What makes it even better is that there are so many different ways to prepare it. It is versatile comfort food at its best! It is one of the very first things that bonded my husband and I when we were dating. Together we would create a spicy dish in my kitchen and eat it, with a summertime margarita in hand, while sitting outside on my patio. Ahh, those were the days.
When I was asked to create a macaroni & cheese recipe for the Macaroni & Cheese Blog, I knew I wanted to incorporate a bit of spice into the recipe. I absolutely love how this recipe turned out. It can be as spicy as you want to make it, and it is deliciously creamy.
HOW TO PREPARE THE PERFECT MACARONI AND CHEESE WITH A KICK
The perfect mac and cheese recipe that uses fresh jalapenos to give it an over the edge flavor!
Cook 16 ounces of large elbow macaroni 3 minutes short of package directions for an al dente pasta. Rinse and set aside.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Spray a 2-quart baking dish with cooking spray and set aside.
In a large skillet, prepare the roux by melting 4 tablespoons of butter over medium heat. Add in the flour, whisk the butter and flour together.
To make the cheese sauce, add the whole milk, salt, pepper, cayenne pepper, cream cheese, sour cream, diced green chile and finely diced jalapeno. Stir until thickened, 5-7 minutes.
Add shredded provolone cheese. Stir until the cheese is melted.
Add the cooked macaroni to the skillet and stir until combined.
Pour the mixture into the prepared baking dish.
Top with the Monterey Jack or Pepper Jack cheese.
Bake in the preheated oven for 25-30 minutes, or until cheese is lightly browned.
Heat 3 tablespoons of olive oil in a medium skillet over medium heat. Add 4 white bread slices (crusts removed and torn into small pieces) and toss until lightly toasted.
Sprinkle toasted bread pieces over the baked macaroni and cheese. Put back into oven and bake for an additional 10 minutes, or until the bread crumbs are golden brown.
Add in an additional 2 teaspoons of hot sauce like Sriracha for a more complex flavor and cranking the heat level up a notch!
WHAT TO SERVE WITH MAC AND CHEESE
A perfect Pot Roast made in the Instant Pot is a great way to enjoy this side dish.
When you’re preparing your Thanksgiving menu, this Instant Pot Turkey Breast is wonderful with the best comfort food, macaroni and cheese.
HOW TO PREP THE SPICY MACARONI AND CHEESE IN ADVANCE
You can prepare the noodles and cheese sauce, then let it cool to room temperature. Place a piece of saran wrap over the casserole dish and place it in the fridge until you are ready to bake the next day!
WHAT IS A ROUX
A roux is a simple way to mix flour and fat, like butter, together until it’s smooth and creamy and added to thicken a sauce. It’s often used in creating mac and cheese or in soups and gravies.
MORE DELICIOUS MACARONI AND CHEESE RECIPES:
Cauliflower Mac and Cheese – Healthify Mac and Cheese by adding cauliflower! Kids won’t suspect a thing and you’ll secretly be adding nutrition to a favorite comfort food. Cauliflower Mac and Cheese is sneaky, but also a perfectly delicious side dish or main dish.
Instant Pot Mac and Cheese Instant Pot Mac and Cheese is a dream come true! Let your pressure cooker create perfectly cooked and creamy pasta that both kids and adults will love. Done in 20 minutes, this side OR main dish cooks absolutely perfectly every single time!
Chili Mac and Cheese – The marriage of two of the most comforting comfort foods of all time! This Chili Macaroni and Cheese Recipe combo is a great dinner and a delicious way to use up leftover Chili in a one-pan recipe.
THE BEST COMFORTING SIDE DISH RECIPES
Here are a few of my other favorite comforting side dish recipes that you need to add to your rotation ASAP!
Roasted Sweet Potatoes – Roasted Sweet Potatoes are an easy and delicious side for any meal! They taste better than regular French fries and are a great healthy lunch, snack or side dish. Whole30 compliant, too.
Green Bean Casserole– Throw just a few ingredients into your slow cooker to make your next Green Bean Casserole. Let your crock pot do the heavy lifting so you can focus on other favorite holiday recipes. This is a great Thanksgiving or any-time side dish!
Baked Potato Casserole – This Savory Baked Potato Casserole is packed with Artichokes and Sun-Dried Tomatoes and it’s so easy and versatile to prepare. Cheesiness and vegetables mixed in with large chunks of red potatoes equal so much flavor! Don’t forget – you can swap out the tomatoes and artichokes with bacon and chives. Or olives and ham! This casserole is great as a main or side dish.
Cauliflower Fried Rice – Cauliflower Fried Rice is a healthy version of the classic Chinese take-out favorite. Serve as a side with any meal and no one will know cauliflower is involved! This tasty little side dish is done in less than 30 minutes and is packed with flavor. Tastes great solo with a splash of soy sauce or as a side dish to any meal.
Smashed Potatoes – The marriage between Baked Potatoes and Mashed Potatoes: SMASHED Potatoes! Deliciously different and the perfect side dish for any meal!
Creamy Hashbrown Potatoes – CREAMY HASHBROWN POTATOES is just four ingredients, one dish, one hour in the oven and you end up with a rich dish to serve. This gets you to potato heaven! Enjoy a creamy, buttery casserole as the perfect comforting side dish for any meal!
I hope you enjoy this as much as I did!
If you make this recipe, be sure to snap a photo and tag it @pipandebby + hashtag it #PIPANDEBBY I’d love to see what you create!