one pot jalapeno popper mac and cheese

a favorite appetizer turned easy weeknight dinner in this one pot jalapeno popper mac and cheese

easy one pot jalapeno popper mac and cheese

My kids could not be more different when it comes to food. Stella is definitely the more fussy of the two, and her list of will-eat foods is quite small. Lasagna is her all time favorite. Of course, it is Charlie’s least favorite meal of all time. She also really loves stuffed baked potatoes. Again Charlie is not a fan.  Most nights there is at least one person complaining about the dinner on the table.

easy one pot jalapeno popper mac and cheese

Breakfast for dinner is one they both love, especially if it’s chicken and pancakes, and then there is mac and cheese. Everyone loves mac and cheese. Charlie has actually renamed meatless monday mac and cheese monday, and even when I load it up with veggies there is not a complaint to be heard at the table.

Ian and I love things spicy, and recently the kids learned they like it spicy too, so I always have a jar or two of jalapenos and pepperoncinis in the pantry or fridge. We’ve even planted several pepper plants in the garden this year.

One of my spicy favorites has got to be the jalapeno popper; Ian and I used to order them all the time. I’ve even made them at home a few times, but the kids have not yet experienced the popper. That was until this week’s mac and cheese Monday.

easy one pot jalapeno popper mac and cheese

one pot jalapeno popper mac and cheese

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb elbow macaroni (or other small shaped pasta)
  • 5 cups milk
  • 8 ounces cream cheese
  • 8 ounces cheddar cheese, shredded
  • 8 ounces monterey jack cheese, shredded
  • 1/2 cup jalapenos, diced
  • 1/2 cup panko
  • cooking spray

Directions:

  • in a large ovenproof pot or dutch oven combine the pasta and milk
  • cook over medium heat, stirring often to prevent pasta from sticking
  • bring to a boil, continue to cook and stir until the sauce has thickened and the pasta is tender (4-5 minutes)
  • off heat stir in the cheeses and jalapenos
  • preheat the broiler
  • top with panko and spray with cooking spray
  • broil just until the top begins to brown (about 1 minute)
  • serve with extra jalapenos
       

I started with my one pot mac and cheese, added a few different types of cheese in place of all cheddar, and then of course the jalapenos. I added 1/2 cup inside the mac and cheese, and then served extras for topping. I love spice so probably would have added a whole cup, but for the kids I didn’t want it to be too hot. You could even sub pepper jack for the monterey jack.

My kids love a crunchy topping on their mac and cheese so I added 1/2 cup panko and then just broiled the pot for a minute, but you could just as easily leave it off. The mac and cheese would still be delicious.

If you like a bit of spice, this is the mac and cheese for you.

enjoy!

easy one pot jalapeno popper mac and cheese

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