This bacon pepper jack skillet mac-n-cheese has red pepper, jalapeno, pepper jack cheese and bacon! So much flavor and it’s all done in one skillet.

So yeah. I should probably apologize for this ditty.

Pepper Jack + Bacon Skillet Mac-n-Cheese www.SimplyScratch.com #bacon

Gooey, spicy pepper jack cheese and salty, smoky bacon toooogetheeeeer. Could these flavors be anymore ridiculously delicious? And there I went, throwing them together in a skillet to make one glorious carbohydrate mess. And by mess… I mean macaroni and cheese HEAVEN.

the goods

So grab your cheese, your bacon and your noodles too {and all that other goodie bits} and indulge yourself in a little naughty pasta.

bacon collage

Bacon. Chop it up into chunks, fry it up in a good-sized skillet and remove it to a plate to drain. Set that off to the side, but not too far where you can’t snag a few to get your snack on.

boil, salt and add pasta collage

Meanwhile the bacon is frying away; bring a pot of water to a rolling boil. Season generously with kosher or sea salt and then drop in 12 ounces of your favorite pasta. I prefer tri-color AND the one with ridges, it really helps the sauce stick to the pasta.

drain

Once the pasta is cooked fully, to al dente, drain and set it off to the side. I do come back to it every now and again, to give it a stir so it doesn’t form a big ol’ pasta blob.

diced

Now just dice up a medium yellow onion, half of a red bell pepper, half a large {or whatever size you prefer} jalapeno that has been seeded, and mince up two cloves of garlic.

add butter to skillet

After you’ve removed the bacon, add a tablespoon of to the bacon fat. Yum.

throw in the onions, peppers and jalapenos

Then to the butter/bacon drippings, throw in the onions, diced peppers and jalapeno. Cook until softened… here is when you should add the garlic and cook for one minute. I forgot… don’t be like me.

a little salt and pepper

Season with a smidgen {because bacon adds it’s only saltiness} of salt and a pinch or two of ground black pepper.

flour, broth and milk collage

Once the veggies are tender, but not overly so {at least that’s my preference} I add in the flour, stir until it gets absorbed and then let it cook for about a minute. Then pour in the chicken broth and whole milk. Stir and let it simmer until it thickens, about 6-8 minutes.

cheese collage

Now you get to add the cheese. Add a 1/4 cup of softened cream cheese, stir until just about melted and then add in the grated 8 ounce block of pepper jack.

pasta in

Once the cheese has melted thoroughly, check for seasoning and then dump in the drained pasta.

top with bacon

Remember all that bacon? Just throw it on top.

Bacon pepper jack skillet mac-n-cheese = YUM!

Pepper Jack + Bacon Skillet Mac-n-Cheese www.SimplyScratch.com #bacon

So let’s just get this straight. Creamy, slightly spicy cheesy mac plus bacon… it’s the ultimate mac-n-cheese. This bacon pepper jack skillet mac-n-cheese even reheats nicely for leftovers. Serve it with a green salad and dinner is served.

Cheese dinner = success.

Enjoy! And if you give this recipe a try, let me know! Snap a photo and tag me on twitter or instagram!

Pepper Jack + Bacon Skillet Mac-n-Cheese - www.SimplyScratch.com #skillet #pasta

My cookbook Simply Scratch : 120 Wholesome Homemade Recipes Made Easy is now available! CLICK HERE for details and THANK YOU in advance!

Bacon and Pepper Jack Skillet Mac-n-Cheese
Yield: 4-6 {servings depending on size}

Bacon and Pepper Jack Skillet Mac-n-Cheese

Spicy pepper jack cheese adds a little kick to your traditional macaroni and cheese, the crispy smoky applewood bacon sends it over the top!

Prep Time 25 minutes
Additional Time 15 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes

Ingredients

  • 12 ounces dried pasta (ones with ridges work best)
  • 6 strips thick cut applewood smoked bacon, chopped
  • 1 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 medium yellow onion, finely diced
  • 1/2 a red bell pepper, finely diced
  • 1 small jalapeno, seeded and minced
  • 2 cloves of fresh garlic, minced {optional}
  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup low-sodium chicken broth
  • 1/2 cup whole milk
  • 1/4 cup softened cream cheese
  • 1 - 8 ounce brick or pepper jack cheese, grated
  • kosher salt, to taste
  • freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Instructions

  1. Start by preheating a large skillet to medium and cooking the chopped bacon until crispy.
  2. Meanwhile, bring a large pot of water to a rolling boil. Once boiling, season generously with kosher or sea salt. Drop in the 12 ounce box of pasta and cook as directed on the package. Once cooked to al dente, drain and set off to the side. I go back and toss the pasta around so it won't clump together.
  3. Once the bacon is fully cooked and crispy, remove to a paper towel lined plate and add the tablespoon of butter to the bacon drippings. Then add in the diced onion, pepper and jalapeno and cook until softened. Next add the minced garlic and cook for one minute.
  4. Add the three tablespoons of flour to the vegetables and cook for one minute. Next pour in the chicken broth and milk. Bring to a simmer and cook until it has thickened. About 6-8 minutes. Add in the 1/4 cup of cream cheese and stir. Once melted add in the grated pepper jack, continue to stir until melted.
  5. Lastly, add in the cooked pasta and toss until the cheesy sauce coats the ins and outs of all the pasta. Sprinkle the skillet mac-n-cheese with the crisp bacon and serve immediately.

[this post contains affiliate links.]