Spicy pepper jack cheese adds a little kick to your traditional macaroni and cheese, the crispy smoky applewood bacon sends it over the top!
Course Mains & Entrees
Keyword bacon, jalapenos, macaroni, macaroni and cheese, pepper jack cheese
Prep Time 25mins
Additional Time 15mins
Total Time 40mins
Author Laurie McNamara
12ouncesdried pastaones with ridges work best
6slicesthick-cut applewood smoked baconchopped
1mediumyellow onionfinely diced
1/2red bell pepperfinely diced
1smalljalapenoseeded and minced
3tablespoonsunbleached all-purpose flour
3/4cuplow-sodium chicken broth
8ouncespepper jack cheesegrated
kosher saltto taste
freshly ground black pepperto taste
Start by preheating a large skillet to medium and cooking the chopped bacon until crispy.
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.
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.
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.
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.