Looking for ways to spike your mac & cheese with a kick of heat & flavours? Then try out this Chipotle Jalapeno Mac & Cheese recipe! We absolutely adore adding this little Mexican twist to a classic mac & cheese. Chipotle adds such a tantalising smoky umami and gives an extra oomph of flavour. Simply then top it off with sliced jalapenos, sprinkle some breadcrumbs and more cheese, and bake till golden in colour – this dish is just impossible to not love!
We like to serve this as a side dish to steak night or roast dinner. It goes well with our Spicy Lamb Steak, as well as our Buttermilk Lemon Garlic Roast Chicken. For any leftovers, this Chipotle Japaneo Mac & Cheese is perfect for making Air Fryer Mac & Cheese Balls!
How to make Chipotle Jalapeno Mac & Cheese
- Macaroni Pasta
- Butter, Plain Flour – to make the roux
- Garlic Powder, Paprika, Black Pepper, Salt
- Chipotle Paste
- Evaporated Milk & Whole Milk
- Cheeses – I typically use a blend of Cheddar and Mozzarella
- Panko Breadcrumbs – for baking a golden crispy top
- As per any pasta recipe, it’s key to save the pasta water for later use. Not only does pasta water helps to loosen up the sauce but it also helps to bind the sauce to the pasta and lends a little salty touch of flavour.
- Just like my classic Mac & Cheese recipe, I used evaporated milk in cooking the cheese sauce. This is because using evaporated milk offers creaminess and a full-bodied texture without the high-fat contents of using cream. If you’re not familiar with what evaporated milk is, see below.
Evaporated milk is basically regular milk but without 60% of its water content. This is achieved by heating the milk till the water content evaporates. As a result, evaporated milk has a more concentrated flavour, even slightly caramelised, and is creamier in texture. It is not to be confused with condensed milk as condensed milk is sweetened and mostly used for desserts or as a sweetener in coffees and teas.
Looking for more pasta recipe inspo? Check these out too:
Chipotle Jalapeno Mac & Cheese
- 220 g Macaroni Pasta
- 2 tbsp Butter or Margarine
- 2-3 tbsp Plain Flour
- 300 g Mozzarella + Cheddar shredded
- 1 tsp Garlic Powder
- 1 tsp Smoked Paprika
- 1 tsp Black Pepper plus more to taste
- 1½ tsp Salt plus more to taste
- 2 tbsp Chipotle Paste
- 170 g Evaporated Milk
- 2 cups Whole Milk
- 100 g Jalapenos sliced
- Panko Breadcrumb
- Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Season generously with salt and cook the macaroni pasta according to package instructions. Save about ½-1 cup of pasta water for later use.220 g Macaroni Pasta
- Melt butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Whisk in flour to form a roux.2 tbsp Butter or Margarine, 2-3 tbsp Plain Flour
- Stir in chipotle paste and season with garlic powder and smoked paprika.1 tsp Garlic Powder, 2 tbsp Chipotle Paste, 1 tsp Smoked Paprika
- Whisk in the evaporated milk until the mixture is smooth. Then stir in the remaining milk and season with salt and black pepper.1½ tsp Salt, 170 g Evaporated Milk, 2 cups Whole Milk, 1 tsp Black Pepper
- Mix in the cheeses until melted and a smooth sauce is formed.300 g Mozzarella + Cheddar
- Stir in the reserved pasta water, ¼ cup at a time, to loosen the sauce up. Fold in the cooked macaroni and sliced jalapenos until combined.100 g Jalapenos
- Preheat oven to 200°C. Briefly season the panko breadcrumbs with a pinch of salt & pepper.Panko Breadcrumb
- Transfer the cooked mac & cheese into an ovenproof dish. Top with more cheese and sprinkle with the seasoned panko breadcrumbs.
- Bake in the oven for about 15 minutes until the cheese has melted and is golden in colour. Serve warm.
- Evaporated milk offers a creamier texture and richer flavour than regular milk whilst not being as overly rich as using cream.
- It is important to reserve the pasta water for making the sauce as it helps to loosen the sauce up and prevents the mac & cheese from getting dry.
- Feel free to switch up the ratios of the cheeses or try a different cheese combination. I’d recommend keeping the mature cheddar cheese and playing around with different cheese types and ratios to yield different flavours to your own liking.