Jalapeno Mac and Cheese

Jalapeno Mac and Cheese is a spin on the classic mac and cheese with a little bit of a spicy Southern vibe. In this gluten-free mac and cheese recipe, Phoebe Lapine adds in some jalapenos and scallion to the mix, giving our favorite childhood dish a sophisticated kick.

The first thing you need to do is soften up those jalapenos and scallions into a little butter as it's heating up in the pot. What makes this mac and cheese recipe really thick and creamy is the Bechamel. Although it's traditionally made with regular flour along with the milk and butter, Phoebe uses some white rice flour instead, which is her personal go-to all-purpose flour.

A good idea is to keep adding in some spice to the traditional mac and cheese recipe is to go ahead and put a little Dijon mustard in there to give it a nice little bite. Finally you can add in the gluten-free pasta into your sauce, stir in some mild cheddar cheese (or sharp cheddar if you'd like an even stronger taste) and place the final jalapeno mac and cheese mix into a casserole dish which will go straight into the oven to cook.

You'll be shocked at what a couple of new ingredients will do to a dish you've had so many times. It's always fun to spice up your traditional mac and cheese recipe, especially when you're making it gluten-free, and find a truly amazing dish you won't get tired of.


  • 12 ounces gluten-free elbows (or 16 ounces regular pasta)
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter (plus more for greasing the pan)
  • 1 large jalapeno, halved and thinly sliced
  • 1 quart whole milk
  • 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
  • 16 ounces coarsely grated mild cheddar cheese (about 4 cups)
  • 1 bunch scallions, thinly sliced
  • 3 tablespoons white rice or gluten-free flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
Preheat the oven to 400°F. Butter a large cast-iron skillet, casserole pan, or a 9 × 13-inch baking dish, and set it aside. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the pasta and cook, following the package directions, until 3 minutes shy of al dente. The pasta should still have a bite to it. Drain, and shake out all the water. Meanwhile, In a large pot or Dutch oven, melt the butter. Saute the scallions and jalapenos over medium-high heat until soft, about 5 minutes. Whisk in the flour and cook until it is fully incorporated, 1 minute. Add the warm milk and whisk gently over medium heat until the mixture has bubbled and thickened enough to coat the back of a spoon, about 10 minutes. Stir in the salt, pepper, mustard, and most of the grated cheese, reserving 1/2 cup. Add the pasta and toss to combine. Distribute the mixture evenly in the prepared skillet or baking dish, and sprinkle the remaining cheese over the top. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, until bubbling and browned. If the top is not browned and toasty, stick the pan under the broiler for 1 minute. Serve piping hot. Serves 4
Duration: 03:04. Last Updated On: 2015-07-16

Difficulty: Easy

Nutrition Information

Recipe Serves 4
Nutrition Information Based on a Single Serving
Amount Per Serving% Daily Value*
51.2% Complete
86.1538461538% Complete
55.3333333333% Complete
61.8260869565% Complete
62.7906976744% Complete
16.0% Complete
30.0% Complete
94.1176470588% Complete
*Percent Daily Value are based on a 2000 calorie diet. Your daily value may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

Dietary Needs

Gluten Free
Gluten Free
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