Spicy Mac and Cheese

by Erin

This spicy mac and cheese is the perfect side dish all year long, from cold weather comfort food to backyard cookouts.

Spicy Mac and Cheese

Jump to recipe

I am always on the hunt for different variations of macaroni and cheese. Why? Because the possibilities are endless!

I’ve actually considered joining the cheese of the month club just so I could try all different kinds of cheese mixed together with pasta and maybe a few other players. I am still considering it…

Homemade Spicy Mac and Cheese

What we have here is a great recipe adapted slightly from Everyday Annie. Creamy cheeses with a little kick and topped with a crunch! You can control the spiciness by adding more or less chopped jalapenos, or leave in some of the seeds for extra heat.

If you are on team heat, then you might also enjoy my jalapeno popper mac & cheese, Cajun mac and cheese, and Mexican mac and cheese.

Baked Spicy Mac and Cheese

Spicy Mac and Cheese


Yield: 8-12 servings Prep Time: Cooking Time:
Nutrition facts: 200 calories 20 grams fat


  • 4 cups (16 oz.) preferred pasta shape
  • 1/3 cup onion, finely chopped
  • 1/3 cup roasted red peppers
  • 1-2 jalapeno pepper, seeded and finely minced
  • 6-1/2 Tbsp unsalted butter, divided
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2-1/2 cups whole milk
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp ground black pepper
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1/4 tsp onion powder
  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder
  • 8 oz. pepper jack cheese, shredded
  • 4 oz. colby jack cheese, shredded
  • 4 oz. sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
  • 1/2 cup Panko bread crumbs


  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Grease a 2-quart casserole dish; set aside.
  2. Bring a large pot of water to boil. When the water boils, cook the pasta according to the package directions. Drain and set aside.
  3. In the meantime, in a small skillet over medium-high heat, melt 1/2 tablespoon of butter in a small skillet over medium-high heat. Add the onion, red pepper, and jalapeno and cook, stirring occasionally until fragrant and tender, about 5-7 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside.
  4. In a large saucepan over medium-high heat, melt 4 tablespoons of butter. Whisk in the flour and cook, whisking constantly, until it turns a light golden brown color and begins to foam, about 2 minutes.
  5. Slowly add the milk while whisking until well blended. Cook the mixture, whisking frequently, until it begins to bubble and thicken, about 5 minutes. Reduce the heat to medium-low. Add the spices and cheese and whisk until completely melted and well incorporated. Remove the mixture from the heat.
  6. Add pasta and cooked vegetables to the cheese sauce, and fold until well blended. Transfer the mixture to the prepared casserole dish.
  7. Place the Panko bread crumbs in a small bowl. Melt the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter and toss with the bread crumbs. Sprinkle the crumb mixture in an even layer on top of the pasta.
  8. Bake for 25 minutes, or until the mixture is heated through and the topping is golden brown*. Let stand 5-10 minutes before serving.


*You can also broil for 2-3 minutes at the end to acquire the golden brown topping.

Did You Make This Recipe?
I want to see! Tag me on Instagram at @TheSpiffyCookie and hashtag it #TheSpiffyCookie.

Source: Adapted slightly from Everyday Annie.

Did you make this recipe? I want to see! Tag @THESPIFFYCOOKIE on Instagram and hashtag it #THESPIFFYCOOKIE

Post updated 7/13/22, photo above is the original.

You may also like

Leave a Comment

* By using this form you consent to the storing of your message attached to the e-mail address you've used. (Data will not be shared with any 3rd-parties)

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

This website uses cookies to improve your experience. Accept Read More