Creamy Jalapeno Mac and Cheese

  • Level: Easy
  • Total: 30 min
  • Active: 15 min
  • Yield: 8 servings
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Kosher salt

1 pound elbow macaroni 

1 stick (8 tablespoons) unsalted butter 

1/3 cup panko breadcrumbs 

1 1/2 cups half-and-half 

1/2 teaspoon ground mustard 

1/2 teaspoon garlic powder 

3 cups shredded sharp Cheddar

8 ounces processed cheese such as Velveeta, cut into 1/2-inch pieces 

1/3 cup chopped pickled jalapenos 

2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro 


  1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Cook the macaroni according to the package directions; drain.
  2. Meanwhile, melt 2 tablespoons of the butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add the panko and cook, stirring constantly, until golden brown, about 4 minutes. Transfer to a bowl.
  3. Combine the half-and-half, mustard, garlic powder and remaining 6 tablespoons butter in the saucepan and bring to a bare simmer over medium-high heat. Add the Cheddar and processed cheese and stir until smooth. Stir in the macaroni and jalapenos and season with salt. Transfer to a serving bowl and sprinkle with the panko and cilantro.
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