Mac and Cheese Jalapeno Poppers

Mac and Cheese Jalapeno Poppers

I was trying to think about the perfect summer app and mac and cheese stuffed jalapeno poppers checked all the boxes! I wanted something handheld with interesting flavors, a little heat, and incorporated things everyone loves.

We all know Rotel is great in queso, so I made the mac and cheese sauce based on my favorite easy queso recipe. The mac and cheese tasted great on it’s own, but paired even better with the jalapeno and bacon

Usually for poppers people cut the jalapenos in half, but the key to really stuffing the peppers with mac and cheese is to cut a wedge out of the pepper. This helps the pepper hold it’s shape while cooking, and also gives you a large cavity to stuff mac and cheese into!

Making the Mac and Cheese

I made a quick and easy mac and cheese. This recipe makes a little extra so you might want to pause and eat a bowl.

making the mac and cheese

I mentioned this was inspired by queso, so I used a queso recipe as the mac and cheese base! It’s literally just evaporated milk, cornstarch, pasta, and cheese. After it comes together, stir in the can of green chilis and tomatoes.

add the tomatoes and green chilis

Cutting the jalapeno perfectly for the mac and cheese to fit inside

As I mentioned up top, the key to the recipe is cutting the jalapeno correctly to make lots of room for mac and cheese. Make two slits on top, then pop the top and scoop out the insides.

prepping the jalapeno

Making the mac and cheese jalapeno poppers

Let the mac and cheese cool first, then stuff as much as you can into each jalapeno! I like to pick the biggest jalapenos I can find so you can really load them up! Sometimes with recipes you want to be cautious not to overfill something, but with these mac and cheese jalapeno poppers there is nothing to worry about.

assemble the mac and cheese jalapeno poppers

Wrap the poppers with bacon

Cut the bacon in half the long way and wrap it around the poppers. Using the half slice helps the balance of flavor in the final popper. Bacon can easily take over! It also lets people see that the filling is mac and cheese before they eat it!

ready for the oven

On the bottom, tuck the ends of the bacon under the wrapped bacon and it will help everything stay secure as it cooks.

Baking the Mac and Cheese Jalapeno Poppers

Preheat the oven to 350 and put the poppers down on a pan with the ends of the bacon tucked in on the bottom to keep everything in place. Bake about 20 minutes until the bacon is crispy and fully cooked!

mac and cheese jalapeno poppers

As the bacon cooks, the fat melts into the mac and cheese and the flavors all really come together.

mac and cheese jalapeno poppers

These poppers are so good! Make plenty cause they will go quick. The heat was balanced because these big jalapenos aren’t quite as spicy, especially when the seeds are removed. The Rotel in the mac and cheese added a wonderful zesty flavor.

mac and cheese jalapeno poppers

Twists on this recipe

You can use any leftover mac and cheese to make these instead of having to start from scratch. You could also do it with a bell pepper or poblano and eat it as a meal! I once made something similar with a poblano pepper and deep fried the whole thing!

If you are looking for more unique jalapeno popper ideas, check out these lobster poppers, spicy tuna poppers, or these chicken skin wrapped buffalo chicken poppers!

Mac and Cheese Jalapeno Poppers

Jalapeno poppers stuffed with a super creamy mac and cheese and wrapped in bacon!
Prep Time20 minutes
Cook Time30 minutes
Total Time50 minutes
Servings: 20 poppers
Calories: 172kcal


  • 2 cups elbow macaroni
  • 12 oz can evaporated milk
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 2 cups grated cheddarjack cheese
  • 1 can Rotel or other diced tomatoes with green chilis
  • 20 jalapenos the largest ones you can find
  • 10 slices bacon


  • Cook the pasta in boiling water according to the package instructions.
  • Whisk the evaporated milk and cornstarch together and add them to a medium pot.
  • Bring to a simmer until you see it thicken and remove from heat.
  • Add the cooked pasta and stir to combine. Add in the cheese and stir to combine. Turn heat on low if needed to help melt the cheese, but if the milk and pasta were still warm you probably won’t need to.
  • Add in the RO*TEL and stir to combine. Allow to cool.
  • Cut the peppers by cutting a triangle wedge out of one side of the pepper. Use a small spoon to scoop out the insides.
  • Fill the peppers with as much mac and cheese as you can.
  • Cut the pieces of bacon in half the long way so you have 20 thin long strips of bacon. Wrap the bacon around the jalapenos, starting opposite from the opening neat the stem. Wrap it so that the bacon passes over the opening 3 times, making sure to tuck the ends of the bacon under the rest of the bacon to help it hold its shape while cooking.
  • Bake at 350 for about 20 minutes until the bacon is cooked.
  • Cool for 5 minutes before serving!


Calories: 172kcal | Carbohydrates: 14g | Protein: 7g | Fat: 10g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 3g | Trans Fat: 0.01g | Cholesterol: 23mg | Sodium: 166mg | Potassium: 148mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 309IU | Vitamin C: 17mg | Calcium: 129mg | Iron: 0.3mg

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