I was trying to think about the perfect summer app. I wanted something handheld with interesting flavors, a little heat, and incorporated things everyone loves.
This mac and cheese stuffed jalapeno popper checked all the boxes!
We all know RO*TEL is great in queso, so I made the mac and cheese sauce based on my favorite queso recipe. It 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!
I made a quick and easy mac and cheese and then stirred in the RO*TEL. This recipe makes a little extra so you might want to pause and eat a bowl.
As I mentioned up top, the key to the recipe is cutting the jalapeno correctly to make lots of room for mac and cheese.
Load em up!
Cut the bacon in half the long way and wrap it around the poppers. Using the half slice helps the balance of the final popper, but also lets people see that the filling is mac and cheese before they eat it!
On the bottom, tuck the ends of the bacon under the wrapped bacon and it will help everything stay secure as it cooks.
As the bacon cooks, the fat melts into the mac and cheese and the flavors all really come together. SO GOOD.
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 RO*TEL in the mac and cheese added a wonderful zesty flavor.
Mac and Cheese Jalapeno Poppers
- 2 cups elbow macaroni
- 12 oz can evaporated milk
- 1 tablespoon cornstarch
- 2 cups grated cheddarjack cheese
- 1 can RO*TEL slightly drained
- 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!