Pepper Jack Mac & Cheese (Secret Recipe Club)

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creamy pepper jack macaroni and cheese

I’ve been a little obsessed with pepper jack cheese lately. After basically forgetting that it even existed for a long time, I’ve gone through three bricks of it in about a month. What can I say? It’s delicious on burgers, in grilled cheese, and in eggs. It turns out that it’s also the key to a fantastically creamy, comforting macaroni and cheese with just the slightest bit of extra oomph.

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This recipe for pepper jack mac and cheese comes from Nicole at Colie’s Kitchen. I was paired up with her for this month’s Secret Recipe Club. It’s been a while since I’ve done a secret recipe club post, so if you don’t remember what it’s all about it’s a cooking club where bloggers are paired up with another blog and are tasted with testing out one of their recipes. I’ve had a few big projects going on that have been sopping up all of my creative energy, so it seemed like a good time to give myself a break and try out someone else’s food. I’m really glad that I was assigned to Colie’s blog – it’s great and I had a hard time picking just one recipe to try!

This mac and cheese, which is a riff on her jalapeño monterey jack chicken penne is super creamy, and monterey jack gives it a classic, mild flavor. I opted to leave the chicken out of the pasta itself and served it with homemade baked chicken tenders instead. All in all, it was the perfect comfort food for a rainy Friday night!

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Pepper Jack Mac & Cheese (Secret Recipe Club) 1

Pepper Jack Mac & Cheese

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Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes
Servings: 6
Calories: 489kcal
Author: Lauren Keating (Healthy-Delicious.com)

Ingredients

  • 16 ounces ridged pasta such as cavatappi
  • 3 slices bacon chopped
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 small onion diced
  • ½ green bell pepper diced
  • 2 garlic cloves minced
  • 1 jalapeño pepper chopped
  • 3 tablespoons white whole wheat flour
  • ¾ cup chicken broth
  • ½ cup skim milk
  • 8 ounces 1 brick Cabot pepper jack light, shredded
  • ¼ cup reduced fat sour cream

Instructions

  • Bring a large pot of heavily salted water to a boil; add the pasta and cook according to the directions on the package.
  • While the pasta cooks, add the bacon to a cold pan. Turn the heat to medium and cook until the fat renders and the bacon crisps, about 7 minutes. Add the butter, onion, bell pepper, garlic, and jalapeno; cook until softened, about 10 minutes. Sprinkle with flour and cook 1 minute.
  • Pour in the broth and milk and cook until the mixture begins to thicken and starts to bubble, about 10 minutes. Slowly stir in the cheese and sour cream. Drain the pasta, then stir into the sauce.
Nutrition Facts
Pepper Jack Mac & Cheese
Amount Per Serving
Calories 489 Calories from Fat 135
% Daily Value*
Fat 15g23%
Fiber 3.5g15%
Protein 26g52%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

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By on May 27th, 2013

About Lauren

Hi, I'm Lauren! I'm a certified plant-based cook and enthusiastic omnivore who loves looking for creative ways to make weeknight meals more nutritious. I'm the author of Heathy Eating One Pot Cookbook and Healthy Meal Prep Slow Cooker Cookbook. I also blog at The Busy Foodie.

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14 thoughts on “Pepper Jack Mac & Cheese (Secret Recipe Club)”

  1. Yum! I love the idea of adding pepperjack. And I love that you used Cabot–one of my favorite cheeses! Thanks for making it healthy. I love using healthy ingredients in cooking and appreciate that you took the time to make it using ingredients that are good for you.

    Reply
    • It might not be orange enough for them, but it definitely has a really classic taste to it. It actually reminded me a lot of Amy’s white shells and cheddar (well, if you took the peppers out of it). I think a lot of times homemade mac and cheese isn’t creamy enough, but this definitely has a nice, thick sauce.

      Reply
  2. I seem to have forgotten that Monterey Jack exists also! Whoops!! Better remedy that with a batch of this mac and cheese. Looks AMAZING.

    Reply
    • I’d say the same today, but it was cold and rainy all last week. It’s been kind of an icky spring here.

      Reply

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