Jalapeño Macaroni and Cheese

Dinner, Quick and Easy, Thanksgiving, Vegetarian, Winter

I feel like the big thing during Thanksgiving cooking is oven space/availability. So I always suggest for people to make a few things that can be made on the stove top and a few things that can be made ahead. The timing is sometimes stressful but always doable. Not all of us have double ovens!

One dish I love at Thanksgiving (and honestly any other time, too), is macaroni and cheese. I actually prefer the stovetop variety because it’s usually creamier and faster to make.

For this post, I teamed up with French’s® Crispy Jalapeños. THEY ARE SO GOOD. You’re probably pretty familiar with their Crispy Onions, which I also love but their Crispy Jalapeños definitely deserve a place at your Thanksgiving table, too.

This is definitely a bit spicy and if you’re adverse to spice, you can always halve the amount of Crispy Jalapeños I added to the top.

The Crispy Jalapeños are actually just that: Crispy Jalapeños. No funny ingredients. Just real jalapeños…but crispified.

I added some smoked gouda and cheddar cheese to this recipe because I love the pairing of smoky cheese with spicy crunch. But if you’re feeling more neutral flavor, go with something like fontina or gruyere. This recipe is definitely versatile in the cheese department, as long as it’s melty and the measurements are the same.

I know a lot of people love to make things ahead during Thanksgiving so I also included some reheating instructions that I used.

Jalapeño Macaroni and Cheese

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
Serving Size: 6


  • 2 teaspoons olive oil 
  • 1 shallot, peeled and minced
  • 1 jalapeño, diced 
  • 2 garlic cloves, peeled and diced
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 6 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 3 cups milk, divided
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt 
  • Freshly ground pepper
  • 1 cup shredded cheddar
  • 4 ounces smoked gouda, shredded
  • 1 pound of pasta of choice, I used cavatappi, cooked to al dente 
  • 1/2 cup French’s Crispy Jalapeños, for topping 


  • In a medium skillet, set over medium heat, add the olive oil. When warm, add the shallot, jalapeño and garlic cloves. Add a pinch of salt. Cook until softened about 2 to 3 minutes.
  • Add the butter and cook until melted. Add the flour and cook for about 1 minutes. Next pour in 2 cups of the milk and bring to a gentle simmer and cook until thickened, about 3 minutes. Next, add the remaining 1 cup of milk.
  • Add the salt and a few turns of freshly ground pepper. Mix in the cheeses and mix until melty.
  • Add the cooked pasta and mix until completely combined. Add the Crispy Jalapeños on top and divide amongst plates.

(This post is sponsored by French’s Crispy Jalapeños. Thanks for supporting the sponsors that keep A Cozy Kitchen cozy!)

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  • Reply Annette November 18, 2017 at 4:16 pm

    Just made this for dinner. Love how quick it was to make and of course yummy. The crispy jalapeños were a big hit with my husband! Thanks for the recipe.

    • Adrianna Adarme
      Reply Adrianna Adarme November 18, 2017 at 4:58 pm

      That was so fast! That’s so awesome to hear. I LOVE those crispy jalapenos. I put them in salads, too and they’re so great. So glad you and the husband loved it! xo

  • Reply Brittany November 18, 2017 at 7:17 pm

    Yum! Definitely going to make this for dinner this week.

  • Reply Ashley Nicole November 20, 2017 at 8:06 am

    OMG! I love a good mac n’ cheese but this one takes the cake!

  • Reply Ashley Nicole November 20, 2017 at 8:06 am

    OMG! I love a good mac n’ cheese but this one takes the cake!

  • Reply Christine November 18, 2018 at 8:41 pm

    I’m going to make this for our thanksgiving! So excited for crispy jalapeños. I might have missed it but where are the reheating instructions?

    • Adrianna Adarme
      Reply Adrianna Adarme November 19, 2018 at 9:26 pm

      Ahh sorry about that. I would put them in a pot with a splash or two of milk and give it a mix once it’s warm. You can always microwave it too, for intervals of 15 seconds, mix and then 15 seconds more.

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