Creamy Spiced Mac and Cheese

A creamy, cheesy sauce gets a three-part kick in this easy recipe. The spice comes from a combination of cayenne pepper, jalapeño and green chiles. Feel free to adjust the amounts to suit your taste.

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Servings: 8


  • 1 pound elbow pasta
  • 4 tablespoons butter, plus more for preparing pan
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 3 ounces Wisconsin cream cheese
  • 1/3 cup sour cream
  • 1 4-ounce can diced green chiles
  • 1 jalapeño chile, diced
  • 2 1/2 cups (10 ounces) Wisconsin provolone cheese, shredded
  • 1 1/2 cups (6 ounces) Wisconsin monterey jack cheese, shredded
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 4 slices white bread, crusts removed and torn into small pieces


Cook macaroni 3 minutes short of package directions. Rinse and set aside.

Preheat oven to 350° F. Butter 2-quart baking dish and set aside.

In large skillet, melt butter over medium heat. Whisk in flour.

Add milk, salt, black pepper, cayenne pepper, cream cheese, sour cream, green chiles and jalapeño. Stir until thickened, 5-7 minutes.

Reduce heat to low and add provolone. Stir until cheese is melted. Add cooked macaroni to skillet and stir until combined. Pour mixture into prepared baking dish. Top with monterey jack.

Bake 25-30 minutes, or until cheese is lightly browned.

Heat olive oil in medium skillet over medium heat. Add bread pieces and toss until lightly toasted. Sprinkle toasted bread pieces over the baked macaroni and cheese. Return to oven and bake for an additional 10 minutes, or until bread crumbs are golden brown.

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Use caution when adding cheese to the sauce–add over low heat or off-heat. Too high a heat can cause separation and toughness.