Mac and Cheese Stuffed Jalapeno Poppers are filled with homemade mac and cheese and topped with salty, crispy bacon. The ultimate game-day snack or summer bbq appetizer with the perfect mix of spicy, cheesy and crispy!
I’ve been on a stuffed jalapeno binge lately and this one may be my favorite to date. I filled jalapenos with mac and cheese then topped them with bacon. Y’all, they are so good!!
Whenever you add bacon to something, it’s a hit and these were no exception. The guys especially liked them. I had everything ready and they were the first on the grill. Perfect summer appetizer with beer!
I thought these jalapeno poppers might be cumbersome to eat since I didn’t wrap bacon around the entire jalapeno. However, they weren’t and everyone ate them in one or two bites.
MAC AND CHEESE STUFFED JALAPENO POPPERS
- First I made mac and cheese. You can use your favorite mac and cheese recipe if you prefer. Or, I have included one below in the recipe card. I used Banza pasta that’s made from chickpeas and is gluten-free. Use your favorite pasta or what you have on hand.
- While the pasta is cooking, wash, dry, slice, and remove the seed and inner membrane from the jalapenos.
- Fill the jalapenos with your pasta, top with additional cheddar and bacon.
- Cook until the jalapenos are soft and the cheese has melted.
CAN I COOK THESE IN THE OVEN? AIR-FRYER? GRILL?
Yes, yes, and yes! You can cook them any method you want. They all will work. These decadent poppers can be grilled, baked, or cooked in the air fryer.
Instructions are below in the recipe card.
MORE RECIPES YOU’LL ENJOY!
- Jalapeno Popper Dip
- Bacon Chicken Jalapeno Dip
- Jalapeno Pimento Bacon Grilled Cheese
- Candied Sweet Heat Pickled Jalapeno
- Spicy Jalapeno Pepper Jelly and Basil Sauce Pork Burgers
- Bacon Jalapeno Popper Cheesy Bread
- Jalapeno Popper Breakfast Casserole
- Pesto Jalapeno Poppers
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Mac and Cheese Stuffed Jalapeno Poppers
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- 1 and ½ cups pasta uncooked
- 2 tablespoons butter I used unsalted
- 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 12 ounces evaporated milk
- 3 + ½ cup cups cheddar cheese grated, or your favorite cheese, divided
- 15 medium jalapenos
- ½ cup bacon bits
- salt if needed to season
- Bring water to a boil in a medium pot and cook the pasta according to the instructions on the bag. Drain and reserve the water.
- Meanwhile, melt the butter in a large pan and add the flour. Whisk for one minute.
- Gradually add the evaporated milk, whisking to get rid of any lumps. Cook for another 2-3 minutes until it thickens slightly.
- Add the 2 cups grated cheddar and stir until melted.
- Add the drained pasta and stir. Add pasta water 1 to 2 tablespoons at a time as needed if it's too thick.
- Season with salt if needed. I find the bacon adds enough salty flavor. Set aside.
- Preheat oven (or grill or air fryer) to 350°F.
- Cut the peppers in half horizontally. Use a small spoon to scoop out the insides.
- Using a small spoon fill the jalapeno cavity with the macaroni mixture and place it on an oven-safe baking pan in a single layer.
- Repeat with all the jalapenos. After they're all filled with mac and cheese, top them with the remaining ½ cup cheese and bacon bits.
- If Baking: Bake for about 15 minutes or until they're heated through and the cheese on top is melted.
- If Grilling: Place tray with jalapenos on indirect heat on the grill. Close the lid and grill for 10 to 15 minutes (depending on the grill temperature) until they're cooked through and the cheese on top is melted.
- If air frying: I have this air fryer/toaster oven combo that a baking pan fits in so I put the whole pan in it. If you have a traditional air fryer place the jalapenos in the air fryer basket and spread in a single layer. Air fry at 350°F for 8 to 10 minutes or until done.