Bacon Jalapeño Mac & Cheese
with a Crispy Panko Topping
So long ordinary mac and cheese! Here, we combine the gooey, melty goodness of a classic mac with the rich, spicy flavors of a bacon-wrapped jalapeño popper. The result? The comfort food you never knew you needed. It’s got it all: twirly cavatappi noodles tossed in a creamy, cheesy sauce. Salty crumbles of bacon. A crispy, spiced panko crust for crunch. Jalapeño slices for heat. And to top it all off, it’s all ready in just 35 minutes—what more could you want?
Produced in a facility that processes eggs, milk, fish, peanuts, sesame, shellfish, soy, tree nuts, and wheat.
Cream Sauce Base
Monterey Jack Cheese
Mexican Cheese Blend
Southwest Spice Blend
Not included in your delivery
• Bring a medium pot of salted water to a boil (use a large pot for 4 servings). • Heat a large, dry pan over medium heat. Add bacon*; cook, turning occasionally and adjusting heat if browning too quickly, until crispy, 6-10 minutes. • Turn off heat; transfer to a paper-towel-lined plate. • Carefully discard all but a thin layer of bacon fat from pan (you’ll use this to cook the jalapeño later).
• While bacon cooks, wash and dry produce. • Halve jalapeño crosswise, removing ribs and seeds for less heat; thinly slice one half into half-moons and finely dice remaining. Peel and mince garlic.
• Once water is boiling, add cavatappi to pot. Cook, stirring occasionally, until al dente, 9-11 minutes. • Reserve 1 cup pasta cooking water (2 cups for 4 servings), then drain. • While pasta cooks, place 1 TBSP butter (2 TBSP for 4) in a small microwave-safe bowl; microwave until melted, 30 seconds. Stir in panko. Season with salt and pepper.
• Heat pan with reserved bacon fat over medium-high heat. Add sliced jalapeño; season with salt. Cook, stirring occasionally, until just tender, 2-3 minutes. Transfer to a second small bowl and set aside. • Add diced jalapeño and garlic to pan. Cook, stirring occasionally, until slightly softened, 2-3 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.
• Add flour to same pan; whisk until thoroughly coated. • Whisk in cream sauce base, cream cheese, half the Southwest Spice Blend (all for 4 servings), and ½ cup reserved pasta cooking water (1 cup for 4); reduce heat to low. Simmer, whisking, until sauce is smooth and slightly thickened, 2-3 minutes. • Whisk in Mexican cheese blend and Monterey Jack until melted and creamy.
• Heat broiler to high. • Roughly chop bacon. Stir bacon and drained cavatappi into pan with cheese sauce. (TIP: If your pan is not large enough, carefully transfer everything into pot used to cook pasta.) If needed, stir in more reserved pasta cooking water a splash at a time until cavatappi is coated in a creamy sauce. Season with salt and pepper.
• Transfer mac & cheese to an 8-by-8-inch baking dish (for 4 servings, use a 9-by-13-inch baking dish). Sprinkle with panko and sliced jalapeño. • Broil until panko is browned and crispy, 2-3 minutes. (TIP: Watch carefully to avoid burning.) • Divide between plates or serve directly from baking dish.
Bacon is fully cooked when internal temperature reaches 145°.