Jalapeno Popper Chicken Macaroni and Cheese is the perfect combination of spicy jalapeno peppers, chicken and rich, creamy macaroni and cheese. Perfect comfort food!
So there is a new favorite diet breaker in my house and it goes by the name Jalapeno Popper Chicken Macaroni and Cheese.
I feel like I could just stop the blog post right there and we would all be on the same page. I know, I know .. it’s that time of year when we are all trying to reinvent ourselves into better versions of who we already are. We are all watching what we eat, we are making great strides in breaking up with carbs and sugar and some of us are even finding the power to leave our beds and hour early each morning and suffering through the torture of an early morning workout before work.
Awesome! Great! Keep up the good work, buddy!…………………. let me say it again… Jalapeno. Popper. Chicken. Macaroni and Cheese.
C’mon back to the dark side, kids.. there’s no judgement here!
Now I am not a huge fan of spicy pepper but I am starting to dip my toes into the pool, so to speak. This is the first dish I have made where those little rascals are front and center and I couldn’t be happier with how it turned out. This Jalapeno Popper Chicken Macaroni and Cheese is cheesy, rich and just spicy enough to lay claim to its name. If your family likes their dishes on the mild side, leave out one of the jalapeno peppers. If you are a wild child and don’t mind incinerating the inside of your mouth, go ahead and throw another one or two into the mix. Whatever makes YOU happy!!
Trust me, you will love this dish! Give it a try and I promise this will be your families new favorite dinner request.
Happiness and blessings!
- 6 pieces crisp bacon , chopped (or one package of pre-cooked bacon pieces)
- 3 chicken breasts , cooked and diced
- 2 tbl butter
- 4 tbl flour
- 4 cups milk
- 1 cup ricotta
- 8 oz each shredded Monterey Jack and Sharp Cheddar cheese
- 1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese
- 4 jalapenos , ribs and seeds removed, diced (plus extra for garnishing)
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp pepper
- 1/2 tsp onion powder
- 1/2 tsp garlic powder
- 1 lb rigatoni
Preheat oven to 375 degrees and spray 13 x 9 casserole pan with non-stick spray
Bring large pot of water to boil and add in pasta. Cook for half of the recommended time, remove and drain.
In a large skillet, melt butter over medium high heat. Add in flour once butter has melted and whisk to combine.
Pour in milk and add in spices and salt and pepper. Whisk often and bring mixture to a boil.
Once boiling, whisk in Parmesan cheese and half of the shredded cheese and continue whisking until melted.
Add in ricotta, chicken, bacon, pasta and jalapenos and stir until mixed evenly
Transfer to a 13x9 pan. top with remaining shredded cheese and bake for 25 minutes.
Garnish with extra jalapenos and serve while hot