baked mac and cheese fresh out the oven
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4.8 from 5 votes

Spicy Mac and Cheese with Bacon

Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time45 mins
Total Time55 mins
Course: Dinner, Main Course
Cuisine: American
Servings: 6
Calories: 759kcal
Author: Chris Collins


  • 14oz / 400g Elbow Pasta (or other short cut pasta)
  • 9oz / 250g Streaky Bacon, diced
  • 3 Fresh Jalapeños, 2 finely diced & 1 sliced into rounds, deseeded as desired
  • 4 cups / 1 litre Milk, at room temp
  • 2 cups / 200g Cheddar, grated
  • 2 cups / 200g Mozzarella, shredded
  • 1 cup / 70g Parmesan, grated (save half for top)
  • 1/2 cup / 30g Breadcrumbs
  • 3 tbsp Unsalted Butter
  • 3 tbsp Flour
  • 1 tbsp Dijon mustard
  • 1 tsp Garlic Powder
  • 1 tsp Hot Sauce, or to preference
  • 1/2 tsp Onion Powder
  • 1/4 tsp Cayenne Pepper, or to preference
  • Oil Spray
  • Salt & Black Pepper, to taste


  • Fry your bacon over medium heat until your desired texture. Add jalapeño and fry for a couple of minutes until soft. Drain away excess fat if necessary, then melt in your butter.
  • Stir in your flour until a paste forms, then gradually stir in your milk until lump free. Add your mustard, onion powder, garlic powder, cayenne and hot sauce, then allow to bubble until thickened, stirring occasionally. 
  • Meanwhile preheat oven to 200c/390f and cook pasta in salted boiling water until al dente (take a few mins off the packet instruction, you want it still quite hard).
  • Once thickened, turn off heat and stir in your cheddar, mozzarella and half your parmesan. Taste for seasoning. Add your pasta and transfer to a baking dish.
  • Top with the rest of your parmesan, then breadcrumbs, then the rest of your jalapeño and finish with by spraying with oil. Pop in the oven for 20-25 mins or until golden a bubbly.



a) Baking Jalapeños - If you've sliced them particularly thin to go on top then consider popping them on half way through, just to prevent them from burning to a crisp.
b) Consistency - I like my mac and cheese quite saucy, especially because it thins out whilst baking. However if you like a 'thicker' mac and cheese consider using 3 cups of milk, but do take into consideration it gets soaked up quite significantly in the oven.


Calories: 759kcal | Carbohydrates: 35.58g | Protein: 48.59g | Fat: 46.83g | Saturated Fat: 22.05g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 3.783g | Monounsaturated Fat: 15.344g | Trans Fat: 1.039g | Cholesterol: 158mg | Sodium: 1871mg | Potassium: 649mg | Fiber: 2.8g | Sugar: 10.25g | Vitamin A: 3100IU | Vitamin C: 57.8mg | Calcium: 900mg | Iron: 2.3mg