RECIPE

Mac ‘n Cheese Jalapeño Poppers

Combining two favorites – mac ‘n cheese and jalapeño poppers – these snacks are sure to be a hit!

Ingredients

  • 16 jalapeño peppers
  • Salt
  • 1/2 pounds ditalini pasta
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • 1/2 cup chicken stock
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 1/4 cups grated sharp cheddar cheese
  • Pepper
  • 1 tablespoon yellow mustard
  • 1/4 cup breadcrumbs or crushed saltine crackers

Preparation

Pre-heat the oven to 425ºF.

Working lengthwise, slice off the top quarter of each jalapeño. Using a small spoon, scrape the seeds and ribs out of each jalapeño. Finely chop the tops.

Place a large pot of water over high heat to boil. When the water reaches a bubble, salt it well and drop in the pasta. Cook to al dente.

While the pasta is cooking, place a medium pot over medium heat with the butter. Add the chopped pepper tops to the butter and soften, 2-3 minutes. Sprinkle the flour over the peppers and cook for 1 minute more. Whisk the chicken stock and milk into the mixture and bring up to a bubble. Stir in the mustard, season the sauce with salt and pepper and simmer until thickened, 2-3 minutes. Remove the pot from the stove and stir in 1 cup of the cheese until melted. Add the pasta to the cheese sauce and stir to combine.

On a baking sheet, mound up spoonfuls of the mac ‘n cheese in the peppers. Sprinkle the remaining cheese and breadcrumbs on top and bake until the tops are golden brown and peppers are tender, about 15 minutes.

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Rachael Ray