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Jalapeño & Pineapple Baked Mac n' Cheese




Okay y’all…I’m way too excited for this one because not only do I love everything cheesy, but my favorite pizza topping is jalapeño and pineapple too! I make baked mac n’ cheese every year only for Thanksgiving because of how decadent it is. This year, I wanted to try adding pineapple to this because I love the combination of sweet & spicy. I grew up eating Baked Dish in India, (which for those of you who don’t know, it is essentially mac n’ cheese with pineapples) and it was one of my favorite childhood meals. So here is my twist on the Baked Dish I grew up eating.




I know there may be a lot of skepticism and right fully so, but please trust me - don’t knock it till you try it! I PROMISE you, you are going to LOVEEE it.



My husband, (who thought I was crazy for loving pineapple and jalapeño on my pizza) tried this and loved it! If you just can’t get past the combination, you can skip the pineapples and it will be just as amazing. Hope this makes it to your Thanksgiving table this year!







Don’t forget to share your take on this with me via Instagram!


Stay happy, Stay hungry!



Prep time: 5 minutes

Cook time: 35 minutes

Total time: 40 minutes

Serving: 6-8 people


Ingredients:

  • 1 box elbow pasta, cooked according to boxed direction

  • 1 stick unsalted butter (1/2 cup)

  • ½ cup all purpose flour

  • 3 cups milk

  • 8 oz. pack of sharp cheddar cheese, cubed

  • 8 oz. pack of pepper jack cheese, cubed

  • 4 slices American cheese

  • 3 jalapeños, chopped

  • 8 oz. can of chopped pineapple, drained

  • 2 whole garlic cloves

  • 1 bay leaf

  • 1 tbsp red crushed pepper flakes

  • 1 tsp black pepper

  • Salt to taste

  • 1 1/3 cups breadcrumbs

  • 1 tbsp cold butter

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Microwave the milk for one minute. In a large pan, heat up the butter. Once the butter is melted, add the jalapeño’s, garlic cloves, and bay leaf. Then, add the flour to make a roux. Cook the mixture until the flour is light golden brown and there are no more lumps. (About 3-5 minutes).

  2. Slowly whisk in the milk and cook until thickened, whisking constantly. This should take around 5 minutes. Add the red crushed pepper, black pepper, and the cubed cheese. Stir until the cheese has completely melted and the sauce is of creamy consistency.

  3. Take out the garlic cloves and the bay leaf. Add in the cooked pasta and chopped pineapple.

  4. Transfer the mac n’ cheese to a lightly greased baking dish, top it with breadcrumbs and slices of cold butter on top (for a crispy top).

  5. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes or until golden and bubbly.

  6. Serve hot and enjoy!

Notes:

  • You can use any kind of pasta you like.

  • All of the cheeses I used were Cabot brand.

  • You can add chopped garlic instead of whole cloves as well.

  • You can make this ahead of time, pop it in the oven right before serving.

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