Panera Jalapeno Bacon Mac & Cheese Recipe

Simply Great Gatherings

Add a flavor twist to Mac & Cheese

Few dishes are more versatile than Mac & Cheese. Surprise your guests—and your taste buds—with these fun and flavorful twists on an all-time favorite. Bonus points for filing these recipes as quick weeknight dinner solutions!

If you’re in the mood for something different, it’s so easy to transform our classic Panera Mac & Cheese with just a few ingredients. These great flavor combinations take just minutes to prepare.

Jalapeño Bacon Mac & Cheese

20 minutes and items you likely already have in your fridge and pantry is all it takes to kick you mac & cheese up a notch. Thick-cut bacon provides the robust backbone of this dish and fresh jalapeño peppers add the heat, while cream cheese provides a pleasant cooling sensation. Complex and tasty, yet so easy!

Buffalo Chicken Mac & Cheese

Two game-day favorites, one crave-worthy meal. This easy dish can be doubled or tripled to feed a crowd, and comes together quickly with your favorite hot sauce, chicken and blue cheese crumbles.

Tomato Bacon Mac & Cheese
It’s hard to imagine a better combination than mac & cheese with bacon. This delicious idea adds stewed tomatoes for sweetness and texture, and a panko topping just pushes it over the top.

Southwest Chorizo Mac & Cheese
Add a touch of heat with this Southwestern twist, blended with spicy chorizo, black beans, frozen corn, and red peppers. For an extra kick, add a tablespoon of chopped jalapeños.

Cauliflower Mac & Cheese
Here’s a tasty idea for a delicious vegetarian mac, with tender cauliflower florets and crispy onions for texture, and a dollop of Dijon for a tangy finish. If you have kids who balk at veggies, it’s a great way to sneak some into mealtime. After all, everything really is better with mac & cheese.   

What’s your take on mac & cheese? See our meal ideas for inspiration, or try blending in your favorite ingredients for a unique flavor twist. Panera Mac & Cheese is great alone, but if you like to mix things up, the possibilities are virtually endless. 

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