Panera Jalapeno Bacon Mac & Cheese recipe

Mac with a kick

Jalapeño Bacon Mac & Cheese

Main Dish, Side Dish, American, Classic Comfort

  • 20 minutes
  • 4 servings

You’ll want to add this slightly spicier take on our classic Mac & Cheese that features delicious crispy bacon along with jalapeños and cayenne to your quick-dinner rotation. It’s that good and easy.


  1. Heat a large sauté pan on medium-high heat.
  2. Add bacon and cook until it begins to brown.
  3. Add garlic, jalapeño and onions, and sauté until onions are translucent. Turn the heat down to medium.
  4. Add garlic powder, onion powder, cumin and cayenne pepper. Stir until all ingredients are combined.
  5. Add the Mac & Cheese and stir frequently until heated through.
  6. Using a small spoon, add the cream cheese in chunks and turn off the heat (it’s best not to fully mix in the cream cheese because the slightly melted chunks of cream cheese are a delicious treat while eating).
  7. Pour the contents of the sauté pan into a bowl for serving or spoon directly onto plates.
  8. Garnish with crispy fried onion topping.

Or, Try This

  • Need more heat? Try adding some habanero or additional cayenne pepper.

More Meal Ideas