In under thirty minutes have a cheesy and spicy mac and cheese with jalapeno, chipotle, cheddar cheese and broccoli on the table! This vegetarian recipe is a fun twist on homemade, stovetop mac and cheese, which you can also bake in the oven with a crispy topping.
Macaroni and cheese is a favourite of so many, for good reason! And if you’ve ever wondered how you can spice it up, this is the recipe for you. We often have a box of store bought mac and cheese in our cupboard, but this stovetop version is so easy that those boxes will end up collecting dust in your pantry.
Why this recipe works
The key to this recipe is making a Bechamel which is essentially a mixture of flour, butter and milk (and it’s super easy!). This is what creates the creamy consistency that you need in a macaroni and cheese. The other secrets to making this spicy are from the fresh jalapeno and the chipotle in adobo.
- Pasta noodles, my go-to is elbow macaroni, but you can also use shells with delicious results.
- Broccoli cooks along with the pasta and adds a vegetable element to the dish. You can leave it out, but I always like a little green in my mac and cheese.
- Salted butter and flour, this is a savoury recipe and macaroni and cheese needs salt.
- 2% milk helps to bring the sauce together. You could also use 1% if that is all you have on hand.
- Chipotle in adobo and jalapeno are what give this recipe its spice. I like chipotle for its inherent smoky flavour and jalapeno brings an extra heat element. Depending on how spicy you like your food, you could leave the seeds and membrane in.
- Mustard powder won’t give a mustard flavour to the finished dish, but it has acidic elements that help to balance the overall flavour.
- Old cheddar cheese this has a sharp cheddar flavour. Be sure to buy the blocks and grate it yourself! Pre-shredded cheese won’t melt as well.
- Salt is key to a delicious homemade macaroni and cheese, you may think that the cheese and salted butter are enough, but I recommend not skimping on the salt as you want a fully seasoned dish.
- If you want to make a baked version with a crunchy cheesy topping, simply transfer to an oven-proof dish and top with an additional 1 cup of cheese, broil until melted, watching carefully.
If you’re looking for another way to use broccoli and cheddar, cheesy twice baked potatoes are a great option.