Traditional creamy baked mac and cheese with a little kick! This delicious mac and cheese is made with a simple stovetop sauce that adds in a smoky poblano pepper, and baked with a crispy topping. The entire family will love this one!
Now that it’s September, it’s time for some comfort food. In fact, you can thank my kids for this recipe. The night before their first day of school, I asked them to pick whatever they wanted to eat for dinner. They both enthusiastically said, “baked mac and cheese!!” I wasn’t in the mood, but I didn’t have much of an option since I was giving them free rein to pick. What I did was give this traditional dish a little more flavor with the poblano peppers I picked up at the farmer’s market. You can easily omit the peppers, but we loved the additional taste. It’s not spicy at all, and my kids even enjoyed the addition.
Although it does require a little bit of stove top cooking, this dish actually comes together simply and is easily enjoyed for 2 days. If meatless is not your thing, serve along side your favorite meat!
I started by chopping my cute poblano peppers into small pieces:
I melted butter in a large pot, added in the pepper, and then made the cheese sauce using flour, milk, salt, and cheese. This is the end product:
A creamy, delicious, smoky, cheese sauce! Toss with your cooked macaroni, place inside a 9×13 inch pan, top with panko & cheese, and bake for less than 20 minutes:
Baked Mac and Cheese with Poblano Peppers
- 16 oz macaroni pasta
- 4 tbsp salted butter
- 2 small poblano peppers or 1 large poblano pepper
- 1/4 cup flour
- 2 cups milk I used whole milk, but you can use 2% as well
- 1 cup vegetable broth
- 1 cup shredded sharp white cheddar cheese
- 1 cup shredded sharp cheddar
- 1 tsp salt
- 1/2 cup panko breadcrumbs
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
- Prepare your pasta according to package directions, set aside.
- Heat up a large pot. Add butter, then chopped poblano peppers. Saute for 3-5 minutes, until peppers becomes softened. Add flour to coat the peppers. Cook for about 1 minute until flour/pepper mixture is golden brown. Add milk and broth.
- Heat up liquid to a boil, reduce heat to medium low. The mixture should become thicker. Add in white cheddar, and 1/2 cup regular cheddar. Continue to mix until the cheese is melted. Add salt to taste.
- Grease a 9x13 inch pan. Place macaroni in the pan, add in cheese sauce. Coat the macaroni. Sprinkle panko and remaining cheddar on top of the dish.
- Bake for 15-20 minutes until the top is golden brown. Serve immediately