Spicy Pimento Mac & Cheese with Panko

Tasty & Gooey

Savor the ‘Spicy Pimento Mac & Cheese with Panko’: where creamy pimento cheese meets a zesty kick, all under a golden, crispy panko crust.

"Made this for Thanksgiving and it was a hit.  Even with the jalapenos it wasn't too spicy" -Kate


sharp cheddar cheese Monterey Jack cheese cream cheese mayo pimentos jalapenos elbow macaroni whole milk unsalted butter panko breadcrumbs smoked paprika

*Pro Tip

Choose the Right Pasta: Go for shapes that trap and hold the cheese sauce well, like elbow macaroni, shells, or cavatappi. Ensure the pasta is cooked al dente, as it will continue to cook a bit in the oven.

What can I use  this for?

1. Sandwiches & Wraps: Slather it between slices of your favorite bread with some lettuce and tomato for a delicious sandwich. Or, roll it up in a wrap with some sliced turkey or veggies. 2. Stuffed Veggies: Scoop out the center of cherry tomatoes or baby bell peppers and fill them with pimento cheese for a delightful appetizer or snack. 3. Baked Potato Topper: Next time you bake or grill potatoes, consider dolloping them with this zesty spread. Trust me, it’s a game-changer! 4. Dip for Chips: Serve it as a dip alongside tortilla chips, pretzels, or even crunchy veggies like celery and carrot sticks. 5. Burger Enhancer: Spread some on your burger bun for an elevated, cheesy burger experience..

Jalapeno Pimento Cheese – In a large mixing bowl, combine the cheddar, Monterey Jack, and cream cheese until well blended – Mix in the mayonnaise until smooth – Stir in the pimentos, diced jalapeños, garlic powder, and onion powder – Season with salt and pepper to your liking. Mix until everything is well combined. Set aside

*Pro Tip

Panko Prep: Toss your panko breadcrumbs in a bit of melted butter before sprinkling on top. It helps them brown evenly and adds a richer flavor.

– Preheat your oven to 375°F (190°C). – Cook the elbow macaroni according to package directions until al dente. Drain and set aside. – In a large pot, melt the butter over medium heat. Whisk in the flour, salt, and black pepper, cooking for about 2 minutes. – Gradually whisk in the milk, constantly stirring until it thickens.

– Lower the heat and stir in the Jalapeño Pimento Cheese until melted and smooth. – Fold in the drained macaroni until everything is well coated with the cheesy goodness. – Transfer the mixture to a greased 9×13-inch baking dish. – For the panko topping: Mix the panko breadcrumbs with the melted butter and smoked paprika. Sprinkle over the mac and cheese. – Bake in the preheated oven for 20-25 minutes, or until the top is golden brown and the cheese is bubbly.

*Pro Tip

Fresh Grate When Possible: If you’re using additional cheeses, freshly grated cheese melts better than pre-packaged shredded cheese which often contains anti-caking agents.