Pepper Jack Mac & Cheese + Potato Chip Crust

Welcome back to QCK!

So as you know, this weekend is all about BBQ, and there’s really no better side for BBQ than Mac & Cheese. They just balance eachother out. But THIS mac and cheese in particular is perfect for BBQ, but it’s also just really effing good. It’s creamy, a little spicy, cheesy (duh), and the potato chip crust is this perfect crunchy, salty, heaven. It’s just GOOD, okay?

This mac and cheese starts like any other, with noodles. I like bow tie because they hold on to the little pieces of pepper really well. The sauce is a pretty classic roux based cheese sauce, but I added grated garlic and diced poblanos to the butter for extra flavor. To make this super creamy, I use part whole milk part heavy cream. We’re going all out here, okay? Then I throw in loads of pepper jack, white cheddar, and gouda. The crust is just crushed up potato chips, I use kettle cooked, it all gets baked and comes out of the oven as this ooey-gooey, creamy, cheesy, crunchy masterpiece with just a little bit of a kick. It’s boujee and it’s delicious.

Substitutions and Add On’s

  • The cheese can be substituted for any cheese you like, but it’s so much fun with pepper jack.
  • The poblano can be substituted for any pepper you want depending on how mild or spicy you want.
  • Potato chips can be substituted for any chip you like, bbq potato chips, cheddar, sour cream and onion, hot cheetos, doritos, whatever you’re feeling.
  • Heavy Cream can be substituted for milk.

Tips and Tricks

  • This is a great recipe for the crumbs at the bottom of the bag that no one wants to eat, just save them all up from a bag or two until you’re ready to make this.
  • If you’re making this as part of a big meal, like my Ultimate BBQ Menu, you can make everything the night before, throw the chips on last minute and bake it ten minutes before serving.
  • If you have a microplane, use it for the garlic in this recipe so you don’t get any pieces that are too big.
  • Add a pinch of salt during each step of the process so it cooks with the sauce. If the salt is all added at the end, you’ll get a raw salt flavor.

Recipe

Ingredients

  • 1 lb Short Noodles, I like bowtie, cooked
  • 2 Tbsp Poblano Pepper, diced
  • 1 clove Garlic, minced or grated
  • 2 Tbsp Unsalted Butter
  • 2 Tbsp All Purpose Flour
  • 1 C Whole Milk
  • 1 tsp Ground Mustard Powder
  • 1/4 tsp Cayenne Pepper
  • 1 C Heavy Whipping Cream
  • 1 1/2 C Pepperjack Cheese, shredded
  • 1/2 C White Cheddar, shredded
  • 1/2 C Gouda, shredded
  • Salt to taste
  • 1 C Crushed Potato Chips

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 425°F.
  2. Cook your noodles according to the directions on the package, strain them and set aside.
  3. In a medium saucepan over medium heat, melt the butter and add garlic and poblano.
  4. Once the butter is melted and the garlic is fragrant, whisk in the flour, ground mustard and cayenne until a paste forms, it should be similar to the texture of wet sand.
  5. While whisking, slowly pour in the milk and cream. Make sure you do this very gradually while constantly whisking so you don’t get a lumpy sauce.
  6. Bring the milk up to just below a simmer, whisking often so it thickens well.
  7. Once the sauce begins to thicken, add the cheeses and stir as they melt.
  8. Continue to stir until a thick, creamy sauce forms, about 3 minutes more.
  9. Combine the cooked noodles with the sauce and pour into a lightly greased 9×9 baking dish.
  10. Cover the mac and cheese with an even layer of crushed potato chips.
  11. Place in the oven 10-15 minutes until the potato chips begin the brown and the sauce is bubbling.
  12. Let cool 5-10 minutes before eating.

As always, I hope you enjoyed this recipe! If you tried it out let me know in the comments. For more recipes check out my homepage and follow along on Instagram. Don’t forget to like, follow, comment and share. Thanks for reading! 

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