Jalapeno Bacon Macaroni and Cheese topped with Cheetos

Yeah, you read that correctly.

I put Cheetos on my macaroni and cheese. Please don’t judge me. It wasn’t even my idea. A lovely reader whose name I have forgotten (I’m such a jerk, I know.) emailed and asked if I could replicate a recipe from some restaurant whose name I have forgotten (see previous parenthetical about my jerkiness) that was topped with Cheetos.

I was all over that job, you guys. Like, people email me and ask me to make ridiculous recipes and then I get to call that “work.”

“Sorry, honey, I can’t do the laundry. I’m working. On mac and cheese with Cheetos. I have to taste test it again. It’s my job.”

My life is so hard. Be thankful that you don’t have to be me, covered in orange cheese powder and bacon grease, with a mouthful of creamy, cheesy goodness.

I’m going to have to insist that y’all try this recipe. It’s a keeper. I only added 1 seeded jalapeno and couldn’t taste it at all. I’d bump it up to 2 or leave some seeds in for an extra kick, but I’m going to write the recipe as I made it. Just adjust to your liking! This also feeds a small army, so feel free to halve the recipe or plan to reheat the leftovers for lunch the next day.

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Jalapeno Bacon Macaroni and Cheese topped with Cheetos


16 ounces large elbow macaroni
6 slices bacon, diced and fried
1 jalapeno, seeded and minced (more to taste)
6 tablespoons butter
4 tablespoons flour
2 cups milk
1 cup cream
1 teaspoon salt
2 1/2 cups cheddar cheese, grated
2 cups gruyere, grated
1/4 -1/2 cup Cheetos, crushed


Bring a large pot of water to a boil and cook the noodles according to package directions, removing them from the water 1 minute before the package states for al dente.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and butter a 2.5 quart baking dish.
In a large sauce pan, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the jalapeno and cook for one minute. Whisk in the flour and cook for 1-2 minutes or until flour has browned a bit.
Pour in the milk, cream, and salt and continue cooking, whisking constantly, for 3 minutes.
Slowly add the cheese a handful at a time, stirring to melt completely before each new addition.
When cheese is completely melted, add the bacon and drained macaroni to the cheese sauce and stir to coat completely.
Pour the macaroni and cheese into the prepared baking dish and top with the crushed Cheetos.
Bake for 25 minutes.

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28 Responses to “Jalapeno Bacon Macaroni and Cheese topped with Cheetos”

  1. Averie @ Averie Cooks September 24, 2012 @ 11:22 pm (#

    Normally I dont comment on savory posts – but this, I just HAD to click off my Reader for! Between the stunning opening pic (bravo!), the steam shot (hard!!), and the Cheetos topping <–YES! love them! I love this!

    I have made salmon cake encrusted with Fritos, potato chips in cookies, and Combos pretzels into cereal bars, but never Cheetos anything. Must change that!


    • Karly replied: — September 25th, 2012 @ 10:24 am

      @Averie @ Averie Cooks,

      I hate to admit this, but the steam is actually just part of my backdrop. The way the wood is painted and the shallow depth of field totally make it look like steam though! Haha!

      And thank you for clicking through for my savory recipe. Now I need that combos recipe you were talking about.


  2. Rachel Cooks September 25, 2012 @ 6:59 am (#

    Oh. My. Gosh.

    Is there even anything more to say?

    Want this now!!!


  3. Cookbook Queen September 25, 2012 @ 7:11 am (#

    Are you even kidding me right now??

    This is every pregnant woman’s dream!!


  4. Erin @ The Spiffy Cookie September 25, 2012 @ 7:59 am (#

    No judgement here! I once made a Cheetos’s breaded chicken! Soooo good


  5. Cassie September 25, 2012 @ 7:59 am (#

    Ultimate comfort food right here. My husband might propose again.


  6. Megan @ whatmegansmaking September 25, 2012 @ 8:23 am (#

    I love Cheetos! Seriously my favorite snack food. I don’t know if I could put them on Mac and cheese though… I might eat them all first.


  7. Hayley @ The Domestic Rebel September 25, 2012 @ 8:24 am (#

    If I make this, can you guarantee my boyfriend will put a ring on it? Fo realz, this is insanity, woman. Cheetos, jalapenos and bacon. And look at all that CHEEEEESE. This needs to be in my belleh right now.


  8. Ashley @ Kitchen Meets Girl September 25, 2012 @ 12:35 pm (#

    Is this for real? ‘Cause oh.em.gee-it looks amazing. Eek, I think I just fell in love with you.


  9. Nicole @ Lapetitebaker September 25, 2012 @ 2:52 pm (#

    WOW! There are no words. Cheetos on Mac and Cheese, pure genius!


  10. cindy September 25, 2012 @ 7:52 pm (#

    Let me see was that four of my favorite foods in one? Let me count, 1- jalapenos (yum), 2- bacon, (more yum), 3- mac & cheese (more more yum), 4- CHEETOS (more more more yum). Wow, did you just call yourself a jerk over a name, guess not. I’ll be making some of this yum yum delicious as soon as I can. Love your work, I mean (FUN).


  11. Jen @ Savory Simple September 25, 2012 @ 8:05 pm (#

    Good lord that looks good.


  12. Ashley @ Wishes and Dishes September 25, 2012 @ 8:20 pm (#

    Oh this can be very dangerous for me! haha. I love mac and cheese. I have topped it with cheez-its before, never thought of Cheetos!! Yum!


  13. Kim Stebbins September 25, 2012 @ 9:33 pm (#

    OMG! I never imagined such a recipe. I don’t eat that sort of thing ( Cheetos) but the picture makes look so good– I may have to buy my first-ever bag of Cheetos. And I am 52. So “first ever” is saying something! Great photography and writing!


  14. shelly (cookies and cups) September 26, 2012 @ 5:37 am (#

    SO I love all these things together, but together??!!!?!
    You are either an evil genius or an evil genius!
    So I guess that makes you an evil genius.


  15. Elizabeth@ Food Ramblings September 26, 2012 @ 6:38 am (#

    cheetos should be in much larger letters! this is genius!


  16. sally @ sallys baking addiction September 26, 2012 @ 3:24 pm (#

    OMG. Karly. That cheetos streusel is just… like unreal. completely absurd in the best way EVER. i love youu.


  17. Winnie November 11, 2012 @ 11:40 am (#

    Oh my! This looks so tasty. I can’t wait to try this. Sounds like a hoot, and the kids will love this.


  18. Sallie January 17, 2013 @ 2:56 pm (#

    OMG! Will you be my new mom??I promise I won’t tell my mom i’m cheating on her!


  19. Susan B. October 27, 2013 @ 8:16 pm (#

    I just found a stuffing recipe with both Cheetos and apple fritters in it, so this is tame by comparison. :)



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