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.
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.