Slow Cooker Bacon Jalapeno Mac and Cheese Recipe
Bacon Jalapeno Mac and Cheese recipe totally breaks my “10-Minute” rule for slow cooker recipes. The preparation takes closer to 30 minutes, while cook time is only one hour.
Slow Cooker Jalapeno Bacon Mac and Cheese is the BEST mac and cheese recipe made in the slow cooker with gouda, cheddar bacon and jalapenos!
You might be asking yourself why I could make mac and cheese in the slow cooker as opposed to baked mac and cheese and that is an excellent question.
The benefit of cooking mac and cheese in a crock pot is that it reduces the chances of it drying out. Instead it stays warm and creamy, especially when you are making it for a potluck, as I was on this occasion.
The difference between a good mac and cheese recipe and a bad one comes down to the cheese sauce.
Too thin and watery and it doesn’t stick to the pasta. Too thick and gloppy and it is just a bad texture. If you don’t have a slow cooker or don’t want to use one, just make it as the recipe dictates, put it into a large casserole dish and bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes.
This recipe for macaroni and cheese has won THREE, yes three, mac and cheese competitions. Even with the additional work, it is my go-to for side dishes when I really want to WOW folks.
One can use many different types of cheese for mac and cheese, but I prefer gouda and cheddar. Gouda is a medium flavored cheese that adds an unexpected zing to the traditional flavor of cheddar. I used both sharp yellow and white cheddar. Pasta types can also be varied.
I prefer to use something that “holds” a lot of sauce- corkscrews, shells or wagons wheels are all good choices. You want nooks and crannies for the perfect cheese sauce to be able to stick to it!
Also, be sure to taste test your bacon and jalapenos prior to adding them to the pot. I made the mistake of not tasting my bacon and for some reason it was way too salty for my taste.
Jalapenos can also differ in heat, so make sure it is safe for your crew before you flavor the whole pot! To reduce heat on jalapenos, nix the seeds or use pickled.
On the other hand, if it is lacking flavor, either from the bacon or the jalapenos, add some hot sauce, fine sea salt or chili powder to punch it up.
I’ve been asked if this is the Famous Dave’s or Del Frisco’s Jalapeno Bacon Mac and Cheese Recipe and the answer is no, it is not a copycat recipe. However, it does taste just as good, if not better!
If you like this Slow Cooker recipe, here a few more you might enjoy!
- Slow Cooker Beef Stew
- Slow Cooker Cashew Chicken
- Slow Cooker Apple Balsamic Chicken
- Slow Cooker Italian Beef Hoagies
- Slow Cooker Chicken Korma
- Slow Cooker Jambalaya
- Slow Cooker Ragu
- Slow Cooker Orange Chicken
- Slow Cooker Cilantro Lime Tacos
- Slow Cooker Balsamic Chicken Pasta
- Slow Cooker Pineapple Pulled Pork
- Slow Cooker Beef and Broccoli
- Slow Cooker Cowboy Chicken
Slow Cooker Jalapeno and Bacon Mac and Cheese
- 1 12- ounce box rotini pasta corkscrews
- 6 slices center cut bacon
- 2 jalapenos seeded and minced
- 12 ounce condensed cheddar cheese soup
- 1/2 cup sour cream
- 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons unsalted butter divided
- 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
- 1/4 teaspoon white pepper
- 1 cup gouda shredded
- 1 cup sharp cheddar shredded
- 1 cup white cheddar shredded
- Cooking Spray
- Start by boiling a large pot of water for rotini pasta. Lightly salt water. Cook pasta according to directions, minus 90 seconds. The pasta should be al dente due to further cooking while in the crock pot. Drain and toss with 2 tablespoons unsalted butter to prevent it from sticking together while you prepare the other pieces. Set aside.
- In a medium frying pan add bacon over medium-high heat. Fry until crispy then remove to a paper towel lined plate. Set aside to cool.
- In hot bacon fat, saute minced jalapenos for 2 minutes. Remove and set aside.
- In a large sauce pan, heat condensed cheddar soup, sour cream and 1/4 cup unsalted butter, whisk until smooth. Whisk in all three cheeses until smooth and melted. Add onion powder and white pepper, combine.
- Coat the inside of a large crock pot with cooking spray. Add cheese sauce and jalapenos. Give it a quick stir, then add pasta. Carefully toss pasta until just coated. Heat the crock pot to high and allow to cook for 1 hour.
- Meanwhile, after bacon has cooled, roughly chop. Add to mac and cheese after 1 hour, toss.
- After adding bacon, continue to cook on high for 10 minutes.
- Your Three Cheese Jalapeno Bacon Mac and Cheese is now ready to be served and will stay warm and creamy for hours! Enjoy!
- If you’ve tried this recipe, come back and let us know how it was!