Hi frands. I am so happy to be bringing this mac to you all.
I have been dreaming about it for years. Literally.
I have to admit, I had this combo for the first time at Disneyland! If you know me, you know I love all things Disney.
Well, they had mac with jalapeño cornbread at the Disney Festival of Holidays event when I went with my friend Danielle and I fell in looove. I’ve been meaning to make it ever since.
The mac part is so so easy for this. No crazy bechamel sauce to worry about, or tons of dishes. You cook the pasta like you normally would (al dente is best), combine it with your cheese, thickener and seasonings. Throw it all together in your baking dish, top it and into the oven it goes.
The more time intensive part is actually the cornbread topping, but it’s super easy too. And it’s even better if you prep that part ahead of time so it can dry out for an extra crispy topping. I don’t like things overly spicy so I always take the seeds out of jalapeños when I use them, but feel free to leave them in for more of a kick.
This would be a perfect side for a family dinner at the holidays. Full of texture and flavor. So good!
Jalapeño Cornbread Mac & Cheese
|Prep:||Cook:||Yield: 8-12 servings||Total:|
Baked mac & cheese with a crispy jalapeño cornbread topping.
- 1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
- 1/2 cup cornmeal
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 egg
- 1 cup lowfat milk
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice or 1 tablespoon white vinegar
- 1/2 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese
- 4 jalapeños, seeds removed and diced small
- Mac & Cheese:
- 1/2 pound elbow macaroni
- 2 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese
- 1 cup lowfat milk (any milk will do)
- 1 tablespoon flour
- 1/2 teaspoon ground mustard
- Salt & pepper to taste
- 2 tablespoons butter, cubed
- First make the cornbread: I made mine as muffins to have as extra for dipping in soup. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Line a muffin tin with liners or grease an 8x8 baking dish. In a mixing bowl add the milk and lemon juice or vinegar, let sit a few minutes to curdle. Next whisk in the egg. Add your dry ingredients and mix until combined. Fold in the cheese and jalapeños. Scoop evenly into the muffin tin, or spread in your pan and bake for 15-20 minutes until a toothpick inserted comes out clean (may need longer if baking in a pan). Allow to cool slightly before removing from pan.
- Crumble Topping: Once cool enough to touch, crumble the cornbread to desired coarseness and spread on a baking sheet. Bake for 10 minutes until dry and slightly crisp. I used 5 muffins.
- Mac & cheese: Preheat the oven to 375 degrees and grease an 8x8 baking dish. Cook your macaroni to package directions. I left mine on the al dente side because I knew it would be baked as well. Combine 1 cup of the cheese, dry ingredients and salt/pepper in a heat proof bowl. Add the drained hot noodles to the cheese mixture and stir to combine. Pour into your baking dish. Drizzle over the milk. Top with the butter, the remaining cheese, and then your cornbread topping. Bake covered with foil for 25 minutes, then uncover and bake until the milk is absorbed and the topping is browned. Let sit for about 10 minutes before serving.
The cornbread can be made days in advance. Just wait to make the crumbs until the day you bake your mac.
If you want to skip the cornbread topping altogether, feel free to top with regular bread crumbs or leave plain.
This recipe can also easily be doubled and baked in a 9x13 pan.
I mean, who doesn’t love cheesy pasta right?
The holidays are always filled with super rich foods, but this recipe is a lighter take on a typically heavy dish.
Yes yes yes. Cheese is the best.