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Contest-Winning Pepper Jack Mac

When I want to make something hearty, creamy and cheesy, I go with this dish. It's comfort food at its finest. —Rianna Styx, Libertyville, Illinois
  • Total Time
    Prep: 35 min. Bake: 20 min.
  • Makes
    6 servings


  • 2 cups uncooked elbow macaroni
  • 1/4 cup butter, cubed
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground mustard
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1-1/2 cups milk
  • 1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 3 cups shredded pepper Jack cheese
  • 1 package (8 ounces) cream cheese, cubed
  • 1 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese
  • 1/2 cup shredded Asiago cheese
  • 3/4 cup panko bread crumbs
  • 4 bacon strips, cooked and crumbled
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 cup cheddar french-fried onions, crushed


  • Cook macaroni according to package directions; drain and set aside.
  • In a large saucepan, melt butter over medium heat. Stir in the flour, salt, mustard, pepper and Worcestershire sauce until smooth; gradually add milk and cream. Bring to a boil over medium heat; cook and stir for 1 minute or until thickened. Stir in cheeses until melted. Stir macaroni into cheese mixture.
  • Transfer to a greased 2-qt. baking dish. Sprinkle with bread crumbs, bacon, Parmesan cheese and onions. Bake, uncovered, at 350° for 20-25 minutes or until bubbly and golden brown.
Nutrition Facts
1 cup: 859 calories, 64g fat (37g saturated fat), 191mg cholesterol, 1127mg sodium, 39g carbohydrate (4g sugars, 1g fiber), 34g protein.

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Average Rating:
  • PrplMonky5
    Mar 12, 2018

    I would rate this a 4, my husband a 5. I thought this was pretty yummy, but when making the cheese sauce, I found it to be way too thick. I had to add in more whole milk to make it thinner (maybe about 1/4C). I'm afraid that may have altered the taste just a bit. I used Monterey Jack instead of Pepper Jack (I didn't want it to be spicy at all). I also used mild cheddar cheese instead of sharp (just what I already had). The topping really accented the dish well. I'd make this again, but try not to cook the flour and milk/cream mixture so it doesn't get too thick. Maybe add in extra cream.

  • jmsterling1
    Apr 9, 2015


  • GalvinandCabesgranny
    Apr 5, 2015

    I made this for Easter and it was a hit! Awesome!

  • wasoongu
    Jun 13, 2014

    Yes, yes, and yes. Best Mac and Cheese ever. Adults were seriously giddy when I brought this out at the potluck, and completely devoured a double batch within minutes. So good. I'll increase the noodles next time, maybe double.

  • gaschoenecker
    May 18, 2014

    This recipe is great. I made it for a work luncheon and EVERY person requested the recipe

  • ConnieSue64
    Mar 12, 2014

    We loved this recipe! Like another stated, you could easily cut the cheese in half! This recipe does make a lot!!

  • VeronicaP
    Nov 17, 2012

    No comment left

  • rc6278
    May 10, 2012

    No comment left

  • RachelBonn
    Mar 15, 2012

    Best Mac 'N Cheese ever, although you can easily cut the pepper jack and cream cheese by half and not miss it.

  • ossamayomommma
    Feb 10, 2012

    Question. Has anyone frozen this recipe prior to baking?