This Spicy Pepper Jack Mac and Cheese recipe is a fun twist on the original, but still made in less than 15 minutes! With standard macaroni and cheese ingredients and the addition of tomatoes, jalapeno and pepper jack cheese for a kick! This is sure to be a crowd favorite!

Love cheesy pasta? Then you’ve got to try my Lasagna Roll-Ups and my Spinach and Ricotta Stuffed Shells!

Spicy Pepper Jack Mac and Cheese in white bowl

Want to save this recipe?

Enter your email below & we'll send it straight to your inbox! You will also receive other new recipes in your inbox weekly!

    Homemade Mac and Cheese (But Make It Spicy!)

    Macaroni and cheese has to be one of the best comfort foods there is. I mean, c’mon, it’s creamy, rich, and loaded with tons of cheese. Food doesn’t get much better than that!

    But this Spicy Pepper Jack Mac and Cheese is not your ordinary mac and cheese. Loaded with Jalapenos, tomatoes, pepper jack cheese, Tabasco and cayenne pepper, it packs in a lot of heat that’s mellowed out by the creamy cheese sauce.

    This spicy mac and cheese recipe can be made on the stovetop in less than 15 minutes. Perfect for busy weeknights, weekend lunches, or meal-prepping!

    Spicy Pepper Jack Mac and Cheese in bowl with fork

    Key Ingredients

    • Cavatappi Pasta: I like this pasta for this Spicy Mac and Cheese for its shape and ability to hold the sauce on the inside, but you can use any dry pasta you like. Penne, farfalle or elbow macaroni would all work great!
    • Roux: Make a simple roux as the thickening base for your cheese sauce using unsalted butter, all-purpose flour, and milk. Whole is best, but you can use any type of milk you prefer.
    • Pepper Jack Cheese: This is one of the ingredients that gives this Spicy Mac and Cheese its kick. You can also use Monterey Jack cheese instead or sharp cheddar cheese.
    • Cherry Tomatoes: Add a pop of color, texture and pops of sweetness to the mac and cheese! I use either cherry tomatoes or whole diced tomatoes. Whatever I have on hand.
    • Jalapeno + Tabasco Sauce + Cayenne Pepper: Along with the pepper jack cheese, these make this homemade mac and cheese spicy, but not overly hot.
    • Fresh Parsley: For garnish and pops of green

    How To Make Spicy Pepper Jack Mac and Cheese

    • Cook the Pasta: Boil the Cavatappi until al-dente, rinse with cold water in a colander and set aside.
    • Make the Cheese Sauce: Start by preparing your roux. First, melt the butter in a small saucepan, then whisk in flour. Stir constantly for 1-2 minutes, until toasted. Add the milk, and whisk constantly to combine while simmering for 3-4 minutes, or until thick. Remove from heat, and stir in the cheese until melted and smooth.
    • Add Mix-Ins: Stir in tomatoes, jalapeno, Tabasco, salt, pepper and cayenne pepper.
    • Assemble and Serve: Pour cheese sauce over the cooked noodles and toss to combine. Serve with a sprinkle of parsley for garnish.

    Pasta cooking in boiling water


    • Make this a meal by adding some blackened chicken or shrimp! Even bacon or pancetta would be delicious. It’s also a great vegetarian meal all on its own!
    • Add a variety of cherry or grape tomatoes for more color! Heirlooms are great for this.
    • Add some diced bell peppers and/or minced garlic for more flavor without additional heat.
    • Add some crunch by topping with toasted bread crumbs!

    Want to make this as a casserole? Go for it! Just assemble in a baking dish and warm in the oven at 350 degrees for 20 minutes or so, or until bubbling around the edges. Top with some shredded pepper jack and/or breadcrumbs, if desired.

    Spicy cheese sauce in saucepan for macaroni and cheese

    Storage and Reheating Instructions

    Store leftovers in an airtight container in your fridge for up to 4 days. You can also freeze this Spicy Pepper Jack Mac and Cheese for up to 3 months in a freezer-safe container or plastic bag, or you can freeze it as a casserole for easy reheating later.

    Reheat in the microwave until warmed through and bubbling, or pop the casserole in the oven at 350 for 45 minutes until warmed through and bubbling around the edges.

    Pepper jack macaroni and cheese in white bowl

    More Pasta Recipes To Try

    Spicy Pepper Jack Mac and Cheese

    4.75 from 4 votes
    Spicy Pepper Jack Mac and Cheese. A fun twist on the original made in less than 15 minutes!
    Servings: 4
    Prep Time: 5 minutes
    Cook Time: 10 minutes
    Total Time: 15 minutes



    • Boil pasta until al-dente.
    • Meanwhile add butter to a small saucepan. Heat until melted.
    • Stir in flour and whisk constantly for 1-2 minutes.
    • Add milk and simmer whisking constantly for another 3-4 minutes until thick.
    • Take off of the heat and whisk in cheese until fully melted.
    • Stir in tomatoes, jalapeno, Tabasco, cayenne pepper, ground mustard, Worcestershire sauce and garlic powder. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
    • Pour cheese sauce over the cooked noodles and toss to combine.
    • Serve with a sprinkle of parsley for garnish and serve immediately!


    Original recipe from Please do not publish my recipe or pictures without linking back to the original post. Thank you!

    Nutrition Information

    Calories: 239kcalCarbohydrates: 28gProtein: 10gFat: 10gSaturated Fat: 6gCholesterol: 26mgSodium: 279mgPotassium: 220mgFiber: 1gSugar: 5gVitamin A: 471IUVitamin C: 9mgCalcium: 184mgIron: 1mg

    Did you make this?

    I'd love to hear your feedback! Leave a review and make sure to share your pictures on social media! Don't forget to follow @thechefsavvy.