Extreme Habanero “Mac and Cheese”

Jalapeños are the most popular chile peppers in the US. This is probably due to the availability and versatility of the chile. Jalapeños have a balanced combination of flavor and heat. The demand for these have caused breeders to develop a broad range of varieties.

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Yields 4 Servings


  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 3 tablespoons flour
  • 2 cups fat-free milk
  • 13 ounces Beecher’s No Woman cheese, grated (divided)
  • 6 ounces multigrain penne pasta (about 2 cups, dry)
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder (divided)
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 habanero pepper, seeded and minced
  • 1 green onion, chopped (divided)
  • ¼ teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 tablespoon seasoned salt
  • 2 teaspoons seasoned pepper
  • ¼ teaspoon ground allspice
  • ¼ teaspoon cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon nutmeg
  • ¼ teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1 tablespoon blackstrap molasses
  • 1 drop lime oil


  1. Cook pasta in large pot per package directions. Drain and set aside.
  2. In a small skillet, saute the habanero pepper and green onion until soft, about two minutes.
  3. In the same large pot you cooked the pasta in, melt butter. Once melted, whisk in flour. Cook, whisking constantly, for about two minutes.
  4. Slowly add milk in a thin stream, whisking until milk is incorporated. Continue to cook, whisking, until the sauce begins to thicken (about five minutes).
  5. Remove pot from heat and add sautéed pepper and onions, spices, molasses and lime oil. Stir to combine. Adjust seasonings to taste, then stir in cheese until melted.
  6. Add cooked pasta to the pot and stir to combine.
  7. Load mac and cheese into Pammed baking dish and top with remaining cheese. Bake in a 350 degree oven for twenty minutes.
  8. Remove from oven and allow to sit, resting, for five minutes.
  9. Once plated, garnish with remaining green onion.

Recipe from Mac and Cheese Chick, 2013