Homemade “Three Alarm” Mac-n-cheese

Who doesn’t love homemade mac-n-cheese? Then add some spicy jalapeños, cayenne pepper, and red pepper flakes and you have the perfect blend of spicy cheesy goodness!! This is where the “three-alarm” comes from.

A few years ago while making a roux for homemade au gratin potatoes, I had an epiphany!

The cheesy goodness of a sauce would also make an amazing homemade mac-n-cheese sauce.

So, I tried it…adjusted…tried again and adjusted it again. This went on for a time until at last, satisfaction!!!

Thus, begot my very own homemade three-alarm mac-n-cheese recipe.

The recipe actually keeps evolving!

In the beginning, I only added Jalapeños but decided I liked the taste and spice of three different peppers.

I added cayenne pepper and red pepper flakes to the jalapeño, making it a three pepper cheese sauce.

This mac-n-cheese has become a crowd pleaser and one of my special recipes.

Today, I have decided to share my recipe with you all.

Homemade Three Alarm Mac-n-cheese

  • 6 cups elbow macaroni noodles (cooked al dente and set aside)
  • 5 tbsp butter
  • 5 tbsp flour
  • 3 cups half and half ((can replace with lowly milk)
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp cayenne pepper (ground)
  • 1 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 2/3 cup blended canned jalapeno peppers (with juice)
  • 6 oz Jalapeno velveeta cheese
  • 4 cups shredded colby jack cheese (divided)
  1. Boil noodles according to package directions to al dente. Rinse, drain and set aside in a large baking pan. (11×13 or larger if possible)
  2. In a medium size pot, melt 5 TB of butter then add the 5 TB of flour to create a roux (it will look like a milky colored paste). Cook on medium/low heat for approx. 1-minute stirring continuously to cook the gluten in the flour.
  3. Add 3 cups of half and half OR low-fat milk. Use a whisk to continue to stir throughout the cooking process.
  4. Add salt, cayenne pepper, blended jalapeno peppers and red pepper flakes.
  5. Once the sauce begins to thicken (approx. 3-4 mins) add Velveeta cheese cut into smaller chunks and stir till dissolved.
  6. Add 3 cups shredded colby jack cheese and stir continuously until cheese is completely melted, careful not to burn cheese sauce.
  7. Pour cheese sauce over noodles and stir to completely coat all the noodles.
  8. Sprinkle remaining 1 cup of shredded Colby jack over the noodles.
  9. Bake at 350 degrees for 25-35 minutes until the cheese on top is melted, bubbly and just beginning to brown.
  10. Serve straight from the oven. Enjoy.

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