Jalapeño Mac N’ Cheese was crowned the best flavour in Lay’s Do Us a Flavour contest, where Canadians were asked to submit their dream potato chip concepts. Randall Litman of Calgary was the lucky champion, bringing home $50,000 and the rights to one per cent of future sales of Jalapeño Mac N’ Cheese on Lay’s Wavy.
Litman says he came up with the idea through his love for macaroni salad and potato chips. We thought the idea was so genius, it deserved a recipe of its own. Below, find a stellar, creamy and smoky ode to the Jalapeño Mac N’ Cheese potato chip.
Recipe: Jalapeño Mac N’ Cheese
- 1/2 lb pasta, preferably elbow macaroni, conchiglie, cavatappi or other similarly shaped pasta
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 2 tablespoons flour
- 2 medium jalapeño peppers, stems removed and finely diced (take the seeds out if you prefer mild; leave them in for spicy)
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon dry mustard
- 1/4 teaspoon smoked paprika
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- 2 cups milk (whole is always best)
- 5 oz grated pepper jack cheese, divided
- 5 oz sharp cheddar cheese, divided
- 1 small bag Frito-Lay’s Jalapeño Mac N’ Cheese Potato Chips, crushed
- Preheat the oven to 175 Celsius.
- Boil the pasta until al dente, drain and rinse with cool water to halt the cooking and set aside.
- Melt the butter in a saucepan over medium heat.
- Add the flour and whisk constantly for about three minutes or until you’ve made a roux. Add the jalapeños, salt, dry mustard, smoked paprika, and black pepper and stir to combine.
- Slowly add the milk, whisking continuously for about 10 minutes, until the mixture thickens. (It should stick to your spoon.)
- Remove the mixture from the heat and stir in half the cheese, whisking until combined. If it’s too thick, add a bit more milk.
- Pour the cheese sauce over the pasta and toss gently to coat.
- Add the mac n’ cheese to a casserole dish.
- Sprinkle on the remaining cheese, then top with the crushed Jalapeño Mac N’ Cheese Lay’s.
- Bake for about 20 minutes or until bubbly and golden brown. Finish under the broiler for an extra crisp.
Bonus Tip: Instead of baking the mac n’ cheese in a dish, create jalapeño mac n’ cheese poppers. Halve and scoop out the insides of 5 large jalapeños. At Step 8, fill the jalapeño halves with mac n’ cheese and place on a baking sheet. Continue with the final steps (9 & 10) of the recipe, baking until golden brown.