smoky jalapeno popper mac and cheese
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5 from 7 votes

Smoky Jalapeno Popper Mac and Cheese

Prep Time20 mins
Cook Time45 mins
Total Time1 hr 5 mins
Course: Main Dish, Side Dishes
Cuisine: Comfort Food
Servings: 6 people


  • 1/2 pound bacon diced
  • 1 link uncooked bratwurst casing removed
  • 2 jalapenos seeds removed and finely diced
  • 1 8 oz brick cream cheese
  • 8 oz uncooked elbow macaroni noodles
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 2 cups marbled cheddar shredded
  • 1/4 cup butter crackers (like Ritz) crushed
  • 1 jalapeno thinly sliced
  • 1 teaspoon Homemade Sweet Rub


  • Preheat your smoker to 225 degrees, if you plan on smoking. Also preheat your oven to 400 degrees if you're grill won't hit that temperature (if you're not smoking the mac and cheese first, only preheat your oven).
  • Preheat a 12 inch cast iron skillet over medium high heat. Brown the bacon and sausage. Stir in the diced jalapenos and cook 2-3 minutes, until softened.
  • Stir in the cream cheese and mix until well combined. Pour in the noodles, water, milk, and cream. Cook, stirring regularly, until the noodles have absorbed a majority of the liquid (about 8-10 minutes).
  • Turn off the heat and carefully stir in the garlic powder, salt, pepper, and cheese until everything is all melted together. Sprinkle the top with the sweet rub, the buttered crackers, and the thin jalapeno slices.
  • Place the mac and cheese in the smoker and smoke for 30 minutes. Either transfer your mac and cheese to the hot oven or increase your grill temperature to 400 degrees. Bake for 8-10 minutes at the higher temperature and you're ready to serve!