Smoked Gouda and Swiss Mac N Cheese with Bacon and Jalapenos

This recipe makes a grown up version of mac n cheese with a smooth, velvety, and smoky Gouda and Swiss cheese sauce that is gently tossed with perfectly al dente penne pasta then topped off with salty crunchy bacon pieces and spicy lightly fried jalapeños.

The ham has been replaced with crispy, salty bacon pieces and the jalapeños are deep fried in the bacon grease. (This alone is TODO (ALL) I need in life!)
Swiss cheese is added in to complete the smoky cheese sauce.

Smoked Gouda and Swiss Mac N Cheese with Bacon and Jalapenos Recipe
Toss all of those unbelievable elements with perfectly al dente cooked penne pasta and we have an incredible mind-boggling party happening!

  • 8 oz bacon, cut into small pieces
  • 2 large jalapeños, sliced
  • 16 oz box Penne Rigate
Cheese Sauce:
  • 3 Tbsp. butter
  • 4 Tbsp. flour
  • 2 c. whole milk
  • 3 c. grated smoked Gouda cheese
  • 1 c. grated Swiss cheese
  • ¼ tsp. black pepper
  • ¾ tsp. salt
  1. Heat a medium saucepan over medium high heat. Add the bacon pieces and fry until crispy. Remove the bacon pieces and place on a paper towel to drain and set aside.
  2. Add the jalapeño slices to the hot bacon grease and gently fry on each side until the jalapeño slices are crispy about 2-3 minutes. Set on a paper towel to drain and set aside.
  3. Cook the pasta according to the package directions, reserving ½ cup of the cooking liquid.
  4. In a large stockpot, melt the butter over medium-high heat and add the flour. Whisk and cook for approximately 2 minutes. While continuing to whisk, add the 2 c. whole milk and reduce the heat to medium. Whisk until all the ingredients are well combined. Continue whisking gently and bring the milk mixture to a gentle boil, the sauce will slightly thicken. Add the grated smoked Gouda and Swiss cheese one cup at a time whisking until the cheese is melted in with each addition. Add in the black pepper and salt. Whisk until all the ingredients are well combined and the cheese sauce is smooth. Remove from the heat.
  5. Gently mix the cooked pasta into the cheese sauce (use small amounts of the reserved cooking liquid at a time to loosen up the sauce if needed).
  6. Serve immediately topped with crispy cooked bacon and fried jalapeño slices.
Refrigerate leftovers in an airtight container for up to 4 days. An 8 oz wedge of Smoked Gouda makes approx. 3 cups grated cheese. Make sure to purchase and use SMOKED Gouda and not the regular Gouda. The recipe calls for ½ pkg of 16 oz bacon, you may use more bacon, if desired.
Recipe Adapted : Smoked Gouda and Swiss Mac N Cheese with Bacon and Jalapenos @ flavorsandsabores