Miss Essie’s Mac N’ Cheese

Few dishes are as comforting as mac n’ cheese. This classic, nostalgic dish is loved by both adults and children, and with many variations out there on this dish, we think you will enjoy our southern spin. Instead of making a finicky béchamel sauce on the stovetop, this version is made with a cheese base that melts perfectly in the oven. It has that rich cheesy and creamy flavor we all crave.  Jalapeños and cheese are a perfect match, that’s why we added jalapeños to the recipe, but don’t worry they are tempered by the cream and cheese, giving it an extra heat. The surprise ingredients that we’ve added make this dish pop with flavors that your mouth will love. Everyone will ask you for this recipe after they taste it!

Mac and cheese


Marcus’ Chef Tip–making the base: Be sure to blend your cheeses well so they melt evenly, the base should be silky smooth. Add jalapeño mash until the desired flavor is reached. Can add half and half to base to thin out if needed. Salt and pepper to taste, we like to use red pepper flakes for added flavor.


  1. Cook 1 lb. elbow macaroni until al dente (8-10 mins), set aside until sauce is ready
  2. Mix base in a food processor, and blend until it is a “mush.” It won’t look like much now, but it will be delicious when it all melts. 
  3. When you reach desired consistency and taste, incorporate cooked elbow macaroni into the mixture in a large bowl.
  4. Pour into a greased 11×13 pan, sprinkle shredded sharp cheddar cheese on top.
  5. Bake in a 350-degree oven for 15-20 minutes, until a nice golden brown.

Prep / Cook Time:

15 Min / 20 Min


4-8 People


  • 1 lb. elbow macaroni (cooked until al dente (8-10 mins), set aside until sauce is ready)

Ingredients For Base

  • 1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 1 cup half and half
  • 1 package cream cheese
  • 8 oz. Sharp cheddar cheese
  • 4 oz. can jalapeño or green chilies