Pickled jalapeños bring a little kick to our creamy mac and cheese without being too much to scare off the kids. Your little ones will love this dish that is perfect for a warm winter lunch or side dish for dinner. The shredded Manchego cheese is optional, so if you include it be sure to factor that into your nutrition, but it makes for a delicious addition!

Want some more skinny mac and cheese mix ups? Who doesn’t?! Check out our Skinny Baked Mac and Cheese with Broccoli, Baked Macaroni and Cheese Muffins, and Skinny Mac and Alfredo.

Skinny Jalapeño Mac and Cheese

Prep time: 20 minutes

Cook time: 30 minutes

Yield: 8 servings

Serving size: 1 cup


  • 12 oz whole grain rotini pasta
  • 1 Tbsp unsalted butter
  • 1½ Tbsp light butter
  • ¼ cup whole wheat flour
  • ¼ cup pickled jalapeños, diced
  • 2 cups skim milk
  • 1 cup reduced-sodium chicken broth
  • 8 oz reduced-fat, shredded Mexican cheese blend
  • ¼ cup whole wheat breadcrumbs
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ¼ tsp black pepper
  • Optional*:
  • • 2 Tbsp Manchego cheese (optional)
  • *Optional ingredients are not included in nutrition calculations.


  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Cook pasta in salted water according to package directions, drain, and set aside.
  3. Lightly coat a casserole dish with nonstick cooking spray.
  4. In a medium size skillet, over medium heat, melt butter.
  5. Turn heat to low and add flour, using a whisk, mix flour and butter.
  6. Add jalapeños and cook for 1-2 minutes.
  7. Next, add skim milk and chicken stock, and continue whisking. Raise heat to medium until mixture becomes a boil and continue whisking until mixture starts boiling and becomes thick.
  8. Continue whisking mixture until smooth and add salt and pepper.
  9. Once the mixture has become thick, remove from heat and add shredded cheese and mix until all of the cheese is melted.
  10. Add cooked pasta to casserole dish and pour cheese sauce over pasta. Use a spatula or large spoon to mix pasta and cheese sauce, making sure all the pasta is evenly covered.
  11. Top pasta and cheese with Manchego cheese (or additional shredded Mexican cheese) and bread crumbs.
  12. Bake for 20 minutes until cheese is melted and bubbly. Serve immediately.

Nutrition Information

Per Serving (1 cup):

Calories: 325

Fat: 6.6g

Carbohydrates: 10g

Fiber: 3.5g

Protein: 25g

Sugars: 6g

Sodium: 245mg

Vitamin A: 6%

Vitamin C: 3%

Calcium: 4%

Iron: 4%

WWP+: 5 points