Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Easy Weeknight Jalapeno Macaroni & Cheese

As many of you know I have worked for T.G.I. Friday's since my days in law school.  I started working there because I was a poor law student and my car broke down and I didn't have enough money to fix it, so I had to get a job.  Friday's was right across the street from school, so I could walk to work (since I had a broken car) and was able to save money to be able to get my car fixed.  After being able to fix my car I decided that I liked having some additional income and that if I continued to work while in school I wouldn't have to take out as much money in loans, so perhaps it would be a good thing.  Fast forward 5 years and I am still there (unfortunately).  I have moved up the ranks... from host, to ToGo, to serving, to now bartending.... but I am so ready to get out of there.

While working at Friday's we used to have this amazing macaroni and cheese with jalapenos and chicken in it.  Well I decided that I was going to make up my own version of the pasta (minus the chicken) and it has become an easy fan favorite in our household.  It takes almost no prep time and makes a delicious meal that we can eat for a couple of days. So here it goes...

Easy Weeknight Jalapeno Macaroni and Cheese

1 box Penne Pasta
2, 15 ozjars Alfredo Sauce (I used DiParma Classico Four Cheese Alfredo Sauce)
1/4 c. Jarred Jalapenos, diced (We actually use more than 1/4 c. because we like things pretty spicy, but 1/4 c. will give you enough spice for those who don't like their food too spicy)
2 c. Monterrey Jack Cheese, Shredded
2 c. Pepper Jack Cheese, Shredded
1/4 c. breadcrumbs

1. Preheat Oven to 350.
2. Cook pasta as directed on box. (I cook it in an extra big pot so that I can just add the sauce to the pot and stir it all together in there without making too big of a mess... because just ask M, although I am a good cook, I am definitely a messy cook)

3. While pasta is cooking, dice the desired amount of jalapenos to add to your sauce.

4. In a large bowl mix the 2 jars of sauce and your jalapenos together to make sure that the jalapenos are evenly distributed.

5. Add sauce mixture and 1 c. of each of the shredded cheeses to your pasta. Mix well.

6. Dump pasta mixture into a greased 9"x13" baking dish.
7. Sprinkle top of pasta with remaining cheese and then sprinkle with breadcrumbs.

8. Bake for 25 minutes or until cheese is melted and top looks like a golden brown color

9. Enjoy!

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