Roasted Poblano and Bacon Mac ‘n Cheese

With fall around the corner, thoughts turn to comfort dishes.  Nothing like mac ‘n cheese for the quintessential comfort dish.  With the addition of roasted poblano peppers, bacon and a crumb topping this dish will appeal to adults and kids alike.  The poblanos add very mild heat to the dish.  To kick it up a notch, use hotter peppers such as Italian or Hatch peppers.  The mac’ n cheese is rich and creamy with layers of smokey flavors.  Easy to make, it is a perfect marriage of creaminess and depth of  flavor imparted from the smokey bacon and peppers. Using a larger corkscrew pasta rather than traditional macaroni really increases the ratio of creamy cheese sauce to pasta.  In  mac’n cheese, that is a very good thing!  This mac’n cheese is fancy enough to serve to company, if you’re willing to share!


Roasted Poblano and Bacon Mac 'n Cheese

  • Servings: 4 to 8
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Adapted from Hostess at Heart   See the original recipe  here.

1 lb box of corscrew pasta such as cavatappi, cooked al dente, 1/2 c pasta water reserved

12 oz gruyère cheese, grated

1 quart heavy cream

2 cloves of garlic, crushed

3/4 c diced roasted poblano peppers, skin, stems and seeds removed(I used 5 whole poblanos)

5 slices thick cut smoked bacon, cooked crisp and crumbled

1 c Panko bread crumbs

3 T butter

salt and pepper to taste


To roast the peppers, place them on a baking sheet in a 400 F oven and cook for 10 minutes, turning once.  The skin should be blackened.  Place in a paper bag to sweat.  Once cooled, peel off the skin and discard the seeds and stems.  I wore rubber gloves to work with the peppers.

In a large skillet, melt the butter and add the Panko bread crumbs and stir non stop until the crumbs are golden brown.  Remove from heat and reserve.

In another large skillet, bring the cream to a boil, and continue cooking until it is reduced and thickened slightly. Stir in 1/4 c pasta water.   Add garlic, cheese, bacon and peppers. Stir in another 1/4 cup of the pasta water if sauce is too thick.  Taste and adjust for salt and pepper.  Add drained pasta and coat with sauce.

To serve, sprinkle each bowl with the toasted Panko bread crumbs.


Toasting the Panko bread crumbs


Stir the whole mixture of butter, cream, garlic, bacon, peppers and add pasta water to desired thickness.


Add the pasta to the sauce and stir to coat evenly.


Top with a sprinkling of toasted Panko crumbs.


Dig in!


Image copyrighted


19 thoughts on “Roasted Poblano and Bacon Mac ‘n Cheese

    • You’ll love it Josette! The creaminess is spot on and it seemed so fast compared to other scratch M’n C recipes . I halved the bread crumbs and added garlic. Julie said it did make too large a quantity of crumbs. I hope you can find the hatch. Internet said poblanos were substitute for them but they are pretty mild seeded and peeled. We loved their smokiness.

      Sent from my iPad


    • I know you like heat so feel free to add more poblanos or even a hotter pepper. Julie at Hostess at Heart used Hatch peppers but I could not find them. This dish vanished and all I got was a taste!

      Sent from my iPad


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