Clean Eating Jalapeño Popper Mac and Cheese

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On the hunt for healthy jalapeño poppers? How about clean eating mac and cheese? If you’ve nearly given up on your hopes of enjoying these two dishes in a healthy way, we’ve come to your rescue! You’ll love this jalapeño popper mac and cheese, made with clean ingredients to keep the calories down and the flavor delicious. A creamy low-fat cheese sauce and crunchy whole wheat bread crumbs give it the crunch and flavor you love, but add healthful protein and fiber normally not found in a dish like this. The end result is a meal that will satisfy you, while helping you stick to your diet.

More Mac & Cheese Recipes:
Mac & Cheese with Sun-Dried Tomatoes
Tex-Mex Style Macaroni and Cheese
Slow Cooker Macaroni and Cheese

Clean Eating Jalapeño Popper Mac and Cheese

Clean Eating Jalapeño Popper Mac and Cheese

Yields: 6 servings | Serving Size: 3/4 cup|Calories: 351| Total Fat:  14 g | Saturated Fat: 5 g | Trans Fat: 0 g | Cholesterol: 30 mg | Sodium: 496 mg | Carbohydrates: 34 g | Dietary Fiber: 5 g | Sugars: 6 g | Protein: 22 g | SmartPoints (Freestyle): 11


  • 3 cups dry whole grain macaroni noodles, cooked according to the package directions
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 2 jalapeño peppers, seeded and diced
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon mustard powder, (optional 1 tablespoon prepared mustard)
  • 2 tablespoons flour (I used white whole wheat)
  • 2 cups low-fat milk
  • 2 cups low-fat Colby jack cheese
  • 4 ounces low-fat cream cheese
  • 1/2 cup whole wheat bread crumbs
  • Salt and pepper, ot taste


  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
  2. In a large saucepan, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the onions and jalapeños and cook until soft, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and continue cooking 1 more minute. Stir in the mustard powder and flour and season with salt and pepper. Stir for 1 minute.
  3. Add the milk and bring to a boil, whisking constantly. Boil for 1 minute and turn off heat. Stir in 1 1/2 cups of the Colby jack and all of the cream cheese. Add the cooked pasta and stir until well coated. Transfer to a casserole dish.
  4. Top with breadcrumbs and remaining cheese and bake for 30-35 minutes until top is browned and cheese is bubbly. Allow to stand for 5 minutes before serving.

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What are some of your favorite SkinnyMs. healthy comfort food recipes? How about clean eating dishes that bring the spice and the crunch? Fill us in on your favorite recipes below.

4 Comments on "Clean Eating Jalapeño Popper Mac and Cheese"

  1. Mare  March 16, 2014

    This looks SO good….but serving size is 3/4 cup @ 351 calories? Yikes…….am I missing something?

    • Erica  April 14, 2014

      That's cheese for you, haha! 🙂 Hey, there is no problem with an indulgence every now and again, right? 🙂

  2. Tracy  May 20, 2014

    Is low fat cheese really clean? When I am going to indulge, I always buy the full fat cheese because I assume they need chemicals to make it low fat.

    Any insight on this?

    • SkinnyMs  May 24, 2014

      Tracy, Low-fat or Whole-fat…that is the question. Both have pros and cons. All milk, with the exception of raw, go through a processing before arriving at the supermarket. Skim does have the fat removed, which some people believe is needed in a healthy diet. On the other hand, many experts believe low-fat has greater benefits because of less fat. We typically use low-fat dairy because of the obesity epidemic and its subsequent disease causing factors. It really has to be a personal choice. Feel free to substitute full-fat dairy for low-fat. It will work just as well in any of our recipes. 🙂


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