quinoa mac and cheese

Jalapeño Quinoa Mac and Cheese

This Jalapeño Bacon Quinoa Mac and Cheese is a delicious twist on a classic. It combines your favorite mac and cheese flavors with jalapeño and bacon and uses quinoa instead of noodles for a gluten-free dish!

Prep: 30 minutesCook: 30 minutesTotal: 1 hour
Fat 27 Carbs 38 Protein 7
Yield 6 servings 1x


  • 1.5 cups uncooked quinoa
  • 3 cups broth (chicken or vegetable)
  • 1/4 cup + 1 tablespoon olive oil, divided
  • 1/2 medium white onion, minced
  • 1/2 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 1/4 cup minced jalapeños, seeded (~2 small jalapeños or 1 large)*
  • 1/3 cup white whole wheat
  • 2 cups 2% milk
  • 1/2 cup Greek yogurt
  • 3 cups shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground pepper
  • 4 cups chopped kale, packed


  1. First, prepare quinoa. Place uncooked quinoa and broth in a medium saucepan and heat over medium/high heat. Once boiling, reduce heat to low and cover. Let simmer for around 15 minutes or until all liquid has absorbed. Set aside.
  2. Next, heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a large pot or Dutch oven over medium/high heat. When the olive oil is fragrant add onion and sauté for 1-2 minutes. Then, add minced garlic and continue to sauté until the onions are translucent. Add in minced jalapeños and cook for 2-3 more minutes.
  3. Now, make the cheese sauce. Add 1/4 cup of olive oil to the pot with the jalapeños in it. Then, sprinkle in white whole wheat flour and sauté with a wooden utensil until a paste forms. Whisk in milk and continue to heat over medium/high heat until thickened. This will take 2-3 minutes. Once the milk is thick, add in Greek yogurt and whisk. Then, add in 1/2 cup a cheese at a time and whisk until all cheese is melted. Finally, add in salt and pepper and mix.
  4. Once everything is smooth, add in packed kale and continue to stir over the heat until the kale has wilted.
  5. Stir in cooked quinoa.
  6. Serve immediately topped with cooked bacon*.

Tips & Notes

  • This recipe was updated on January 26, 2021. For the original recipe CLICK HERE.
  • Jalapeños: if you like it extra spicy, feel free to add a few seeds to the pot.
  • Bacon: we topped this quinoa mac and cheese with cooked bacon, diced.

Nutrition Facts

Serving Size: 1/6 Calories: 521 Sugar: 7 Sodium: 773 Fat: 27 Carbohydrates: 38 Fiber: 4 Protein: 7
Author: Lee HershCategory: Lunch and DinnerMethod: Stove TopCuisine: American

Keywords: quinoa mac and cheese

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