One of our local grocery stores offers this fantastic jalapeno popper mac salad, super creamy, tasty, but you can only imagine the sodium. Yikes! So, I decided to make my own version. I’m pretty dang happy with how it came out. I’ve got a few notes below if you want to make it a bit creamier and/or you’re going to have leftovers. We discovered that day 2 it wasn’t quite as creamy as day 1 and I’m wondering if the pasta absorbed some of the moisture. It was still very good the following day even with following the original recipe! The spiciness of this will depending on how spicy your jalapenos are. The ones we got were very mild, but the fresh crunch from the jalapeno and red bell pepper makes this a summer worthy salad.
Jalapeno Popper Mac Salad
Servings – 6 to 8
- 1/4 cup reduced fat mayo (if you want creamier or going for a second day, I would add another 1/8 to 1/4 cup)
- 1/4 cup light sour cream (see note above about creaminess/leftovers)
- 2 -3 oz finely diced cheddar cheese
- 1/2 tsp lemon juice
- 1 -2 jalapenos diced, seeds removed (we used 2 small sized, or you could use 1 large)
- 1/4 red bell pepper, diced
- 3-4 strips bacon, crumbled
- 1/4 tsp garlic powder
- 4 oz pasta (this is pre-cooked weight)
- 1/2 tsp salt
- Fresh cracked black pepper
- Cook pasta according to package directions, drain in a colander, and run cold water over the pasta to cool it it down.
- Add all ingredients (including pasta) to a large bowl, stir to combine.