Try these game day recipes at your next football party- the Jalapeño Popper Skillet Dip and Anaheim Chile and Bacon Mac & Cheese Bites get a serious kick when topped with Pace® salsas.
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There’s nothing I love more about football season than the game day snacking that revolves around it. It’s basically the only thing I love about football, TBH. I’ll get roped into watching the occasional game by the hubby, but truth be told I’d much rather be in the kitchen cooking up some game day recipes for him and anyone else who may happen to be over.
That’s why I’m delighted to partner with Pace® today to bring you not one, but TWO awesome and tasty game day recipes. They’re the ultimate snacks to enjoy while getting your game watching on, and a finishing dollop of Pace® salsa or sauce adds the perfect kick to both of these dishes.
First up are these insane Anaheim Chile and Bacon Mac & Cheese Bites. They’re similar to the Macaroni and Cheese Bites I’ve made before that I top with tomato jam, only here I’ve added bacon and Anaheim chiles to the mac and cheese to give it a little extra game day flavor. Major noms.
Then I scooped out equal sized portions of the mixture into greased mini muffin tins and baked them to perfection before topping each one with a bit of with Pace® Chunky Salsa (I’m a Medium kind of girl) and a fresh cilantro leaf.
It’s more fluffy and baked in texture rather than an ooey-gooey mess. It reminds me a little bit of a fritatta, and I like it like that. I topped it with crunchy panko to mimic the fried breading of a traditional jalapeño popper, and finished it with fresh scallions and a generous spoonful of Pace® Picante Sauce. Getting a little of the sauce in every bite really balances out the cheesy richness.
Anaheim Chile-Bacon Mac and Cheese Bites
- 4 strips bacon chopped
- 2 Anaheim chiles seeded and diced
- 1 clove garlic minced
- 1 cup whole wheat elbow macaroni
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 2 tablespoons flour
- 1 cup milk
- 1 1/2 cups cheddar cheese
- Small pinch of cayenne pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- Pace® Picante Sauce and fresh cilantro leaves for garnish
Heat a medium sized skillet over medium-high heat. Add bacon and cook for about 5-6 minutes or until bacon is fully cooked. Remove bacon from skillet and drain on paper towels. Reduce heat to medium and add Anaheim chiles and garlic to the same skillet. Continue to cook until chiles have softened, about 3 minutes. Remove from heat.
Cook macaroni until al dente in a pot of boiling salted water, then drain and set aside.
In a large saucepan, melt the remaining butter. Whisk in the flour over moderate heat for 2 minutes. Add the milk gradually and cook, whisking often, until thickened, about 5 minutes. Add the cheddar, cayenne and salt and whisk until cheese has melted. Fold in the macaroni and reserved bacon and chiles. Transfer to a bowl, cover and refrigerate for about 2 hours until completely chilled.
Coat two 12 cup mini-muffin tins with non-stick spray. Heat oven to 375 degrees. Spoon 1 heaping tablespoon of the macaroni into each prepared muffin cup, packing them gently.
Bake in the upper and middle thirds of the oven for about 15-20 minutes, until golden and sizzling. Let cool slightly.
Using a small spoon or butter knife, carefully loosen the mini macs. Top each with a small dollop of Pace® Picante sauce and a cilantro leaf, transfer to a platter and serve.
Jalapeño Popper Skillet Dip
- 2 tablespoons butter divided
- 2 tablespoons panko breadcrumbs
- 2 jalapeños diced, plus 1/2 sliced into rings, for garnish (optional)
- 1 clove garlic minced
- 4 ounces cream cheese room temperature
- 4 ounces goat cheese room temperature
- 4 ounces Greek yogurt room temperature
- 1 cup shredded cheddar
- 1/3 cup parmesan plus 2 tablespoons
- 1/4 cup chopped scallions divided
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 2 tablespoons Pace® Medium Chunky Salsa
Heat oven to 375 degrees. Heat a small cast iron skillet over medium heat. Melt 1 tablespoon of butter, then add panko. Cook, stirring, until panko is golden and crispy. Remove from skillet and set aside.
Wipe out skillet and add remaining tablespoon of butter. When butter has melted add diced jalapeño and garlic and sauté for about 2 minutes or until softened. Remove from heat.
In a medium sized bowl combine cream cheese, goat cheese, Greek yogurt, cheddar, 1/3 cup parmesan and 2 tablespoons scallions. Season with salt and pepper and add in cooked jalapeño, mixing until combined.
Add mixture to the same cast iron skillet, spreading evenly. Top with jalapeño slices (if using), and remaining parmesan and panko. Bake for about 15 minutes or until hot and bubbly. Remove from heat and let cool slightly before serving. Just before serving, top with Pace® Medium Chunky Salsa and remaining scallions.