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Double Jack Mac

 Double Jack Mac
This was a recipe that came about when I asked my two sisters what they would like to see added to traditional Mac and Cheese to make it a little special. One said Pepper Jack Cheese and the other said black beans. I liked both of the ideas and this is the result. The black beans add color and nutrition. The Pepper Jack cheese adds zip and fun.—Andrea Johnson, Freeport, Illinois
6 ServingsPrep: 25 min. Bake: 25 min.


  • 1 pound small pasta shells
  • 1/4 cup chopped onion
  • 1/4 cup butter, cubed
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2-1/2 cups 2% milk
  • 4 ounces cream cheese, cubed
  • 1 cup (4 ounces) shredded Monterey Jack cheese
  • 1 cup (4 ounces) shredded pepper Jack cheese
  • 1 cup (4 ounces) shredded sharp cheddar cheese
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/8 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 can (15 ounces) black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 8 bacon strips, cooked and crumbled
  • 2 tablespoons minced fresh cilantro
  • 1/2 cup shredded Mexican cheese blend
  • Additional minced fresh cilantro


  • Cook shells according to package directions.
  • Meanwhile, in a Dutch oven, saute onion in butter. Add garlic; cook 1
  • minute longer. Stir in flour until blended; gradually add milk.
  • Bring to a boil; cook and stir for 2 minutes or until thickened.

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Double Jack Mac (continued)

Directions (continued)

  • Add the cream cheese, Monterey Jack cheese, pepper Jack cheese,
  • cheddar cheese, salt, cumin and pepper; cook and stir until cheese
  • is melted.
  • Drain pasta. Add the beans, bacon, cilantro and pasta to the cheese
  • sauce. Transfer to a greased 13-in. x 9-in. baking dish. Sprinkle
  • with Mexican cheese blend.
  • Bake, uncovered, at 375° for 25-30 minutes or until bubbly and
  • golden brown. Garnish with additional cilantro. Yield: 6 servings.
Nutritional Facts: 1-1/2 cups equals 837 calories, 41 g fat (24 g saturated fat), 123 mg cholesterol, 1,283 mg sodium, 79 g carbohydrate, 6 g fiber, 37 g protein.
Wine: Full-Bodied White Wine: Enjoy this recipe with a full-bodied white wine such as Chardonnay or Viognier.