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Macaroni and Cheese with Bacon

macaroni and cheese with baconBack to school with homemade macaroni and cheese

It’s back to school this week for Jayson and to celebrate we made macaroni and cheese with bacon.  This is not your traditional box version, our macaroni and cheese is all homemade… and it is certainly worth the effort!   Jayson assisted me in the kitchen as we created this comfort food classic.  It’s always nice to have my son in the kitchen, he really has become quite a chef.

Macaroni and cheese is really an easy recipe to prepare.  Yes it takes a few pots and pans to create, but the end result is truly amazing.  The main elements consist of macaroni pasta and cheese.  What’s not to love?  I prepare the macaroni ahead and make sure it is cooked al dente.  This is important since this dish finishes baking in the oven.  I use sharp cheddar and Parmesan as my two cheeses.  We try to keep it simple with only great ingredients.  The topping consists of buttered breadcrumbs and Parmesan cheese.  That combination adds such a nice texture and flavor to the dish.  And of course, don’t forget the bacon.  What kid doesn’t love bacon?  We use a pound of thick cut bacon for this recipe.

Thanks Jayson!

Here is how I did it!

Preheat your oven to 400 degrees.

Butter a 9″ x 13″ baking dish.

Breadcrumb Topping

Grab a 2 quart saucepan and melt 4 tablespoons butter on medium heat.  Add the breadcrumbs and mix to combine.  Remove the pan from the heat and add the grated Parmesan cheese.  Mix everything well and set aside.

Macaroni and cheese sauce

Cook your elbow macaroni according to the package instructions, but cook the macaroni to al dente and do not overcook; it will continue to cook in the oven.

Grab a 5 quart skillet and melt 8 tablespoons of butter on medium heat.  Add your flour and whisk 3-5 minutes to combine and is a light golden brown color.  This makes a roux.

macaroni and cheese with bacon setup

Slowly add your milk and half & half while continually whisking to combine.  This makes a béchamel sauce.

macaroni and cheese with bacon setup

Switch to a wooden spoon to finish the sauce.  Add your dried mustard, kosher salt, and pepper.  Increase the heat to medium high and bring to a gentile boil.  Keep stirring!  Reduce heat to medium low and continually stir until mixture begins to thicken for 3-5 minutes.

Note:  The mixture is thick enough when it coats the back of a wooden spoon.

Gradually add your shredded cheddar and Parmesan cheese.  This makes a Mornay sauce.  Mix until all of the cheese melts.

macaroni and cheese with bacon setup

Add your bacon and combine with your macaroni and cheese sauce.

macaroni and cheese with bacon setup

Carefully pour the mixture into your baking dish.  Take your spoon and smooth out the top.  Add your breadcrumb topping evenly over your macaroni and cheese.

macaroni and cheese with bacon

Bake your macaroni and cheese for 20 minutes or until its hot and bubbly.  Let it rest for 10 minutes before serving.

 

Mac and Cheese with Bacon
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Author:
Recipe type: Lunch, Main, Side
Cuisine: American
Ingredients
Breadcrumb topping
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, plus more for baking dish
  • 1 cup plain breadcrumbs
  • ¼ cup grated Parmesan cheese
Macaroni and cheese sauce
  • 1 lb. dried elbow macaroni
  • 8 tbsps. unsalted butter
  • ½ cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups whole milk
  • 2 cups half & half
  • 16 ounces grated sharp cheddar
  • 1 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
  • 1 tbsp. dried mustard powder
  • 2 tsps. kosher salt
  • ½ tsp. pepper
  • 1 lb. thick cut bacon, cooked and roughly chopped
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Butter a 9" x 13" baking dish.
Breadcrumb Topping
  1. Grab a 2 quart saucepan and melt 4 tablespoons butter on medium heat.
  2. Add the breadcrumbs and mix to combine.
  3. Remove the pan from the heat and add the grated Parmesan cheese. Mix everything well and set aside.
Macaroni and cheese sauce
  1. Cook the elbow macaroni according to the package instructions, but cook the macaroni to al dente and do not overcook; it will continue to cook in the oven.
  2. Grab a 5 quart skillet and melt 8 tablespoons of butter on medium heat. Add the flour and whisk 3-5 minutes to combine and is a light golden brown color.
  3. Slowly add the milk and half & half while continually whisking to combine.
  4. Switch to a wooden spoon to finish the sauce. Add the dried mustard, kosher salt, and pepper. Increase the heat to medium high and bring to a gentile boil. Keep stirring!
  5. Reduce heat to medium low and continually stir until mixture begins to thicken for 3-5 minutes. The mixture is thick enough when it coats the back of a wooden spoon.
  6. Gradually add the shredded cheddar and Parmesan cheese. Mix until all of the cheese melts.
  7. Add the bacon and combine with your macaroni and cheese sauce.
  8. Carefully pour the mixture into your baking dish. Take your spoon and smooth out the top.
  9. Add the breadcrumb topping evenly over your macaroni and cheese.
  10. Bake the macaroni and cheese for 20 minutes or until its hot and bubbly.
  11. Let it rest for 10 minutes before serving.

 

Summary
Recipe Name
Macaroni and Cheese with Bacon
Published On
Preparation Time
Cook Time
Total Time
Average Rating
5 Based on 3 Review(s)
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Comments

  1. What a great post…Jayson is quite the little chef!
    Thanks for sharing, Lew?
    ?

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