Carrie’s Experimental Kitchen

Bacon & Cheddar Mac n’ Cheese

Rich and creamy, this Bacon & Cheddar Mac n’ Cheese is the perfect savory weeknight meal. Trust me, it will not disappoint.

Rich and creamy, this Bacon & Cheddar Mac n' Cheese is the perfect savory weeknight meal. Trust me, it will not disappoint.

So what’s a person to do when they’re about to leave for vacation and have no time to cook and doesn’t want to go food shopping? They rummage through the pantry and refrigerator to make something that is quick and easy, while using what you have before you have to throw it away. Hello, my name Bacon Cheddar Mac n’ Cheese and I want to get in your belly. 🙂

Rich and creamy, this Bacon & Cheddar Mac n' Cheese is the perfect savory weeknight meal. Trust me, it will not disappoint.

Seriously though, I did just throw this together last minute one night using pasta, a few strips of bacon, shredded cheddar cheese and for the topping, I made breadcrumbs with club crackers that the kids once again didn’t seal properly and were stale like cardboard and THIS WAS DELICIOUS!

Rich and creamy, this Bacon & Cheddar Mac n' Cheese is the perfect savory weeknight meal. Trust me, it will not disappoint.

The entire meal was ready in about 30 minutes.

Here is what you have to do:

First, preheat your oven to 350 degrees F; then bring a large pot of water to a boil. Cook your pasta ‘al dente’; leaving it a little undercooked as it will finish cooking in the cheese sauce while baking. I used gemelli, but you can use any other shaped, medium sized pasta. If you’re not sure, check out my post Pasta & Sauce: How to Pair Together for ideas. Drain the water and place back into the pot.

While the pasta is cooking, prepare your cheese sauce. Render the pieces of cut bacon in a medium sauce pan; then add flour to form a roux. Next, add milk and your cheeses. Stir until sauce is smooth and season as desired with salt and pepper. I particularly don’t add extra salt to cheese sauces because it’s usually salty enough, but your preference.

Rich and creamy, this Bacon & Cheddar Mac n' Cheese is the perfect savory weeknight meal. Trust me, it will not disappoint.Click To Tweet

Make your topping. I used a combination of club crackers and melted butter, but you can use your favorite type of breadcrumb or crackers. Finally, add the cheese sauce to the pasta and mix well. It will be a little “soupy”, but that’s ok as it will cook into the pasta. Place your pasta into a casserole dish (I used 13×9) and place the breading mixture on top. Bake for about 15 minutes or until the topping is light brown and the pasta is bubbling on the sides.

Bacon Cheddar Mac n' Cheese

So there you have it, Bacon & Cheddar Mac n’ Cheese. Pretty simple right? Check out the recipe below, try it; then come back to let me know your thoughts. It was definitely one of my family’s favorites. ~Enjoy!

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Bacon Cheddar Mac n' Cheese
Bacon & Cheddar Mac n' Cheese
Prep Time
15 mins
Cook Time
15 mins
Total Time
30 mins
 
Rich and creamy, this Bacon & Cheddar Mac n' Cheese is the perfect savory weeknight meal. Trust me, it will not disappoint.
Course: Main Entree
Servings: 8
Author: Carrie's Experimental Kitchen
Ingredients
  • 1 lb. Pasta (gemelli, macaroni, penne, etc)
  • 8 Slices Bacon, diced
  • 1/4 c. All Purpose Flour
  • 3 c. Milk, I used 2% or you can use heavy cream or half &half
  • 2 c. Shredded Sharp Cheddar Cheese
  • 1/4 c. Grated Pecorino Romano Cheese
  • 2 c. Breadcrumbs, or crushed crackers
  • 4 tbsp. Butter, melted
Instructions
  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Bring a large pot of water to a boil; then cook your pasta 'al dente'; leaving it a little undercooked as it will finish cooking in the cheese sauce while baking. Drain the water and place back into the pot.
  3. While the pasta is cooking, prepare your cheese sauce. Render the pieces of cut bacon in a medium sauce pan; then add flour to form a roux.
  4. Next, add milk and your cheese and stir until smooth over a low heat.
  5. Make your topping. I used a combination of club crackers and melted butter, but you can use your favorite type of breadcrumb or crackers.
  6. Finally, add the cheese sauce to the pasta and mix well. Place your pasta into a casserole dish (I used 13x9) and place the breading mixture on top.
  7. Bake for about 15 minutes or until the topping is light brown and the pasta is bubbling on the sides.

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Rich and creamy, this Bacon & Cheddar Mac n' Cheese is the perfect savory weeknight meal. Trust me, it will not disappoint.

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I also love this post for 40 Ways to Make Creative Mac and Cheese with Your Favorite Pastas by Food Republic!


6 Comments

  1. Donna
    January 19, 2016 at 4:41 pm - Reply

    I didn’t think you could make any improvement on mac and cheese – but adding bacon!? I may never have plain mac again! Thanks for sharing x

  2. Lynne
    March 6, 2018 at 9:26 pm - Reply

    Sorry to ask a dumb question, but do you leave the bacon in the pan when you make the sauce? I thought yes, but the directions say to stir until the sauce is smooth – but it won’t be smooth with pieces of bacon in it. Also, I don’t see any bacon in the pictures.

    • Carrie's Experimental Kitchen
      March 7, 2018 at 7:38 am - Reply

      No questions are dumb, but yes, I did leave the bacon in the pan when I made the sauce. It won’t be completely smooth, but there shouldn’t be pieces of unmelted cheese. There is bacon in there, but because I cut it into small pieces before cooking they’re pretty small. If you prefer larger pieces of bacon, you could cook the bacon as you usually would, then just crumble it into the sauce afterwards. I was just trying to save myself from extra cleanup. 🙂

  3. Lynne
    March 7, 2018 at 7:41 pm - Reply

    Thank you. I like the idea of not using an extra dish. I made this tonight, and I fried the bacon and made the roux in a cast-iron pan. I added the pasta to the sauce, topped with the crackers, then put the whole thing in the oven. It was good, but I thought that the bacon grease flavor was too strong. I think if I were to make it again, I would scoop out the cooked bacon, drain the grease, and use butter to make the roux.

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