This Bacon Mac and Cheese is the grown up version of that comfort food you have grown up loving! Bacon Mac and Cheese is easy to make and super tasty to eat! You know you need your Mac and Cheese with Bacon!
Bacon Mac and Cheese
I feel like there is so much to say about this Bacon Mac and Cheese recipe that I don’t even know where to start! My love of mac and cheese is a strange one. It’s like that boy you dated your freshman year and it was alright because you were both pretty immature but you knew it wasn’t love or anything so eventually you parted ways. Then, years later, you bump into him at a restaurant and he is like super fine and he wants your number, but you hesitate because he was the guy that thought wet willies were a great way to flirt. You figure, what the heck, let’s give this another shot! Within months you are inseparable and you are in love and everything is the best ever. And then you get married and have babies. Happily ever after, right?!
So now apply that weird story of my relationship with mac and cheese. I was cool with eating that boxed stuff for a while, but eventually I out grew it. I tried the “fancy” boxed mac n cheeses (you know, with the premixed sauce ooze) but it made me gag. So I just stopped eating mac and cheese altogether. Then many years later, one of my favorite food blogs posted a recipe for home made mac n cheese and I got pretty stoked! Homemade mac and cheese?! I didn’t even know you could do that! So I cooked up some stuff from scratch and it was decent! I knew it needed a few modifications to match my grown up standards, but it had to be classic enough to not scare away my kids. (Note: butternut squash mac and cheese will scare away your kids. And probably your husband.)
Mac and Cheese with Bacon
After SEVERAL (hundred) renditions over the past few years, I love what this mac and cheese has become. It is rich, it is creamy, it has the most amazing stringy melted cheese dripping off of each bite, it has those beautiful browned cheese crispy pieces around the edges, and it has bacon! Those salty little morsels of pork love are mixed into the mac and sprinkled on top so every single bite has a little extra boom boom.
Also note: this is comfort food. This is not health food. I like to serve my family healthy food as often as I possibly can and we eat as much food as possible that has prepared from scratch instead of processed, but goodness gracious, sometimes you just need a big ol’ helping of comfort. i.e. Bacon Mac And Cheese. I regret nothing. Oh, and no. This doesn’t have to be made on the grill! It can be if you’ve got a grill that can maintain a steady flow of indirect heat, but if not, stick it in the oven.
Bacon Mac and Cheese Recipe
- 1 lb elbow macaroni
- 1 tbsp salt
- 1 lb bacon diced
- 4 tbsp butter divided use
- 6 tbsp flour all-purpose
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp cracked black pepper
- 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
- 4 cups milk
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 2 cups colby jack cheese shredded
- 2 cups sharp cheddar cheese shredded
- 1/2 cup mozzarella shredded
- In a large pot bring 4 quarts of water to a boil over high heat. Add 1 tbsp salt and the macaroni to the water and stir to prevent the noodles from sticking. Cook according to package directions, then drain. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.
- While the noodles are cooking, prepare the sauce. In a large skillet, cook bacon until crisp. Remove the bacon with a slotted spoon and drain on a paper towel.
- Add 2 tbsp butter the the hot bacon grease and stir until melted. Add in the 6 tbsp flour and cook over medium heat.
- Cook the flour mixture for 5-6 minutes or until the flour has begun to brown. Stir in the milk and cream and return to a boil.
- Turn off the heat and stir in the red pepper flakes, salt, and cracked black pepper.
- Reserve 1/2 cup of each of the jack and cheddar cheeses and set aside with the mozzarella. Stir the rest of the jack and cheddar cheese into the sauce. and whisk until the cheese is melted.
- After draining the cooked noodles, return them to the large pot. Pour the cheese sauce over the noodles and stir in half of the cooked bacon.
- Use the remaining 2 tbsp butter to coat the sides and bottom of a 9x13 baking dish. Pour the mac n cheese from the large pot into the baking dish.
- Top with the remaining jack, cheddar, and mozzarella cheese and sprinkle on the remaining bacon crumbles.
- Place in the oven for 20 minutes or until the sides are bubbling and the cheese is melted and starting to brown.
- Serve immediately!