posted July 22, 2020
Bacon Mac and Cheese
This Bacon Mac and Cheese is the grown up version of that comfort food you know and love from your childhood. It is easy to make and tasty to eat! You just can’t go wrong with a heaping amount of bacon added to your mac and cheese!
Homemade Mac and Cheese with Bacon
I feel like there is so much to say about this 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 to mac and cheese. I was cool with eating that boxed stuff for a while, but eventually I outgrew 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 homemade mac and 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 rather 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.)
How to Make Bacon Mac and Cheese
After SEVERAL renditions over the past few years, I love what this mac and cheese has become. It’s rich, it’s creamy, and it has the most amazing stringy melted cheese dripping off of each bite. It also has those beautiful browned crispy cheese 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.
Here’s the 411 on making this tasty treat:
- Bacon. Cook the sliced bacon until nice and crispy.
- Noodles. Bring a big pot of water to a boil and cook the macaroni noodles according to the instructions on the package.
- Sauce. While the bacon and noodles are cooking, make the cheese sauce by making a roux, adding seasonings, and melting in the cheese. Transfer the mac and cheese to a baking dish or cast iron skillet.
- Bake. Bake the bacon mac and cheese in the oven or on the grill until the cheese is nice and melty. Make sure to serve this mac and cheese immediately while the cheese is still hot and oh-so gooey.
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 is prepared from scratch instead of processed, but goodness gracious, sometimes you just need a big ol’ helping bowl of comfort. Oh, and no, this doesn’t have to be made on the grill. If you have a grill that can maintain a steady flow of indirect heat, go for it! If not, stick it in the oven.
Craving More Mac and Cheese Recipes?
Mac and cheese is that awesome, amazing comfort food that tastes as good on a rainy day as it does in the middle of summer. Check out more wonderful mac and cheese recipes from Hey Grill Hey below:
Bacon Mac and Cheese Recipe
Bacon Mac and Cheese Recipe
- 1 pound bacon (diced)
- 4 quarts water
- 1 pound elbow macaroni
- 1 Tablespoon salt
- 6 Tablespoons flour (all-purpose)
- 4 Tablespoons butter (divided use)
- 4 cups milk
- 1 cup heavy whipping cream
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon cracked black pepper
- ¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 2 cups colby jack cheese (shredded)
- 2 cups sharp cheddar cheese (shredded)
- ½ cup mozzarella (shredded)
- Preheat oven or grill. Preheat your oven or grill to 425 degrees F.
- Cook the macaroni. In a large pot bring 4 quarts of water to a boil over high heat. Add 1 Tablespoon salt and the macaroni noodles to the water and stir to prevent the noodles from sticking. Cook according to package directions, then drain.
- Cook the bacon. In a large skillet, cook the bacon until crisp. Remove the bacon with a slotted spoon and drain on a paper towel. Do not drain the bacon grease.
- Make the roux. Add 2 Tablespoons butter the the hot bacon grease and stir until melted. Add in the 6 Tablespoons flour and cook over medium heat for 5-6 minutes or until the flour has begun to brown.
- Finish making the cheese sauce. Add in the milk and heavy whipping cream to the roux, and return to a boil. Turn off the heat and stir in the salt, cracked black pepper, and red pepper flakes.
- Add the cheese to the sauce. 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.
- Combine the noodles and the cheese sauce. 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.
- Transfer the mac and cheese to a baking dish. Use the remaining 2 Tablespoons of butter to coat the sides and bottom of a 9x13 baking dish. You can also cook this in a 12" cast iron skillet. Pour the mac and 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.
- Bake the bacon mac and cheese. Place the bacon mac and cheese in the oven or on the grill for 20 minutes or until the sides are bubbling and the cheese is melted and starting to brown.
- Serve immediately. Remove from heat, serve immediately and enjoy!
**This post was originally published in April 2015. We recently updated it with more information and helpful tips. The recipe remains the same.
Join the Grill Squad
The Grill Squad is our exclusive membership program that will transform bland cookouts into booming barbecues that you'll remember for a lifetime. The technique and skills you learn will bring your backyard cookouts to a new level. For the cost of a full brisket, you'll get annual access to an exclusive BBQ community, Pitmaster Classes, discounts, and much much more!