Bacon Crusted Mac and Cheese ~ this easy 30 minute meal is pretty much the dictionary definition of comfort food!
Don’t pretend you don’t love bacon. Don’t even start with me, I’m not buying it. Maybe you wish it weren’t so, but I don’t believe for a minute that you don’t love bacon.
I was a vegetarian for a while in college, and the thing that tripped me up was bacon. I don’t even think of it as a meat. I mean, it’s closer to kettle chips or caramel corn than it is to a chicken breast. You have to admit, it’s in a category all its own.
This is my classic macaroni and cheese. It’s the base for any elaborations I do over the years. It’s good, it’s honest, it’s straightforward and easy to make. If you can remember the number 2, you can make this, because everything comes in handy denominations of 2.
Just keep in mind, your macaroni and cheese is only as good as your macaroni and your cheese. I used Italian whole wheat elbows, and extra sharp aged cheddar.
Other pasta recipes to try ~
Bacon Crusted Mac and Cheese
- one 12 oz package of bacon
- 2 cups whole grain elbow pasta
- 2 Tbs butter
- 2 Tbsp flour
- 2 cups whole milk
- 2 cups sharp cheddar cheese grated (about 8 oz)
- salt and fresh cracked pepper to taste
- Preheat oven to 350F
- Cook the bacon until crisp according to your preferred method. I do it in on a baking tray in a 350 degree oven for about 25 minutes, turning once during the cooking. No spatters, no standing over a spattering pan.
- Drain and cool the bacon, then crumble it up and set aside. I know you will snack on this, so I've built in a few extra pieces of bacon to account for it.
- While the bacon is cooking, make the mac and cheese. Cook the pasta in plenty of salted boiling water. Cook it until just barely al dente. Drain and set aside.
- In a large saucepan melt the butter and sprinkle in the flour. Stir with a whisk or silicone spatula for a minute until smooth. This 'roux' will thicken your macaroni sauce.
- Whisk in the milk and heat until the mixture thickens, whisking almost constantly. This will happen as the milk gets close to a simmer.
- Take the pan off the heat, and add in the cheese. Stir until the cheese is completely melted and the sauce is smooth.
- Mix the macaroni into the cheese sauce and stir to combine well. Season to taste with salt and plenty of fresh black pepper.
- Spoon the macaroni into a baking dish, or individual dishes like I've done.
- First bake the mac and cheese without the bacon for about 15 minutes.Then top it with lots of crumbly bacon, and put it back in the oven for another 5 or 10 minutes, until hot and bubbly.