Holiday, Side Dishes, Thanksgiving

Bacon Mac and Cheese Recipe

The holidays are all about celebrating with your loved ones and indulging in delicious comfort food. When it comes to satisfying your cravings and impressing your guests, nothing quite beats a heaping plate of Bacon Mac and Cheese. It’s the perfect side dish that combines the creamy goodness of macaroni and cheese with the smoky, savory flavor of crispy bacon. Whether you’re planning a Thanksgiving feast or just craving some soul-warming comfort food, this recipe has you covered.

This Bacon Mac and Cheese isn’t your ordinary macaroni and cheese. It’s a delightful twist on a classic that adds a smoky and savory dimension with crispy bacon. Whether you’re hosting a holiday feast, a family gathering, or just looking to treat yourself, this dish promises to please. It’s easy to prepare, incredibly delicious, and a surefire hit with everyone at the table.

Ingredients:

  • 8 slices thick-cut Bacon
  • 16 ounces Elbow Macaroni
  • 1⁄4 cup Butter
  • 1⁄2 cup All-Purpose Flour
  • 3 cups Whole Milk
  • 1⁄2 teaspoon Ground Mustard
  • 1⁄4 teaspoon Garlic Powder
  • 1⁄4 teaspoon Cayenne Pepper (optional)
  • 1 cup Sharp Cheddar Cheese
  • 1⁄2 cup Mozzarella Cheese
  • Salt and Pepper, to taste
  • Parsley, for garnish

Step-by-Step Guide:

Start by cooking the elbow macaroni until it’s al dente. Drain and set it aside, but do not rinse. Remember to save some of the pasta water for later use.

In a Dutch oven or a large pot, cook the chopped bacon over medium heat until it’s crispy, but not overly so. Remove the bacon from the pot and place it on a paper towel-lined plate.

In the same pot, melt the butter and then add the all-purpose flour. Stir continuously to create a roux, cooking until it’s lightly browned.

Gradually pour in the warmed whole milk while whisking continuously. This will create a smooth sauce. Let it simmer for 3-5 minutes until it thickens.

Season the sauce with kosher salt, ground mustard, garlic powder, and cayenne pepper (if you prefer some heat). Adjust the seasonings to your taste.

Add the shredded sharp cheddar and mozzarella cheeses to the sauce. Stir until the cheese is completely melted, and the sauce becomes creamy.

If the sauce thickens too much, you can thin it out by adding some of the reserved pasta water. Do this gradually until you achieve your desired consistency.

Fold the cooked macaroni into the cheese sauce, ensuring that it’s well coated with the creamy goodness.

For extra flavor and texture, add some of the crispy bacon to the mac and cheese.

Serve your Bacon Mac and Cheese hot, garnished with chopped parsley to add a pop of color and freshness.

Expert Tips and Tricks:

  • Use freshly grated cheese for the creamiest results.
  • Save some pasta water to adjust the sauce’s consistency.
  • Experiment with different cheese blends for unique flavor profiles.
  • Add breadcrumbs on top before baking for a crunchy crust.
  • For a spicier kick, include jalapeños or hot sauce.
  • Elevate the dish with truffle oil or truffle salt.
  • Try different bacon varieties like maple or hickory-smoked.
  • Make it vegetarian by omitting the bacon and adding roasted vegetables.
  • Experiment with gluten-free pasta for a gluten-sensitive option.
  • Create individual servings by making mini portions in muffin tins.

What to Serve With It:

  • Roast turkey
  • Cranberry sauce
  • Green bean casserole
  • Mashed potatoes
  • Gravy
  • Stuffing
  • Dinner rolls
  • Sweet potato casserole
  • Pumpkin pie
  • Pecan pie

Storage Tips:

Store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 3-4 days. Reheat in the oven or microwave until heated through.

How Much Mac and Cheese Should I Make for Family Gatherings?

The amount you should make depends on the size of your gathering. A general guideline is to prepare 1/2 to 3/4 cup of mac and cheese per person. Adjust based on your guests’ appetites and the number of side dishes you’re serving.

How Far in Advance Can I Make the Mac and Cheese?

You can prepare the mac and cheese a day or two in advance and refrigerate it. Reheat it in the oven before serving to ensure it’s warm and delicious.

Bacon Mac and Cheese is the epitome of comfort food, perfect for holidays and gatherings. The creamy, cheesy, and smoky combination is sure to make every meal memorable. Treat yourself and your loved ones to this indulgent dish—it’s a guaranteed crowd-pleaser.

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Bacon Mac and Cheese

Ingredients

Instructions

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  1. Start by cooking the elbow macaroni until it’s al dente. Drain and set aside, but don’t rinse. Save some of the pasta water for later.

  2. In a Dutch oven or a large pot, cook the chopped bacon over medium heat until it’s crispy but not overly so. Remove the bacon from the pot and set it aside on a paper towel-lined plate.

  3. In the same pot, melt the butter and then add the all-purpose flour. Stir it continuously to create a roux, cooking it until it’s lightly browned.

  4. Gradually pour in the warmed whole milk while whisking continuously to create a smooth sauce. Allow it to simmer for 3-5 minutes to thicken.

  5. Season the sauce with kosher salt, ground mustard, garlic powder, and cayenne pepper (if you prefer some heat). Adjust the seasonings to your taste.

  6. Add the shredded sharp cheddar and mozzarella cheeses to the sauce. Stir until the cheese is completely melted and the sauce is creamy.

  7. If the sauce gets too thick, you can thin it out with some of the reserved pasta water. Add it a little at a time until you achieve your desired consistency.

  8. Fold the cooked macaroni into the cheese sauce, ensuring that it’s well coated with the creamy goodness.

  9. Add some of the crispy bacon to the mac and cheese at this stage for extra flavor and texture.

  10. Serve your Bacon Mac and Cheese hot, garnished with chopped parsley for a pop of color and freshness.

Equipment

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Hey family,

My name is Aaron Brown. You can call me “A.B.”

My mission is to help you level up the process of making your favorite mealswith my video tutorials and recipe guides,plus my tried-and-true spices, cookware, and more that make every meal special.

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