Bacon Macaroni Cheese is creamy and cheesy homemade mac and cheese made with elbow macaroni, two kinds of cheese, and crumbled bacon. Try my Buffalo Chicken Macaroni and Cheese for another homemade variety.
Bacon Macaroni Cheese
It all starts with my homemade macaroni and cheese recipe. Then, we are not just adding bacon, we’re going to build our creamy cheese sauce by starting with just a bit of bacon grease and a little bit of butter. And, things just continue to get better from there. No, this definitely isn’t healthy food, but it’s the ultimate comfort food.
Ingredients & Substitutions
Bacon: I prefer thick-cut bacon in this recipe. But, you can use regular bacon as well.
Noodles: I went with elbow macaroni for the noodles. Use pasta noodles that you prefer and be sure to cook them al dente before adding the cheese sauce.
Cayenne Pepper: Cayenne pepper was added to the cheese sauce with ground mustard and garlic powder. But, you could definitely leave it out. (It’s not hot in this recipe, it’s just a flavor enhancer.)
Cheese: Shredded sharp cheddar cheese and shredded mozzarella cheese are the kinds of cheese I used. Some folks prefer Parmesan or Gruyere, which are both delicious additions.
How to Get Creamy Macaroni and Cheese
I am on a mission to make sure no one has grainy homemade mac n cheese ever again… and in my research discovered this awesome tip.
Do NOT put the pan back over the heat to melt the cheese. The ingredients in the pan are already hot enough to do the job of melting the cheeses. If you get cheese too hot that is when you will end up with a grainy texture. After you have stirred in the cheese, pour the mixture over the cooked noodles and serve. Best served hot! 🙂
Storing and Reheating Macaroni and Cheese
To Refrigerate: After the macaroni and cheese has cooled to room temperature, store it in an airtight container. It will last up to 3-4 days in the refrigerator.
To Freeze: For longer storage, freeze the macaroni and cheese in a freezer-safe container. It will last up to 3 months. Be sure to label and date the packaging. When ready to enjoy, first, let it thaw in the refrigerator overnight before reheating.
Reheating: To reheat an individual serving, add 1 tablespoon of milk per cup of macaroni and cheese, and then heat for 60-90 seconds in the microwave. You could also reheat it on the stovetop. To reheat a larger portion, place macaroni and cheese in an oven-safe dish. Pour in 1 tablespoon of milk per cup of macaroni and cheese, cover with foil, and bake at 350°F for 20-25 minutes, or until heated through. Stir well before serving.
Bacon Macaroni and Cheese
- 8 slices thick-cut bacon, chopped into small pieces
- 16 ounces elbow macaroni, cooked al dente and drained
- ¼ cup (½ stick / 57 g) butter
- ½ cup (62.5 g) all-purpose flour
- 3 cups (735 g) whole milk, warmed
- 2 ½ teaspoons kosher salt
- ½ teaspoon ground mustard
- ¼ teaspoon garlic powder
- ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper, optional
- 1 cup (113 g) sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
- ½ cup (56.5 g) mozzarella cheese, shredded
- salt and pepper, to taste
- parsley, chopped for garnish
- In a large Dutch oven over medium heat, add bacon. Cook until crispy.
- Use a slotted spoon to remove the bacon from the pot. Place on a paper towel-lined plate to drain.
- Leave 2 tablespoons of bacon grease in the pot, draining the rest. Add butter and melt.
- Add flour and whisk constantly for 1-2 minutes, or until the mixture turns light brown.
- Remove from heat and gradually pour in the warm milk, whisking constantly.
- Return the pan to heat. Whisk another 3-5 minutes, or until thickened.
- Add the salt, ground mustard, garlic powder, and cayenne pepper (if using). Stir to combine. Remove from heat.
- Add both kinds of cheese, stirring to melt.
- Pour the cheese sauce over the top of the cooked elbow macaroni. Stir to combine.
- Fold in crumbled bacon. Season with salt and paper and top with chopped parsley. Serve immediately.
Did you make this recipe?
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