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.

Bowl of Bacon Macaroni and Cheese with Spoon
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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.

How to Make Bacon Macaroni and Cheese Process Steps

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.

Overhead of Pot of Bacon Macaroni and Cheese

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! 🙂

Spoonful of Bacon Macaroni and Cheese

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.

More Pasta Recipes

4.70 from 10 votes

Bacon Macaroni and Cheese

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes
Bacon Macaroni Cheese is creamy and cheesy homemade mac n cheese made with elbow macaroni, two kinds of cheese, and crumbled bacon.


  • 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.

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Meet Amanda Rettke

Amanda Rettke is the creator of I Am Baker, and the bestselling author of Surprise Inside Cakes: Amazing Cakes for Every Occasion – With a Little Something Extra Inside.Over the course of her 15+ year blogging adventure, she has been featured in and collaborated with the Food Network, New York Times, LA Times, Country Living Magazine, People Magazine, Epicurious, Brides, Romantic Homes, life:beautiful, Publishers Weekly, The Daily Mail, Star Tribune, The Globe and Mail, DailyCandy, YumSugar, The Knot, The Kitchn, and Parade, to name a few.

Reader Comments

  1. This wasn’t bad. However I’d use less flower, less salt. Add fresh garlic, cream instead of milk, and add paprika.
    The amount of flower made it a bit doughy.
    Instead of mozzarella I’d use Gouda. Just a thought.
    Other than that the kids loved it.
    No hate or criticism , just suggestions from someone us makes Mac a lot . Lol

  2. Please add metric measurement units for sane people to use. I can never remember how many toes are in an elbow, or inches in feet.

  3. Great recipe! Had to add some more milk or I could’ve used it as a spread and added mushrooms, onions and a blue veined cheese. Thank you🍀

  4. I followed the instructions to the letter and it turned out great. It was delicious and there was no need to freeze/reheat as everybody had a second helping and there was no leftovers.
    Thank you for sharing.

  5. Hi, could you give advice on any adjustments if I need make this ahead of serving? Many thanks for all the amazing recipes.

  6. My family felt it was way too salty and I ended throwing out what was left. First time no one wanted seconds on Mac n cheese

  7. Super recipe! My kids loved it! I do a one-pan bake by adding extra water and milk to a baking pan and putting uncooked macaroni in. Stir it all up and bake for a less-mess dinner. If you put it together earlier in the day, cover it and let it set in the fridge beforehand, that works too. Thanks again for sharing!

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