Nerdy Moms United

Baked Mac and Cheese with Bacon

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This baked mac and cheese with bacon is delicious and gooey, did I say it was topped with bacon! This creamy, cheesy, macaroni is easy to make for an unforgettable meal! This recipe is great for potlucks, BBQs, and parties. You can even make it ahead of time and freeze it for an upcoming event, which is great when you are always on the go! I have been asked repeatedly to make this Baked Mac and Cheese with Bacon for get togethers.

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Ingredients:

Salt (to taste)
1 lb. Elbow Macaroni
2 1/2 cups Milk
4 Tbsp. Butter
1/8 Tsp. Cayenne Pepper
1 Pk. Cream Cheese 
8 oz. Sharp Cheddar, shredded (about 3 cups)
8 oz. Medium Sharp Cheddar, shredded (about 3 cups)
1 Tbsp. Onion Powder
1 Tbsp. Garlic Powder
1/4 Tsp. Paprika
2 Small Bag of Bacon Bits

Instructions:

1) Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.

2) Heat the milk and seasonings in a large saucepan over medium heat until it just comes to a simmer, stir occasionally. Continue simmering until the milk is reduced to 1 1/2 cups, about 15 minutes.

3) Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the macaroni and cook until it is al dente, about 8 minutes.

4) While waiting for the water to boil, add the cream cheese and butter to the milk pan and stir until melted.

5) Whisk in the Cheddar a little at a time until all the cheese is melted and the sauce is smooth. Season to taste with salt if needed and keep warm until pasta is done.

6) Strain pasta and reserve 1 3/4 cups of the pasta water. Set aside.

7) Add the macaroni to a 13-by-9-inch baking dish and the reserved pasta water to the cheese saucepan and stir to combine. Pour over the pasta. (It will look very loose, but the pasta will suck up a lot of the sauce as it bakes.)

8) Sprinkle bacon bits evenly over the top of the macaroni and cheese. Bake until the cheese is bubbly, about 10 minutes.

Note: If you are freezing this recipe to cook later; pour the mixture into a foil baking pan and cover with a lid or foil. With a marker write the name of the recipe and these instructions:

Put in the fridge the night before cooking. Preheat oven to 425 degrees, cook for 10 minutes or until bubbly.

Looking for more recipes for potlucks, BBQs, and parties? Then you might enjoy my Red, White, and Blue Trifle recipe!

Baked Mac and Cheese with Bacon

Baked Mac and Cheese with Bacon

This baked mac and cheese with bacon is delicious and gooey, did I say it was topped with bacon! This creamy, cheesy, macaroni is easy to make for an unforgettable meal! This recipe is great for potlucks, BBQs, and parties. You can even make it ahead of time and freeze it for an upcoming event, which is great when you are always on the go! I have been asked repeatedly to make this Baked Mac and Cheese with Bacon for get togethers.
Print Recipe Pin Recipe
Course Baking, BBQ, Party Food, Side Dish
Cuisine American
Keyword Baked Mac and Cheese, Freezer Meal, Macaroni, Potlucks
Prep Time 55 mins
Cook Time 10 mins
Total Time 1 hr 5 mins
Course Baking, BBQ, Party Food, Side Dish
Cuisine American
Servings 12

Equipment

  • 9 x 13 Baking Dish
  • Pots

Ingredients
  

  • Salt (to taste)
  • 1 lb. Elbow Macaroni
  • 2 ½ Cups Milk
  • 4 Tbsp. Butter
  • Tsp. Cayenne Pepper
  • 1 Pk. Cream Cheese
  • 8 oz. Sharp Cheddar Shredded (about 3 cups)
  • 8 oz. Medium Sharp Cheddar Shredded (about 3 cups)
  • 1 Tbsp. Onion Powder
  • 1 Tbsp. Garlic Powder
  • ¼ Tsp. Paprika
  • 2 Small bags Bacon Bits

Instructions
 

  • Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.
  • Heat the milk and seasonings in a large saucepan over medium heat until it just comes to a simmer, stir occasionally. Continue simmering until the milk is reduced to 1 1/2 cups, about 15 minutes.
  • Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the macaroni and cook until it is al dente, about 8 minutes.
  • While waiting for the water to boil, add the cream cheese and butter to the milk pan and stir until melted.
  • Whisk in the Cheddar a little at a time until all the cheese is melted and the sauce is smooth. Season to taste with salt if needed and keep warm until pasta is done.
  • Strain pasta and reserve 1 3/4 cups of the pasta water. Set aside.
  • Add the macaroni to a 13-by-9-inch baking dish and the reserved pasta water to the cheese saucepan and stir to combine. Pour over the pasta. (It will look very loose, but the pasta will suck up a lot of the sauce as it bakes.)
  • Sprinkle bacon bits evenly over the top of the macaroni and cheese. Bake until the cheese is bubbly, about 10 minutes.

Notes

If you are freezing this recipe to cook later; pour the mixture into a foil baking pan and cover with a lid or foil. With a marker write the name of the recipe and these instructions: 
Put in the fridge the night before cooking. Preheat oven to 425 degrees, cook for 10 minutes or until bubbly.
Keyword Baked Mac and Cheese, Freezer Meal, Macaroni, Potlucks
Baked Mac and Cheese with Bacon

I make a commission from purchases made through links in my posts, at no extra cost to you. Read my disclosure for more information.

4 thoughts on “Baked Mac and Cheese with Bacon”

    1. Michelle - Nerdy Moms United

      That is a good question, I haven’t tried this recipe with a milk substitute. I am not sure how it will affect the flavor but never hurts to do a little experimenting in the kitchen.

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