Bacon Mac

Bacon Mac is a favorite in my house.  It’s one of those recipes that I make all the time, but don’t use an actual recipe.  It’s mostly like this Creamy Mac and Cheese (plus bacon) and a little like Broccoli and Bacon Mac (though that one had cream cheese to make it more crockpot friendly).

After I was told twice in a row that my recipe was not on my blog (first by Dude who wanted to cook bacon mac since cooking is one of out summer “chores” (mom calls it life skills (and yes, it’s the same dude who used to love to cook and guest post blogging but is now a cool teenager)) and once by my mom who wanted to make bacon mac), I knew it was time to rectify this oversight. 

So here’s the Bacon Mac as I actually make it - in case you hear me talking it up IRL!

Bacon Mac

1 pound thick cut bacon, cut in 1-inch pieces

1 pound dry elbow macaroni

2 tablespoons butter

3 tablespoons flour

2 cups milk

12 ounces (1 ½ blocks) sharp cheddar cheese, shredded

½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

¼ teaspoon paprika or smoked paprika

¼ teaspoon onion powder

⅛ teaspoon garlic powder

Cook the bacon to crisp in a large saucepan or skillet.  Remove the cooked bacon to a paper towel lined plate.  Pour off the bacon drippings, reserving 1 tablespoon in the pan to start the cheese sauce. Meanwhile, cook the macaroni to al dente in a large pot of salted water according to package instructions.

Melt the butter with the reserved bacon drippings over medium heat in the same saucepan in which the bacon was cooked.  Whisk in the flour and cook, stirring constantly for 1 minute.

Slowly add the milk, whisking constantly, allowing the mixture to thicken after each addition.  

Whisk in the pepper, paprika, garlic, and onion powder.

Finally, whisk in the cheese and stir until smooth and melted.  

Stir the cheese sauce and bacon into the drained, al dente macaroni and stir to mix.  Adjust seasonings as desired and serve.