This Smoked Bacon Macaroni and Cheese is a delicious recipe filled with 4 kinds of cheese and loaded with smoked bacon.
Honestly, this smoked bacon mac and cheese recipe is going to knock your socks off! It's comfort food at its finest, and it's loaded with cheese, cheese and more cheese. Plus smoked bacon for good measure. It's perfection in every single bite.
Having a really great arsenal of dinner recipe is super important when you're a foodie. Nothing beats a great mac and cheese recipe. I mean, it's a classic for a reason. Kids and adults love the stuff.
My family is obsessed with mac and cheese, however I'm a sucker for all things BACON! Honestly, I cannot get enough of it. Seriously, I keep packs of it in my freezer at all times.
If you're like me you probably love bacon more than anything in the world. Clearly, this recipe is perfect for you.
Another thing I'm obsessed with is comfort food. If you dig comfort food with melty cheese this smoked bacon macaroni and cheese recipe is absolutely perfect for YOU!
This dish was inspired by Patti Labelle's Over the Rainbow Mac n Cheese. If you have not tried hers yet you are really missing out. It's beyond decadent, it's filled with 10 kinds of cheese.
Just to clarify, I changed my smoked bacon macaroni and cheese up a bit. My daughter is a bit picky when it comes to types of cheese so I tailored this to her taste. It turned out great and I hope y'all love it as much as we do!
Be sure to scroll to the recipe card for FULL ingredients and directions!
- Dried pasta: You can use any tubular pasta or round pasta you like. Most people use the traditional elbow macaroni which is what we used for the video. The original recipe and photos we used Cappelletti (not the filled ones) we found at Whole Foods. Not sure if they still carry them. This recipe is also really great with Campanelle pasta. The bell shaped have lots of nooks and crannies for the cheese to hide in.
- Butter: Honestly, you can use salted or unsalted butter for this recipe. However, please use real butter and NOT margarine.
- Mild Cheddar Cheese: My daughter loves the taste of this cheese so we had to use it. It works so well in mac and cheese.
- Sharp Cheddar Cheese: This is a classic cheese for mac and cheese. We love it for when we're feeding kids and adults. You could substitute white cheddar if you prefer that.
- Mozzarella Cheese: Again, this is a family favourite as far as cheese goes. We actually love pizza mozzarella for most recipes because it's super stretchy which is amazing. You can substitute Gruyère, white cheddar, smoked gouda or parmesan cheese.
- Velveeta: Before you freak the heck out, this will make your mac and cheese super creamy and smooth. If you don't dig Velveeta then feel free to sub in another cheese. We love it in mac and cheese but if you want to swap it out it's no big whoop.
- Half and Half: We love the flavour and texture half and half adds to mac and cheese. If you prefer milk then go for it. Or use both. It's all good. You do you!
- Eggs: It's a fine balance when adding eggs to mac and cheese. Too many and it becomes custard like. Too little and it won't be rich enough. Use good quality eggs in this recipe.
- Salt: We use kosher most often but on occasion we'll use Himalayan salt. Use whatever you prefer for seasoning. Also, make sure you salt the pasta water liberally when cooking the noodles.
- White Pepper: Honestly, this one is a personal preference. For some reason, I do not like black pepper so I often use white pepper instead in my recipes. Feel free to use black pepper if you prefer it.
- Smoked Bacon: Any bacon will do but smoked bacon is the ultimate for this recipe. In all honestly, smoked bacon is the bomb in any recipe.
- Cold Butter: The original recipe calls for dotting the top of the mac and cheese with butter before baking in the oven. Again, this is personal preference, but I like using cold butter so it melts slower.
How to Make Homemade Mac n Cheese:
Be sure to scroll to the recipe card for FULL ingredients and directions!
- First of all, cook the bacon in a skillet till perfectly browned. Allow to cool then pat excess grease off. Chop into pieces.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Then, spray a 9 x 13 inch casserole dish with non-stick spray. Set aside.
- Next, bring a large pot of water to a boil, add salt then pasta. Cook pasta for one minute less than the package recommends. Al dente pasta is perfect for mac n cheese. Drain cooked macaroni.
- Melt butter in a saucepan then add cooked noodles and cheeses, making sure to reserve some for later as it states in the full directions in the recipe card.
- Then, combine the half and half and the eggs in a bowl. Add slowly to the mac and cheese so it doesn't curdle. Give it a big stir.
- Add salt and pepper next. Stir.
- After that, transfer the mixture to the prepared baking dish. Toss the remaining cheese over top. Then add the cold butter. Place the casserole dish in the preheated oven and bake until it starts to bubble up. This should take about 30 minutes or so.
- Remove from the oven and then add the chopped bacon. Give it a stir.
- Serve while hot.
How to Store Macaroni and Cheese:
Storing in the Fridge:
Store cooled leftover macaroni and cheese in an airtight container for 3 to 5 days.
Freezing Macaroni and Cheese:
Yes, you can freeze mac and cheese. I love making large batches of it so I can freeze extra portions. Store cooled leftover macaroni and cheese in an airtight container or resealable plastic freezer bag and store in the freezer for up to 2 months.
Reheating Macaroni and Cheese:
Oven Method Instructions:
I actually prefer reheating mine in the oven.
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
- Transfer leftovers to an oven safe baking dish. Add a little bit of milk, heavy cream or half and half to the pasta mixture. Then, add about 2 tablespoons butter too. Mix it up really well.
- Place the baking dish in the oven and bake for about 20 to 30 minutes. I don't cover mine with aluminum foil when reheating but you can if you like.
- Remove, plate and serve!
Stovetop Method Instructions:
This is an easy and quick way to reheat leftover mac and cheese.
- Place a medium saucepan on the stovetop over medium-low heat. Add a pat of butter to the pan. Allow the butter to melt.
- Then, carefully transfer the leftover mac and cheese to the pan. Stir it frequently and pour a little bit of milk, heavy cream or half and half to the saucepan. Continue cooking over medium heat while stirring. It should take about 10 to 12 minutes to heat up and incorporate the add ins. Be sure to mix really well so the cheese sauce is creamy.
- Remove the pan from the oven and transfer the mac and cheese to a bowl or serving dish.
Personally, I don't think reheating it in the microwave works well but in a pinch it will do.
- Transfer leftovers to a microwave safe baking dish.
- Add a little milk, heavy cream or half and half to the dish. Stir.
- Then, add a little butter to the top. It doesn't need to be melted, it will melt as you reheat the leftovers.
- Place the baking dish in the microwave and cook for 1 to 2 minutes. Remove and stir well. Place back in microwave for added time if needed. The volume of mac and cheese you are reheating will affect how long it takes to reheat. More mac and cheese = more time.
- Remove and serve!
What to Serve with Mac and Cheese:
- Spatchcock Turkey
- Sirloin Roast
- Grilled Beer Brat with Boozy Salsa
- Grilled Ribs with Watermelon BBQ Sauce
- Slow Cooker Ham with Honey Mustard Glaze
- Grilled Planked Meatloaf from Kiss My Smoke
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Smoked Bacon Macaroni and Cheese
- 1 pound dried noodles
- ½ cup butter
- 2 cups mild Cheddar cheese shredded
- 2 cups sharp Cheddar cheese shredded and divided
- 1 cup Mozzarella cheese shredded
- 2 cups half-and-half
- 1 cup Velveeta cheese cut into small cubes
- 2 large eggs lightly beaten
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon white pepper
- 1 pound smoked bacon cooked and chopped into pieces
- 1 tablespoon cold butter grated
- Cook bacon in a large skillet over medium heat until crisp. Remove from skillet and place on a plate lined with paper towels to help drain off any excess fat. Pat bacon dry. Cut into pieces. Set aside.
- Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F. Spray a 9 x 13 casserole dish with non-stick spray. Set aside.
- Bring a large pot of water to a boil over high heat, once it's at a rolling boil add a generous amount of salt. Toss in the noodles, and cook until tender, about 1 minute less than the package instructs. Don't overcook the pasta, you don't want it to be mushy. Remove from heat, drain the pasta and set aside.
- In a medium sized saucepan, melt ½ cup of butter. Stir in the cooked noodles. Then toss in all the cheeses, but reserve 1 cup of sharp cheddar.
- Mix the half-and-half and the eggs together in a bowl then add that slowly to the mac and cheese. Add a little at first so the heat of the pasta doesn't ruin the half-and-half or cook the eggs. Once you've added it all then mix well with a large spoon.
- Sprinkle with salt and white pepper.
- Transfer the mixture to the casserole dish that you had set aside earlier. Toss the rest of the cheese over top and add the remaining butter as well.
- Place in the oven and bake it until it starts to bubble up, and you can barely contain yourself from eating it right out of the oven. This should take about 30 to 35 minutes.
- Remove from oven. Sprinkle the chopped bacon over top.
- Serve with a big old cheesy smile!
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Erin @ Texanerin Baking
Whoa. This sounds incredible! Definitely saving this for later. I'm just about mac-and-cheesed out. 😉 Like you, I also made several versions!
PS - None of the links after Mountain Mama Cooks work. They all direct us to one of your images. Just so you know. 🙂
Thanks Erin. I had so much fun doing this event.
I fixed all the links the first day so I'm not sure why they aren't working for you. I just checked them again and they're working for me. I spent a couple of hours fixing links the day we posted because so many weren't working. Made for a long day.
Erin @ Texanerin Baking
Haha. What?! I swear they weren't working when I posted my comment! I even checked from two different browsers. CafeTerraBlog's link had been strikethroughed (if that's even a word) and they all pointed to an image. Bizarre! Happy it seems to have been a fluke. 🙂 And links not working? I better go through the ones on my post! I remember people not posting on time but I didn't recall any of them not working (maybe because I'm bad and haven't gone through them all 🙁 )
Do you have broken link checker Erin? Email me for deets if not. It's an amazing plugin, it notifies you when links are dead. Works awesome. I only know because I had thousands of broken links from a photo incident with G+ (never delete albums if you were ever on blogger, even if you're not now). So now I check them weekly.
I run so many group things that I've gotten used to clicking through all the links. But it could have been a glitch. If a plugin went wonky or my site got weird it could make it do weird things. I know I had an issue the other day where some of the pin it buttons were interfering with images. It's never ending. Anyone who says blogger is a hobby and not time consuming is on crack, I swear. It's a full time job.
I think all of mine are correct now so just copy mine. Or email me and I'll send you my html.
I appreciate the heads up though. How would we ever know there are issues if people don't speak up. I never mind peeps popping by to tell me stuff. Twice now I've had promosimple knock my ads completely off my page. Once for half a day, a very busy day, but luckily a friends notified me so I could fix it as soon as I got home. That was freaking horrible. I think I missed 20K is ad impressions by the time I fixed it. I hate promosimple so very much.
Um, WHAT are these spoons. I need them! I also need this mac and cheese in my face right now.
Now that's some serious comfort food. 🙂 YUM! PS... love the fancy glittery spoon. 🙂
10 different cheeses, holy cannoli! Your cheesy version is epic and you had me at bacon! If only I could dive into the bowl 🙂
Ugh! I should not be reading this while hungry. And at midnight!!
Kim, I just found this recipe today and it looks amazingly! I hate to be picky, but I want it to be just right when I make it. Except for the ingredient list, I don't see any further mention of the bacon! I just wondered if you mixed it into the pasta and cheese and then baked e whole thing, or did you add it on top and bake, or just add it on top after it finished baking? No matter what, bacon can only enrich Mac and cheese, but I want to get it right! Thanks for the recipe and the bacon info!
Hey Cindy, I'll pop in the post and check that immediately. Thanks for the heads up. The downside of working for yourself is not having an editor to proof read.
Pop it in before you bake or after. I tend to add half before then save half for sprinkling over top with dishes like this.
Is there something to use in place of the processed velveeta cheese? I refuse to eat that stuff! haha
Ha, I don't blame you. A lot of people feel that way. I hadn't eaten Velveeta since I was a kid and my mom used to make us cheese & crackers with it, lol. But I figured what the hell, and went with it. If you can't stomach using it I'd swap it for more cheddar. You could also give colby a try, I love it but it's a bit hard to find in our town. Try giving it a kick with some Tex-Mex cheese, it's a mix of Queso Quesadilla, Pizza Mozzarella, Cheddar, and Monterey Jack cheeses. I use that for making fundido and it melts beautifully. I have to admit I'm a sucker for Pizza Mozzarella. I tend to prefer white cheeses over all the orange ones out there. I don't know why, maybe just a personal preference. Costco sells some fabulous pizza mozzarella. And their parmesan reggiano is to die for. I pop the rind in with my spaghetti sauce as it simmers and it gives it such a rich flavour.
You can never go wrong with bacon!
Really this would be special and great smoked bacon macaroni and cheese recipe, Kim! Absolutely love your recipe, thanks for sharing!
Thanks so much Jill. I really appreciate it.
Julia Stearns @ Healthirony
That smoked bacon macaroni and cheese looks absolutely fantastic. Beautiful photos, too. I look forward to trying this.
Hi Julia. Thanks so much. I hope you get a chance to try it. Have a great weekend.
I made your recipe last night and my family love it! Definitely adding this to the list items we made regularly!
Hi Melissa. I'm so glad everyone loved it. That made my day!
Very Yummy recipe. Love this recipe.