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This bacon mac and cheese is so creamy and delicious - no lack of cheese or bacon in it - my most luscious mac and cheese yet.
The bacon adds a definite kick of smokiness, crispiness, and flavor to the creamy, saucy mac and cheese.
This is a definite one-pot meal, including the macaroni. I have found that cooking the macaroni in chicken stock or broth REALLY enhances the flavors.
And you get to skip the draining step since you're not using water, and you're using just the right amount of broth to cook the pasta with a bit left over for juiciness.
The pasta soaks up the flavorful broth, making it more delicious than ever! (Tell me how much you love it in the comments below!)
What You'll Need
2 teaspoon garlic (about 2 cloves), minced
4 slices bacon, meaty and thick cut
3 cups chicken stock or broth
2½ cups uncooked macaroni
¼ teaspoon paprika
¼ teaspoon salt, more to taste
¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
1 tablespoon butter
1½ cups sharp cheddar cheese, freshly shredded
4 ounces cream cheese (½ cup)
¼ cup parmesan cheese, grated
½ cup milk or cream
Making Fabulous Bacon Mac and Cheese
You will cook your bacon first, and part of the bacon fat will be left in the pan to lightly saute your garlic.
This is a fantastic base of flavor that you will built upon to create an amazing mac and cheese!
The next key to making this dish as tasty as possible is to cook the pasta in the chicken stock (or broth).
As noted above, the chicken broth is measured precisely so you won't need to drain, and the pasta will soak up the delicious chicken broth flavor.
So, layer one of flavor is your bacon and garlic. Layer two of flavor is the chicken-broth-enhanced pasta. Layer three will be your cheeses, butter, and cream.
And then, layer four will be the bacon crumbles that you add at the end - YUM!
What if your macaroni and cheese with bacon is too dry?
If you find that your mac and cheese comes out dry and not as creamy as you had hoped, you can always add more broth or cream.
Watch your pot as the pasta is cooking, so it doesn't overcook and boil out all the liquid.
If you lose some of the liquid because you didn't cover the pot or for some other reason, just add more broth.
Don't add cream until the end, as you don't want milk products to boil (they will curdle and clump - instead of creating a smooth dish, it may get lumpy).
It's perfectly fine to add more cream if you find it's not as creamy as you like. Just don't add so much that it becomes soupy. You want creamy and saucy - not runny.
You may also like my Five Cheese Marinara recipe.
Other Recipes to Try:
Spaghetti Bolognaise (Southern Style, of course!)
Corn Potato Chowder (Easy, Hearty & Delicious!)
Baked Mahi Mahi Recipe (Simple & So Flavorful!)
Authentic Jambalaya Recipe (Lots of Spicy Flavors!)
Turkey Ala King (Using Leftover Turkey or Chicken)
London Broil Crock Pot Recipe (with Built-In Gravy)
Bacon Mac and Cheese Recipe
- 2 teaspoon garlic about 2 cloves, minced
- 4 slices bacon meaty and thick cut
- 3 cups chicken broth
- 2½ cups macaroni uncooked
- ¼ teaspoon paprika
- ¼ teaspoon salt more to taste
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 1½ cups cheddar cheese sharp, freshly shredded
- 4 ounces cream cheese
- ¼ cup parmesan cheese grated
- ½ cup milk or cream
- In Dutch oven, cook bacon for 5-10 minutes or until browned and crispy. Remove bacon from pan to a paper-towel-lined plate. Remove all but 1 tablespoon of the bacon fat from the pan.
- Turn heat to low and add garlic to the bacon fat in the pan. Cook 2 minutes.
- Turn heat up, and add broth, pasta, paprika, salt, and black pepper to the pan and bring almost to a boil. Lower heat to 3-4, cover, and cook 5 minutes.
- Stir mixture and cover again, turning heat down to low.
- Cover and cook 5 more minutes. Uncover and stir. (Macaroni should be done by this point and much of the liquid absorbed by the pasta.)
- Turn heat off. Add butter, cheddar cheese, and cream cheese. Stir and cover for 5 minutes (with heat still off).
- Uncover and stir until cheese is fully melted and blended. Add parmesan, cream/milk, and crumbled bacon. Stir until all is incorporated. Taste and add more salt if needed. Serve right away.
Don't Forget to Pin For Later!
Recipe does not say when to add the salt, pepper and paprika. I assume it is at the end but you might want add to the recipe when to add it.
Karen - You're right! Thanks for pointing that out to me. I try to always list the ingredients in the order that they're used, so the paprika, salt, and black pepper are to be added right after the pasta. I will fix it in the recipe card instructions right away! Thanks for stopping by and commenting. I hope you enjoy the Bacon Mac & Cheese!
You’re welcome. I did make it and it was really good. Thanks for the recipe.
Absolutely delicious! The creamy cheese and bacon are a perfect match.
Thanks Krissy! I couldn't agree more!
There's bacon in the mac and cheese, and then bacon crumbles for topping. This is the best version of mac and cheese when you want comfort food.
Thanks Anita! I agree!
patty at spoonabilities
This is the most amazing combo of flavors. That crispy bacon has me in a tizzy!
Ha ha, yep Patty ... bacon will do that!
This bacon mac and cheese recipe seems so easy to make! Moreover, it is a great lunch idea for our teenager. Saving the recipe to teach our son to cook. Thanks!
Made it for the family and it was a hit!
That's great, Katie - thanks for letting me know!
Bacon is always a delicious addition to make and cheese. It adds so much flavour.
Thanks, Dannii - I agree!