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Bacon Mac and Cheese is made with tender pasta in a creamy, zesty cheese sauce that is full of smoky bacon.

Topped with a plentiful amount of Panko for a perfectly crispy crust, this dish is perfect for game day but quick enough to enjoy for dinner with your family on a busy weeknight!

Try my Pumpkin Mac and Cheese or Hamburger Mac and Cheese next!

Bacon mac and cheese in a square baking dish with a gold serving spoon.
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Why I Love This Recipe

This dish is the creamy and delicious mac and cheese that dreams are made of! The bacon brings a savory smokiness and the zesty ranch mix kicks the whole recipe up a notch without being overpowering.

I sprinkled some extra cheese on top at the beginning with a generous portion of panko breadcrumbs and some crumbled bacon to achieve that crispy crust in every serving.

If you’re looking for a more melty-cheese on top, simply wait to add the toppings until 5 minutes before it’s done baking.


  • Bacon – 10 slices of regular cut bacon, fried until crisp, then crumbled or diced. You could also
  • Butter, Flour, Milk – Combined to create the sauce.
  • Ranch Mix – For added flavor. Can be omitted.
  • Cheese – Cheddar cheese and Mozzarella cheese, freshly grated off the block for superior meltability.
  • Macaroni – The obvious choice. But rotini, farfalle or penne will work as well.
  • Panko Breadcrumbs – For the crispy topping.

How To Make Bacon Mac and Cheese

  • Preheat the oven and grease a 2-quart baking dish.
  • Melt butter oven medium heat, whisk in flour to make a roux, then add milk and Ranch seasoning.
  • Whisk milk mixture continuously until it thickens.
  • Add shredded cheeses, whisking until fully melted.
  • Stir in the cooked macaroni, then pour into the baking dish
  • Top with more cheese, breadcrumbs and bacon.
  • Bake for 30 minutes or until the top is crispy and edges are bubbly.
Melted butter and flour in a saucepan.
Milk and ranch seasoning added to a pot of butter and flour.
Macaroni in a saucepan of cheese sauce.
Bacon on top of a pot of mac and cheese.
Mac and cheese, bacon and shredded cheese in a square baking dish.
Baked mac and cheese with bacon.


What is the best cheese for mac and cheese?

I find that while I like the flavor of cheddar in mac and cheese, it doesn’t melt that well and needs a little help. That’s where the Mozzarella comes in. Combined, the two create a luscious and creamy sauce that’s perfect smooth.

Can you freeze this mac and cheese?

Yes! Prepare the dish, leaving off the topping until you’re ready to bake, then cover tightly with plastic wrap and foil and place into a large freezer bag. It will remain fresh for up to 3 months. Thaw it completley before adding the topping and baking as directed.

What’s the best way to reheat mac and cheese?

The best way to reheat this dish is to cover with foil and heat in a 350℉ oven for 10-20 minutes. You could also reheat in the microwave at 50% power, and add a couple splashes of milk.

How can I make the cheese sauce creamier?

Try adding a little bit of cream cheese (2-4 ounces), to the sauce. It’s very creamy and helps to prevent the sauce from breaking.

Storage Instructions

Store leftovers in an airtight container and pop in the fridge for 3-4 days. Depending on the amount, reheat in the oven or microwave.

Pro Tips

  • Pasta – I’ve opted to use classic macaroni, but you can use any small pasta you like – Penne, Rotini, Cavatappi or Farfalle.
  • Cooking the Pasta – Drain the pasta just slightly before it turns to al dente. It will continue cooking a little as it bakes.
  • Milk – I use fat free milk in most of my sauces and find that to be satisfactory. That said, whole milk or half and half will have a creamier outcome.
  • Cheese – You really should grate your own cheese for this recipe. Pre-shredded bagged cheeses are coated with a starch that significantly prevents smooth melting.
  • Garnish – A little chopped parsley makes just about every dish a little prettier. I recommend using it, especially if you are serving guests.
  • Serving Size – A square pan will feed 5-6 people, but you can double the recipe in a 9×13-inch dish and feed a crowd.
Dish with mac and cheese with bacon, a fork.

Mac and Cheese Recipes to Try Next


Bacon Baked Macaroni & Cheese

5 from 6 votes
Bacon Mac and Cheese is made with tender pasta in a creamy, zesty cheese sauce that's full of smoky bacon, topped with crispy breadcrumbs.
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 50 minutes
Total Time 1 hour
Servings 6 servings


  • 10 slices of bacon fried until crisp, then crumbled or chopped
  • 3 1/2 tablespoons butter
  • 3 1/2 tablespoons flour
  • 2 1/2 cups whole milk
  • 2 tablespoons Ranch mix
  • 1 1/4 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese divided
  • 1 1/4 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 1 1/2 cups elbow macaroni cooked as per package directions to al dente and drained
  • 1/4 cup panko bread crumbs
  • fresh minced parsley, for garnish (optional)
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  • Preheat oven to 400℉. Grease a 2 quart baking dish with nonstick cooking spray and set aside.
  • In a medium saucepan, melt butter over medium heat.
  • Whisk in flour to make a roux. Let the roux cook for 1-2 minutes until golden, whisking often.
  • Add milk and ranch seasoning.
  • Whisk the ingredients continuously until it thickens slightly, around 10 minutes.
  • Add 1 cup of cheddar cheese and 1 cup of mozzarella cheese and whisk until fully combined.
  • Add the cheese mixture to the macaroni and crumble 6 pieces of the bacon in.
  • Stir until well combined and pour into a 9" x 9" pan.
  • Pour into a well greased baking dish. Top with remaining cheese, panko bread crumbs and the remaining bacon.
  • Bake for 30 minutes or until the top is crispy and the edges are bubbling.
  • Garnish with freshly minced parsley and serve hot.


This is best served piping hot and can be doubled in a 9×13 pan to feed a crowd.


Calories: 518kcalCarbohydrates: 40gProtein: 24gFat: 28gSaturated Fat: 15gPolyunsaturated Fat: 2gMonounsaturated Fat: 8gTrans Fat: 1gCholesterol: 85mgSodium: 1011mgPotassium: 344mgFiber: 1gSugar: 6gVitamin A: 767IUCalcium: 425mgIron: 1mg

Nutritional Disclaimer Kristin Maxwell of “Yellow Bliss Road” is not a dietician or nutritionist, and any nutritional information shared is an estimate. For accurate calorie counts and other nutritional values, we recommend running the ingredients through your preferred online nutritional calculator. Calories and other nutritional values can vary depending on which brands were used.



Jessy is a busy mom and wife. She blogs over at The Life Jolie, a place to talk about all things delicious, family-related and pretty.

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  1. Hoosier Grandma says:

    Why is it called Ranch mac & cheese when there is no ranch seasoning listed in the recipe?

    1. Kristin Maxwell says:

      We are actually in the process of updating this recipe and were thinking of removing the ranch and making it an optional ingredient. You just happened to catch us mid-update! 🙂

  2. Kim says:

    Where is the original recipe with the ranch seasoning!? 😭. We loved it and never printed it out. This new recipe with paprika is different

    1. Kristin Maxwell says:

      We are actually in the process of updating this recipe and were thinking of removing the ranch and making it an optional ingredient. You just happened to catch us mid-update! 🙂