Cheddar, Bacon and Garlic Mac and Cheese

This savory spin on a classic American side dish turns boring Mac and Cheese into a main dish to be reckoned with. Bacon? Did someone say bacon? That’s right, BACON MAC AND CHEESE!

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BACON MAC AND CHEESE RECIPE

Bacon. It’s one of the greatest things known to man. Or at least to the people in my house it is. Bacon makes everything better.

My bacon mac and cheese is incredibly creamy and rich. Even the leftovers were delicious – just add a couple tablespoons of milk per serving of leftovers and microwave for a minute to a minute and a half. It was still amazing!

Seriously, go make this. Like, NOW.

By the way, did you know that today is National Noodle Day? What, you didn’t know that was a thing?? Well it’s totally a thing and it really should be a big deal because pasta is awesome.

How to make bacon mac and cheese

This bacon mac and cheese is so easy to make. For the most part one pan is all you need.

  • The pasta cooks in some nicely salted water, then the water is drained with some reserved for making the sauce (bet ya didn’t see that coming). The starchiness from the pasta water helps to thicken the sauce, and a little touch of cream cheese adds a great creamy texture.
  • While the pasta was cooking, I cooked up some bacon that I’d diced up. Don’t you wish you had smell-o-vision? bacon lover
  • So you’ve got the pasta and some reserved pasta water, then you add some sharp cheddar cheese, a couple ounces of cream cheese, garlic and of course, bacon. It’s seasoned with a little salt, pepper and dry mustard. The whole thing took me maybe 15 minutes from start to finish.

 

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A blue bowl of pasta and a fork

Cheddar, Bacon and Garlic Mac and Cheese

Prep Time 5 mins
Cook Time 10 mins
Total Time 15 mins
Servings 4 main dish servings, 8 side dish servings

Ingredients
  

  • 2 1/2 cups dry Rotini Pasta
  • Salt for water
  • 1/2 cup pasta water reserved from cooking
  • 6 slices bacon cooked and crumbled
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 1 cup Sharp Cheddar Cheese
  • 2 ounces cream cheese softened
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon cracked black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon dry mustard

Instructions
 

  • Heat a pot of water to boiling, add a good amount of salt, and the dry Rotini. Cook uncovered over medium heat until al dente, about seven minutes.
  • While the pasta is cooking, slice bacon into half inch slices. Cook, drain on a paper towel, and set aside.
  • Once pasta is finished cooking, drain the water from the pan, reserving at least a cup or so.
  • Return pasta to the pan and stir in half a cup of the reserved pasta water, cream cheese, garlic and seasonings until blended. Add the cheddar cheese and stir until completely melted. If sauce is too thick, add more pasta water.
  • Fold in crumbled bacon.
  • Divide into bowls and serve as a main dish, or plate as a side dish.

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Cheddar, Bacon and Garlic Macaroni and Cheese

Kristin Maxwell

Kristin Maxwell is the creator and main recipe developer, writer, and photographer of Yellow Bliss Road. A self-taught cook and self-appointed foodie, she specializes in easy, flavorful and approachable recipes for any home cook.

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Comments

  1. Anything with bacon that can be cooked in under 30 minutes is a BIG win in my book!!! love this . . looks so good, pinned!!

  2. All is right in the world when I’m eating bacon and cheese lol! Looks amazing and filling! My boys will luv this!

  3. Looks good, Kristin! I would have to make it without the bacon since I don’t eat meat. 🙂 Hubby would like it with the bacon though.

  4. It’s like you read my mind with your opening line…..you said BACON! I love bacon recipes and so do my guys. I can’t wait to make this for them. Sounds fabulous. Pinning 🙂