Smoky Bacon Mac and Cheese
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Crispy bacon and smoked cheddar cheese add smoky goodness to classic mac and cheese. It's comfort food at its best.
Serves: 6
  • 1 lb elbow macaroni, uncooked
  • 4 rashers thick-cut bacon
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • ⅓ cup flour
  • 4 cups milk
  • 2¼ cups grated smoked cheddar cheese, divided
  • 1 tsp dry mustard
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ½ tsp fresh ground pepper
  • ¼ tsp fresh grated nutmeg
  • ½ cup panko bread crumbs
  1. Preheat oven to 400F. Lightly butter a 12-cup casserole dish (or six individual 2-cup baking dishes).
  2. In large pot of boiling salted water, cook the macaroni as per package directions until al dente. Drain and set aside.
  3. In large saucepan set over medium heat, cook the bacon until crispy, about 5-7 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, remove the bacon and set aside, leaving the bacon grease in the pan.
  4. Add garlic to the pan and saute until fragrant, about 2 minutes. Add the flour, and cook, stirring, for 2 minutes. Slowly pour in the milk, whisking constantly as you go to keep the sauce smooth, and simmer for 5-7 minutes or until the sauce thickens slightly. Remove from heat.
  5. Whisk in 2 cups of grated cheese, mustard, salt, pepper and nutmeg, stirring until the cheese is melted and the sauce is smooth. Add the pasta and bacon, and stir until well coated with sauce. (Don't worry if it looks a little soupy - it'll thicken up into a lovely saucy consistency in the oven.) Pour the mixture into the prepared casserole dish.
  6. In a small mixing bowl, stir together the panko crumbs and remaining ¼ cup grated cheese. Sprinkle evenly onto the pasta.
  7. Bake in preheated oven for 25-30 minutes, or until the sauce is bubbling hot and topping is lightly browned. Let stand for 10 minutes before serving.
Recipe by Crumb: A Food Blog at