Cooked bacon adds smoky flavor to the cheese and bread crumb topping in this flavorful and creamy macaroni and cheese casserole. Feel free to make it without the addition of green onions. I thought they went well with the bacon flavor, but if you’re not a fan of onions, you can leave them out. Serve this macaroni and cheese with sliced tomatoes or a tossed salad for a satisfying family meal.
- 8 ounces elbow macaroni, about 2 cups dry
- 3 tablespoons butter
- 4 green onions, thinly sliced
- dash garlic powder
- 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 2 1/2 cups milk
- kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- 6 slices bacon, cooked, drained, crumbled
- 2 cups (8 ounces) sharp Cheddar cheese, divided
- 1 cup soft bread crumbs
- 1 1/2 to 2 tablespoons butter, melted
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 40 minutes
Total Time: 50 minutes
Yield: 4 to 6 Servings
Cook macaroni in boiling salted water following package directions. Drain the macaroni in a colander, rinse with hot water, and set aside.
Heat oven to 350° F (180° C/Gas 4). Lightly grease a 2 1/2-quart baking dish.
In a medium saucepan over medium heat, melt the 3 tablespoons of butter. Add the green onions and garlic powder. Cook, stirring, for about 1 minute. Add the flour and stir until well blended and smooth.
Continue cooking, stirring, for 2 minutes. Gradually add the milk and cook, stirring, until thickened. Stir in salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste.
Set 1/2 cup of the shredded cheese aside and stir the remaining 1 1/2 cups of cheese into the sauce. Continue cooking and stirring until the cheese has melted.
Combine the cheese sauce with the drained macaroni and then spoon the mixture into the prepared baking dish. Sprinkle bacon evenly over the casserole and then top with the reserved 1/2 cup of cheese.
Toss the bread crumbs with 1 1/2 to 2 tablespoons of melted butter and sprinkle over the casserole. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, until lightly browned and bubbly.
When most of us think of Macaroni and Cheese, we can not get past the image of the plastic bag of miniature elbow noodles and orange powder that we prepare for our kids. Thankfully, a generation of fans of that boxed concoction have now grown up and invented many delectable variations that are more compatible with the mature palate. Creativity knows few bounds, and the variations are countless. But after experimenting with numerous combinations, we found this to be the creamiest, most flavorful Mac and Cheese recipe yet. Save the elbow noodles and orange powder for the kids.
- 16 Ounces of penne or seashell pasta
- 2 ½ Tablespoons of Butter (we recommend Fresh Amish Butter)
- 2 Tablespoons of all-purpose flour
- 2 cups of milk
- 4 Ounces of Grated Smoked Gouda cheese
- 4 Ounces of Grated Medium-Sharp Orange Cheddar cheese
- ½ teaspoon of salt
- ¼ teaspoon of ground white pepper
- Dash of garlic powder
- 1 cup of breadcrumbs
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees (190 degrees C). Lightly grease a 10-inch casserole dish.
- Bring a large pan of lightly salted water to a boil, add pasta and cook for about 8-10 minutes until tender; drain.
- Melt the butter in a small saucepan over medium heat. Stir in the flour and cook until it is consistent. Stir in the milk, salt, pepper, and garlic. Simmer, stirring constantly until sauce is thick and smooth enough to coat the back of a spoon. Remove from heat and stir in both cheeses.
- Combine finished pasta and cheese sauce. Transfer to prepared casserole dish.
- Spread breadcrumbs over top. Bake in preheated oven for 15 minutes or until heated through.
Makes 8 servings.