Smoky Skillet Bacon Mac & Cheese

6 Servings
1 hr

A scrumptious main or side dish that is a crowd pleaser. It really doesn't matter what time of day you eat Smoky Skillet Bacon Mac & Cheese because it's soooo good.


This version is a mix of white and orange cheddar, it's smoky and topped with crunchy crumbled bacon, buttery breadcrumbs and jalapeno slices.


I often serve this recipe as a side dish for our family's favourite dinner, "rib fest". It is impressive looking to serve to company when you entertain.


The key is to make sure that the bacon isn't overcooked and your cheese sauce is ooey gooey goodness.


Trust me when I tell you this recipe will become a family favourite before long.

Smoky Skillet Bacon Mac & Cheese

Recipe details

  • 6  Servings
  • Prep time: 35 Minutes Cook time: 25 Minutes Total time: 1 hr
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Ingredients

Macaroni:

  • 1 box elbow macaroni
  • 2 Tbsp kosher salt
  • 2 quarts water
  • 1 tsp Tex Mex seasoning
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1 tsp chilli powder

Cheese sauce:

  • 1 cup aged orange cheddar shredded
  • 1 cup white cheddar shredded
  • 3 Tbsp butter
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 2 cups milk (whole or reduced fat)
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ¼ tsp fresh cracked black pepper

Topping:

  • 1 pkg bacon – I prefer low sodium
  • 1 cup breadcrumbs, seasoned are fine
  • 1 Tbsp melted butter
  • ½ of a fresh jalapeno sliced, seeds removed

Instructions


Pre-heat oven to 350 F.
Grate blocks of cheese on large block grater. Set aside.
Cook bacon in frying pan on stove top on medium high heat. Once cooked, remove bacon from heat and lay out on paper towel.
While bacon is cooking, cook pasta and prepare cheese sauce.
Bring pot of water to boil, add salt and macaroni and cook according to package directions for timing. You want it al dente, strain and reserve ¼ cup of pasta water. Add pasta and reserved pasta water into a 12” greased skillet.
Melt butter in a large pot over medium heat.
Whisk in flour and stir. Once it's combined and looks like paste, start slowly pouring in milk while constantly stirring. Keep whisking until all incorporated.
Add cheeses a handful at a time while slowly stirring. Season with Tex Mex, smoked paprika, chilli powder, salt, and pepper. Keep slowly stirring. Once all cheese is melted and smooth, pour into skillet over pasta and stir until all completely combined.
Transfer bacon to a cutting board and chop into small pieces, or crumble.
Mix chopped, crumbled bacon, breadcrumbs, and melted butter in a mixing bowl until evenly combined. Spread topping all over the mac and cheese and add sliced jalapenos.
Bake for about 20 – 25 minutes or until bubbly and browned. Serve immediately.

Lisa Kotler
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