Ultimate Mac ‘N Cheese with Bacon

by Michelle on May 22, 2009

Okay, now here’s a recipe for all my new male followers. Come on, fess up, we all know you love Macaroni and Cheese. Didn’t quite hit the spot? How about Mac ‘N Cheese with Bacon? Mouth still not watering? Well, how about Mac ‘N Cheese with Bacon and loads of Garlic and Onion!! YUMMY!!

We had a few nights of frost warnings earlier this week and I thought Macaroni and Cheese was the perfect side dish for a chilly spring night! I found an excellent recipe from my man Tyler. As soon as I read the recipe I knew it was going to be wonderful and a very adult Mac ‘N Cheese.

I made this recipe exactly as written except I substituted 5 green onions, including the tops, cut into fine coins for the chopped yellow onion. And I used sharp yellow cheddar in place of the white cheddar and added about 6 large fresh basil leaves to the topping. Yes, this Mac ‘N Cheese has a topping and that is what made it so good and of course the 4 cloves of garlic!

This is a phenomenal dish and gourmet comfort food at it’s best! I was going to cut the recipe in half but just went ahead and made it as written. And it was all gone the next day and there’s only two of us! Mr. Tastebud’s had three helpings at dinner. And the next day he had two snack helpings when he came home from work which left me a measly cup or so to warm up for my dinner that night.

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Mac ‘N Cheese with Bacon
Recipe adapted from Tyler Florence

Kosher salt
1 pound elbow macaroni
4 cups milk
2 or 3 sprigs thyme
2 cloves garlic, smashed
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
5 1/2 cups shredded sharp white Cheddar (I used Sharp Yellow Cheddar)
Freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup chopped flat-leaf parsley
Salt and pepper to taste

Topping:
4 slices bacon, cut crosswise into thin strips
1 large onion, diced (I used 5 Green Onions including stems cut into coins)
2 garlic cloves, smashed
Leaves from 1/4 bunch fresh thyme
Salt and pepper to taste

Option: 5 large Basil leaves, minced

Bring a pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the macaroni and cook for 8 to 9 minutes, until al dente. Drain.

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

In a small saucepan heat the milk with the thyme springs and 2 garlic cloves.

Melt the butter in a large, deep skillet over medium-high heat. Whisk in the flour and cook for about 1 minute, stirring constantly, to keep lumps from forming.

Strain the solids out of the milk and whisk it into the butter and flour mixture. Continue to whisk vigorously, and cook until the mixture is nice and smooth.

Stir in the 4 cups of the cheese and continue to cook and stir to melt the cheese.

Season with salt and pepper.

Add the cooked macaroni and the parsley and fold that all in to coat the macaroni with the cheese mixture.

Scrape into a 3 quart baking dish and sprinkle with the remaining 1 1/2 cups cheese. Bake for 30 minutes or until hot and bubbly.

While that bakes, heat a saute pan.

Add the bacon, render the fat and cook until crispy. Add onion, garlic and thyme leaves and cook for about 5 minutes to soften the onion. Season with salt and pepper.

To serve, scatter the bacon mixture over the Mac ‘N Cheese.

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Please visit Tyler Florence Fridays and see what the rest of Tyler’s groupies are up too this week.

Foodie Friday is hosted by Gollum of Designs by Gollum. Please visit and see what else is cooking for this week’s Foodie Friday.

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Comments

  • i3rucei3ruce May 22, 2009 at 5:17 am

    Why do I read your blog whilst starving with nothing in the kitchen? Curses!

  • earthmom May 22, 2009 at 5:24 am

    OOOOOh this looks too good to be true! I’m so making it! 😀

    Gorgeous photos. Mouth watering!

    earthmom22 (on Twitter)
    http://www.earthmombooks.com

  • Meeko Fabulous May 22, 2009 at 5:27 am

    You are from God! I can’t wait to make this! :) Thanks for sharing.

  • Danielle May 22, 2009 at 5:30 am

    mmm….that really does look good. I never thought of putting onions on top….yum!!

  • Elyse May 22, 2009 at 5:51 am

    OH MY GAH. This mac ‘n cheese looks incredible!! I am so impressed. Talk about combining two awesome ingredients: bacon and cheese. Comfort on a plate!

  • ♥Mimi♥ May 22, 2009 at 6:16 am

    I am making this without a shadow of a doubt! Ooooo, sounds so good and…all my family’s favorites☺

  • Barbara May 22, 2009 at 10:05 am

    Wow, what a great looking dish and I can already taste it. My husband will love this dish. Thanks for sharing.

    Happy Foodie Friday

  • Martha May 22, 2009 at 11:14 am

    Doesn’t bacon improve anything? Love the idea and will have to try it the next time I do mac and cheese.

  • susan May 22, 2009 at 11:39 am

    I think my husband is the only male I know who does not like mac and cheese (I don’t think his mom ever did anything but the box !) This just might be the recipe to change his mind!

  • Thoughtfully blended hearts May 22, 2009 at 12:06 pm

    A new combination for me…can’t wait to try this…
    thanks
    Becky

  • Kathleen May 22, 2009 at 1:03 pm

    Great pic, Michelle! It looks delicious!

    I made Mac and Cheese last week when the contractor was here, the recipe I have used for years. His wife emailed me for the recipe!
    Unfortunately, my little gkids like the blue box kind..drives me crazy!
    Have a great Memorial Day..

  • Susan @ A Southern Daydreamer May 22, 2009 at 1:27 pm

    oh yum… I am sooo tired of the basic mac and cheese… and I am going to make this…this weekend!
    Happy Foodie Friday! Have a great weekend ~ Susan

  • Yours Truely May 22, 2009 at 2:12 pm

    Ooh That looks good! This week got cold and made it perfect for chili. I would like to see your take on that dish.

  • Esi May 22, 2009 at 3:26 pm

    I just had mac and cheese this week, but omg, talk about ultimate. Looks amazing!

  • Martha (Ms. Cherryspoon) May 22, 2009 at 3:49 pm

    I agree with Elyse! OH MY GAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAH!

  • Mary May 22, 2009 at 3:54 pm

    Oh, my. That looks died and gone to heaven good! We’ll be making this very soon. Have a great weekend.

  • ButterYum May 22, 2009 at 3:54 pm

    Hello!!! Could this be any more delicious looking???

  • Jason @ Jason's BBQ Adventures May 22, 2009 at 5:53 pm

    Now that is a Mac ‘n Cheese recipe! Great recipe.

  • Ale May 22, 2009 at 6:51 pm

    yuuuummmiiii! maybe i can be persuaded to stop eating salads just for a bite of this.

  • Jacey May 22, 2009 at 7:52 pm

    That looks incredible!

  • Megan May 22, 2009 at 8:04 pm

    Holy cannoli! I am so glad I just ate before I saw this, otherwise I might go through the computer!

  • Joanne May 22, 2009 at 9:54 pm

    I think bacon is the key to most people’s hearts – male OR female. At least in my experience. And cheese always helps.

    This looks amazing.

  • Jenny May 22, 2009 at 10:57 pm

    Uhmmm…. WOW!

  • ARLENE May 22, 2009 at 11:40 pm

    Can you spell decadent??? WOW. My Mr. Tastebuds would have finished this off the first night, for sure.

  • Natashya KitchenPuppies May 23, 2009 at 12:06 am

    You have convinced me, I need to make this soon!

  • Chandy May 23, 2009 at 12:42 am

    I love the toppings on it, yummy looking! I’m normally not into mac-n-cheese but this is very tempting. I’ll grab the recipe just the same. Thanks!

  • Debinhawaii May 23, 2009 at 12:53 am

    That is one gorgeous Mac ‘N Cheese and you can’t go wrong with bacon and garlic–Yum!

  • Pam May 23, 2009 at 1:11 am

    Wow! That’s all I can say is..Wow!

  • Puna May 23, 2009 at 3:44 am

    My son will only eat mac and cheese! I’m not sure if he’ll eat it with onion though…

  • Kim May 23, 2009 at 4:20 am

    Your pictures are terrific! The mac n cheese looks like something I could totally binge on and then feel like it was totally worth it : ) Delicious.

  • Nancy/n.o.e May 23, 2009 at 4:30 am

    What a great take on the classic – bacon can only make it better, right?

  • Rufina Anastasia Rosarini May 23, 2009 at 5:43 am

    Loooookkksss yummy…i should try it..thanks for sharing..

  • karen May 23, 2009 at 11:22 am

    i can’t wait to make this mac and cheese. :)

  • Joyce May 23, 2009 at 4:11 pm

    I just showed this recipe to my husband and he just went bonkers. He cooks about 4 times a year and said he is going to make this when the kids come down to the beach house. I hope he keeps his promise:)
    It looks delicious and thanks for the added notes.
    Joyce

  • Sanjeev Saikia May 24, 2009 at 2:17 am

    what a delightful photo, and promises of yummy times… hey scrumptious, yummylicious post! Sanjeev

    http://www.sanjeevsaikiaart.blogspot.com

  • Jacob May 24, 2009 at 7:08 am

    Mmmm look great,
    Great photo, Thanks for the recipie, might have to try it some time.

    Cheers
    http://aussierulesnews.blogspot.com/

  • Half Baked May 24, 2009 at 6:14 pm

    Yum That looks amazing! It’s making me hungry!!

  • jaxrogue May 24, 2009 at 6:46 pm

    I’ve made macaroni and cheese with both bacon, sausage, and chorizo. I never used the onions and garlic, so I will try that.

  • Brenda@Cozy Little House May 24, 2009 at 8:52 pm

    I have to say that that’s the most photogenic mac and cheese I’ve ever seen. And I would be delighted to get just a taste of it. So I guess I’ll have to make it to see!
    Brenda

  • Mid-Atlantic Martha May 25, 2009 at 1:47 am

    Wow ! This certainly takes mac and cheese to a whole new level – like company food! Great post.

  • Kevin May 26, 2009 at 1:48 am

    That looks really good. I like the green onion topping!

  • Marta May 26, 2009 at 9:10 pm

    Tyler knows what he’s talking about with comfort food! What a great rendition, looks lovely :)

  • Legiman May 27, 2009 at 9:44 am

    Wow, thats really good, make me feel hungry, and want to try it.

  • Annabel August 12, 2009 at 11:44 pm

    My husband adores this dish. Again, you have enlightened me. Always added the fried bacon to the mix and never used garlic or thyme in the recipe. I would even add the basil to spice it up now. I like your method more.

  • Annabel August 12, 2009 at 11:48 pm

    trying to say how much I prefer your recipe to mine but it will not post!!!

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