Ultimate Bacon Macaroni Cheese

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Ultimate Bacon Macaroni Cheese is a decadent and rich homemade mac and cheese featuring elbow macaroni, two delectable cheeses, and crispy crumbled bacon.

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Ultimate Bacon Macaroni Cheese

Crafted from scratch, this recipe begins with a base of homemade macaroni and cheese, elevated by the addition of savory bacon and a luscious cheese sauce enriched with a touch of bacon grease and butter. Indulge in the ultimate comfort food experience with this creamy and cheesy delight.

Ultimate Bacon Macaroni Cheese

Ingredients & Substitutions

  • Bacon: Opt for thick-cut bacon for added texture and flavor, though regular bacon can be used as an alternative.
  • Noodles: Elbow macaroni provides the perfect shape and texture, but feel free to substitute with your preferred pasta variety, ensuring it’s cooked al dente before adding the cheese sauce.
  • Cayenne Pepper: While optional, cayenne pepper adds a subtle depth of flavor to the cheese sauce. Feel free to omit it if preferred.
  • Cheese: A combination of shredded sharp cheddar cheese and shredded mozzarella cheese creates a harmonious blend of flavors, but don’t hesitate to experiment with other cheese varieties such as Parmesan or Gruyere.

Ultimate Bacon Macaroni Cheese

How to Achieve Creamy Macaroni and Cheese

To ensure a smooth and creamy texture, refrain from reheating the cheese sauce over direct heat, as overheating can result in a grainy consistency. Simply stir in the cheese until melted, then pour the sauce over the cooked noodles and serve immediately for optimal creaminess.

Storing and Reheating Macaroni and Cheese

For refrigeration, transfer the macaroni and cheese to an airtight container once cooled to room temperature, where it can be stored for up to 3-4 days. Alternatively, freeze in a freezer-safe container for extended storage of up to 3 months. When ready to enjoy, thaw overnight in the refrigerator before reheating.

To reheat individual servings, add 1 tablespoon of milk per cup of macaroni and cheese and microwave for 60-90 seconds, or reheat on the stovetop. For larger portions, bake covered with foil at 350°F (177°C) for 20-25 minutes, stirring well before serving.

Ultimate Bacon Macaroni Cheese


  • 8 slices thick-cut bacon, chopped into small pieces
  • 16 ounces (about 450 grams) elbow macaroni, cooked al dente and drained
  • ¼ cup (½ stick / 60 grams) butter
  • ½ cup (62.5 grams) all-purpose flour
  • 3 cups (750 milliliters) whole milk, warmed
  • 2 ½ teaspoons kosher salt
  • ½ teaspoon ground mustard
  • ¼ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper (optional)
  • 1 cup (115 grams) sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
  • ½ cup (60 grams) mozzarella cheese, shredded
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • Parsley, chopped for garnish


  1. In a large Dutch oven over medium heat, cook the bacon until crispy.
  2. Use a slotted spoon to transfer the cooked bacon to a paper towel-lined plate to drain excess grease.
  3. Reserve 2 tablespoons of bacon grease in the pot and discard the rest. Add the butter to the pot and melt.
  4. Whisk in the flour and cook for 1-2 minutes until the mixture turns light brown.
  5. Gradually pour in the warm milk, whisking constantly to prevent lumps from forming.
  6. Return the pot to the heat and continue whisking for 3-5 minutes until the sauce thickens.
  7. Add the salt, ground mustard, garlic powder, and cayenne pepper (if using), stirring to combine. Remove from heat.
  8. Stir in the shredded cheddar and mozzarella cheeses until melted.
  9. Pour the cheese sauce over the cooked elbow macaroni and stir to combine.
  10. Fold in the crumbled bacon, season with salt and pepper to taste, and garnish with chopped parsley. Serve immediately.

Ultimate Bacon Macaroni Cheese

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