Best Ever Macaroni and Cheese

Total Time
1hr 30mins
Prep 1 hr
Cook 30 mins

Perfect for a cold winter's night, this macaroni and cheese is a far cry from the supermarket variety. Rich and creamy with a slight kick, it is rounded off with the topping's crunch. I like to use a variety of cheeses in this. I have used bleu, gouda, gruyere, swiss, cheddar, smoked cheeses, gouda, and others, all with fabulous results. This recipe freezes wonderfully and is just as delicious when reheated in the microwave. 6 cups of cheese approximately equals 2 - 2.25 lbs. Feel free to substitute turkey bacon, or use butter (6 TBS) instead of bacon grease.

Ingredients Nutrition

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350*F.
  2. Grease a deep 3-quart baking dish and set aside.
  3. Cook bacon until crispy, reserving the grease.
  4. Cook macaroni according to package instructions for al dente.
  5. Drain and set aside.
  6. Crumble the bacon into the crushed crackers and add 1 cup of the grated cheese.
  7. Pulse in a food processor and set aside.
  8. Measure 6 tbs of bacon grease and heat in a large saucepan until bubbling.
  9. Add flour all at once, whisking until incorporated.
  10. Add the onion powder, both paprikas, mustard powder, and cayenne pepper.
  11. Continue to whisk for another 1-2 minutes.
  12. Slowly whisk in the milk and evaporated milk.
  13. Whisk continuously on medium-high heat until the mixture comes to a boil and thickens slightly.
  14. Lower the temperature to a simmer.
  15. Add the worcestershire, nutmeg, and hot sauce.
  16. Stir in the remaining 5 cups of grated cheese.
  17. Stir over low heat until the cheeses are melted.
  18. Beat the two eggs in a small bowl.
  19. Add about a cup of the cheese sauce mixture to the eggs, and whisk rapidly.
  20. Whisk the egg mixture back into the pot.
  21. Stir the cooked macaroni into the cheese sauce mixture. It will be very loose; the macaroni will absorb excess liquid as it bakes.
  22. Pour the macaroni and cheese mixture into the prepared baking dish.
  23. Top with the cracker-bacon-cheese mixture.
  24. Bake for 30-45 minutes, or until the top is golden brown and the middle is set.
  25. Allow to rest for 15 minutes before serving.
Most Helpful

4 5

My white sauce failed, which is totally my fault, so it wasn't creamy. I wasn't crazy about the topping. I'll try again when I figure out why I keep messing up the sauce.

5 5

I'd put this recipe in my baking schedule to make for a couple of neighbors who enjoy mac & cheese, & they managed to get a generous half of it while the rest stayed right on our own table! Very, very good tasting pasta dish it is, too! Thoroughly enjoyed the combo of spices in this one & will be keeping this recipe on hand for future satisfying suppers! Thanks for sharing it! [Made & reviewed for one of my adopted chefs in this Spring's Pick A Chef event]

5 5

This is definitely "adult" mac 'n cheese! Nice bite to it and great topping, with the bacon. I used cheddar, but think it would be good with smoked gouda. I cut the recipe in half and still have enough to freeze some. Don't let the long instruction list deter you from trying this. It really is easy to put together. Made for Spring 2011 PAC game.