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Bacon Macaroni & Cheese

Author Sam Merritt

Ingredients

  • 1 lb rotini or other pasta
  • 1 Tbsp butter
  • 15 pieces bacon
  • 1/2 red pepper diced
  • 1/2 white onion diced
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • Salt & pepper to taste
  • 1 Tbsp flour
  • 2 1/2 cups milk
  • 1 1/2 cups heavy cream
  • 4 cups Kraft Natural Sharp Shredded Cheddar Cheese
  • 2 1/2 cups Kraft Natural Low Moisture Part Skim Mozzarella Cheese
  • 1/4 cup panko
  • 2 Tbsp grated parmesan cheese
  • 1/4 tsp smoked paprika optional

Instructions

  • Prepare pasta according to directions on package. Once it has cooked and been drained, immediately add 1 Tbsp butter and stir until butter is melted to prevent pasta from sticking together while the other ingredients are prepared.
  • Preheat oven to 400F.
  • In large skillet, fry bacon until crispy.
  • Transfer bacon to paper-towel lined plate, pat dry with additional paper towels, and set aside.
  • Drain all but 1 Tbsp of the bacon grease (do not pour directly down your drain, pour into a disposable container and dispose of at a later time), return skillet with remaining 1 Tbsp bacon grease to stove over medium-heat and add pepper, onion, and garlic.
  • Cook, stirring frequently, until vegetables soften (about 3-5 minutes).
  • Add salt and pepper to taste (about 1/4 tsp each)
  • Sprinkle the Tbsp of flour over vegetables and stir until no dry flour remains.
  • Add heavy cream and milk and bring mixture to a boil, stirring frequently and quickly for 3 minutes.
  • Remove from heat and stir in cheese, stirring until completely melted.
  • Add in cooked pasta and bacon, stir until well-combined.
  • Transfer mixture to 13x9 pan.
  • In small bowl, whisk together panko, grated parmesan, and paprika.
  • Sprinkle over the macaroni in the pan.
  • Bake (uncovered) on 400F for 15 minutes (until begins to bubble).
  • Serve.