Baked Bacon Mac and Cheese

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Get ready for the ultimate comfort food: Baked Bacon Mac and Cheese! This baked pasta is creamy, cheesy, and so delicious. Featuring crispy bacon, this dish is sure to impress even the pickiest of eaters!

Be sure to try these other cheesy dishes like Baked Cauliflower Mac and Cheese, Easy Taco Casserole, Baked Feta Tomato Pasta, and Instant Pot Mac and Cheese.

baked mac and cheese with bacon in casserole dish

Why This Recipe Works

Indulgent & Delicious: If there is anything better than classic mac and cheese, it has to be baked bacon mac and cheese! This indulgent pasta dish uses your favorite shredded cheeses combined with a creamy white sauce and crispy bacon all topped off with crunchy panko breadcrumbs for the ultimate comfort food! Need I say more?

Simple to Make: Surprisingly, this impressive mac and cheese is actually very easy to make at home! After making the base of the sauce using butter, flour, broth, milk and cream, you simply mix everything else together and bake! I will almost always admit that homemade is better, and in this case it is so worth it!


ingredients for baked mac and cheese

My creamy baked bacon mac and cheese uses pantry staples to make the best meal ever! Here’s what you’ll need:

  • Macaroni Elbows: I used classic macaroni elbows for this recipe, but you can use other small pasta shapes as well like cavatappi or small shells!
  • Butter & Flour: When butter and flour are combined, it is called a roux. Roux is used to thicken up creamy sauces like we are doing here!
  • Chicken Broth: Part of the liquid used in the sauce is chicken broth. I used low sodium chicken broth so I can control the amount of salt going into the mac and cheese!
  • Whole Milk & Heavy Cream: A combination of whole milk and heavy cream will make this sauce perfectly creamy!
  • Spices: Garlic Powder, Dry Mustard, Cayenne Pepper, Ground Nutmeg, and Salt & Pepper are used to season this mac and cheese to perfection!
  • Shredded Cheese: I used a mix of sharp cheddar and gruyere in a 3:1 ratio. However, any hard cheese you have on hand or simply your favorite cheeses will work well!
  • Bacon: Cook the bacon however you would like, just make sure it is nice and crispy! Chop it up into small, bite-sized pieces once it is ready.
  • Panko Breadcrumbs: Panko breadcrumbs are spread across the top of the mac and cheese for a crunchy bite!

Here’s How to Make It

Step by Step Instructions

first four steps of preparing baked bacon mac and cheese
  1. Preheat & Cook Pasta: Preheat the oven to 375 and cook the pasta as per the packet instructions in boiling salted water until just about al dente. Drain and set aside.
  2. Cook the Roux: Melt the butter in a large saucepan over a medium heat. Once it is frothy, whisk in the flour. Cook for a few minutes, still whisking so that the sauce won’t taste of raw flour.
  3. Make Sauce: Gradually whisk in the chicken broth until you have a smooth sauce. Whisk in the milk and raise the temperature to medium high. Continue to cook, whisking often until the sauce is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon.
  4. Add Cream & Spices: Whisk in the heavy cream, garlic powder, dry mustard, cayenne and nutmeg before seasoning to taste with black pepper.
  5. Stir in Cheeses: Remove the white sauce from the heat and stir in 2/3 of the shredded cheese, along with the bacon and the cooked macaroni. Season to taste with salt and a little more pepper, if needed.
  6. Top with Breadcrumbs: Transfer the macaroni to a buttered baking dish and top with the rest of the cheese, followed by the breadcrumbs.
  7. Bake: Bake for 20-25 minutes until the macaroni is bubbly and golden. Leave to rest for 10 minutes before serving.
final four steps of preparing baked bacon mac and cheese

Expert Tips

  • Shred your own cheese! Avoid using pre-shredded cheese, since that doesn’t melt as well. For a seamless and creamy sauce, you will want to shred the cheese from a block of cheese.
  • Use thick, high quality bacon for the best flavor!
  • Only add a small pinch of cayenne and nutmeg here! These are supposed to add a very subtle flavor and spice, so don’t add too much. Start with a little pinch and add more to taste.
  • Love it spicy? Serve with some hot sauce on top for some additional spice!

Frequently Asked Questions

How to store leftover bacon mac and cheese?

Store any leftover mac and cheese in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days!

What is the best cheese to use for homemade mac and cheese?

You want to use medium to sharp, hard cheese for mac and cheese. Cheese like sharp cheddar, gruyere and Monterrey jack are good cheeses to try. Avoid extra sharp aged cheddars since they don’t melt as well.

serving spoon scooping mac and cheese with bacon

More Comfort Food Recipes to Try

Did you make this recipe? EXCELLENT. Please rate the recipe below and be sure to tag me on social when you snap a photo of your CDLC creation – I love seeing what you’re up to in the kitchen!

serving spoon scooping mac and cheese with bacon

Baked Bacon Mac and Cheese

Get ready for the ultimate comfort food: Baked Bacon Mac and Cheese! This baked pasta is creamy, cheesy, and so delicious. Featuring crispy bacon, this dish is sure to impress even the pickiest of eaters!