Time for some comfort food and here we have a big, bold, “baconey”, mac & cheese. This topping really makes this dish pop. You will enjoy!
- 8 slices of apple-wood smoked thick-cut bacon
- 1/4 cup brown sugar
- 2 tsp. chili powder
- 8 oz. elbow pasta
- 4 tbsp. unsalted butter
- 1/3 cup flour
- 3 cups of 2% milk
- 2 cups sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
- 1 cup mozzarella cheese, shredded
- 1 tsp. salt, divided
- 4 garlic cloves, minced, divided
- 1 tsp. ground black pepper, divided
- 1/2 cup panko bread crumbs
- 1 tbsp. unsalted butter
- 2 tbsp. green onions, chopped for garnish
- Preheat the oven to 375°F.
- Line a large rimmed baking sheet with aluminum foil.
- Place a large cooling rack on the foil lined baking sheet.
- Arrange bacon slices in a single layer on the rack.
- In a small mixing bowl, combine the brown sugar and chili powder. Coat evenly on one side of bacon with mixture.
- Bake until bacon is crisp, about 20-25 minutes. Transfer to paper towels to drain and set aside.
- Cook macaroni according to the package directions minus 1 minute. Drain. Set Aside.
- Preheat the oven to 350°F.
- In a large saucepan or cast iron skillet, melt butter over medium heat. Stir in flour and cook, stirring constantly for about a minute.
- Add 1 cup of milk slowly, stirring constantly until paste like. Then add remaining milk and stir or whisk until lumps are gone.
- Add 1/2 tsp. salt, 2 cloves of minced garlic and a 1/2 tsp. of black pepper.
- Stir in cheeses, and cook over low heat until the cheese is melted and sauce is thick.
- Put macaroni into cast iron skillet, add half of crumbled bacon, and sauce. Stir well.
- Melt butter in a skillet over medium heat.
- Add panko crumbs, 1/2 tsp. salt, 2 cloves of minced garlic, 1/2 tsp. black pepper and stir until golden brown.
- Spread topping over macaroni and cheese.
- Sprinkle remaining crumbled bacon over mixture.
- Bake at 350°F for 25-30 minutes, or until the top is golden.
- Sprinkle top with chopped green onion. Serve.