Whenever I put together this meal with macaroni, it never lasts long

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When regular mac and cheese doesn't do it for you anymore, just add bacon! This Southern-style bacon mac and cheese is the quintessential comfort food. You crumble up crispy bacon and bake it inside a 3-cheese mac and cheese casserole topped with crunchy breadcrumbs. It's the perfect soulful side dish to serve with almost any meal or to impress your friends when you bring it to a potluck supper.
The recipe below calls for a blend of cheddar, Monterey Jack, and Parmesan cheeses, although you could also substitute mozzarella or a nutty alpine-style cheese. The combination of creamy cheeses, perfectly-cooked macaroni pasta and the crispy, smoky bacon bits will guarantee this dish will not last long!
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Cooktop Cove
Southern Bacon Mac and Cheese
8-10
30 mins
40 mins
1 hr 10 mins
1 pound large elbow macaroni, dried
3/4 cup plain dried breadcrumbs
½ cup grated Parmesan cheese
6 thick-cut bacon slices, cooked and crumbled, divided
⅓ cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 teaspoon dry mustard powder
3 cups whole milk
1 cup buttermilk
⅓ cup unsalted butter
3 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese
1 cup shredded Monterey Jack cheese
2 large eggs, beaten
1½ teaspoons kosher salt
Preheat the oven to 350 F. Prepare a 9-by-13-inch casserole dish by greasing it with butter or nonstick cooking spray. Set aside.
Bring a large pot of salted water to a rolling boil. Add the macaroni, and follow packaged instructions for slightly less-than al dente, about 5-6 minutes.
Reserve 2 cups of pasta liquid, and set aside. Drain the remaining water, and return pasta to the pot. Remove the pot from the heat, but keep pasta warm. Set aside.
In a small bowl, combine the breadcrumbs, Parmesan cheese and half of the crumbled bacon. Toss to combine, and set aside.
In a small mixing bowl, stir together the flour, pepper, mustard powder and salt. Set aside.
Add milk and buttermilk to a small saucepan, and place over medium heat. Heat until the milk starts to simmer, but not boil, about 4-5 minutes. Set aside.
In a large pan or skillet, melt the butter over medium-high heat. Add the flour mixture to the skillet, and whisk together until a light-brown roux is formed, about 2 minutes.
Slowly add the milk mixture to the roux, whisking constantly. Bring the mixture up to a simmer, and allow to thicken, about 3-5 minutes.
Slowly add the cheddar and Monterey Jack cheeses into the milk mixture, whisking constantly until the cheese is fully melted. Add eggs to the cheese sauce, and whisk in until the sauce is fully incorporated and smooth.
Pour the cheese sauce and remaining bacon pieces over the cooked macaroni in the pot. Stir to fully mix all ingredients together.
Carefully transfer the pasta mixture to the prepared casserole dish. Sprinkle the breadcrumb mixture evenly over the top of the pasta.
Place the casserole in the oven, and allow it to bake until the sauce is bubbling and the edges start to brown, about 35-40 minutes.
Remove the mac and cheese from the oven, and allow to cool 5 minutes. Serve directly from the casserole dish using a serving spoon or ladle. Garnish with extra Parmesan cheese, if desired.
Pro-tip: You can use any kind of tubular-shaped macaroni, like cavatappi, small shells or rigatoni.
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