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There aren’t many things I love more in the world that macaroni and cheese.


Well, maybe bacon.



And cheese alone.



And sea-salted chocolate.



Don’t make me choose! Choosing a favorite food is like trying to choose a favorite movie. Or a favorite song. Or book.


I’m so indecisive.


I used white pasta. Sue me.


Sometimes it’s just so good in mac ‘n cheese. My inner Mother Lovett refused whole wheat this time.


Using the white pasta added a more creamy taste and softness to the dish. Orecchiette is my favorite.



I love, love, love this apple smoked cheddar cheese. I eat it on just about everything.










Just look at how cute the pasta is.




My roux – a la Mother Lovett.














To possibly make things even less healthier, I added a heavy dose of heavy cream. It looked heavy. And creamy.











I grated the cheese myself. It melts easier, and I prefer to grate my own. I think it tastes better.










A touch of nutmeg. Just because.


















To test the creaminess, dip a spoon in and judge for yourself. I dipped about 67 spoons.











My favorite – applewood smoked bacon.












I just ripped it apart with my hands.











Pre-cheese sauce addition.










Mid-cheese sauce addition.










Post-cheese sauce addition.










More panko.

Have you had any panko in your life recently? If not, please get some.



















See the cheese sauce bubbling in the corner? This was fresh out of the oven.










Clogged arteries, what what?!










Ok calm down. A few spoonfuls of this won’t clog your arteries. Eating this entire 2-person casserole dish stuffed with smoked cheddar bacon mac 3 days a week might, but I don’t know anyone who would do that.



Maybe me.


I like to test my limits.











Smoked Cheddar Bacon Mac

2 cups orrechiette pasta

1 tablespoon butter

1 tablespoon flour

1/2 cup chicken stock

1 cup heavy cream

1-2 cups grated smoked cheddar cheese – depends on desired consistency.

1/4 pound applewood smoked bacon

1/4 cup panko bread crumbs

salt & pepper to taste

a pinch of nutmeg


Preheat oven to 400.

Cook your bacon – either pan fry or bake it. Baking it was easier since I already had a few other pans going on the stove. Once cooked, let drain on a paper towel, then chop into tiny bits.

Boil salted water & add pasta when ready. Cook & remove. Set aside.

In a small saucepan on low-medium heat, whisk 1 tablespoon butter and 1 tablespoon flour to create a roux. Add half of heavy cream and half of chicken stock. Add in half of the smoked cheddar cheddar cheese. Continuously stir so cheese does not stick to bottom. Alternately add more cheese, heavy cream and chicken stock until you reach desired consistency. Add a pinch of nutmeg and salt and pepper to taste if desired.

Layer pasta and half of bacon in a casserole dish. Add cream sauce over top. Sprinkle on remaining bacon and panko breadcrumbs.

Bake at 400 for about 15-20 minutes, or until top is golden brown.



I hope you all enjoy this as much as I did. Considering I ate the entire dish myself, I would certainly say I enjoyed it. :)











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21 Responses to “Smoked Cheddar Bacon Mac.”

  1. #
    Linda — October 31, 2009 @ 12:14 pm

    I’m drooling. That looks awesome!


  2. #
    Estela @ Weekly Bite — October 31, 2009 @ 12:51 pm

    Wow! This looks great!


  3. #
    The Candid RD — October 31, 2009 @ 2:34 pm

    I’m drooling, officially over here. This looks AWESOME! I love Trader Joe’s spices, by the way ;)


  4. #
    kay (eating machine) — October 31, 2009 @ 4:22 pm

    mmm mac and cheese is one of those things that just shouldnt be healthy. it should be full of butter. and bacon.


  5. #
    Tou Tou's Little Creation — October 31, 2009 @ 6:16 pm

    When I read through your blog, just can’t stop laughing. You must be a really witty person!!! I really like your way of describing this guilty pleasure but deeply addicted dish!! “take 67 spoons”? oh yeah, I think I do that quite often too :-P

    it’s holiday today -I guess we have every reason to make the dish a bit “less healthy” haha :-)


  6. #
    Mellissa — October 31, 2009 @ 8:49 pm

    I have a shirt that says I love Cheese! I am a proud Wisconsin girl!


  7. #
    Holly — October 31, 2009 @ 9:14 pm

    ummm i just looked at your about me page, and you are RIPPED!!! i love that you balance your life with yummy indulgences and healthy eats/exercise. happy halloween!!!


  8. #
    Averie (LoveVeggiesAndYoga) — October 31, 2009 @ 9:20 pm

    hi sweetie!
    sorry you didnt have as many t-n-t’ers as you would have wished.
    now what are you gonna do with all that extra candy? wink wink :)

    Thx for the comments on my bloggie as always and understanding commenting can be soo time consuming, you know for sure how it is!



  9. #
    Mandy — October 31, 2009 @ 9:30 pm

    I made a similar dish for my clients last week. I kept getting texts: “this is so good”, “are you going to make us fat?”, “can’t stop eating”, “no, really, we can’t”. The magic of cheese and bacon.

    You’re adorable!



  10. #
    Erica — November 1, 2009 @ 8:22 am

    Very yum. Nothing look good ole homemade Mac N Cheese…way better than a boxed version. Nutmeg does add that special something. Hope you are having a wonderful weekend


  11. #
    Astra Libris — November 1, 2009 @ 9:22 am

    Hello, Foodbuzz friend! :-) I’m so happy to finally visit your blog! I love the exuberance in your writing, and the James Taylor reference in your blog title! :-)

    and oh my goodness… what could be better than bacon mac and cheese… especially with smoked cheddar… I’m in awe… :-)


  12. #
    Shannon @ bakeandbloom.com — November 1, 2009 @ 10:09 pm

    Sweet mercy that looks tasty. You owe me a new keyboard cos I just drooled all over mine.


  13. #
    Jennifer — September 26, 2010 @ 8:06 pm

    I know you posted this last year, but I found this today and decided this was what I was going to make for me and the hubby. Oh…My…Gosh! It was fabulous. The cheese sauce was perfect and the fact that I had everything on hand except the heavy cream was also awesome! The only thing I had different in the recipe was I used turkey bacon and bow-tie pasta since that’s what I had on hand and wanted to use up. It was so yummy!


    • Jessica — September 27th, 2010 @ 3:42 am

      I am so glad you liked it! Definitely one of my favorite dishes.


  14. #
    ImSoYoungMyMetabloismIsAwesome — May 28, 2011 @ 12:59 am

    So I’m having a secret love affair with cheese, and pasta…I really enjoy your recipes, they’re quite entertaining. Also, you make a good comedian, I would go to any standup act you choose to perform. Luckily, my arteries aren’t clogged from looking at photos, but that might change after I make every single one of these pasta dishes. Merci beaucoup, madame, je t’aime, et ton cusiner.


  15. #
    James Escobedo — August 4, 2011 @ 5:52 pm

    Time to slaugher some oink oinks so I can have my own dish.


  16. #
    Shay — August 6, 2011 @ 12:39 am

    I made this last night. Holy cow!! It’s the best mac and cheese I’ve ever had! Seriously…I mean EVER!!


  17. #
    April — September 25, 2012 @ 8:24 am

    I made this last night, but added cubed chicken breast to make it our main meal. I also used penne noodles. It was very easy and very good! Great comfort food. Hubby said it needed more bacon. What a man.


  18. #
    Tiffany — May 23, 2013 @ 11:07 pm

    I just made this for the boyf, pretty sure I just sealed the deal for marriage. Thanks for an amazingly delish recipe!



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