I figured it was time to eat some bacon. I mean it’s been a whole week.

Cheesy Skillet Brussels Bacon Mac I howsweeteats.com

And what better way to eat it than with lots of cheese and Brussels sprouts?

My thoughts exactly.

I know. The Brussels thing is still weird but I am hooked. We will get over it eventually. 

Cheesy Skillet Brussels Bacon Mac I howsweeteats.com

But wait, before we get to all that, today is my dad’s birthday! It’s a big birthday too. This has been THEE year of the big birthdays. Just not mine. It’s always been fun to have our birthdays so close together, and that just means one big weekend of celebration coming on up.

p.s. he probably wouldn’t touch this trashed up mac and cheese with a ten foot pool, but I will continue to try.

Cheesy Skillet Brussels Bacon Mac I howsweeteats.com

It’s actually kind of hilariously appropriate that I’m sharing this skillet o’ love today given that last night I ate some of the best Brussels sprouts of my life.  They were fried, no less.  Shocking? Nah.

I’m so gonna attempt a redo. In the meantime… we have this.

Cheesy Skillet Brussels Bacon Mac I howsweeteats.com

It’s a little bit of a cop out recipe, given that it’s essentially a copy of my autumn mac and cheese from three years ago. THREE years ago? What the heck. Where is this time going. I don’t understand.  I swear I just made that yesterday.

I’m just going to stare at myself in the mirror today and shout STOP GROWING! and hope that it helps.

Cheesy Skillet Brussels Bacon Mac I howsweeteats.com

This version is also made in my trusty cast iron skillet, mostly because I adore this skillet mac and four cheese recipe so incredibly much. And it’s easy. And it’s different. And it’s cute!

Things just taste better when they come out a of skillet. That’s my story and I’m sticking to it.

Oh, um, also? Making this in a giant skillet gives more surface area for crunchy topping. You know crunchy topping. The topping that I single-handedly and selfishly consume before most people even get their first serving of pasta? Yeah. That crunchy topping.

Crunchy topping for liiiiiiiife.

Cheesy Skillet Brussels Bacon Mac I howsweeteats.com


Skillet Brussels Bacon Mac

Yield: serves 4 to 6

Total Time: 1 hour


1 pound of cooked pasta, smaller noodles desired
6 slices of bacon, chopped
1 shallot, diced
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 pound of brussels sprouts, stems removed and sliced/chopped
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 tablespoons flour
2 cups whole milk
1/2 cup half and half
8 ounces fontina cheese, freshly grated
4 ounces white cheddar cheese, freshly grated
2 ounces parmesan cheese, freshly grated
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 cup panko bread crumbs
2 tablespoons fine breadcrumbs


Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.

Heat a large, 12-inch oven-safe skillet oven medium-low heat and add bacon. Cook until the fat is just rendered, then removed about 1/4 of the bacon and set it aside in a bowl. Cook the remaining bacon until completely crispy. Add in the shallot, garlic and brussels spouts, stirring well to coat. Cook until the brussels soften, about 5 minutes. Turn off the heat and toss the pasta in with the brussels.

To make the cheese sauce. heat a small saucepan over medium heat and add the butter. Once it's sizzling, whisk in the flour to create a roux and cook until it is golden brown, about 2 to 3 minutes. Pour in the milk and the half and half, stirring the entire time and cook until it is slightly thickened, about 5 minutes. Stir in the fontina, cheddar and parm, stirring until the cheese is melted. Stir in the nutmeg. Once the cheese is melted, pour it over the pasta in the skillet and toss well to coat. Add the panko and fine breadcrumbs over top of the pasta and sprinkle on the bacon that your set aside earlier.

Bake for 30 to 35 minutes, or until the top is golden and bubbly.

Cheesy Skillet Brussels Bacon Mac I howsweeteats.com

I ate all of that. No shame.

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85 Responses to “Fontina and White Cheddar Skillet Brussels Bacon Mac.”

  1. #
    Christina Gathright — November 9, 2013 @ 10:34 pm

    OMG! I’m for reals that I could eat that whole skillet of mac and cheese by myself! I think this needs to be made immediately!


  2. #
    Kelsey — November 12, 2013 @ 10:56 am

    I made this on Sunday night for my hubby after your posting last week. He is trying to put on some weight after a four month deployment (what a problem to have), and I figured this would be the perfect thing! Man…was it ever!?!? He about died over it. Absolutely 100% COULD. NOT. GET. ENOUGH. Definitely keeping this one in the favorites pile.


  3. #
    Kelly — November 12, 2013 @ 6:20 pm

    stop it.


  4. #
    Bri — November 12, 2013 @ 8:07 pm

    This is so delicious! I cannot stop eating it.


  5. #
    Shikha @ Shikha la mode — November 13, 2013 @ 3:31 pm

    Comfort food to the max!! All I need is some Sriracha to top off!


  6. #
    Melinda — November 15, 2013 @ 9:44 am

    I’m trying to rationalize eating two giant plates of this for dinner last night, and I’ve decided that it’s totally fine because all of the food groups are represented. Also, crunchy topping should be a food group because IT SHOULD GO ON EVERYTHING! So, so, so good. Yay for texture :)


  7. #
    Hannah — November 15, 2013 @ 7:44 pm

    I loved this. My brothers just picked out the brussel sprouts and gave them to me, which works for me! Thanks for the great recipe!


  8. #
    Ambar — November 23, 2013 @ 2:19 pm

    Wow! this mac and cheese looks amazing! Cant wait to try it!


  9. #
    Bridgette — November 26, 2013 @ 12:24 pm

    Can i make this another way besides with a cast iron skillet? I want to bring this as a side dish for thanksgiving and have to prep ahead of time. Could I use a regular non stick skillet?


    • Bridgette — November 26th, 2013 @ 12:27 pm

      sorry…i meant to say can i use a regular non stick frying pan to make the bacon and Brussels sprouts then use a tin dish to bake all of it in the oven?


      • Jessica — November 26th, 2013 @ 1:35 pm

        yes absolutely! fry the bacon, do the sprouts, drain the grease if there is too much and then combine!

  10. #
    Christina Walker — December 1, 2013 @ 4:32 pm

    I made this last night for dinner it was awesome, restored my faith in brussel sprouts! I don’t eat bacon so I used the fake bacon chips and they worked out well. Thanks for this new gem!


  11. #
    Lily — February 1, 2014 @ 3:27 pm

    Of course, this recipe looks absolutely amazing as is… but I’m wondering if I might be able to lighten it up without sacrificing too much of the creamy flavor and texture? I was thinking of substituting skim milk and chicken stock (1 cup each) for the whole milk, but I’m stumped about what to do for the half and half part – maybe I can compromise and keep that the same. Any suggestions would be most appreciated!


  12. #
    Molly D — April 7, 2014 @ 8:23 am

    This is so delicious!
    Confession: this is the first time I have ever eaten brussel sprouts.


  13. #
    Dan — October 9, 2014 @ 4:29 pm

    I have your book and my family loves it – we make the buttermilk dressing all the time! I am totally making this, what a tasty way to get my kids to eat brussel sprouts!


  14. #
    Sara — October 17, 2014 @ 11:59 am

    Oh wow! I love mac and cheese, and I love brussels sprouts with bacon. I bet they are SO amazing together!!


  15. #
    Dylan — March 2, 2015 @ 4:26 pm

    I have an 8″ skillet, is this worth trying to make in an 8″ skillet. If it is, what are the portions for the ingredients for an 8″ skillet.


  16. #
    Malia — November 7, 2015 @ 6:42 pm

    Call me weird but this screams like it needs apples to me.



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