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While my in-laws were down here for a visit a few weeks ago, my mother-in-law and I were watching something from a cooking show about comfort food. One of the featured dishes was “grown-up” mac’n’cheese. I had been craving for my own version ever since. I finally made some a few days ago and my cravings were definitely satisfied.

It’s a slightly baked version of the CREAMY MAC ‘N’ CHEESE W/ CRISPY BACON BITS that I usually whip up as a side dish for protein entrees. This one has an added ingredient of panko breadcrumbs and a time in the oven for about 10 to 15 minutes or so just to give that crunchy topping texture. It makes you feel all grown-up inside, HAH!

Recipe: Grown-Up Mac ‘N’ Cheese With Bacon

Ingredients

  • 1 box of elbow macaroni, cooked al dente
  • 6 slices of bacon, chopped coarsely
  • 1 stick of butter
  • 3 tbsp of flour
  • 1 cup milk
  • 3/4 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese
  • 3/4 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
  • seasonings: sprinkle of salt, black pepper, garlic powder, and Italian Seasonings(or dried oregano, dried basil)
  • 1/2 cup of Panko breadcrumbs

Instructions

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  1. Boil water to cook the pasta, al dente.
  2. While that’s boiling, brown the bacon. Place in a paper towel lined plate to set aside.
  3. In a medium pot, melt the butter. Whisk in the flour until your form a roux. Add the milk and the cheeses. Whisk gently until everything is incorporated. Season with salt, black pepper, garlic powder, and Italian seasoning.
  4. Preheat the oven to 355°.
  5. Drain the water off of the pasta. Pour the cheese sauce into the pasta, then most of the bacon. Stir everything together.
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  7. Transfer the whole thing into a baking dish.
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  9. Top with the Panko breadcrumbs and the remaining cooked bacon.
  10. Stick it in the oven to bake for 10 to 15 minutes.

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Serve with salad greens.

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You can use any kind of cheese combinations you want. I just really love the flavors of sharp cheddar and mozzarella. If you prefer to be fancy, use pancetta instead of bacon. This Grown-Up Mac ‘N’ Cheese With Bacon can be served as the main entree for any dinners or a side dish during the holidays. I had this with a glass of wine and Oh My. I definitely felt like a grown-up for sure.

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