This Easy Bacon Mac and Cheese recipe is made completely on the stovetop with no oven time required. It can be served as a main dish or a side dish for busy day meals with the family.
Easy Bacon Mac and Cheese Recipe
This macaroni and cheese recipe is designed for easy prep and those days you need to get a meal on the table in a hurry. The easy melt Velveeta cheese creates the cheese sauce in no time flat and you can serve it as an entree with a vegetable filled salad or your favorite steamed or sautéed vegetables as a side.
How to Make the Best Bacon Mac and Cheese Recipe
- Ingredients you'll need to make homemade Bacon Mac and Cheese: One pound elbow macaroni, Velveeta cheese or similar easy melt American cheese, cooked and crumbled bacon, whole milk, all purpose flour, salt, black pepper, ground mustard, paprika and green onions.
- Kitchen tools you'll need: A large pasta pot, large skillet, measuring cups and spoons, sharp knife and cutting board.
- For the bacon, you can fry the bacon yourself or take a shortcut using a quality cooked bacon at the grocery store. I made the bacon the day before and popped it in the refrigerator until ready to use.
- Using the full 16 ounce package of Velveeta will be quite cheesy. If you prefer making macaroni and cheese using freshly grated cheddar cheese checkout my recipe for Stovetop Macaroni and Cheese here.
- Depending on your personal preference, you may adjust the amount of sodium used for the sauce after adding the Velveeta cheese. In particular if you're sensitive to salt.
- You have opportunity to thin the sauce further by adding additional milk to the pan. Begin with 2 cups per the recipe, then thin to your taste.
- You can use a private label store brand of easy melt Velveeta-like cheese.
- You can sprinkle the top with shredded cheddar or colby jack cheese, too. If the skillet used is oven safe, pop it under the oven broiler for a few minutes to melt and brown. You could also add crushed crackers or panko breadcrumbs tossed with melted butter for crunch and texture.
- This recipe could be adapted using use gluten free noodles, if needed.
- You could add 1 cup of petite green peas or chopped steamed broccoli florets to the macaroni for a one pot meal.
- Leftovers can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 5 days in an airtight container,
- If freezing leftover macaroni and cheese, make sure it’s completely cool and package in your preferred serving amount. When reheating you may need to add additional milk to thin the sauce and prevent it from becoming dry.
- Freeze Bacon Mac and Cheese for up to 3 months.
More Easy Casserole Recipes to Make
- You can serve this Chili Mac Recipe for casual meals and game day snacking.
- Rotel Chicken Spaghetti combines spaghetti with a hint of heat.
- You'll love this Baked Ziti for Italian night at home.
- Homemade Tuna Noodle Casserole is an elevated version of a classic.
- Chicken Bacon Ranch Macaroni and Cheese is another one dish meal!
- Beef and Noodles Casserole is full flavored.
- Baked Penne with Vegetables from Food Network.
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Helpful Kitchen Items:
Easy Bacon Mac and Cheese
- 1 lb box elbow macaroni
- ½ lb bacon cooked and crumbled or chopped (Reserve 2-3 tablespoon drippings)
- 2 tablespoon unsalted butter
- 4 tablespoon all purpose flour
- 3-4 cups whole milk (plus additional as needed to thin)
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon black pepper
- 1 teaspoon ground mustard
- ½ teaspoon smoked paprika
- ¼ teaspoon granulated garlic
- ¼ teaspoon onion powder
- 1 16 oz package Velveeta or similar easy melt cheese
- sliced green onions for garnishing (optional)
- Cook the elbow macaroni in salted water per the instructions on the package until al dente. Drain well.
- Cook bacon until crisp over medium-high heat. Remove to paper towels, then chop. Reserve 3 tablespoon drippings in pot.
- To a large deep skillet or pot add butter to bacon drippings melting over medium high heat. Add flour, mixing until fully absorbed. Gradually whisk in 3 cups milk, salt, pepper, ground mustard, paprika, granulated garlic and onion powder. Bring to a gentle simmer, then add cubed Velveeta. Lower heat to medium, stirring until melted.
- Add macaroni and crumbled bacon to skillet, mix well. (reserve some bacon for garnishing.) Thin sauce with reserved 1 cup of milk, adding more or less as needed to thin. (Likewise, you can thicken further with 2 tablespoon all purpose flour in just enough cold milk to dissolve.) Simmer for 5-10 minutes over medium heat.
- Serve immediately garnished with crumbled bacon and green onions, if desired.
- You can sprinkle the top with shredded cheddar cheese, if desired. When using an oven safe skillet or pot, sprinkle with shredded cheese and pop it under the oven broiler for a few minutes to melt and brown. You could also add crushed crackers or panko breadcrumbs tossed with melted butter for texture.
- You could add 1 cup of petite green peas or steamed chopped broccoli florets to the macaroni for a one pot meal.