BACON MACARONI CHEESE – It is a creamy and cheesy homemade mac & cheese made using elbow macaroni, two kinds of cheese, and bacon crumbles.
— 16 ounces elbow macaroni, cooked al dente and drained
— 8 slices thick-cut bacon, chopped into small pieces
— ½ cup all-purpose flour
— ¼ cup butter
— 2½ teaspoons salt
— 3 cups whole milk, warmed
— ½ teaspoon ground mustard
— ¼ teaspoon garlic powder
— ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper, optional
— ½ cup mozzarella cheese, shredded
— 1 cup sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
— Salt and pepper, to taste
— Parsley, chopped for garnish
Place the bacon in a large Dutch oven over medium heat. Cook until the bacon is crispy.
Remove the bacon from the pot with a slotted spoon. Drain on a platter lined with paper towels.
Leave 2 tablespoons of bacon grease in the pot, draining the rest. Add butter and melt.
Whisk in the flour for 1-2 minutes, or until the mixture gets a light brown color.
Remove from heat and gradually pour in the warm milk, whisking constantly.
Return the pan to heat. Whisk another 3-5 minutes, or until thickened.
Add the salt, ground mustard, garlic powder, and cayenne pepper (if using). Stir to combine. Remove from heat.
Add both kinds of cheese, stirring to melt.
Pour the cheese sauce over the elbow macaroni that has been cooked. To blend, stir everything together.
Fold in the bacon crumbles. Season with salt and pepper, then sprinkle with parsley. Serve right away.