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Mac 'N Cheese with Bacon and Cheese


  • Kosher Salt

  • 1 lb elbow Macaroni

  • 4 cups Milk

  • 2-3 sprigs Thyme

  • 4 Cloves Garlic smashed and divided

  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter

  • 3 tablespoons plain flour

  • 5.5 cups shredded sharp white cheddar cheese

  • freshly ground Black pepper

  • .25 cup chopped flat-leaf parsley

  • 4 Slices Bacon, cut crosswise into thin strips

  • 1 large Onion, diced

  • 2 Cloves Garlic ,smashed

  • .25 bunch fresh Thyme leaves


  • 1.

    Bring a pot of salted water to a boil over high heat.

  • 2.

    Add the macaroni and cook for 8 to 9 minutes, until al dente.

  • 3.


  • 4.

    Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

  • 5.

    In a small saucepan heat the milk with the thyme sprigs and 2 garlic cloves.

  • 6.

    Melt the butter in a large, deep skillet over medium-high heat.

  • 7.

    Whisk in the flour and cook for about 1 minute, stirring constantly, to keep lumps from forming.

  • 8.

    Strain the solids out of the milk and whisk it into the butter and flour mixture.

  • 9.

    Continue to whisk vigorously, and cook until the mixture is nice and smooth.

  • 10.

    Stir in the 4 cups of the cheese and continue to cook and stir to melt the cheese.

  • 11.

    Season with salt and pepper.

  • 12.

    Add the cooked macaroni and the parsley and fold that all in to coat the macaroni with the cheese mixture.

  • 13.

    Scrape into a 3-quart baking dish and sprinkle with the remaining 1 1/2 cups cheese.

  • 14.

    Bake for 30 minutes, or until hot and bubbly.

  • 15.

    While that bakes, heat a saute pan.

  • 16.

    Add the bacon, render the fat and cook until crispy.

  • 17.

    Add onion, garlic and thyme leaves and cook for about 5 minutes to soften the onion.

  • 18.

    Season with salt and pepper.

  • 19.

    To serve, scatter the bacon mixture over the mac and cheese.

  • 20.

    Use a big spoon to scoop out servings, making sure you get some of the smoking bacon mixture on each spoonful.

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