We originally blogged this easy recipe for apple bacon mac and cheese back in October of 2014. It has continued to be a family favorite, as well as one of the only recipes for mac and cheese on the blog! How can that be?! At any rate, since we keep making it, and comfort food season is once again in full swing, we’ve remade it, re-photographed it, and tweaked the recipe just a wee bit. If you haven’t made it yet, now’s your chance. Enjoy!
Tis the season for comfort foods! Can I get an amen? AMEN!
Back in August, Josh suggested we make more macaroni and cheese dishes as main entrees. Well, twist my arm, why don’t ya! It’s true, though – we are running something of a strange macaroni and cheese deficit on the blog. Inexplicable!
Today, because it’s been cold and rainy and very fall-ish out, I’m bringing you some sweet and savory apple bacon mac and cheese. Yes, you heard me. Sweet AND savory!
The apples are sweet and tart, the bacon is salty and scrumptious, while the white cheddar and parsley give the dish a savory flair. What I love the most about this dish is that while most macaroni and cheese meals have a tendency to feel kind of heavy, leaving you feeling guilty and weighed down…
Not this dish, oh no! This mac and cheese is light-tasting, mouth-watering, and completely addicting. It’s hard to stop at just one helping. The good news is that if you do have enough self-control to have just one helping, you will have some pretty fantastic leftovers later on-and let me tell you that this makes a great lunch later on in the week!
- 1 lb bacon, cut into 1/2- inch pieces
- 2 granny smith apples-peeled, cored, and cut into 1/2-inch pieces
- 1 lb. elbow macaroni, cooked according to package directions
- 4 TB butter
- 1/4 cup flour
- 3 cups milk, at room temperature
- 8 oz. sharp white cheddar, coarsely shredded (about 2 cups)
- Salt and pepper
- 1/3 cup flat-leaf parsley, chopped
- Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees. In a large skillet, cook the bacon over medium heat, stirring frequently, until crisp, about 8 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer to a paper-towel-lined plate. Pour off all but 1 Tablespoon fat, add the apples and cook stirring frequently, until browned and beginning to soften, about 5 minutes. Transfer to a bowl.
- In a pot of boiling, salted water, cook the pasta until al dente. Drain the pasta.
- In a medium saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the flour and cook, whisking constantly, for 1 minute. Whisk in the milk; cook until smooth and thickened, about 10 minutes. Remove from the heat and add 1 1/2 cups cheese and a generous sprinkling of pepper; whisk until smooth.
- In a bowl, add the pasta, sauce, apples, and parsley; toss well. Reserve 1/4 cup of the bacon. Add the remaining bacon to the pasta, toss. Season with salt and pepper.
- Pour the pasta into a 9×13 baking dish. Top with the remaining 1/2 cup of cheese and bake for 30 minutes. Sprinkle with reserved bacon and serve hot.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 8 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 598 Total Fat: 38g Saturated Fat: 17g Trans Fat: 1g Unsaturated Fat: 18g Cholesterol: 107mg Sodium: 1273mg Carbohydrates: 31g Fiber: 2g Sugar: 3g Protein: 33g