Grown-Up Baked Smoked Bacon Gouda Macaroni and Cheese is a delicious spin on traditional mac and cheese. Ordinary mac and cheese is transformed into a crunchy and gooey sensation! This dish is made with creamy cheddar and gouda cheese and topped with toasted breadcrumbs. This dish makes the perfect side-dish for any occasion.
Regular mac and cheese is awesome. Bacon gouda mac and cheese is EPIC! I am still on holiday break from work. I have probably spent 50% of my time off in the kitchen. I can’t help myself! I love to cook.
I had leftover bacon from another Christmas dish, Dutch Oven Skin-On Mashed Potatoes with Bacon. I decided to throw the bacon in this recipe. I also LOVE gouda in my mac and cheese. I go back and forth with using it because I like to switch up the cheese I use. This recipe was perfect! It made an amazing side dish for New Years Day dinner.
You can switch up the cheese you use in this recipe if you wish. This is my preferred combination, but that can definitely be tweaked.
If you are a true fan of mac and cheese, check out my homestyle version! Get the Homestyle Mac and Cheese recipe here.
Grown-Up Baked Smoked Bacon Gouda Macaroni and Cheese
- 1 cup sharp cheddar cheese shredded
- 1 cup parmigiano reggiano shredded
- 1 cup fontina cheese shredded
- 2 cups gouda cheese shredded
- 1/2 cup muenster cheese cut into small chunks
- 1 pound elbow macaroni
- 3-4 cups of milk use judgement here
- 3 tablespoons flour
- 4 tablespoons butter
- 4 sliced of bacon cooked and crumbled
- 2 tablespoons bread crumbs I prefer whole wheat
- salt pepper, and onion powder to taste
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
- Boil a large pot with salted water over high heat.
- Add the macaroni and cook for about 5 minutes.
- Drain the macaroni and rinse with cold water. This is important. You want the pasta to cool so that it does not continue to cook. The pasta will cook again while baking in the oven. Over-cooked pasta results in a terrible texture.
- Heat a sauce pan on medium heat. Add the butter and allow it to melt.
- Once melted, add the flour and whisk.
- This will create a slurry. Continue to whisk until the four is fully combined.
- Add the milk and stir.
- Add half of the cheese and stir until the cheese is melted.
- Add the seasonings and taste repeatedly.
- Return the pasta to the large pot. Drizzle the liquid mixture over the pasta and stir until fully combined.
- Spray a baking pan with cooking spray.
- Begin to layer in the pasta. Start with the pasta, then add a layer of all of the shredded cheese and muenster chunks.
- Add another layer of pasta, and then another layer of cheese.
- Ensure there is adequate liquid throughout these steps (additional milk or reserved pasta water work well). This can be tricky. You do not want the dish to appear like soup, but you do not want it to be dry.
- This step is important because without adequate liquid the dish will dry out while baking.
- Top with the bacon.
- Sprinkle the breadcrumbs throughout.
- Bake for 30-35 minutes.
- Cool before serving.