Bacon Pimento Macaroni and Cheese

Total Time:
1 hr
Prep:
20 min
Inactive:
10 min
Cook:
30 min

Yield:
5 servings
Level:
Easy

Ingredients
  • Nonstick cooking spray
  • 6 bacon slices
  • 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 4 cups half-and-half
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground red pepper
  • Two 8-ounce packages cream cheese, softened
  • One 4-ounce jar diced pimientos, drained
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • Cracked black pepper
  • 1 pound small penne pasta or macaroni, cooked, drained and kept warm
  • 3 cups shredded smoked Cheddar
  • 3 cups shredded Parmesan
Directions
  • Preheat the broiler. Spray five 1-cup ramekins with nonstick cooking spray.

  • In a large Dutch oven, cook the bacon over medium heat until crisp. Remove from the Dutch oven and drain on paper towels. Reserve 1/4 cup bacon drippings in the Dutch oven, and discard any remaining drippings. Crumble the bacon set aside.

  • Add the butter to the drippings, and heat over medium-high heat until the butter melts. Whisk in the flour, whisking until smooth. Whisk in the half-and-half, and cook until the mixture is thickened and smooth, whisking constantly.

  • Add the ground red pepper. Stir in the cream cheese and let melt. Add the pimentos and bacon. Season with the salt and pepper. Add 2 cups smoked Cheddar and 2 cups Parmesan.

  • Spoon the pasta mixture evenly into the prepared ramekins. Top with the remaining 1 cup Cheddar and 1 cup Parmesan. Broil until cheese is lightly browned, about 4 minutes. Let stand 10 minutes before serving.


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