Mac 'N Cheese with Bacon and Cheese

Total Time:
1 hr
20 min
40 min

6 to 8 servings

  • Kosher salt
  • 1 pound elbow macaroni
  • 4 cups milk
  • 2 or 3 sprigs thyme
  • 4 cloves garlic, smashed and divided
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 5 1/2 cups shredded sharp white Cheddar
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 cup chopped flat-leaf parsley
  • 4 slices bacon, cut crosswise into thin strips
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 2 garlic cloves, smashed
  • Leaves from 1/4 bunch fresh thyme

Bring a pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the macaroni and cook for 8 to 9 minutes, until al dente. Drain.

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

In a small saucepan heat the milk with the thyme sprigs and 2 garlic cloves. Melt the butter in a large, deep skillet over medium-high heat. Whisk in the flour and cook for about 1 minute, stirring constantly, to keep lumps from forming. Strain the solids out of the milk and whisk it into the butter and flour mixture. Continue to whisk vigorously, and cook until the mixture is nice and smooth. Stir in the 4 cups of the cheese and continue to cook and stir to melt the cheese. Season with salt and pepper. Add the cooked macaroni and the parsley and fold that all in to coat the macaroni with the cheese mixture. Scrape into a 3-quart baking dish and sprinkle with the remaining 1 1/2 cups cheese. Bake for 30 minutes, or until hot and bubbly.

While that bakes, heat a saute pan. Add the bacon, render the fat and cook until crispy. Add onion, garlic and thyme leaves and cook for about 5 minutes to soften the onion. Season with salt and pepper.

To serve, scatter the bacon mixture over the mac and cheese. Use a big spoon to scoop out servings, making sure you get some of the smoking bacon mixture on each spoonful.

View All

Pairs Well With

Rich, buttery white wine

  • Find easy pairings for your favorite recipes, Bobby's perfect picks and party ideas.
Cooking Tips
Loading review filters...

    280 Reviews
    4 280
    0/1000 characters
    Your Rating:
    Sort by: 
    I didnt use the onion, my boyfriend hates onions. Loved this recipe though, to add a bit more flavor i put a few dashes of frank's red hot sauce in it and it was PERFECT :) :) :)
    This is the only mac n cheese recipe I use. Usually I forgo the bacon and onion topping, but works well with it as well. What I love most about it is it uses only one type of cheese so you don't get bogged down by having to buy fifty different types of cheese for it. Simple and delicious.
    Very delicious and easy to make. I've made it twice and had no trouble or complaints from my husband!
    Easy and fast to make! Delish!!! :-
    Best Mac and cheese ever!!! Thank you Tyler!
    Love this recipe always use two different cheeses and only use good cheese so it want be greasy the same goes for the bacon.
    Really good and quite simple to make!
    By far the best Mac n cheese I have ever had. I am not usually a fan of mac n cheese must be the bacon and Thyme! For those of you that are not getting enough flavor unfortunately this recipe does not tell how long to simmer or warm the milk. The flavors need to infuse. I keep mine on med low for at least 15 min.
    The thyme-and-garlic infused milk is just delicious, adds a wonderful delicate taste. I used Gruyere and sharp cheddar and mixed the bacon into the mac 'n cheese. YUM!
    Family loved it. Once I watched the video, it was easy to follow instructions.
    DELICIOUS..............switched out bacon for PANCETTA......... really crispy the slivers of onion & meat for the topping - was TERRIFIC! as usual, home run with an ULTIMATE recipe! also switched up the cheese to aged so much more flavor. really worth making
    Ridiculous.... absolutely amazing! I don't know what happened with the people who said it was dry and bland? Try again? Use less elbows? Mine came out 1000 times better than I imagined I was capable of. I used Mid cheddar and colby-jack, and it's delicious! However, as with anything... salt and pepper to taste, not to the recipe specs.
    This is my new and only mac and cheese recipe my family LOVE LOVE LOVED IT!
    I love this recipe!!!!! I've made it 3 times and the last time I made it, i added different cheeses.
    My fiance loves macaroni and cheese but also loves bacon! We loved this recipe. So flavorful!!
    Amazing! My family went crazy with this different approach to the typical mac and cheese. I have made it several times and it never disappoints. LOVE LOVE LOVE this recipe!!
    I was a little disappointed with the result. Such wonderful aromas as I was preparing the meal - the garlic & thyme in the milk, the onion, garlic and of course, the bacon. My kitchen smelled wonderful. However, the finished product was relatively bland! I will try this again but I will dramatically increase the amounts of spices in the recipes - including salt..
    I really enjoyed the flavor and the bacon/onion topping. We added more bacon throughout the mac n cheese as well. I did have one problem - the roux, it clumped up and I forgot to take the milk off the heat while adding the cheese and it came out gritty. I will definitely try and make it again and hopefully it will come out better.
    With 2 picky kids, this recipe is definitely a winner in my household! They gobble it up every time I make this. Some variations that I do is I go very heavy on the thyme - about 8-10 sprigs. You can really taste the flavor of the thyme this way. Since my kids are skinny, I also go very heavy on the bacon and mix up the cheese a bit. I throw about a cup of mozzarella in there along with sharp cheddar. This is definitely gourmet Mac N Cheese at its best!
    Delicious. Best Mac and Chese ever. Definitely takes some time and effort but it's COMPLETELY worth it.
    This our family's all time favorite side dish. We have it for almost all holidays and special days like Father's Day. Love it and the bacon/onion topping.
    was wonderful my kids enjoyed it, as well as my family. just so greatful to have all these chefs giving us these wonderful recepies, where in other countries u can even imagine what is happening...
    Be thankful for having any food on your table at all...
    It was okay, not the best mac and cheese, but still okay. I'm a vegetarian so I left the bacon out. I found the texture to be kind of gritty after I took it out of the oven, the flavor was there but the texture was off.
    YUM! I've made this several times and it always comes out delicious.
    The best I ever had!
    This turned out really well, although I would have cooked more bacon and added it throughout the casserole, not just on the top at the end. Also, I added Panko breadcrumbs on top and browned them, and this really made the dish!
    Very good recipe the whole family loved it.
    Hands down this recipe is awesome i have made it about 8 times now and my kids absolutely love it. I do like the white cheddar but i have found you can use regular cheddar and it comes out just as good. i would just make sure it is sharp or extra sharp.
    I also had the gritty cheese issue... not good.
    Megpanda-once you have the smooth milk mixture, take it off the heat. Then add the cheese slowly, a little at a time, waiting to add more until the last addition is fully melted. This will keep it from getting gritty. You are probably adding the cheese while it is too hot and adding too much at a time.
    Flag as inappropriate

    Thank you! your flag was submitted.

    This recipe is featured in:

    Everyday Celebrations