ULTIMATE MAC & CHEESE RECIPE

Mac and Cheese is the ideal family dinner. It is the comforting dish that we all love because it is cheesy, creamy and delicious. My version of the ultimate Mac and Cheese recipe is made with an easy cheesy sauce, topped with golden, buttery breadcrumbs, bacon and garlic seasoning. This mac and cheese recipe is most definitely a keeper and will leave you wanting seconds!

Most recipes make their cheese sauce rich by adding cream and eggs or using powdered sauces. This recipe has none of that. Instead, it is an easy homemade, comforting, cheesy dish with some bacon and a baked breadcrumb topping. Adding bacon to mac and cheese has been tradition in our household for years! We really cant make this dish any other way.

mac and cheese bowl

Also, if you have been tagging along, you will know by now I have some Serbian habits that I cant live without. If you have seen my chocolate cake recipe, you will know that I just have to make cakes with walnuts in them. It is just the Serbian way 😛. However when it comes to home cooked meals, I have to throw in some onions! This is the part of the recipe that will surprise some of you! BUT I just cant start cooking without sauteing some onions first!

Once you try this ultimate mac and cheese recipe you will not want to use the powdered cheese sauces ever again! It is very easy to make this creamy dreamy dish over and over again!

mac and cheese preperation

MEASURE & PREPARE ALL OF THE INGREDIENTS

Making mac and cheese is such a “go, go go” recipe. When making this dish, it is useful to measure and prepare all of the ingredients before cooking. Weigh and chop all of the ingredients and set them aside in bowls. That way when they are needed, it is easy to grab and throw into the pot. This way you do not have to worry about anything over-cooking or burning.

COOKING THE MACARONI

Follow the instructions for cooking the macaroni on the back of the packaging. However the process for cooking is usually very simple. Boil water on the stove with a pinch of salt. Once the water is boiling, add in the macaroni and cook for roughly 10 minutes and drain. Doesn’t get easier than that!

MAKING THE CHEESE SAUCE

Making the cheese sauce is super easy, and far less complicated that you would imagine! I prefer adding onion and garlic for great taste. Sauté the onions first, add the garlic, then the milk and cheese. When you have added the cheese to the milk you will need to gently stir. Be sure to stir until the cheese has fully melted.

BACON & GARLIC SALT

I have been using garlic salt and bacon in our mac and cheese for years. Garlic salt is what, for us, makes mac and cheese extra special! No other seasoning is needed because the milk and cheese already gives the rich creaminess.

When the cheese sauce is ready, lower the heat and add in some garlic salt. I usually go for one tsp of garlic salt. Throw in the macaroni and stir it in with the cheese sauce. Once this is combined, add in 3/4 of your bacon and stir it into the mixture. Add a little more garlic salt if you wish. I sometimes add a little extra. Its all about that garlic taste.

BUTTERY BREADCRUMB TOPPING

This step could not be more simple. Melt the butter in a pan. As soon as it is melted, add in the breadcrumbs, take it off the heat and combine. It is that easy! Spread over the top of the dish and bake! This will come out of the oven smelling great and the crunchiness of the breadcrumbs will be amazing!

With mac and cheese, it can always be prepared ahead of time and stored in the freezer. When the time is ready, you can easily reheat.

mac and cheese bowl

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups elbow macaroni
  • Pinch of salt
  • Oil
  • 2 chopped onions
  • 3 cloves chopped garlic
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 tbsp flour
  • 400 g grated cheese
  • 1 pack chopped streaky bacon
  • Garlic Salt
  • 1 cup bread crumbs
  • 100 g melted butter

Instructions:

  • First, measure all of the ingredients and set them aside.
  • Boil a pot with water and a pinch of salt. Once the water has reached the boiling point, add in the two cups of macaroni. Cook this for roughly 10 minutes until soft. Alternatively follow the instructions on the elbow macaroni packaging.
  • In a separate, large pan, saute two onions.
  • Once the onions have softened, add in the garlic and let cook for another minute.
  • Add in the milk, flour and 400 g of the grated cheese. Stir until the cheese has melted. You are looking for a creamy texture.
  • Once the cheese has melted turn the heat down to low.
  • Add in the garlic salt & stir.
  • Pour in the drained elbow macaroni and stir into the cheese sauce.
  • Add in 3/4 of the bacon and stir into the mixture.
  • In a baking dish, empty the macaroni, cheese and bacon mixture.
  • Top with the remaining bacon.
  • In a small pot, melt the butter. Once it has melted, add the bread crumbs and remove from the heat. Combine the butter and breadcrumbs mixture.
  • Spread the breadcrumbs on top of the macaroni, cheese and bacon mixture.
  • Bake in the oven at 180 between 35 and 40 minutes.

Notes

  • Avoid using low fat cheeses. This is because low fat cheeses do not melt down completely. Instead you will end up with clumps of cheese. Always go for a normal fat cheese.
  • You do not have to bake the macaroni and cheese. You can serve it as is after you have cooked the macaroni, cheese and bacon on the stove top. I personally like the breadcrumb topping and the taste of a baked macaroni & cheese.
  • You can freeze any left overs. It is a great recipe for those times when you are busy. Simply make it in bulk, and freeze. When you are ready, you can easily reheat and enjoy.
Baked Mac and Cheese

I hope that this version of the ultimate mac and cheese recipe brings some inspiration your way! If you do make this recipe feel free to comment below. You can also tag me over on Instagram.