Mac and Cheese is the ideal family meal recipe. 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!
I know most people 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 topping. Adding bacon to mac and cheese has been tradition in our household for years! We really cant make this dish in our house any other way.
Also, if you have been tagging along, you will know by now I have some Serbian habits that I just 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 dishes, 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!
Trust me, once you try this ultimate mac and cheese recipe you will not want to use the powdered cheese sauces ever again! It is so easy to make this creamy dreamy dish over and over again!
MEASURE & PREPARE ALL OF YOUR INGREDIENTS FIRST
Making mac and cheese is such a “go, go go” recipe. When making this dish, it is so helpful if you get all of your ingredients measured and prepared before you start cooking. It is super handy to have everything ready to go! I usually weigh all of the ingredients and set them aside in bowls. That way when I need them, it is easy to grab. I 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 your packaging. However the process for cooking is usually very simple. Boil water on the stove with a pinch of salt. Once your water is boiling, add in your macaroni and cook for roughly 10 minutes and drain. Doesn’t get easier than that!
MAKING THE CHEESE SAUCE
In the mean time, prep your cheesy sauce. Making the cheese sauce is super easy, and far less complicated that you would imagine! I really like adding onion and garlic in. I know this is not the way most people make this dish, but I love onions and I’ve made it this way for years. You need to sauté your 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. Making the cheese sauce is a quick process and this is why its so helpful to have all of your ingredients already prepared.
ADDING THE BACON AND 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! And I don’t usually add any other seasoning because the milk and cheese already gives you the creaminess. Also, most cheeses are already salty. Then you will have the buttery brad crumb topping which means you really have all of the flavours there.
When your cheese sauce is made, lower the heat and add in some garlic salt. I usually go for one teaspoon of garlic salt. Then you will throw in your macaroni and stir it in with the cheese sauce. Once this is combined, you will 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 the garlic, and less about the salt.
MAKING THE BUTTERY BREADCRUMBS
This step could not be more simple. Melt the butter in a pan. As soon as it is melted, add in your breadcrumbs, take it off the heat and combine. It is that easy! Spread over your 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.
- 2 cups elbow macaroni
- Pinch of salt
- 2 chopped onions
- 3 cloves chopped garlic
- 1/2 cup milk
- 500 g grated cheese
- 1 pack chopped streaky bacon
- Garlic Salt
- 1 cup bread crumbs
- 100 g melted butter
- 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, 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.
- Avoid using low fat cheeses. This is because low fat cheeses do not melt as they should. Instead you will just get 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 it. When you are ready, you can easily reheat and enjoy.
I hope that my 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.