The Ultimate Baked Macaroni and Cheese
Prep Time
15 mins
Cook Time
45 mins
Total Time
1 hr
 
Course: Side
Cuisine: American
Servings: 10 servings
Author: Goodie Godmother
Ingredients
  • 1 lb elbow macaroni
  • 6 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • 3 strips thick-sliced bacon**
  • 1 medium onion diced
  • 2.5 cups milk
  • 4 oz gouda cheese
  • 4 oz fontina cheese
  • 8 oz sharp cheddar cheese
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp white pepper
  • 1/3 cup panko bread crumbs for topping
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 375 F. Butter either two 7" round dishes or one 9x13" baking dish and set aside.
  2. Boil the pasta in salted water according to package directions and drain.
  3. Cook the bacon over medium heat until crispy. Drain on a paper towel and reserve the grease. Dice the bacon when cool enough to handle and set aside.
  4. Make the roux by melting the butter and bacon grease together over medium heat in a medium saucepan. When the butter is melted, whisk in the flour. The mixture will be very lumpy and thick. Continue whisking and add the milk little by little until fully incorporated and the mixture is smooth. Reduce the heat to medium low.
  5. Add the cheese and stir until melted. Pour the cheese mixture over the macaroni, add 1/2 tsp of the paprika, salt, pepper, and diced bacon, and stir to combine.
  6. Pour into your prepared baking dish. Mix together the panko crumbs and remaining 1/2 tsp of paprika and sprinkle over your macaroni.
  7. Baked uncovered 25-30 minutes until the edges are lightly browned. Serve warm.
Recipe Notes

**If you aren't using the bacon and would prefer a classic macaroni and cheese, simply increase the amount of butter to a full 8 tbsp (1 stick) and skip the step about cooking the bacon. You'll start by making the roux. ;)

Should you choose to freeze the recipe, prepare up until baking, then cover with aluminum foil. Bake straight from the freezer, covered, for 45 minutes, then uncover and bake an additional 15.