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5 from 41 votes

Gourmet Baked Mac and Cheese with Bacon

This creamy, cheesy, gourmet baked mac and cheese with bacon will outshine any mac and cheese you've tasted! It is "restaurant-quality" AMAZING, and it couldn't be simpler to make.
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time40 mins
Total Time55 mins
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: American
Servings: 6
Calories: 485kcal
Author: Lauren Allen


  • 1/2 pound elbow macaroni (or other bite size pasta)
  • 6 slices Sugardale Hickory Smoked Bacons
  • 1 Tablespoon butter
  • 2 Tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 cups milk
  • 3/4 cup half and half
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons cornstarch
  • 1/2 teaspoons dijon mustard
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons chicken bouillon paste , or bouillon powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried parsley flakes
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper , to taste
  • 2 cups freshly grated sharp cheddar cheese
  • 1/2 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese

Crumb topping:

  • 1/2 cup Panko bread crumbs
  • 1 Tablespoon butter , melted
  • 1/2 Tablespoon olive oil


  • Cook pasta according to package instructions, just until al dente. Don’t overcook! Strain and rinse with cold water. Set aside.
  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly grease a 8x8 baking dish.
  • Cook bacon in a large skillet over medium heat until crispy, about 5-7 minutes. Remove bacon to a plate lined with paper towels. Remove some, but not all of the grease from the pan.
  • Add 1 tablespoons butter to the pan and then whisk in flour. Cook, stirring, for 2 minutes. Reduce heat to low and gradually whisk in milk. 
  • Add the cornstarch to the half and half and whisk until smooth. Gradually add it to skillet followed by mustard, chicken bullion, onion powder, garlic, powder, parsley, salt and pepper.
  • Cook sauce for a few more minutes, just until it begins to slightly thicken. Remove from heat and stir in shredded cheddar cheese. 
  • Crumble/chop the bacon and add most of it to the pan, reserving a little for topping later. Add cooked pasta and toss to evenly combine.
  • Pour mixture into 8x8’’ baking dish. Sprinkle parmesan cheese on top.
  • Add panko, melted butter and olive oil to a skillet (or, I use the pan the pasta was cooked in, just to use less dishes). Cook over medium-high heat, stirring constantly, until crumbs are golden brown. 
  • Evenly sprinkle them over mac cheese. Add remaining bacon crumbles on top.
  • Bake 15-20 minutes or until bubbly. Serve warm.



Don't miss tips for this recipe in the post above.
Sauce adapted from Carlsbad Cravings


Calories: 485kcal | Carbohydrates: 39g | Protein: 23g | Fat: 25g | Saturated Fat: 12g | Cholesterol: 57mg | Sodium: 633mg | Potassium: 292mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 4g | Vitamin A: 475IU | Vitamin C: 0.2mg | Calcium: 367mg | Iron: 1.2mg