But if you’re a lover (and even if you’re not, this one might persuade you), do I have an epic new macaroni and cheese recipe for you.
I mean, let’s be real. I think that blue cheese and bacon are two of the best things on the planet. And the combination of the two is a match made in savory heaven. So I was basically sold on this recipe before I made it, as were a handful of friends who volunteered to be taste-testers on this one days in advance, and apparently as were my Instagram friends who went gaga over this photo.
But guess what? I didn’t think it possible, but it was even better than I expected. :)
I had actually been dreaming about trying this recipe for awhile. But when my friends Rachel and Brandy announced that they were organizing a Mac and Cheese Mania (#maccheesemania) to feature tons of recipes from food bloggers and readers like you, I decided it was time to make it happen.
I admit, I thought about trying to do a lighter version of this recipe with turkey bacon and light blue cheese, to go with the whole-wheat pasta and lighter base recipe that I already use. But when I like to indulge, I like to indulge. I would so rather have a smaller portion of the real deal than cutting corners when it comes to bacon and cheese. You’re welcome to make substitutions if you’d like, but I’m going for the all-things-in-moderation approach with this one.
Here’s how to make it!
We begin with mmmmbacon. Dice it up and then saute it until crispy. (Or you can microwave it between paper towels as my grandma taught me to do in order to minimize grease.)
Then, in a separate bowl, whisk together the creamy sauce base. This is the one I use in all of my macaroni and cheese recipes on the blog, and I love it! It’s quick and easy, and also made lighter with 2% evaporated milk.
Then cook up your macaroni until it’s al dente. And melt a bit of butter in there to get things started.
Pour in the creamy sauce…
…and continue cooking until it reaches a simmer and thickens a tiny bit.
Then comes the moments when the heavens part and you hear the angels sing…CHEESE!
I like my macaroni extra flavorful, so I paired the blue cheese with a sharp white cheddar which I adored. But feel free to use any other cheese with the blue.
Then stir it all in until the cheese is nice and melted…
And then add the sprinkles — err, bacon — on top, and stir to combine.
Oh, and then for good measure, add on a little extra bacon and blue cheese on top. Just for decor, you know. ;)
Seriously, this blue cheese bacon mac and cheese was everything I hoped it would be and more. It was rich, creamy, the perfect amount of blue cheesy, and that smoky bacon just sent it over the edge. Plus it came together in about 30 minutes, which means this will probably be happening again very soon in mi casa.
As my friend Cate said, this one is “two thumbs and two toes up”. SO GOOD.
Speaking of good, let’s talk a little more about this Mac and Cheese Mania that’s hitting the world wide webosphere today. All sorts of amazing bloggers are posting their own epic mac and cheese recipes, including:
Ok then as a bonus, we are inviting all of you (that means you! no blog required!) to upload YOUR favorite recipes to share the mac and cheese love and be entered in a giveaway to win some stellar prizes. So visit Rachel Cooks and Nutmeg Nanny to learn more and enter for a chance to win!
Alright, onto the recipe for my blue cheese and bacon version. Hope you love it as much as I do!
Blue cheese and bacon are the PERFECT combo for this killer macaroni and cheese recipe.
8 strips (about 1/2 lb.) bacon, diced
1 (12-ounce) can 2% evaporated milk
1 large egg
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. ground black pepper
pinch of cayenne
8 oz. elbow macaroni (I used DeLallo whole wheat)
1 Tbsp. butter
5 oz. crumbled blue cheese
4 oz. freshly-grated sharp white cheddar cheese
Heat bacon in a skillet over medium-high heat for about 5-7 minutes, stirring frequently, until crispy.
In a separate bowl, whisk together evaporated milk, egg, salt, pepper and cayenne until combined. Set aside.
Meanwhile, bring a large pot of generously-salted water to a boil, and cook the pasta al dente according to package instructions. When the pasta is cooked, drain it and then return it to the pot and reduce heat to medium-low. Immediately add the butter, and toss until the butter is melted. Pour in the evaporated milk mixture and stir until combined. Continue cooking over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally, for about 3-5 minutes, or until the sauce comes to a simmer.
Remove pan from heat and add in the cheeses. Stir until melted, then stir in the cooked bacon. Serve immediately, garnished with extra bacon and blue cheese if desired.
I’ve never been a fan of blue cheese but it always looks amazing in other people’s recipes, think I might have to give it another go!!
If you do, let me know what you think! I used to be passionately anti-blue cheese, and then one day somehow completely changed my mind. :-)
Ok, so I am one of those un-lovers of blue cheese….BUT you also said “bacon” and “mac and cheese” sooo…I may just be in for this!
I’m with you on the bacon love! :)
I am a blue cheese lover for sure, so I know I’d love this!!
Cheers to blue cheese! :D
Mac and cheese is always a good idea in my book :) Looks delicious!!
Blue cheese is one of my favorites (but I like all the stinky cheese varieties!), and this version of mac and cheese looks incredible. Want. :)
Oh man this mac and cheese looks to die for! And of course everything is better with bacon ;)
Loooooove blue cheese in my mac and cheese! Great Minds! ;) adds so much flavaaa. loving the bacon!
I do not eat bacon and I rarely eat cheese, but I just had to comment on how PRETTY this dish looks! ;)
How decadent, blue cheese and bacon. Love it!
I remember when I had an aversion to blu cheese. I’m so glad I gave it a second chance because I loooovee it now! This has to be my favorite mac n cheese combo I’ve seen! Pinned to make ASAP!
I love blue cheese. And bacon. And noodles. This is like heaven!
Love blue cheese and this looks divine!
Loving this recipe, Ali! Pinning to group boards at Pinterest to share. Have a great week!
LOVE blue cheese + bacon! I have got to make this asap!
WOW! I love blue cheese but only in macaroni and cheese lol, and this one…WITH bacon sounds amazing! Your site is so gorgeous!
I have never thought to use an egg nor evaporated milk as a cheese base….I am so intrigued! Definitely love the idea of blue cheese and bacon. Can never go wrong!
Fabulous! Fabulous! All my favorite ingredients, Ali. Love the addition of bacon!
Wow! I love blue cheese! This looks amazing, Ali!
This looks phenomenal and I love, love, love that bowl! Thanks for helping us kick off the event!!!
I don’t love blue cheese but I don’t hate it any more. I would definitely love to try this one. I love the evaporated milk twist!
This looks absolutely freaking amazing, Ali! So glad my husband hates blue cheese – that means I don’t have to share!
I personally love blue cheese so much. It is one of my top favorite cheeses! So obviously this is a must make for me!
Now thats wht i call a ‘HAPPY MARRIAGE”.
I’ve got to try this. I’ve developed a taste for blue cheese over the past year and haven’t tried it like this yet. Beautiful photos too :)
WANT this so bad. For serious.
What an amazing version of mac & cheese!
I made a “healthier” mac ‘n’ cheese recipe once that was so blah that I had to add bacon just to make it edible … so I’m 100 percent behind your “if you’re going to indulge, just do it and eat less of it!” approach.
Well I am in luck, I love bacon and blue cheese! This looks perfectly creamy and savory. Now I am craving mac and cheese with all these great recipes!
Omg, Ali….swoon. I need this in my life ASAP. I totally agree that a splurge is a splurge.
I’m such a sucker for anything bacon and blue cheese – I never imagined it in mac and cheese – this is why you’re a genius!!
Everything is better with bacon! My husband loves blue cheese, so I know he would be all over this one!
This looks absolutely perfect. Love the combo of blue cheese and bacon. Great recipe Ali. xx
Ali this looks great! Blue cheese and bacon and best friends when in the culinary world. Thank you so much for helping us kick off the event!
Ohhhhhh…delicious!!! Love that blue cheese and bacon combo!
Made this Sunday, and it is amazing! Yummy.
I went with full fat cheeses, but substituted Canadian bacon for a more subtle flavor. I also added some panko in top just because I love the crunch.
Great Dish, thanks for sharing
Bacon and Blue Cheese- YUM! I can see why some that are not lovers of blue cheese wouldn’t flip for this, but I can’t wait to try it, especially with the King of Cheese, Stilton!!
I have NEVER posted on a recipe blog before, but I fell in love with a bacon and blue cheese pasta dish at a restaraunt here in Vancouver, and wanted to try making it myself. Found this recipe online and decided to give it a shot and OMG it’s SO GOOD!!!!! Sometimes I need to add seasonings like salt and pepper to my pasta because of it’s shortcomings, but not this baby. Perfect in every way. Thanks!
Thank you so much, Bill! I’m thrilled that you love it! : )
Have made several times now and am thoroughly hooked. Just an incredible blend of flavors. My favorite accompaniment is with steamed Brussels sprouts. Half a recipe makes three 5.5 to 6-ounce servings
That’s wonderful Hal, thanks so much for sharing with us – we’re happy you like it! :D
nice twist on the “old traditional” mac and cheese, love bacon and blue cheese in this, love all of it really, thank you for this!
I’m sure I’m going to love this recipe. Headed to the kitchen.
Been a teacher for 40 years; can’t help but input: no such thing as blue cheese. Bleu cheese :-).
I’ve done this recipe lots of times, absolutely delicious! I am wondering, anyone tried adding smoked salmon? I am not sure if this will be a win or better stick to the traditional recipe.