Recipe - Baked Bacon Mac and Cheese

Aw yeah, some of people's favorite things rolled into one dish: bacon, mac and cheese, and panko crumbs. This was actually made for Thanksgiving this year and was the biggest hit. I had a request for mac and cheese from my younger brother so I snagged this recipe as posted from Mr. Alton Brown himself (with a few of my own adjustments). Give it a shot because it's too good to pass up. By the way, in advance, sorry for the poor pictures - my house is not very conducive to pictures PLUS we were all just eager to eat. Oh and if you don't want to add bacon, you don't have to!

Step 1: Ingredients (yields 8-10 servings)
  • 1/2 lb. elbow macaroni
  • 3 tbsps butter, unsalted
  • 3 tbsps flour
  • 1 tbsp powdered mustard
  • 3 cups milk
  • 1/2 medium yellow onion, finely diced
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1 large egg
  • 12 ounces sharp cheese, shredded (he asks for Cheddar - I mixed a Seattle-based flagship cheese with some Cheddar)
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • black pepper, freshly grated
  • 1 lb. bacon

  • 2 tbsps butter
  • 1 cup panko bread crumbs

Step 2: Prepping the ingredients
Preheat the oven to 350°F. In a large pot, cook pasta. Dice your onion first. Then, in a separate pot, melt butter before mixing in flour & mustard - keep stirring for five minutes to avoid lumps. Stir in milk, onion, bay leaf, and paprika. If you are using different cheeses for this, mix them now. In a large skillet, melt the butter for the topping and toss the bread crumbs. When finished, you may use that same skillet to cook your bacon; when crisp, chop up into many pieces.

Step 3: Creating the sauce
Simmer mixture for about 10 minutes before removing the bay leaf. For cooked pasta, drain and place into a 9x13 baking dish. In the pot, temper in your egg before stirring in 9 oz. of the cheese. Season with salt and pepper before pouring over pasta. Add bacon. Mix well and top with cheese.


Step 4: Finishing
Top casserole with the bread crumbs and bake entire dish for 30 minutes or until golden brown. When it is ready, you may take it out of the oven to serve; just make sure you wait about five minutes before you serve lest they hurt themselves!