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Maple Bacon Mac & Cheese Recipe: Pasta for Breakfast

Talia Cortez (@taliacor)

Meya Cortez (@meyarrr),
Jerome Jocson (@emowredge)

Jica Simpas (@jicasimpas)

You can never go wrong with mac & cheese. At its most basic, it’s already amazing, so you can’t mess it up. There’s only making it better. We’ve already done a couple of iterations on the site—from a soup version to one topped with mentaiko. But there’s more where that came from. This maple bacon mac & cheese recipe shows that the dish’s versatility goes beyond ingredients. It’s telling you, “I’m an all-meals type of b*tch.”

There’s not a lot of fuss that goes into making this maple bacon mac & cheese; which is good if you’re taking our advice and making this for breakfast. Still, it packs a lot of flavor. It takes a cue from our brown butter mac & cheese and starts with that; except here, you brown the butter in bacon fat. (Wouldn’t that be a great way to start the morning?) The addition of maple syrup also adds to the breakfasty-ness of the dish. It’s sort of like eating pancakes and bacon… but with pasta… and lots and lots of cheese.

That’s a WAP.

Unlike most mac & cheese recipes, this one cooks the macaroni in the sauce; as opposed to cooking the pasta separately then just mixing it in after. By doing this, the starch from cooking the pasta makes your sauce extra thick. It also eliminates having to drain your pasta, which also means you don’t have to wash any extra pots or strainers. That is, if you have an oven-safe pot and you’re using that from the start. Otherwise, sorry. It’s still less one pot, though!

Of course, the dish is finished with a breadcrumb and cheese mixture on top for added texture. This also helps cut some of the richness of the sauce with a bit of saltiness.

Maple Bacon Mac & Cheese Recipe

Difficulty

Easy

Serving Size

4-6 people

Active Time

45 mins

Total Time

45 mins

Special Tools

  • Oven-safe pot or skillet

Topping

  • 1 cup breadcrumbs
  • 1/4 cup Parmesan
  • 2 tbsp. oil

Pasta

  • 400g bacon, chopped
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 3 cups whole milk
  • 3 cups water
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1-pound elbow macaroni
  • 1 cup cheddar, grated
  • 2 cups Monterey Jack, grated
  • 2 tbsp. maple syrup

Instructions for Maple Bacon Mac & Cheese

  1. Preheat an oven to the broiler setting, or about 500F.
  2. In a bowl, mix together breadcrumbs, Parmesan, and oil. Set aside.
  3. In a large (preferably oven-safe) pot or skillet over medium heat, cook the bacon until slightly crisp.
  4. When bacon is browned, remove from pot with a slotted spoon leaving the fat in the pan, and set bacon aside.
  5. Add the butter to the pot and cook until brown and nutty, about 5 minutes.
  6. Add the flour and whisk, cooking for 3 minutes until the mixture has slightly thickened.
  7. Add the milk and water to the pot, stirring continuously to ensure no lumps form, then season with salt and pepper.
  8. Add the pasta and cook, stirring continuously, for about 6-8 minutes, or until the noodles are just al dente and almost all of the liquid has been absorbed.
  9. Turn off the heat and add in all of the cheese and the maple syrup.
  10. Stir until all the cheese has melted and season with more salt and pepper to taste.
  11. Add back the cooked bacon and stir into the mac and cheese.
  12. Transfer the mac & cheese to an oven-safe dish, or keep in the oven-safe pot or skillet (if using), then pour over breadcrumb and cheese mixture.
  13. Place in the broiler for 5-8 minutes, or until the top is bubbling and browned.
  14. Serve.

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