Baked Macaroni and Cheese with Panko and Bacon

Most kids here grow up with mac and cheese and consider it a comfort food. I see this dish being served at almost every family gathering but I did not warm up to it. I never prepared it at home and so I panicked when I was asked to prepare a slow cooker version for a church event recently. I spent several days thinking about whether I should swap with someone to prepare a different dish. I finally decided to go ahead as planned with the assurance from Ro-Jiro, my youngest son who loves cheese, that he will eat it if I prepared it.

I used the recipe on the Creamette box with adaptations. I changed the measurements a little and added a cheese blend instead of sharp cheddar cheese. I was really surprised and pleased that my mac and cheese was very well received at the church event and it was one of the first things to disappear on the buffet table. Ro-Jiro said it was really good and suggested that I add some parmesan cheese the next time. A week later, I did just that. As a treat, I also added some bacon and panko and baked it to give it a slight crust. Ro-Jiro was a happy boy. Even Ro-Ri San asked for a portion. I have made this three times now and it will not be my last. :)

Before we move on to the recipe, I am excited to highlight to you that I have finally made my recipes printable. I have updated a handful of posts and will be working backwards through my 250 posts. I hope you find this feature useful.

Now, let us start cooking.

Baked Macaroni and Cheese with Panko and Bacon
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Serves: 4 servings
Ingredients
  • 8 oz (225g) macaroni
  • ¼ cup (30g) panko breadcrumbs
  • 4 bacon rashers
  • 2 cups (8oz/225g) shredded cheese blend (mozzarella, cheddar, and Monterey Jack)
  • ½ cup parmesan cheese
  • 2½ cups (600ml) low fat milk
  • 3 tbsp (45g) butter
  • 2 tbsp all purpose flour
  • 1 tsp dry mustard
  • Salt and pepper
Instructions
  1. Cook pasta according to packaging instructions. Drain and place in a large bowl. Stir in 1 tablespoon butter into hot pasta. Set aside.
  2. Grease an 8”x8” deep casserole dish. Preheat oven to 350°F (180°C).
  3. In a medium sized pot, melt 2 tablespoons butter over medium heat. Stir in all-purpose flour and dry mustard and cook for about 2 minutes. Gradually stir in milk. When it comes to a boil, season with salt and pepper. Add cheese blend and stir till melted. Pour onto pasta and mix well. Dish into prepared casserole dish.
  4. Top with parmesan cheese and bake for 20 minutes or until bubbly.
  5. In the meantime, fry bacon until crisp. Drain on paper towel and crumble into bacon bits.
  6. Remove casserole from oven. Sprinkle bacon bits and panko onto pasta. Return to oven and bake for another 10 minutes. Remove and serve immediately.

It’s ready…dig in!

Enjoy…..and have a wonderful day! 8)

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Comments

  1. says

    So does this mean you’ve warmed up to mac & cheese? I grew up with the boxed stuff and love it anyways. Once I was on my own I started making it from scratch and was amazed at the difference it made.

    Your version here looks scrumptious! The addition of panko really looks interesting.

    • Biren says

      Hi Russell, thanks for visiting! I guess you can say that I have finally warmed up to mac and cheese. Adding the bacon and panko made a lot of difference to the dish. :)

    • Biren says

      I love cheese but for some reason, I am slow to warm up to this dish. The bacon, though not healthy amkes it very tasty. Jiro loves it! :)

  2. says

    Mac n cheese was a big childhood favorite of mine and now my kiddies have started to like it. I like tha you added Panko to yours and finished by baking to add some texture to the dish. The bacon is a wonderful flavour addition as well. Your Mac n cheese looks yummy. So cool that you’ve now made your recipes printable, Biren.

  3. says

    Awesome recipe! The only thing that could make mac and cheese better is bacon! I also did not grow up eating it even though I’m American, but when I discovered it there was no turning back.

  4. says

    As a complete macaroni and cheese whore, I have to say yours really looks awesome! I’m so glad you faced your fears of the unknown and have since become a mac and cheese master! Also, congrats on the new printing feature, it’s an excellent addition :)

    • Biren says

      You are funny Victoria. :) I am glad I faced my fears. Will try out new versions in the days ahead.

      Thanks! It took me a long time to look into the printing option but I am glad it is done. Now, I have the major task of updating my posts.

  5. says

    That really looks good and comforting. I like the crumb crust and of course the bacon bits. Macaroni cheese is not as popular here but my daughter just loves any pasta with lots of cheese.

  6. says

    Hi Biren, you’re making me hungry;-)
    That was fun tweeting with you this am, we’ll get the hang of it some day! I just commented on your blog using my ipad but not sure if it went through so sorry if you get two of the same comments from me;-)

  7. says

    Biren, it’s true: used to have this when I was little and so a real comfort food but your version of adding the bacon and exotic panko takes it to another level. No wonder you’ve been asked to make more and more…

  8. says

    Biren! I have been looking forward to checking out your site, and finally got to it.. and boy, am I glad! You have such an awesome website here… I am so glad to have ‘met’ you, and I will be visiting much more regularly :) Thank you for your kind words on my blog & for entering my giveaway! :)

  9. says

    Hi Biren! That’s so sweet of your boy, Ro-Jiro! Lucky that he assured you that he’ll eat it, if not you won’t discover this great recipe! 😀
    As I’m living in SG, Mac and Cheese is not so commonly cooked here I can say… Indeed I only got to know about this recipe THIS YEAR! LOL
    I love this very much the very first time I tried and from then on, I’d already cooked it 3 times! 😀
    As I still haven’t got an oven yet, so I didn’t get the chance to taste the baked version but I’m gonna try it when oven is here! 😀
    Hope you have a wonderful weekend! ^.^

    • Biren says

      Yes, Ro-Jiro is a sweetie! It took me a while to warm up to mac & cheese but I am glad I did. I still have to go slow though as it does pack some calories. :) I hope you get to try the baked version soon.

  10. says

    can not let my kids see this now, they will sure ask me to make for them immediately, hahaha!! anyway, i will make a surprise with this for them one day! This look absolutely delicious.

  11. says

    I didn’t grow up on Mac and Cheese but I love it anyway, and my kids are absolutely addicted to it! We’ve never tried instant though, as it’s not common here. I love the bacon and panko addition, and congrats on getting your recipes printable! Btw – I have the very same baking dish LOL So retro 😉

    • Biren says

      Hey Denise, so glad for your visit. :) It took me a long time to warm up to this dish. I would have added some pepper flakes but Ro-Jiro has such a mild palate, I decided against it. Phew…it took me forever to come up with the printable recipe but I am glad it is done. That is an old baking dish but still in very good shape. I love it still. :)

  12. says

    Hooray for printable recipes…doing the happy dance! And this mac and cheese sounds outstanding….with the bacon and crusty topping! YUM.

  13. says

    I read when you first shared on facebook about the slow cooked mac&cheese and now that you shared the recipe I can’t wait to try it. Sounds way much better than the store bought one and probably even than the one I use to make. Thanks for sharing Biren :)

  14. Joe Doza says

    Just made your version of baked mac n’ cheese and it was very tasty! I never thought this timeless dish could have so many different textures and tastes, needless to say, I’ll be making this for company luncheons and other occasions! Thanks!

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