Best ever Baked Macaroni and Cheese with Panko and Bacon – all the trappings of mac and cheese with added crisp crumb topping and bacon.
Macaroni and Cheese is comfort food to many. I see this dish being served at almost every family gathering I have attended. It may sound strange but for those of us who did not grow up here, mac and cheese is not something we would warm up to.
Up until now, I have never prepared mac and cheese in my kitchen. I panicked when I was asked to prepare a slow cooker version for a church event recently. My first thought was to swap with someone to prepare a different dish. After thinking about it a little bit more, I finally decided to go ahead as planned. Ro-Jiro, my youngest son assured me that he will be more than happy to eat what I prepared.
Recipe from Box
The first thing I did was to go buy a box of macaroni. Fortunately, the Creamette macaroni had a recipe I could use. I made a few minor changes and was pleasantly surprised that my Macaroni and Cheese was very well received at the church event. 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 I make it.
Baked Macaroni and Cheese
A week later, I did just that. As a treat, I also added some bacon and panko breadcrumbs. This time I 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 Baked Macaroni and Cheese with Panko and Bacon three times now and it will not be my last. 🙂
Similar Tools Used in Making This Baked macaroni and Cheese
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- 8 oz macaroni (225g)
- ¼ cup (30g) panko breadcrumbs
- 4 strips bacon
- 2 cups shredded cheese (mozzarella, cheddar, and Monterey Jack) (8oz/225g)
- ½ cup parmesan cheese (50g)
- 2½ cups low fat milk (600ml)
- 3 tbsp (45g) butter
- 2 tbsp all purpose flour
- 1 tsp dry mustard
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Cook pasta according to packaging instructions. Drain and place in a large bowl. Stir in 1 tablespoon butter into hot pasta. Set aside.
- Grease an 8”x8” deep casserole dish. Preheat oven to 350°F (180°C).
- 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.
- Top with parmesan cheese and bake for 20 minutes or until bubbly.
- In the meantime, fry bacon until crisp. Drain on paper towel and crumble into bacon bits.
- Remove casserole from oven. Sprinkle bacon bits and panko onto pasta. Return to oven and bake for another 10 minutes.
- Remove and serve immediately.
Enjoy…..and have a wonderful day! 😎