Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Bacon-Ranch Mac-N-Cheese

Bacon-Ranch Mac-N-Cheese

"What did you feed Cash for supper?" I ask while I'm at work Sunday night. (Because I obviously didn't leave anything at home for the guys. Although we did make homemade "pasta" for lunch! But that's another story, and I'm getting away from things more pertinent to today, such as that photo above. *drool*)

"We went to the grocery store. I got some roasted potatoes, and he had some 'ronies with cheese," Brad tells me. (We call them 'ronies, because that's what Cash calls them. And since he loves 'ronies we'll call them whatever he wants if he'll actually eat them. My kid, he doesn't eat much. *sigh*)

"Was it good?" I ask.

"Not bad," Brad says.

"But not as good as that mac-n-cheese I made last week," I say. "The dish with the bacon and ranch flavor. That was good."

"It was awesome," Brad says.

"Man, it was incredible. I wish I had some right now," I reply. (Even though it's midnight and I just got home from work. Because seriously. That stuff was so, so good. Even if I did take a Cooking Light recipe and make it ... uh ... not-so-light. But then again I guess that's why it was ultimately so, so good. Hmmm. I might have to go make some more. Like, right this second.)

Bacon-Ranch Mac-N-Cheese
Adapted from Cooking Light
Printer-friendly recipe

8 ounces elbow macaroni
4 slices bacon
1 tablespoon butter
1 tablespoon flour
1.5 cups milk
1 recipe Barbara's white sauce (scroll down; this is in place of a can of soup)
1 cup, plus 1 tablespoon sharp, shredded, cheddar cheese
1/4 teaspoon dried dill
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon mustard powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
Cooking spray


1. Cook pasta according to directions.
2. Cook bacon over medium heat until crisp. Remove slices, but keep 2 tablespoons of drippings in pan. After bacon cools to the touch, chop it into bite-size pieces and set aside.
3. Make white sauce in separate saucepan. Set aside. (Note: I used bacon drippings in place of the butter to make this.)
4. Add butter to bacon drippings in pan and let melt. Sprinkle flour over melted butter, whisking constantly until combined. In a separate bowl mix together milk and white sauce, then pour over flour mixture, whisking constantly. Bring mixture to a boil and cook until it thickens, about 2 minutes. Remove from heat and let stand a few minutes until mixture cools slightly. Then add bacon, cheese, dill, garlic powder, mustard powder and salt.
5. Preheat broiler. Grease casserole dish. Pour prepared macaroni into greased dish. Sprinkle with 1 tablespoon cheese. Broil until cheese melts, about 2 to 3 minutes. Serve hot.

And of course this makes fabulous leftovers - if you have any left. I mean really, is there anything better than leftover mac-n-cheese? I think not!


  1. Sounds great and I love the salty bacon addition.

  2. My son, who's 19, would be in heaven if I made this for him!!! This is the sort of dish that should win some sort of "Best Mom Ever" award ... :)


  3. Mmm. I have bacon, and I have cheese, and I have Barilla pipettes. Sounds like Bacon Ranch Mac-n-cheese. Thanks!

  4. I co-worker and I were just talking about Mac N Cheese yesterday! Bacon?...OMG!! YUM!

  5. bacon drippings, eh? the recipe creator over at cooking light would probably have a stroke upon reading that, but i think it's a fabulous idea. this is definitely crave-worthy, abby!

  6. oh my! I NEED a plate of this...NOW!

  7. Yum, my favorite! Thanks for sharing... Cheers! Petra :)

  8. You really need to enter this in the side dish showdown, it sounds(and looks) fabulous!

  9. The Showdown - http://www.cinnamonspiceandeverythingnice.com/2010/04/side-dish-showdown-2-march.html

    Another good one Presto Pasta Nights - http://www.prestopastanights.com/

  10. Oh wow, this is really something! Definitely trying this.I had spicy bacon mashed potatoes the other day made with the bacon drippings so this recipe is making my mouth water.

  11. This recipe and story make me laugh and applaud. Sometimes light is definitely not the best, especially when it comes to the goodness of bacon. Cool dish.

  12. Hi Abby! This sounds delicious! And I LOVE the list of things that you want to try on your homepage! I have a similar list at home but never thought to put it on my blog. Great idea :)

  13. I've been trying to repress the memory of this post so it's taken me a few days to get here to comment. Please remove these bacon-riddled, cheesy, delicious images immediately. :-)

  14. Hi Abby from North Carolina...
    I'm Abbie from North Carolina!

    You commented on my blog, Abbie Cooks, a while ago, and I just had to stop by and say hello and look around your blog. Love it! Gorgeous pictures, and yummy-sounding recipes - all of them!

  15. You know it's a good recipe when you talk about it days later!

  16. I totally see my kiddos scarfing this down. I have to say Abby you have a ton of great kid and mom friendly fare here. The kids get homemade yummy fresh food and mom doesn't have to spend two hours cooking it. I really appreciate it! :)


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