Smoked Gouda Macaroni and Cheese with Bacon Recipe takes the ordinary Mac and Cheese to a new level of sophisticated comfort food! Nothing says comfort food quite like this homemade dish. This Mac and Cheese is rich, warm, and thoroughly filling dish for a cold winter evening. The Gouda cheese adds a creamy tang, while the bacon adds a nice salty, smoked flavor.
It is probably not the most diet-friendly dish, but again I say, “Everything is better with cheese!” Gouda is one of the worlds most popular cheeses. It goes with a lot of different things and the actual taste can vary depending on the exact age of the cheese.
This recipe makes a large batch so you can make an extra pan to freeze for another meal. Also great to serve to a large crowd of people. For a festive side dish, bake this recipe in individual 8-ounce ramekins.
- 16 ounces lage elbow macaroni pasta, uncooked*
- 3 tablespoons butter
- 3/4 cup panko (Japanese breadcrumbs or 1 cup bread crumbs)
- 1/2 cup Parmesan Cheese (Parmigiano-Reggiano), freshly grated
- 4 to 5 thick-sliiced bacon, chopped into bite-size chopped
- 6 tablespoons butter
- 6 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 1 small onion, minced
- 1 tablespoon garlic, minced
- 5 cups milk (2% or whole milk)
- 2 cups Smoked Gouda cheese, shredded or cubed
- 2 cups Muenster cheese, shredded or cubed**
- 2 teaspoons mustard (powdered or prepared
- 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
- 1 teaspoon coarse salt or sea salt
- 1/8 teaspoon black pepper, freshly ground
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly butter (or use a non-stick cooking spray) two 9-inch by 13-inch baking pans or individual baking dishes.
Prepare topping: In a small bowl, heat the 3 tablespoons butter until it just starts to melt. Stir in the breadcrumbs and grated parmesan cheese; set aside.
Cook pasta according to package directions; drain and return to pan to keep warm. Pasta is done when it is slightly chewy to the bite or "al dente." Drain pasta in a colander and then transfer to a large bowl. Learn How To Cook Pasta Properly.
Prepare the sauce while the pasta is cooking: See tips and instruction for making Bechamel Sauce - Basic White Sauce.
In a large heavy saucepan over medium heat, add bacon and cook until golden, approximately 3 to 4 minutes. Remove bacon from pan and set aside. Drain the bacon fat from the pan and discard.
In the same saucepan over medium-low heat, melt the 6 tablespoons butter. Stir in the minced onions and garlic; saute for 1 to 2 minutes until onions are translucent. Do not let the butter brown during this stage.
Whisk in the flour and cook an additional 3 minutes, whisking constantly until the flour is bubbly. Gradually add the milk and bring just to a boil, whisking constantly. Reduce heat to low and let simmer, stirring often, until the sauce slightly thickens, approximately 4 to 5 minutes.
Remove pan from heat and add salt and pepper to taste.
Stir in the smoked Gouda cheese, Muenster cheese, mustard, and Worcestershire sauce; stir until cheese is melted.
Remove pan from heat and fold in the cooked Macaroni pasta and the cooked bacon pieces. The macaroni should be soupy at this point, as it will absorb a large amount of sauce as it bakes.
Note: The dish can be covered and refrigerated for up to 3 days at this point.
When ready to bake the dish, divide the mixture into either the prepared large baking dishes or individual baking dishes. Top each dish with some of the reserved prepared breadcrumb topping.
Bake approximately 15 to 20 minutes until bubbly and top begins to brown (longer if refrigerated). Remove from oven and let sit 5 minutes before serving.
Serves 8 to 10 as a main dish.
* Any short pasta (penne, elbow macaroni, etc.) can be substituted.
** Can substitute shredded mozzarella or white cheddar cheese, if desired.
Categories:Bacon Pasta Recipes Dinner Other Cheeses: Cheddar, Gruyere, Fontina, Monterey Jack, Gouda, Manchero, Queso Cheese, etc.