★★★★★

Gouda Bacon Macaroni and Cheese

Nothing says comfort food like homemade Macaroni and Cheese! The gouda adds a creamy tang while the bacon adds a nice salty, smoked flavor! Try this at your next family dinner!

Baked mac and cheese with gouda and bacon on small white plate.

Why this Recipe Works

I love mac and cheese. My kids love mac and cheese. The whole world loves mac and cheese. Noodles tossed in cheese sauce might be the ultimate kid food but there are plenty of ways to make the dish a little more “grown up”.

Adding gouda cheese for a more complex flavor plus bacon for a smoky touch makes this Mac and Cheese recipe stand out from the crowd. However, it’s not so dressed up that the kids won’t recognize it as good ol’ classic mac!

We can all use a few more ideas for exciting and easy family meals. Gouda Bacon Mac and Cheese is one that’ll have everyone asking for seconds. It’s become my family’s most requested version of macaroni and cheese and I can’t wait for you to try it, too.

Gouda macaroni and cheese served on small white plate.

Ingredient Notes

  • Smoked Gouda Cheese – I prefer to buy blocks of cheese and shred it myself. Freshly shredded cheese melts so much better!
  • Bacon – Cook the bacon and crumble it before making your mac and cheese.
  • Macaroni Elbow Noodles – Feel free to sub other small pasta noodles like penne, bow tie or shells instead.
  • Bread – This is a great way to use leftover homemade bread or store bought bread that’s about the go stale.

Easy Instructions

Before making the cheese sauce, boil your macaroni according to package directions, drain and set aside. You can do this while cooking the bacon!

To make the sauce, melt butter in a large pot on the stove, then stir in skim milk. Sprinkle in flour and whisk while the mixture becomes thick. Keep whisking while you add heavy cream and the seasonings.

Shred the cheeses in a food processor and add to the pot with the cream sauce. Stir until the cheese is melted and everything is combined. Add the cooked macaroni to the cheese mixture.

Now, it’s time to bake your mac and cheese!

Pulse the bread slices in your food processor to make crumbs, then stir in melted butter. Pour the macaroni and cheese into a baking dish and sprinkle the bread crumbs on top along with the cooked bacon crumbles.

Bake uncovered for about 25 minutes until the bread crumbs are lightly browned.

Tips and Tricks

  • Feel free to toss vegetables in with the pasta before baking! Broccoli, peas and mushrooms would all be delicious additions.
  • You can substitute store bought bread crumbs if preferred. Combine with melted butter before adding to the pan as directed.
  • I used a 13 x 9 glass casserole dish for baking the macaroni.
  • This recipe can be used for an unbaked macaroni and cheese too! Just skip the bread crumbs and serve hot!
  • Have a vegetarian in your family? Bake the macaroni without the bacon and let everyone add crumbled bacon to their own bowl of mac if desired. Easy solution!

Recipe FAQ

Can I substitute another type of cheese for the smoked gouda?

Sure, but the flavors will be different. Other kinds of gouda (like chipotle) would be good if your family likes the flavor!

What’s the best way to reheat macaroni and cheese?

This pasta reheats fine in the microwave. The bread crumbs will loose their crispiness but the mac and cheese still tastes delicious!

Why use skim milk AND heavy cream instead of whole milk?

I created this recipe based on what was in our fridge! Using skim milk coupled with the cream helped me control the creaminess of the finished sauce. Feel free to try it with whole milk if you prefer and let me know how it turns out!

Can this be made without the bacon?

Go for it! If you need a vegetarian option, leave the bacon off and you’ll have a delicious smoked gouda macaron and cheese as a main course or a side dish.

Serving of mac and cheese with bacon.

I’ve never met a cheese lover who would turn down a helping or two of this Gouda Bacon Macaroni & Cheese! Warning: There’s a good chance this will become YOUR new favorite Mac n Cheese recipe!

Yield: 12 servings

Gouda Bacon Macaroni and Cheese

Prep Time 25 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 50 minutes

Nothing says comfort food like homemade Macaroni and Cheese! The gouda adds a creamy tang while the bacon adds a nice salty, smoked flavor! Try this at your next family dinner!

Ingredients

  • 16oz elbow macaroni, cooked and drained
  • 4 Tbsp butter
  • 2 ¼ cup skim milk
  • ½ cup flour
  • 1 ¼ cup heavy cream
  • 2 tsp kosher salt
  • 1 tsp ground black pepper
  • ½ tsp dry mustard
  • 2 tsp worcestershire
  • 1lb smoked gouda cheese, shredded
  • ½ lb sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
  • 5 slices bread (about 2cups crumbs)
  • 3 Tbsp butter, melted
  • ½ cup bacon, cooked and crumbled

Instructions

  1. Prepare macaroni according to package directions. Set aside.
  2. In large pot, melt butter over medium high heat. Add skim milk and bring to near boiling. Reduce heat to medium and sprinkle in flour. Whisk vigorously over medium heat for 1-2 minutes. Mixture should be thick and boiling. Slowly add cream, while whisking. Add in salt, pepper, mustard and worcestershire sauce. Reduce heat to low and continue to stir for about 5 minutes.
  3. In food processor, shred Gouda and Cheddar cheese. Add to pot, stir until thoroughly combined.
  4. Add cooked macaroni to cheese mixture. Pour into a 13x9 dish.
  5. In same food processor bowl (no need to wash it after shredding the cheese), process 5 slices of bread to a fine crumb. Add melted butter. Sprinkle over macaroni. Top with crumbled bacon.
  6. Bake uncovered in a 375 degree oven for 25-30 minutes.ENJOY!

Nutrition Information:

Yield:

12

Serving Size:

1

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 514Total Fat: 36gSaturated Fat: 22gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 12gCholesterol: 118mgSodium: 1100mgCarbohydrates: 24gFiber: 1gSugar: 5gProtein: 23g

Did you make this recipe?

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About Aimee

Aimee is a dessert lover (specifically rice krispie treats), workout enthusiast, self-taught foodie, and recipe creator.

Learn more about Aimee.

Affiliate Disclosure:**There may be affiliate links in this post! By clicking on them, or purchasing recommended items I may receive a small compensation. However, I only recommend products I love! Thank you for supporting Shugary Sweets! See my disclosure policy for more info**

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Posted on March 29, 2013

Comments & Reviews

    1. I create recipes using what I have on hand. My family drinks skim milk, and I use heavy cream in coffee 🙂

  1. Rookie mistake…make sure to add the flour slowly lol….turned out awesome (the second time…) thank you!  Made it a day ahead and heated it to serve. Will make again!

  2. I have made this quite a few times and always to much praise.  Thanks!  One handy tip after making it a few times (and in large quantities) is instead of sprinkling the flour into the pot and whisking…whisk the cream and flour together beforehand into a slurry.  The results are so much smoother and way easier!  Thanks!

  3. I’ve made this twice now and both times its just amazingly delicious!!! My family eats it up. The sauce is just the best. The only thing I changed when making it is I started my roux with the butter and flour then added the milk. I had zero issues with the cheese seizing up that way.

  4. I just picked up the ingredients but accidentally grabbed chipotle gouda instead of smoked. I’m thinking I will double the cheddar that I am using and only use half of the gouda since I have the wrong kind and I don’t want the chipotle to be too overpowering. Hopefully it turns out great!

  5. Looks good smells good almost ready to stick it in the oven. I like Broccoli so I added a little of that an backed off a touch on the smoked cheese. I hope my wife likes it.

  6. I made this tonight! I changed it up a bit by mixing the bacon into the mixture and also added some mushrooms (lightly fried beforehand in the bacon grease). I also used half and half instead of heavy cream. Turned out so well!!

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