When you want Mac & Cheese to be a whole meal – you add bacon, chicken and a little bit of a kick! That’s how I came up with Hot Bacon Cheddar Mac – and man was it a hit at my house.
The thing I love about learning to make sauces from scratch is that you can tweak them to make very different dishes that are essentially the same thing. Sometimes it’s because you want to use up what’s in your cupboards and fridge and sometimes its because the month has gotten away from you and you gotten make due with what you have. As they say – necessity is the mother of invention!
I almost always have some form of pasta, chicken, bacon and cheese in my home. They are my staples because I know I can always makes something tasty with it. I also like to keep a variety of mix-ins like green chilies and jalapenos. If you wanted to give this mac and cheese an even bigger kick you could use a can of diced jalapenos instead. My littles can’t quite handle that, so I used the green chilies this time.
Now let’s get cookin’!
Hot Bacon Cheddar Mac
- 1½ lb Chicken Breast
- 3 Garlic Cloves minced
- ½ lb Bacon cut into ½inch pieces
- 1½ lb Short Pasta elbows, penne, rotini, etc.
- 2 Scallions chopped
For Cheese Sauce
- 3 tbsp Butter
- 3 tbsp Flour
- 1 tsp Garlic Salt
- 1 cup Chicken Broth
- 1 7 oz can Green Chilies diced
- 1 cup Heavy Cream
- 1 cup Cheddar Cheese shredded
- Prepare all of the ingredients. Start water boiling for pasta.
- In a frying pan over medium high heat, add bacon. Cook until crispy and remove to paper towel covered plate.
- In a sauce pan over medium high heat, add chicken and garlic. Cover with water and boil for 15 minutes. Remove from water and chop.
- Add pasta to boiling water. Cook as directed on package. Drain in a colander and rinse with cool water to arrest cooking process. Return to pot.
- In a sauce pan over medium heat, add butter and garlic salt. Once melted add flour and mix together. Cook for 3 minutes then add chicken broth. Cook for 3 minutes and add green chilies. Cook another 2 minutes then whisk in heavy cream. Cook for 2 minutes and add cheese (one handful at a time) until completely melted.
- Pour cheese sauce over cooked pasta. Add chicken and half of bacon. Stir until fully combined. Serve in a shallow pasta bowl and garnish with remaining bacon and scallions.
Estelle Forrest self-published this cookbook after a lot of playing around in the kitchen. You can purchase your own copy here: