Kids in the Kitchen – Macaroni and Cheese with Bacon

by Katrina - The Organised Housewife

A Mac ‘N Cheese recipe with pieces of crispy bacon and a topping of crunchy garlic bread – the perfect dish to cook up with the kids in the kitchen.

My children have been making this Macaroni and Cheese with Bacon recipe for many years! Letting the kids help in the kitchen has taught them life lessons and skills from measuring and learning fractions to how to cook particular foods.

Typically mac and cheese is just that, macaroni and cheese sauce, but my kids love a little bacon flavour and crispy breadcrumbs which is how we ended up with this delicious recipe.

I like getting the kids to read the recipe and tell me how much they need and see if they can determine the best method of measuring the ingredients themselves – cooking is a great way for children to learn. The kids have always loved that they get their own personal ramekin of mac ‘n cheese to eat. It’s topped with a golden breadcrumb mixture that they absolutely love too!

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Mac ‘N Cheese with Bacon

  • Author: Katrina
  • Prep Time: 30 mins
  • Cook Time: 30 mins
  • Total Time: 1 hour
  • Yield: 6
  • Category: Pasta, Oven Bake

Ingredients

Scale
  • 1 3/4 cups macaroni
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 4 short-cut bacon rashers, diced
  • 45g butter
  • 1/4 cup plain flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon mustard powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/8 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 2 1/2 cups milk
  • 3 cups tasty cheese, grated

TOPPING

  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1/4 cup parsley
  • 6 slices stale bread, crusts removed, torn into pieces
  • 2 tablespoons butter, melted

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 180°C, fan forced.
  2. Cook macaroni following packet directions, drain and return to saucepan.
  3. In a small frying pan, heat oil over medium-high heat.
  4. Cook bacon until browned, remove from pan and place onto a plate lined with paper towel.
  5. To make cheese sauce, melt butter in a medium sized saucepan over medium-high heat until foaming.
  6. Add flour, salt, mustard, pepper and paprika. Cook and stir for 1-2 minutes or until mixture bubbles. Remove from heat.
  7. Gradually pour in milk. Whisk continuously until mixture is smooth.
  8. Return saucepan over medium-high heat and bring to the boil. Stir continuously for 5 minutes or until sauce thickens.
  9. Remove from heat. Add 2 cups cheese and stir until cheese melts.
  10. Pour the cheese sauce over the macaroni and add half the bacon. Toss to stir through.
  11. Spoon cheesy macaroni mix evenly into individual ramekins or a large 12-cup (3L) oven-proof dish.
  12. Sprinkle remaining bacon and cheese over each portion.
  13. To make breadcrumb topping, place garlic, parsley and bread into a food processor. Process until it turns into crumbs.
  14. Pour butter into food processor and pulse until mixed through.
  15. Sprinkle breadcrumbs over pasta mixture.
  16. Bake in oven for 20-30 minutes or until golden. Serve.

Notes

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10 comments

Nancy September 18, 2014 - 7:39 AM

your daughter is gorgeous. I love seeing them in the kitchen and sewing your teaching them such great life lessons.

Reply
Katrina - The Organised Housewife September 18, 2014 - 8:32 AM

Thank you Nancy, she is a cutie. All my kids love cooking and I love spending time with them in the kitchen, especially teaching them new techniques, great life lessons for sure!

Reply
Simone September 18, 2014 - 7:39 AM

must try this, haven’t made Mac and Cheese in so long. Love the idea of a little bit of bacon with it

Reply
Katrina - The Organised Housewife September 18, 2014 - 8:32 AM

It’s delicious Simone, hope your family enjoy it!

Reply
Krystal October 1, 2014 - 11:15 AM

For those who prefer not to eat meat, spinach, onion & mushroom is a great mix to replace the bacon 🙂

Reply
Katrina - The Organised Housewife October 1, 2014 - 11:20 AM

Great idea, love the sound of adding onion!

Reply
Sarah Brewer October 1, 2014 - 11:17 AM

Looking forward to decluttering

Reply
Jane January 22, 2018 - 10:09 AM

Do you think I could make this dish ahead of time then when we’re ready to eat just pop it in the oven?

Reply
Robyn September 26, 2019 - 9:05 AM

Kat can you give any advice for gluten free flour use in sauces
Can you just swap gluten free flour or use less or more liquid????
Love your cookbook but recently diagnosed coeliac presents me with problems.
Many thanks Robyn

Reply
Katrina - The Organised Housewife October 3, 2019 - 12:53 PM

Robyn I don’t have much experience with gluten free cooking, so wouldn’t feel right giving advice on that. Perhaps a site like this might help: https://flannerys.com.au/2017/09/ultimate-gluten-free-baking-substitute-guide/ If you do give this recipe a go with a gluten free flour, please let me know how you go 🙂 Kat x

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