Recipe: Bacon Loaded Mac N Cheese

This is a favourite of director Naomi and one she’s adapted over the years. Quantities may vary depending on quantities used and appetite.

Everyone loves Mac N Cheese, right! And this suped up version includes one of our favourite naughty treats – bacon – in and on top of this hearty dish. So in honour of International Bacon Day, here’s our recipe for Bacon Loaded Mac N Cheese. Enjoy!


Ingredients:

  • 400 grams of free farmed or ethically sourced bacon (tip: if you live in Wanaka, the Butcher’s Block make their own amazing bacon)

  • 3 cups of pasta – I like to use shells or rigatoni for something different, but good old macaroni works well

  • One tin of corn kernels (tip: for added vege hits, blitz up steamed or roasted pumpkin instead and add that to the mix, leaving some bits whole for bite-sized pumpkin goodness. Broccoli and cauliflower also do the trick)

  • Make around 500ml of a standard white sauce (any recipe will do or use a jar one for ease)

  • 1 red onion – finely chopped

  • ¼ teaspoon of paprika

  • ¼ cup of jalapeños – or more if you like hot – finely chopped

  • Half cup of any Italian style herbs like basil, oregano, parsley etc – dried or fresh

  • Around 300 grams of four different cheeses for variety and taste – Our choice is a blue, Tasty, Parmesan and a Red Leicester or other hard red cheese or cheddar for a kick. Add more for extra cheesiness.

Topping:

  • 3 Ciabatta rolls or part of a bread loaf chopped into bite-sized cubes

  • Handful of grated cheese to cover the top

  • Sprinkle of paprika

Method:

  1. Preheat oven to 180 degrees normal bake.

  2. Chop 300 grams of the bacon into bite sized chunks. This dish is all about bacon so make them nice and chunky. Pan fry bacon in a tablespoon of oil until brown. Remove to a plate.

  3. Chop the remainder of the bacon into much smaller pieces for the topping and reserve for later.

  4. Finely chop red onion and sauté in a little oil until soft and yummy.

  5. Meanwhile cook the pasta al dente on the stove, drain and add to oven dish

  6. Mix cooked pasta, onion, bacon, tinned corn and all the other herb and spice ingredients together in an oven dish

  7. Grate around 300 grams of cheese, with extra for toppings.

  8. Mix cheese through ingredients in the oven dish mix. Season with salt and pepper.

  9. Now for the topping. Cut the bread rolls into small bite sized chunks and mix with a little olive oil. Sprinkle over the top of the oven dish, along with cheese, paprika and the uncooked small bacon bits as a topper.

  10. Place oven dish in the oven for around 25 mins. Check occasionally so the topping doesn’t burn.

  11. Once golden and bubbling, remove from the oven and serve.

Serving this with a green salad and garlic bread completes this beast of a bacon dish. Want to go all out? Add pulled pork as well for maximum impact.


Makes enough for 4 people.