Bacon Topped Macaroni and Cheese is a sponsored post for Mahón-Menorca Cheese. The recipe and opinions are my own.
When it comes to Thanksgiving Dinner, my menu may vary slightly each year. However, there’s always one side dish that remains the same. Homemade Macaroni and Cheese will always make an appearance on my holiday table.
The boxed variety just won’t cut it when I’m hosting holiday gatherings. The first question the grandkids will ask when they run through the door on Thanksgiving Day is, “Did you make your homemade Macaroni and Cheese?” This year, I’ve added crispy, chopped bacon and homemade croutons. It’s comfort food to the max!
The key to making delicious Macaroni and Cheese is, well, the cheese. It’s important to use the best cheese and to shred your own cheese. Pre-shredded cheese usually has stabilizers and much less flavor.
My Favorite Cheese for Bacon Topped Macaroni and Cheese
My favorite cheese for making Homemade Macaroni and Cheese is Mahón-Menorca Cheese from Spain.
A trip to Spain is definitely at the top of my bucket list, but you don’t have to travel to Spain to enjoy Mahón-Menorca Cheese. You can find this delicious cheese at the following US locations: Fairway, West Side Market, Gourmet Garage, Saveway, Wholefoods, Kroger, Costco, Central Markets, Central and Town & Country Markets.
Mahón-Menorca Cheese is a PGO product and is made with fresh milk on the island of Minorca. PGO means Protected Guarantee of Origin. It’s a guarantee that the product is intimately tied to the geographical area where it is produced.
History of Mahón-Menorca Cheese
I’m fascinated with the history of Mahón-Menorca Cheese. I recently learned that the formatjat (production process) has remained unchanged for a very long time in all the Menorcan “llocs” (farm-houses) where very old practices have been followed.
Overall it is determined by a series of procedures that have been handed down from father to son and the correct application of these procedures define and are the source of authentic Mahón-Menorca cheese.
There are three different types of Mahón-Menorca – Tender, Semi-Cured, and Cured. I use semi-cured to make my Bacon Topped Macaroni and Cheese.
Bacon Topped Macaroni and Cheese
Bring a large pot of salted water to boil over high heat. Add the macaroni and cook for 9-10 minutes. Drain and set aside.
Now it’s time to make the Béchamel Sauce (white sauce). Warm the milk in a small saucepan just until warm to the touch. In a large saucepan, melt the butter over medium-high heat. Whisk in the flour and dry mustard and keep whisking for about one minute or until the mixture is smooth.
Add the milk and whisk until smooth.
Stir in the cheese and continue to cook, stirring until smooth. Season with salt and pepper.
Add the cooked macaroni to the pot and stir to combine.
Pour into a 3-quart baking dish, sprinkle with cheese and top with homemade croutons (recipe below).
Bake for 30 minutes or until bubbly. When the Macaroni and Cheese is almost done, cook the bacon in the microwave or a skillet until crispy. Sprinkle the bacon on top of the Macaroni and Cheese before serving.
- 1 box (16 oz.) elbow macaroni
- 5 Tablespoons unsalted butter
- 4 Tablespoons flour
- 4 cups milk
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- 4 cups shredded Mahón-Menorca cheese
- 1/2 teaspoon dry mustard
- 6 strips bacon, cooked and crumbled
- 6 slices bread, cubed
- 2 Tablespoons butter, melted
- 1 teaspoon minced garlic
- Preheat oven to 350º F.
- Make croutons by combining cubed bread with 2 tablespoons melted butter and minced garlic. Bake at 350º for six minutes or until golden brown. Set aside.
- In a large pot, bring water and salt to a boil and cook for 10 minutes. Drain and set aside.
- Warm milk in a small saucepan until just warm to touch.
- In a large saucepan, melt butter over medium-high heat. Add flour and dry mustard and whisk for about a minute or until smooth. Add milk and keep whisking until smooth.
- Stir in the cheese and keep whisking until melted and smooth.
- Remove from heat and add the macaroni. Stir gently until combined.
- Place macaroni in a 3-quart greased baking dish and sprinkle with homemade croutons. Bake for 30 minutes or until bubbly. Top with cooked and crumbled bacon before serving.
I think your family will love my Bacon Topped Macaroni and Cheese. The Mahón-Menorca Cheese adds such a depth of flavor.
What’s your favorite holiday side dish?