Bacon Broccoli Mac & Cheese

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Seriously… bacon, cheese, pasta… what could go wrong?! and throw in some broccoli to make yourself feel like you’re keeping it healthy, why not! This dish is simple and darn good. This didn’t last long at our table! Everyone dug in! Give this a shot as a break from basic mac & cheese sometime.

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Of course I needed some bacon and of course it was frozen. You probably think since I love to cook I always plan ahead and have meat thawed out for every meal… you couldn’t be more wrong! I’m flying by the seat of my pants most of the time!

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Ok, so you’ll need about 4-10 pieces of bacon (yes, that’s a huge range. the recipe calls for 4 strips but I wouldn’t judge you for adding anywhere up to 10 strips πŸ™‚ Ha!) Ok, cut that into smaller pieces.

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Wash up a large head or 2 smaller heads of fresh broccoli. Cut into bite sized pieces. I wouldn’t recommend frozen here. You could also use the precut broccoli in the bag, that can be a time saver!

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Ok, let’s get that bacon going. Mmmmmmm bacon. While this is cooking steam your broccoli for about 3-5 minutes until just tender, not soggy and limp, drain.

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Let your bacon drain and your broccoli chill out while you make the cheese sauce. This is a good time to have your pasta going too.

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Wipe out your bacon pan and drop in 2 Tbs butter. Don’t wash it out!!! There is some amazing flavor down in there!!

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Sprinkle in 2 Tbs flour. Whisk that around and let it cook for a couple of minutes.

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Pour in 2 1/2 cups milk. Use whatever you have on hand. Continue whisking for another and letting it cook. You really want to whisk vigorously and continuously. If you don’t you Β risk scalding the milk and/or having grainy sauce. Boo to both! You can tell this has thickened by seeing if it will coat the back of a wooden spoon so that you can wipe your finger across it and it will leave a line. Very technical, huh πŸ™‚

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You need a couple cups of shredded cheese. This pic was from an earlier version of the recipe so you can see you will need more! Β Once the milk sauce is thickened reduce the heat to low, drop in the cheese and stir or whisk until smooth. Add in 1/2 -1 tsp salt, 1/4 tsp black pepper and taste to see if it needs more of either.

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Your cheese sauce should be looking pretty tasty…

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add in the broccoli…

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Stir to coat.

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By now your pasta should be al dente. Drain it and toss it into the pot. Stir to coat everything with a creamy coating of cheesy goodness.

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Pile this into a large bowl, sprinkle on bacon and head to the table! This is a crowd pleaser! You could switch up the veggies, maybe try asparagus or colorful peppers… lots of possibilities here!

Bacon Broccoli Mac & Cheese
12 oz pasta
3 cups broccoli florets
4 strips of bacon, cut into smaller pieces, or more πŸ˜‰
2 Tbs butter
2 Tbs flour
2 1/2 cups milk
2-3 cups freshly shredded cheese of your choice
salt & pepper

Cook bacon and steam broccoli for 3-5 minutes until tender. In a pan melt butter and sprinkle with flour. Cook while whisking for 1-2 mins. Pour in milk and continue whisking until thick (coats back of spoon). Reduce heat to low. Add in cheeses and salt & pepper. Taste to check seasonings. Add in broccoli. Toss to coat. Add in drained pasta. Toss to coat. Sprinkle on bacon and enjoy!

 

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11 Responses to Bacon Broccoli Mac & Cheese

  1. Stephanie VC says:

    Instead of plain ground beef for tacos, sometimes we use shredded chicken, taco seasoning, black beans, corn and salsa for the filling and let it simmer for a while. There are lots of options for toppings, but we usually do cheese, guacamole, olives, lettuce, and cilantro. To top it off we fry flour tortillas in a little canola oil. Yum! It’s making me hungry talking about it! πŸ™‚

  2. Mmmm…bacon….Sorry got distracted there for a moment. I took my grandfather’s straight forward pancake recipe and switched smushed banana for the oil and added chocolate chips. I make it at least once a week. We don’t use syrup, so the chocolate chips add a nice sweetness and goes well with the banana flavor. 1 C Flour 1 tsp baking powder 1 tsp salt 1 egg 1 smushed banana enough milk…lol about a cup and a handful of chocolate chips. πŸ˜€

    New knives are always nice!

  3. Jen Lee says:

    I add a package of vanilla pudding and a few splashes of vanilla to my rice krispie bars. YUM!!

  4. nicoleigh says:

    I just made a new recipe this past week! Enchilada Pasta Bake. A mix between regular pasta bake {with spaghetti sauce} and goulash. Browned beef, cooked pasta {I used penne}, 1 can tomato soup, 1 big can enchilada sauce, 1 can cooked corn {drained}, a little taco seasoning, lots of cheese. Bake it. Eat it. Love it! πŸ™‚

  5. Stacey says:

    this is a horrible question for me, I’m not a very good cook, so I must follow the recipe EXACTLY!! I have been known to add crushed red pepper to just about anything I can get away with though πŸ™‚

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