Tags: back to school, bacon, baked pasta, cheese, mac and cheese, pretzels
Sharing our favorite baked mac and cheese today! My Skillet Baked Mac and Cheese with Bacon Pretzel Topping is a perfect dinner that everyone will love!
Baked Mac and Cheese
Baked mac and cheese is so dreamy!! There’s nothing I love more than creating an ultra cheesy mac and cheese recipe. I thought it would be sinfully delicious to add crunchy bacon and a buttery cracker crumb topping. You are going to love this one!
You’ll make a simple cheese sauce that gets added to your cooked pasta.
Add the cheese sauce to your noodles.
Top your mac with more cheese 🙂
Add your crushed Ritz crackers over the cheese.
Add lots of bacon pieces on top and your ready to bake!
Crispy topping with cheesy goodness underneath. Perfect dinner for entertaining your guests.
You are going to love this one!
Tips For Making Mac and Cheese
- Don’t overcook your noodles. The noodle is the base of the entire dish, so it’s crucial that you choose the right kind of pasta. Noodles with lots of nooks and crannies—such as shells, mini penne, elbows, and corkscrews—ensure you achieve maximum cheesiness with every bite. If the dish is eventually being baked in the oven, parboil the noodles and drain when they’re still slightly chewy.
- Don’t forget the roux! Though it might be tempting to use a recipe that doesn’t require a roux, it’s a helpful step that improves the dish’s texture. To begin, cook equal parts flour and butter in a saucepan over medium heat until a paste forms. Whisk in warm milk until it creates a creamy sauce, and then stir in your shredded cheese until it reaches a smooth consistency.
- Use a variety of cheeses. To ensure the flavors aren’t too strong for the kids, choose cheeses that everyone will love. A good rule of thumb is to choose one sharp and one creamy, such as sharp cheddar and jack, or gruyere and Parmesan.
- 3/4 pound dry elbow pasta
- 1 stick unsalted butter
- 1/2 cup all purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper
- 2 cups whole milk
- 3 cups Cheddar Cheese shredded and divided
- 1 cup finely crushed Ritz Crackers
- 12 strips cooked crumbled bacon pieces
Preheat oven to 350 degrees Cook pasta according to package directions. I recommend cooking the pasta a minute less than the directions. Drain and set aside for a few minutes.
To prepare roux, melt butter into a medium saucepan over medium heat. Once melted whisk in flour, salt and pepper. Stir and cook for 3-4 minutes until color of roux gets slightly darker. Slowly whisk in milk, stirring continuously until thickened, about 2 minutes. Reduce heat to a simmer and stir in 2 cups of cheese until melted.
Transfer cooked pasta to 12-inch cast iron skillet over low heat. Pour cheese sauce over top, stirring to combine.
Top mac and cheese with remaining 1 cup of shredded cheese, pretzel crumbs and bacon pieces. Bake for 20-25 minutes until cheese is melted and hot. Serve warm.
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Sharing my favorite way to eat grilled cheese and tomato soup today! Grilled Cheese and Tomato Soup Pasta Bake is a simple weeknight dinner idea the whole family is going to love!
Grilled Cheese and Tomato Soup
There’s nothing I love more than a new simple to prepare weeknight dinner recipe! This pasta bake recipe brings two of my favorite combinations together into a fantastic weeknight dinner idea!
Pasta Bake Recipe
To start, cook your pasta according to package directions.
Melt butter in a large skillet.
Easy Pasta Bake
Add your cooked drained pasta.
A little salt and pepper. A little garlic salt and bacon pieces stirred into the pasta.
Grilled Cheese and Tomato Soup
You’ll need 2 cups of the Creamy Tomato Soup. A little cumin, paprika and some diced tomatoes with peppers. Transfer soup to a large skillet and top with fresh cilantro leaves. Pour pasta right on top.
Top with cheese please!
Time to bake!
Oodles of melted cheese. I just died.
Wait until you get your hands on this dish. You are going to love it! Enjoy 🙂
Tips How To Cook Perfect Pasta
- Use a large pot. Pick a roomy pot that gives the pasta plenty of space to move.
- Load up the pot with lots of water. You want five or six quarts for a standard package of pasta.
- Salt the water. Then salt, salt, and salt again! Don’t just give a single tap of the shaker—you want to use at least a tablespoon.
- Bring the water to a full, rolling boil
- Keep stirring. The benefit: Occasionally stirring the pot will keep your pasta from clumping.
- Test the pasta two minutes before it’s “ready” No matter your preference, it’s better to err on the side of al dente, as overcooked pasta will break down and become mush.
- 1/2 pound dry/uncooked penne pasta I used mini
- 4 tablespoons butter
- 1 cup cooked crumbled bacon
- 1/4 teaspoon garlic salt
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 2 Cups prepared Tomato Soup Trader Joe's has a great one
- 1/2 cup diced tomatoes with peppers
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1/2 cup fresh chopped cilantro leaves
- 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
Cook pasta according to package directions. Drain. Place butter into a large skillet over medium heat to melt. When melted add pasta, bacon pieces, garlic salt and pepper. Stir to combine them remove from heat.
Place Imagine Creamy Tomato Soup into a small saucepan over medium heat. Stir in cumin and paprika to combine. Pour soup into bottom of a 10 inch cast iron skillet. Sprinkle with cilantro leaves then top with pasta. Top with cheese and bake for 20 minutes, until cheese is melted. Remove and serve warm.
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Jun 16, 2019 | Tags: bacon, lunch, mozzarella cheese, quesadillas, roasted red peppers
Sharing a favorite Veggie Quesadilla today! Treat yourself to my buttery crisp Cheesy Mediterranean Bacon Veggie Quesadilla this week. You’ll be glad you did 🙂
This quesadilla stuffed with veggies and bacon is such a delicious lunch or light dinner! Is there anything better than a hot off the skillet, flavor packed, cheesy and buttery crisp quesadilla? I have fond memories as a kid enjoying my mom’s quesadillas and this recipe is one of my favorite ones yet! This one does not disappoint and takes just minutes to prepare with some amazing ingredients. Break out your favorite large skillet and let the deliciousness begin.
May 24, 2019 | Tags: blueberries, cake, dessert, raspberries, strawberries, summer, trifle
This fruity and delicious Very Berry Vanilla Cake Trifle is the perfect dessert for summer! Your family and friends will love the colorful layers.
Very Berry Vanilla Cake Trifle Recipe
You are in for such a treat with my Very Berry Vanilla Cake Trifle recipe! Summer is such a great time to entertain. You’ll generally find us around the pool with friends daily enjoying great meals together. I put together a beautiful summer trifle that’s super easy to make. Gorgeous berries layered with sweet whipped cream and soft vanilla cake pieces make for a delicious dessert to serve all summer long.
The definition of a trifle is a cold dessert of sponge cake and …
Sharing my favorite lasagna recipe with a twist today! This Mexican Style Lasagna makes the perfect weeknight dinner for the whole family! Flavor packed and simple lasagna recipe to prepare.
Nothing like a good lasagna recipe a little different than traditional lasagna! My Mexican Style Lasagna Recipe is such a perfect weeknight dinner! Easy dinner ideas are my favorite kind of recipes, this one is the perfect quick fix meal for the whole family!
Sharing my favorite ice cream sandwich recipe today! This Chocolate Cookie Ice Cream Sandwich is the perfect sweet treat this summer to keep nice and cool!
Cookie Ice Cream Sandwich
This cookie ice cream sandwich is so much fun to prepare and the whole family loves them. You can even prepare these ahead of time, wrap and freeze until ready to serve. The perfect summer treat! Hope you enjoy!
May 6, 2019 | Tags: BBQ chicken, chicken, grilled, summer
Sharing one of my favorite chicken drumstick recipes today! These Garlic Lime Taco Grilled Chicken Drumsticks are the perfect summer dinner recipe. Simple and full of great flavor!
These chicken drumsticks could not be more simple to prepare and have a zesty taco glaze like coating. With just a few ingredients, you are on your way to an awesome grilled dinner!
Apr 25, 2019 | Tags: chicken, pasta, pizza, weeknight dinner
Sharing one of my favorite pasta recipes today! This Chicken Caprese Pasta Recipe is the perfect weeknight dinner for pizza and pasta night!
Pasta recipes are some of my very favorite kind of recipes to create! I’ve developed a simple and ultra flavorful caprese pasta recipe the whole family is going to love. Plus it’s done in about 30 minutes! Score!