Skillet Baked Mac and Cheese

Sharing our favorite baked mac and cheese today! My Skillet Baked Mac and Cheese with bacon and buttery crisp topping is such a crave-worthy dish! Homemade macaroni and cheese has never been this delicious!

baked mac and cheese

 

Best 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!

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Baked Mac and Cheese

How to Make Skillet Baked Mac and Cheese

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. Transfer cooked pasta to 12-inch cast iron skillet over low heat. Pour cheese sauce over top, stirring to combine.
  4. Top mac and cheese with remaining 1 cup of shredded cheese, cracker crumbs and bacon pieces. Bake for 20-25 minutes until cheese is melted and hot. Serve warm.

Baked Mac and Cheese

Add the cheese sauce to your noodles.

Baked Mac and Cheese recipe

Top your mac with more cheese 🙂

Baked Mac and Cheese recipe

 Perfect!

Baked Mac and Cheese recipe

Add your crushed Ritz crackers over the cheese.

Baked Mac and Cheese recipe

Add lots of bacon pieces on top and your ready to bake!

baked mac and cheese

 

 Crispy topping with cheesy goodness underneath. Perfect dinner for entertaining your guests.

Baked Mac and Cheese

You are going to love this one!

baked mac and cheese

Tips For Making The Best Mac and Cheese

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
Image of Skillet Baked Mac and Cheese with Bacon Pretzel Topping

Skillet Baked Mac and Cheese

This Skillet Baked Mac and Cheese with crunchy buttery topping is such a crave-worthy dish! Homemade macaroni and cheese has never been this delicious!
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 20 mins
Total Time 35 mins
Servings: 8 servings
Calories: 489kcal
Author: Jenny
Cost: $8
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Equipment

  • Oven

Ingredients

  • 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

Instructions

  • 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, crushed crackers and bacon pieces. Bake for 20-25 minutes until cheese is melted and hot. Serve warm.

Nutrition

Calories: 489kcal | Carbohydrates: 46g | Protein: 23g | Fat: 23g | Saturated Fat: 12g | Cholesterol: 63mg | Sodium: 856mg | Potassium: 295mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 5g | Vitamin A: 523IU | Calcium: 396mg | Iron: 2mg
Keywords: baked mac and cheese, baked mac and cheese recipe, best baked mac and cheese, creamy baked mac and cheese, easy baked mac and cheese, homemade baked mac and cheese, how to make baked mac and cheese

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baked mac and cheese

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36 Responses
  1. Hi Jenny, this looks awesome!
    I’m from Ireland where we don’t have boxed mac and cheese, and it’s hard to find macaroni pasta shapes but I hunted down a great recipe and make it from scratch every so often. I always dice up some bacon and mix it through the pasta (in Ireland a meal isn’t a meal if you don’t have meat in it 😛 ) but the last time I was rushing so skipped the bacon- my boyfriend couldn’t hide his disappointment! LOL! Think bacon is a must for mac and cheese! 😉

  2. I have a go-to macaroni and cheese recipe that I love, so I’m not normally interested in trying new ones. This looks so good though. I think I have to try it!

  3. Kendray

    Made this for dinner on Saturday. It turned out pretty good… I feel like my cheese sauce could have used a little more liquid… but other than that, tasty.

    The one thing I might do differently is a purely logistical thing – when I was cutting into my skillet, the bacon and pretzels came off (I guess the melted cheese wasn’t quite enough to hold them on). I might put the bacon and half of the pretzels under the cheese, and then sprinkle the other half of the pretzels on top.

  4. Max

    Tastes great! I made it for my roommates and girlfriend and they couldn’t say enough greats things about it! It probably added a couple inches to my waist, but totally worth it!

  5. Why does this skillet mac and cheese, that says it uses ‘a pretzel crust” call for ritz crackers? Where do the pretzels come in?
    I don’t understand!

    1. Hi Lisa, at one point I used a pretzel cracker, but I prefer it with just the regular Ritz crackers. Either are fine, just updated to my preference now 🙂

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