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Skillet Baked Mac and Cheese

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

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

You’ll make a simple cheese sauce that gets added to your cooked pasta.

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


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 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.
Skillet Baked Mac and Cheese
Prep Time
15 mins
Cook Time
20 mins
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Keyword: baked mac and cheese, baked mac and cheese recipe, baked mac and cheese with bacon, best baked mac and cheese, best baked mac and cheese recipe, creamy baked mac and cheese, easy baked mac and cheese, homemade baked mac and cheese, how to make baked mac and cheese, oven baked mac and cheese
Servings: 8
Calories: 489 kcal
Author: Jenny
  • 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
  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, pretzel crumbs and bacon pieces. Bake for 20-25 minutes until cheese is melted and hot. Serve warm.
Nutrition Facts
Skillet Baked Mac and Cheese
Amount Per Serving
Calories 489 Calories from Fat 207
% Daily Value*
Fat 23g35%
Saturated Fat 12g75%
Cholesterol 63mg21%
Sodium 856mg37%
Potassium 295mg8%
Carbohydrates 46g15%
Fiber 2g8%
Sugar 5g6%
Protein 23g46%
Vitamin A 523IU10%
Calcium 396mg40%
Iron 2mg11%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

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36 Responses | Comments RSS

  1. 1
    Orla says:

    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. 2

    Bacon. Pretzel. Mac and Cheese.
    I can’t even. This is amazing Jenny! I wish I could dive face first into that pot right now!

  3. 3

    Wow what’s there not to like??? What guy first of all doesn’t love bacon? and Pretzels and yes Mac and Cheese! Thanks for this one!

  4. 4

    Seriously pretzels make my salty world go round. Love this. And I’m sure the kids would dig right in!
    Happy Wednesday Jenny!

  5. 5
    Naomi says:

    That’s so sinfully good!

  6. 6

    Girl, you have found a way to combine everything I love in this world!!

  7. 7

    wow. all of my favorite things in one dish. i really don’t think it can get any better than this!

  8. 8

    this just looks so naughty and delicious!

  9. 9

    Love the pretzel and bacon topping!

  10. 10

    That simple sauce looks good enough to eat on it’s own!

  11. 11
    Kat says:

    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!

  12. 12

    Don’t you just love using the cast iron skillet? Great mac & cheese!

  13. 13

    Love LOVE this Jenny!

  14. 14

    I’ll take the whole skillet. K. Thanks.

  15. 15
    Virginia says:

    Oh my word. I’m adding this to the menu for next week!!!!!!!

  16. 16

    This is like the ultimate comfort food, Jenny!! Loving this!

  17. 17
    Gaby says:

    Totally craving this right now!

  18. 18
  19. 19
    Karly says:

    That pretzel topping? Pure genius.

  20. 20

    Jenny, you’re the mac & cheese queen! Need this for our gloomy rainy day today.

  21. 21

    oh my gawd!!! this mac and cheese looks unbelievable!!! soooo good! love the idea of throwing pretzel thins on top! genius!

  22. 22

    This looks amazing!! Pretty sure this NEEDS to be my dinner tonight!

  23. 23

    Please pass the skillet! Love the combo of the cheddar (one of my faves) with the crunchy pretzels. And bacon…never a bad choice 🙂

  24. 24

    I never would have thought to add pretzels to mac and cheese, but I can imagine how good it! Especially with bacon. 🙂 This looks amazing!

  25. 25

    So my kids are going to DIE over this!

  26. 26

    Wowzers! The pretzel/bacon combo on top of mac & cheese sounds AMAZING!

  27. 27

    Girl . . . this sounds so dang good!!

  28. 28

    Looks like the perfect recipe for my family! Bacon, pretzels, buttery cracker, & cheese? Yum!

  29. 29

    I’m pretty sure you made this straight from my dreams!

  30. 30
    Kendray says:

    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.

  31. 31
    Max says:

    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!

  32. 32
    Lisa says:

    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!

    • 32.1
      Jenny says:

      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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Jenny Flake

Welcome to Picky Palate, my online kitchen! You'll usually find me with a cookie in one hand and a salad in the other. It's all about the balance :) The recipes you'll see are my creations. The Picky Palate Cookbook is now available. Enjoy!