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 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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