This Quick Stovetop Apple Bacon Mac and Cheese recipe makes for a fantastically comforting dinner in a few easy steps! Only one pot and a few ingredients involved!
I must confess: I have no idea what “real” Mac and Cheese tastes like. Not the boxed variety, not the homemade variety.
I’m absolutely not a Mac and cheese connoisseur. Is it very saucy? Or very thick and creamy? Is it sharp and salty or mild? Is there even the one and only way?
So, what am I doing bringing you a Mac and Cheese recipe, considering these prerequisites?
I believe I have an amazing qualification. Oh yes. I’m Swiss. And if the Swiss don’t know how to do cheese, then who does?
And the other thing is, we do have a traditional dish which basically is pasta coated in cream and cheese. Only there’s potatoes thrown in and we eat it with applesauce.
Now the potatoes? Unnecessary in my opinion. The applesauce? An absolute must! And what goes better with cheese and applesauce than bacon?
I know, nothing. So there’s that, the story of how Apple Bacon Mac and Cheese was born.
In Switzerland this is mostly served during the winter months to skiers and snowboarders because, well, it’s not exactly light fare.
But dear oh me, it’s comfort food at its best. And that’s why it’s completely OK to eat it after a day on the sofa, watching old TV shows and never getting out of one’s PJ’s. Right?
Right. I knew we were on the same board here.
Now regarding my initial question, sharp or mild? Well, the first time I made this I used a very mild and melty cheese blend and it turned out kind of boring, required loads of salt and was slightly disappointing.
I also made it using only cheddar and it didn’t turn out at all.
So I’d suggest using a nice cheese blend containing both a really melty cheese (such as Mozzarella or Fontina) and a cheese to provide a bit of sharpness and flavor (such as Cheddar or Emmental).
Because then it’s simply amazing! But if you belong to the mild Mac and Cheese frontier feel free to use all mild and melty cheeses.
And please take care of your cheese and don’t let it get too hot. Because believe you me, it doesn’t like it.
It will act up and spoil your dinner (and you’re correct, I’ve been there. Multiple times. You’d think I’d learn…).
It easily happens when you’re in desperate need to change the “quick” to “quickest” because you haven’t eaten anything proper all day and it’s 9pm and you just realized you’re actually starving (and yup, also true).
Did I mention I need to get organized and have a decent daily routine for my baby? Mommyproblems. #givemeallthecheeseplease
P.S: If you want to go for total bacon-overload, make this as a side for my Mozzarella Stuffed Bacon Wrapped Meatloaf. Just sayin’.
Quick Stovetop Apple Bacon Mac and Cheese Recipe
- 1 pound small pasta shapes
- 2 ounces bacon finely cubed
- 6 tablespoons butter
- 6 tablespoons flour
- 2 1/2 - 3 cups milk
- 8 ounces unsweetened applesauce
- 1 1/2 cups shredded cheese
- Nutmeg salt and pepper to taste
- In a large pot cook the pasta according to package directions. Drain and set aside.
- Rinse the pot in cold water and wipe dry. Add back to medium-high heat and brown the bacon until crispy. Remove and set aside, leaving the bacon fat in the pot.
- Add the butter to the pot and melt. Reduce the heat to medium. Whisk in the flour and cook for 2-3 minutes, taking care not to brown the flour.
- Pour in all of the milk at once while whisking vigorously to avoid lumps from forming. Cook until thick and silky. Season with salt, pepper and nutmeg.
- Take off the heat and stir in the apple sauce before stirring in the cheese until melted. Add the pasta and bacon back to the pot and toss with the sauce.