White Cheddar Macaroni with Bacon and Thyme Recipe - Allrecipes.com
White Cheddar Macaroni with Bacon and Thyme Recipe

White Cheddar Macaroni with Bacon and Thyme

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"This is a delicious twist on an old family recipe. I never thought the result of my boredom could be so scrumptious. My family couldn't stop raving about it!"

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Ingredients Edit and Save

Original recipe makes 8 servings Change Servings
  • PREP

    30 mins
  • COOK

    1 hr 5 mins

    1 hr 35 mins


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease a 9x13-inch baking dish, and sprinkle 1 tablespoon Parmesan cheese around the inside of the dish.
  2. Fill a large pot with lightly salted water and bring to a rolling boil. Once the water is boiling, stir in the penne, and return to a boil. Cook the penne uncovered, stirring occasionally, until the pasta has cooked through, but is still firm to the bite, about 11 minutes. Drain well in a colander set in the sink.
  3. Place the bacon pieces into a large, deep skillet, and cook over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally, until evenly browned, about 10 minutes. Drain the bacon slices on a paper towel-lined plate. Retain 1/4 cup of bacon drippings. Set the bacon pieces aside.
  4. Melt butter and bacon drippings together in a large saucepan over medium heat, and cook and stir the onion until translucent, about 5 minutes. Whisk in the flour, stirring frequently until the mixture forms a smooth paste. Whisk in the milk, a little at a time, and bring the mixture to a simmer, whisking constantly until thickened. Stir in the thyme, salt, and pepper, and then whisk in 1/4 cup Parmesan and 3 cups Cheddar cheese, stirring constantly until the Cheddar cheese has melted and the sauce is smooth and thick.
  5. Stir the cooked penne pasta into the cheese sauce, then lightly mix in the cooked bacon. Spread the mixture into the prepared baking dish and sprinkle 1/2 cup Cheddar cheese over the top. Cover the dish with foil.
  6. Bake in the preheated oven until the pasta is hot and bubbling, about 25 minutes. Remove the dish from the oven, and turn on the broiler. Remove the foil, and broil the dish until the cheese topping is browned and crisp, about 5 minutes.
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Reviews More Reviews

Most Helpful Positive Review
Oct 16, 2011

This is a definite keeper! Although I served this as a side dish with chicken, it would easily stand alone as a main course. I halved the recipe and baked in an 8x8 casserole dish.

Most Helpful Critical Review
Mar 17, 2011

I changed it by adding 2 grilled chicken breasts as well. My husband says it wasn't cheesy enough for him. I think it needed more flavor-maybe some garlic and rosemary would have been good. A good start though:)

May 05, 2010

this was delicious, a little time consuming but good. I added about a cup more cheese by the way.

Apr 25, 2012

A nice twist to traditional baked mac and cheese.

Apr 05, 2012

Great recipe!! I made it almost exactly as it's written- only very small changes- used macaroni instead of penne and yellow instead of white cheddar. I thought it was excellent and have been eating leftovers for lunches. My husband wasn't real crazy about the thyme, but that's a personal flavor issue. He said other than that, it was delicious! We both really liked the bacon and I believe including the bacon drippings in the sauce made the whole meal meld together well-- the bacon flavor really added something to traditional mac and cheese! It did take me about an hour, even before baking, but it tasted great in the end. Thanks for the great recipe!

Aug 30, 2011

Had bacon to use and found this recipe. I chose this over the other bacon mac recipes because the onions are fried in the bacon fat, which makes sense to me, especially if you want to add more bacon flavor aside from the crumbled bacon itself. Came out rather good! I think it might also be good with smoked cheese and sun-dried tomatoes.

Jul 04, 2014

I added asiago cheese for a twist

Nov 29, 2013

This is an excellent recipe. I made some modifications for my family's Thanksgiving meal: - Used 1 lb hot sausage instead of bacon - Along with the white cheddar, I added some fresh shredded Parmesan cheese and shredded italian mix - Topped with about 3/4 cup panko mixed with: smoked paprika, garlic powder, cumin, sage, and grated parmesan - Instead of thyme, I seasoned with smoked paprika, sage, cumin, and garlic powder. I did not add any salt because of the amount of salt both in the sausage and cheese. It was DELICIOUS!


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  • Calories
  • 672 kcal
  • 34%
  • Carbohydrates
  • 55.4 g
  • 18%
  • Cholesterol
  • 100 mg
  • 33%
  • Fat
  • 34.6 g
  • 53%
  • Fiber
  • 2.9 g
  • 12%
  • Protein
  • 33.4 g
  • 67%
  • Sodium
  • 918 mg
  • 37%

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet.

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