Crunchy Macaroni and Cheese with Bacon

adapted from Amanda Hesser and Julie Moskin


3 T. butter
12 oz. extra-sharp cheddar cheese, coarsely grated
12 oz. sharp cheddar cheese, coarsely grated
¼ t. dry mustard
6 strips good quality bacon, cooked and coarsely chopped
½ c. panko bread crumbs
2/3 c. whole milk
1 lb. pasta spiral or curls

Pinch Salt


1. Preheat oven to 475ºF. Take 1 T. of butter and thickly grease an 11×17 inch jelly roll pan. Make sure every inch is covered.
2. In a large heatproof bowl combine the cheese and set aside 2 c. in a separate measuring cup.
3. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil, add the pasta and cook for 6 minutes. Drain.
4. Working quickly, put the drained pasta in the bowl with the cheese, add the mustard, a pinch of salt, the bacon pieces and panko. Using a wooden spoon, toss the mixture until all evenly incorporated.
5. Next, spread the mixture onto the buttered sheet pan and pour the milk evenly over the surface. Top with the remaining cheese and dot with remaining butter.
6. Finally, bake it for 15 minutes, until golden and crisp.

Naptime Notes

Naptime Recipe Serving ideas

If you’d rather not have bacon you can feel free to omit it and just stick to classic Mac and Cheese. Another thought, if you’d like you could add chopped red pepper or tomatoes for a nice vegetable twist.

Naptime Stopwatch

As you can see, making this takes a brief 20 minutes, including baking time. The biggest time saver is staging the cheese and bacon – prepare them ahead of time so everything can be assembled while the pasta is still hot.

Naptime Reviews

This is a huge hit with both adults and children. It is also great for parties, it’s easy to prepare and great for kids.

More Naptime Recipes

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