Please pardon me while I wipe the cheese off my chin.
Um, that was sorta embarrassing there…that cheese all over my chin. But you kinda don’t care when your taste buds are bursting with joy and want to leap out of your mouth onto the spoon.
It’s the cream cheese in this recipe that works the magic. Well, that combined with the bacon. And the spinach, and the Italian cheese blend. I’ve used that on pizzas before, but never in a homemade macaroni and cheese.
Those Italians know their cheese and their pasta…and the 4 cheese Italian combo is outstanding in this dish.
Give it a try…and if you get a little cheese on your chin, that’s okay…you’re in good company! 😉
P.S. Check out the cool pot-saving trick in the directions! Oh, and using the bacon fat as the base of the homemade cheese sauce… (drooling again as I type this up!)
Homemade Mac & Cheese with Bacon and Spinach
- 6 oz box of pasta (I used whole wheat.)
- 1/2 cup frozen spinach, chopped
- 3 slices bacon
- 2 Tbsp all-purpose flour
- 3/4 cup milk
- 4 oz cream cheese, cut into small chunks
- 2 cups Italian blend shredded cheese (mine was mozzarella, parmesan, provolone, and asiago)
- In a large pot, bring 3 - 4 quarts of water to a full rolling boil. Cook the pasta according to box directions. (My pasta took 6 minutes to be perfectly firm and fully cooked.) When the pasta is 2 minutes from being al dente, add the spinach to the pot with the pasta, thendrain the pasta/spinach and return to thepot.
- While the pasta water is boiling and the pasta is cooking, fry the bacon in a large skilletover medium high heat.
- When the bacon is fully cooked, remove from the pan and place on a paper towel to drain and then chop when cooled.
- To the same skillet with the bacon fat, stir inthe flour with a whiskand turn the heat to medium. Once the flour has 'melted' into the bacon fat, slowlypour the milk into the skillet, whisking constantly. Continue to whisk the mixture constantly until it begins to bubble, then reduce the heat to low/simmer.Add the chunks of cream cheese and whisk until smooth. Stir in the shredded cheese and whisk until melted.
- Pour the cheese sauce over pasta/spinach mixture, then stir in the chopped bacon. Add a little on top like I did in the photos, if you desire!
- Serve Homemade Mac & Cheese with Bacon & Spinach warm out of the skillet.
Lindie Lee says
What a disaster! I need a more precise recipe. 2 cups of Italian blend, you made your own, so did I with 2 slices of Provolone, a bunch of mozzarella and Parmesan. It was a sticky gooey mess that I had to add 4 times the milk stated in the receipt. Probably my falt for trying out a recipe that is not exact. The photo looks so go. However, I’ll never make it again.
Jenn K says
I probably wouldn’t add sliced cheese to this recipe. Two cups of shredded cheese along with the 4 ounces of cream cheese was a perfect amount for us. This was so good! Maybe try again using the above recipe and see if it helps. 🙂
Manda Belle says
Oh my goodness! Going to the grocery store to buy the ingredients! Can’t wait to try it out!
Made this tonight and it was scrumptious!
This looks great! Do you serve this as a dinner or a side dish?
Jenn K says
It’s definitely filling enough to serve as a meal by itself although you could certainly serve it as a side.
I made this several times recently and used two cups of shredded parmesan and mozzarella cheese. but I changed mine some and made a white sauce sauce out of some butter, flour and a cup and a half of milk that was peppered and salted well. I also added a little Italian seasoning and it was wonderful!!