Five cheese bacon mac and cheese is a tasty recipe that is quick and easy to make. This savory dinner is so cheesy and delicious that it has always been a family favorite!
Bacon Mac & Cheese
As much as I consider myself a foodie, and I love trying new and exotic foods, there’s something pretty wonderful about a simple and delicious homemade mac and cheese recipe. Mac and cheese is perpetually popular with my kids, but it’s also one of my own favorite comfort food meals. At the end of a long day, there’s really nothing better than a big bowl of cheesy goodness.
In case you couldn’t tell, I’m a huge fan of cheese! And what’s better than making this classic recipe with your favorite cheese? Making it with your 5 favorite cheeses! And because bacon makes every recipe taste better, we added some of that too. This five cheese bacon mac and cheese recipe is wildly popular in our house, and gets rave reviews every time I make it! In fact, I usually make two batches so there’s plenty of leftovers to eat the next day.
Ingredients You’ll Need
Although the ingredient list is a little long, that’s mostly because of the FIVE delicious cheeses in the sauce. I used a mix of cream cheese, cheddar, colby jack, mozzarella, and parmesan, which blended together perfectly.
- Elbow macaroni
- Half and half
- Chicken broth
- Salt & pepper
- Philadelphia cream cheese
- Kraft extra sharp cheddar cheese
- Kraft Colby jack cheese
- Kraft mozzarella cheese
- Kraft parmesan cheese
- Bread crumbs
How To Make Five Cheese Mac & Cheese
Prep – Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Cook the macaroni according to the package directions. When it’s done, drain the noodles and set them aside.
Sauce – Making your own cheese sauce is simple and easy (and so delicious!), but it does take a little practice to get the knack of it. It’s important to make sure that the flour is cooked in the butter before adding any liquid, to avoid a grainy/floury tasting sauce. You’ll start by melting the butter in a large skillet, then whisking in the flour. Let the mixture bubble and turn golden before adding the liquid.
Go Slow – The key is to add the liquids (milk, half and half, and chicken broth) slowly, while whisking constantly to prevent any lumps. Adding the liquid a little at a time helps to maintain the thickness of the sauce. Let it cook for about 3-5 minutes, until it has thickened. Next, stir in the salt, pepper, and cream cheese, and cook until the cream cheese has melted.
Sauce Tip – Another helpful tip is to add the cheeses to the sauce while the skillet is off the heat. If you add the cheese while the skillet is still on the burner, sometimes the cheese can separate and make the sauce grainy. I love the combination of five delicious cheeses, and how creamy and savory they make the sauce!
Seriously, look at this glorious cheesy sauce! I could eat it with a spoon, but it’s even better when made into mac and cheese. 🙂
Add Macaroni – Once the sauce is complete, you’ll stir in the cooked macaroni noodles and most of the bacon. Hold back about 2 tablespoons of bacon to sprinkle over the top. Then you’ll pour everything into your baking pan. You could definitely stop there if you’re short on time, but adding a tasty bread crumb topping and baking the macaroni makes it even more special and delicious!
Bread Crumbs – I think the crunchy bread crumb, parmesan, and bacon topping is my favorite part! It’s savory and buttery, and adds such great texture to the dish. To make it, melt the remaining 1 tablespoon of butter in a small bowl, and whisk together the melted butter, bread crumbs, and remaining 1 tablespoon of parmesan cheese. Sprinkle the bread crumb mixture over the pasta, and top with the remaining bacon pieces.
Cook – Bake everything for about 15 minutes or until the bread crumbs are toasted and the cheese sauce is bubbling. Serve it nice and hot.
Recipe Tips & Variations
Other Cheeses – Feel free to substitute and mix and match cheeses. If you love a sixth cheese, go ahead and add it! There’s really no way to go wrong!
Best Ingredients – The best mac & cheese comes from using the best cheeses. Personally, I only use Philadelphia cream cheese because I think it tastes so much better than generic brands.
Shred It – Along the same lines before, I recommend shredding blocks of cheese for this recipe. Not only is the texture better but I think freshly shredded cheese definitely tastes better.
A Little Kick – To add a little kick, adding some diced jalapeños to this recipe is also super delicious.
More Easy Mac & Cheese Recipes
- Baked Classic Macaroni & Cheese
- Butternut Squash Mac and Cheese
- Easy Stove Top Mac & Cheese
- Cauliflower Macaroni and Cheese
- Simple Chili Mac Recipe
This five cheese bacon mac and cheese recipe is one of my family’s very favorite meals, and one that my kids ask for frequently. It’s rich and creamy, and perfect for any night when you’re craving some delicious comfort food. Enjoy!
Bacon Mac & Cheese Recipe
- 12 ounces elbow macaroni
- 4 slices bacon cooked and crumbled, divided
- 4 tablespoons butter divided
- 2 tablespoons flour
- 1 cup milk
- 1/4 cup half and half
- 1 cup chicken broth
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon pepper
- 2 ounces cream cheese
- 1/2 cup extra sharp cheddar cheese
- 1/2 cup colby jack cheese
- 1/2 cup mozzarella cheese
- 3 tablespoons parmesan cheese divided
- 1/2 cup bread crumbs
Preheat the oven to 350. Cook the macaroni according to the package directions. Drain and set aside.
While the pasta is cooking, melt 3 tablespoons of butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Whisk in the flour, and cook 2-3 minutes, or until slightly golden and bubbly.
Slowly add the milk, followed by the half and half, whisking constantly to prevent lumps. Let the mixture bubble and thicken, then slowly add the chicken broth while continuing to whisk. Let cook 3-5 minutes, until thickened. Stir in the salt, pepper, and cream cheese, and cook until the cream cheese has melted.
Remove from heat and stir in the cheddar, colby jack, mozzarella, and 2 tablespoons of parmesan cheese. Whisk until the cheese has melted. Stir the cooked pasta into the cheese sauce, then add the crumbled bacon, reserving about two tablespoons. Pour the pasta mixture into an 8 x 8 baking dish.
Melt the remaining 1 tablespoon of butter in a small bowl, and whisk together the melted butter, bread crumbs, and remaining 1 tablespoon of parmesan cheese. Sprinkle the bread crumb mixture over the pasta, and top with the remaining bacon pieces.
Bake 15 minutes, or until the bread crumbs are toasted and the cheese sauce is bubbly. Serve hot.
This post is sponsored by Kraft/Heinz. All opinions are my own.