bacon mac-o’-lantern

5 from 2 votes
Total Time: 55 minutes
Servings: 6


  • 1 pound elbow macaroni
  • ¼ cup unsalted butter
  • ¼ cup all-purpose flour
  • 4 cups hot whole milk
  • 1 teaspoon dry mustard
  • ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 4 cups sharp cheddar cheese freshly shredded
  • cup parmesan cheese
  • ¼ pound bacon cooked and crisped
  • cup panko breadcrumbs
  • 1 tablespoon fresh flat-leaf parsley chopped


  • Pre-heat oven to 425 degrees F. In a pot of boiling salted water, cook the pasta until al dente; drain.
  • In a large 10” oven-proof skillet set over medium-high heat, melt the butter. Whisk in the flour and cook, whisking constantly, until the paste cooks and bubbles a bit, about 2 minutes. Add 3 cups of the hot milk and cook, whisking constantly, until the sauce thickens, about 5 minutes.
  • Season to taste with salt and pepper. Bring the sauce to a boil, reduce the heat to low, and cook, stirring, for 2 to 3 more minutes. Stir in the dry mustard and cayenne pepper, and then gradually add the shredded cheddar cheese, stirring constantly until all of the cheese has melted into the sauce. Stir in the remaining 1 cup milk. Add the cooked pasta to the sauce and stir to coat. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
  • Coat the breadcrumbs with reserved bacon fat and sprinkle the mixture over the top of the skillet. Sprinkle the top with Parmesan cheese.
  • Bake until the top is browned, and the sauce is bubbling, 10 to 12 minutes. Top with crumbled cooked bacon making the shape of a Jack – O – Lantern face. Garnish with parsley and let sit 5 minutes before serving.


Calories: 888kcal | Carbohydrates: 73g | Protein: 38g | Fat: 49g | Saturated Fat: 26g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 3g | Monounsaturated Fat: 13g | Trans Fat: 0.3g | Cholesterol: 131mg | Sodium: 799mg | Potassium: 535mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 10g | Vitamin A: 1396IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 826mg | Iron: 2mg