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Bacon Mac O’ Lantern

  • Author: kelseynixon
  • Total Time: 55 minutes
  • Yield: 6 servings 1x


This spooky take on bacon mac and cheese is heavy on the cheesiness, with a crispy bacon topping and THIS IS SO GOOD vibes.


  • 1-pound elbow macaroni
  • 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 4 cups hot whole milk
  • Kosher salt and cracked black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon dry mustard
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 4 cups sharp cheddar cheese, shredded (not in the bag)
  • 1/3 cup Parmesan cheese
  • 1/4 lb. bacon, cooked and crisped
  • 1/3 cup panko breadcrumbs
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley


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.

  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 35 minutes