Bourbon and Bacon Mac and Cheese is mac and cheese grown-up style. The bacon and bourbon gives mac and cheese a wonderful earthly, salty flavor that is impossible to resist.
In addition to plenty of bourbon and bacon, this indulgent mac and cheese also has a little onion, cayenne pepper, nutmeg, and thyme for flavor. There’s just a little of each so that the flavor of the bourbon and bacon is front and center.
Two kinds of cheese- gouda and cheddar cheese- add plenty of cheese flavor.
The whole dish, except boiling the pasta, can be made in a 10-inch cast iron pan. I love using my cast iron pans. It’s so convenient to be able to move a pan directly from the stovetop to the oven. Plus cast iron pans are great for conducting heat. They perfectly cook everything and are great for getting a crisp exterior.
Bacon and bourbon is such a great combination. I actually think there are very few foods that aren’t improved by the addition of either bacon or bourbon or both.
Use any bourbon that you like. My favorite is Maker’s Mark.
Want to leave the bourbon out? Just add an extra 1/3 cup of milk.
For best results use good quality cheese and grate it yourself.
More Mac and Cheese Recipes:
Bourbon and Bacon Mac and Cheese
- 10 slices bacon, chopped
- 1/2 medium yellow onion, chopped
- 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 3 cups milk
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1/3 cup bourbon
- 2 cups shredded gouda cheese
- 2 1/2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
- 12 ounces dry macaroni, cooked according to package directions
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Cook bacon in a 10-inch cast iron skillet until crisp. Remove it with a slotted spoon and set aside.
- Drain off all but 2 tablespoons of bacon grease. Add onion to skillet and cook until soft, about 5 minutes.
- Stir in flour and cook for 2 minutes. Gradually whisk in milk. Stir in salt, pepper, thyme, nutmeg, cayenne pepper, and bourbon.
- Simmer for about 3 minutes, or until slightly thickened. Reduce heat to low and gradually whisk in Gouda cheese and 2 cups of cheddar cheese.
- Stir in cooked pasta and half of bacon. Sprinkle remaining bacon and cheddar cheese on top.Bake for 15 to 18 minutes.
Recipe adapted from Southern Cast Iron