This Jamaican Jerk Bacon Mac & Cheese recipe is a deliciously creamy and slightly spicy version of the classic comfort food. Homemade bacon recipe included!
The BEST Bacon Mac & Cheese Recipe
The idea for this Jamaican Jerk Bacon Mac & Cheese recipe came about after I had just made a batch of my Jamaican Jerk bacon. I knew I had to make one of J's favorite foods in the whole entire world, macaroni and cheese. That guy would eat it every day, at every meal, if he could.
So I started wondering, what would make cheesy, creamy macaroni & cheese better? Adding bacon of course, 'cause bacon makes everything better. Cheese, pasta, and bacon? Is there any better way to eat mac & cheese? Probably not. Another thing I love about this recipe is that it is made on the stovetop, instead of oven baked. As much as I love a creamy baked mac and cheese, the whole one-pot thing just makes life a little easier.
Got leftovers? Make some Mac and Cheese Bites!
If you are lucky enough to have any leftovers, make some crispy mac and cheese bites. Just take a couple of tablespoons of the chilled mac and cheese and shape it into a ball. Dip each ball in an egg wash and roll in flour or bread crumbs. Fry the balls in hot oil for a few minutes and you've got crispy cheese balls for the best appetizers or for a kids meal!
By the way, here's one of my foodie Xmas gifts...a huge bag of Storm Chips! J picked these up for me while in was in Canada a few days before the Christmas holiday. He also bought me enough dark chocolate for about 50 people, which he then proceeded to try to stuff all of it in my stocking.
He wrapped this chip bag in pretty Christmas paper and, as he placed it on my lap Christmas morning, he said it was very fragile and I should be very careful opening it. Immediately my rational mind thought "Hell yeah! He got me a tiara!" Now, I don't quite understand why I initially thought this, other than:
- Cinderella is my favorite fairy tale character and I've always envisioned myself to be a little like her. Was probably thinking here's my chance to finally live out my dream of being the princess I know I am.
- Thinking the gift was a tiara is helluva less crazy than thinking it could be a bag of potato chips.
Surely, people will read this and think gifting someone a bag of chips is a little weird, but not for me, because I am insanely obsessed with potato chips.
Try this Jamaican Jerk Bacon Mac & Cheese recipe next time you want a different kind of macaroni and cheese!
Jamaican Jerk Bacon Mac & Cheese
- 12 ounces dry cavatappi pasta
- ½ cup Jamaican jerk bacon, cut into ¼" dice (can substitute any kind of spicy, pepper bacon or regular bacon)
- ¼ cup unsalted butter
- ¼ cup all-purpose flour
- 2 ½ cups whole milk
- 2 cup sharp cheddar, freshly shredded
- 1 cup Pepper Jack cheese, freshly shredded
- 2 ounces cream cheese
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- Prepare pasta according to package directions.
- While pasta is cooking, fry the diced jerk bacon in a medium sized pan over medium heat until brown and cooked through. Set aside.
- Melt the butter in a large saucepan over low heat. Whisk in the flour and cook for 1 minute, whisking constantly. Gradually whisk in milk and cook over medium heat, whisking constantly until mixture thickens. Whisk in the three cheeses and the salt, whisking until the cheese is fully incorporated and the sauce is smooth.
- Stir the cooked pasta and jerk bacon into the sauce and heat through, about a minute or two.
- Serve as a side dish or as a main dish with a salad or green vegetable. Enjoy!