Bacon/ Cheese/ Hearty Dinners/ Pasta/ Spice

Spicy Bacon Mac & Cheese

September 20, 2018 (Last Updated: February 27, 2019)

This Spicy Mac and Cheese is made with a 3 cheese blend, kicked up with fresh jalapeños and baked in the oven. With added bacon this truly is the ultimate mac and cheese!

Seriously, mac and cheese doesn’t get more delicious than this. Mac and cheese with bacon? Amazing. Spicy mac and cheese? Love it. But put them together??? Oh Jesus, my waistline’s in trouble here…

Spicy mac and cheese with bacon fresh out the oven

I’m an absolute sucker for mac and cheese, I really am. But whenever I make it I do try and put a little twist on it.

Mac and cheese with bacon is a no brainer. Ever since putting it in my gnocchi mac and cheese I now can’t go without it. Because bacon + cheese = heaven. Simple maths.

The second aspect of this mac and cheese is the spice, and this came about a little differently.

I don’t know about you but I douse pretty much anything edible in hot sauce, mac and cheese included. So creating a spicy mac and cheese makes complete sense to me. Having said that I was conscious not to just chuck in some hot sauce or chilli flakes and just be done with it. In such case I’ve added a range of spicy ingredients which together actually add a delicious flavour to the dish.

Spicy Mac and Cheese ‘spice’

  • Fresh jalapeño
  • Mustard
  • Hot Sauce
  • Cayenne Pepper

None of the above used just for the sake of it, but actually to create a really deep gorgeous spicy flavour.

Baked spicy mac and cheese with bacon - serving

3 Cheese Mac and Cheese

When it comes to the cheese, I keep it classic with cheddar, mozzarella and parmesan. Nothing OTT, but for me these 3 cheeses work absolute wonders.

Having said that gruyere works great in mac and cheese and since this is a spicy mac and cheese, pepper jack would also be a great choice!

Alrighty, let’s take a quick look at how easy this is to make shall we?

How to make Spicy Bacon Mac and Cheese

  1. Fry bacon until crisp, then add jalapeños and fry until soft.
  2. Melt in butter, then stir in flour until a paste forms.
  3. Slowly whisk in milk, then add your spices.
  4. Turn off heat and add your cheese.
  5. Add your pasta.
  6. Combine until fully coated.

How to make spicy mac and cheese with bacon - step by step

Baked Mac and Cheese

For me a mac and cheese ain’t a mac and cheese unless it’s baked. I don’t know why but it always makes me a little sad when I see mac and cheese in a pan then served up straight away. Baking it in the oven enhances those cheesy flavours so much. PLUS, you get a gorgeous crispy top.

Baked Mac and Cheese Topping

  • Layer 1 – Parmesan
  • Layer 2 – Breadcrumbs
  • Layer 3 – Jalapeno
  • Layer 4 – Oil Spray

Then simply pop it in the oven until golden and bubbly.

If you’ve sliced your jalapeño really thin then you might want to chuck them on half way through, just to prevent them from burning to a crisp.

baked spicy bacon mac and cheese topping - step by step

The smell in your kitchen is going to be an absolute blessing!

What to serve with Mac and Cheese

Honestly with mac and cheese I tend to go solo, but here’s a few ideas if you fancy a feast:

So, to jazz up your mac and cheese game be sure to add some spice and chuck in some bacon! Trust me, you’ll never go back to regular mac and cheese again 😏

Spicy mac and cheese with bacon in a bowl with cheese pull

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How to make Spicy Mac and Cheese with Bacon (Full Recipe & Video)

baked mac and cheese fresh out the oven

Spicy Mac and Cheese with Bacon

4.8 from 5 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Dinner / Main Course
Cuisine: American
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 45 minutes
Total Time: 55 minutes
Servings (click & slide): 6
Calories: 759kcal

Ingredients (check list):

  • 14oz / 400g Elbow Pasta (or other short cut pasta)
  • 9oz / 250g Streaky Bacon, diced
  • 3 Fresh Jalapeños, 2 finely diced & 1 sliced into rounds, deseeded as desired
  • 4 cups / 1 litre Milk, at room temp
  • 2 cups / 200g Cheddar, grated
  • 2 cups / 200g Mozzarella, shredded
  • 1 cup / 70g Parmesan, grated (save half for top)
  • 1/2 cup / 30g Breadcrumbs
  • 3 tbsp Unsalted Butter
  • 3 tbsp Flour
  • 1 tbsp Dijon mustard
  • 1 tsp Garlic Powder
  • 1 tsp Hot Sauce, or to preference
  • 1/2 tsp Onion Powder
  • 1/4 tsp Cayenne Pepper, or to preference
  • Oil Spray
  • Salt & Black Pepper, to taste

Instructions:

  • Fry your bacon over medium heat until your desired texture. Add jalapeño and fry for a couple of minutes until soft. Drain away excess fat if necessary, then melt in your butter.
  • Stir in your flour until a paste forms, then gradually stir in your milk until lump free. Add your mustard, onion powder, garlic powder, cayenne and hot sauce, then allow to bubble until thickened, stirring occasionally. 
  • Meanwhile preheat oven to 200c/390f and cook pasta in salted boiling water until al dente (take a few mins off the packet instruction, you want it still quite hard).
  • Once thickened, turn off heat and stir in your cheddar, mozzarella and half your parmesan. Taste for seasoning. Add your pasta and transfer to a baking dish.
  • Top with the rest of your parmesan, then breadcrumbs, then the rest of your jalapeño and finish with by spraying with oil. Pop in the oven for 20-25 mins or until golden a bubbly.

Quick 1 min demo!

Notes:

a) Baking Jalapeños - If you've sliced them particularly thin to go on top then consider popping them on half way through, just to prevent them from burning to a crisp.
 
b) Consistency - I like my mac and cheese quite saucy, especially because it thins out whilst baking. However if you like a 'thicker' mac and cheese consider using 3 cups of milk, but do take into consideration it gets soaked up quite significantly in the oven.

Nutrition:

Nutrition Facts
Spicy Mac and Cheese with Bacon
Amount Per Serving
Calories 759 Calories from Fat 421
% Daily Value*
Fat 46.83g72%
Saturated Fat 22.05g110%
Trans Fat 1.039g
Polyunsaturated Fat 3.783g
Monounsaturated Fat 15.344g
Cholesterol 158mg53%
Sodium 1871mg78%
Potassium 649mg19%
Carbohydrates 35.58g12%
Fiber 2.8g11%
Sugar 10.25g11%
Protein 48.59g97%
Vitamin A 3100IU62%
Vitamin C 57.8mg70%
Calcium 900mg90%
Iron 2.3mg13%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
Nutrition is based on the absence of salt unless stated as a measurement in the ingredients. Cost is worked out based on ingredients bought from UK supermarkets, then divided by the number of servings. In both instances these values are just for guidance. Please check out my FAQ Page for more info.
Tried this recipe?Show me how you got on by tagging @dontgobaconmyheart_ on IG and #dontgobaconmyheart!

Looking for more fun Mac and Cheese recipes? Check out my Baked Camembert Mac and Cheese!

Baked Camembert Mac and Cheese

If you loved this Spicy Mac and Cheese recipe then be sure to Pin it for later! Already made it or got a burning question? Give me a shout in the comments below and pick up your free ecookbook along the way!

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10 Comments

  • Reply
    Susan
    February 6, 2019 at 3:55 pm

    4 stars
    I think I will opt to replace the mozzarella with more cheddar. The mozzarella just makes it way too stringy to spoon out and difficult to eat. Otherwise, I love the complex flavors!

    • Reply
      Chris
      February 6, 2019 at 5:18 pm

      Glad you love the flavours, Susan! You’re right, I love it super stringy but understand why you’d want more cheddar! Thanks coming back and sharing your feedback 🙂

  • Reply
    Meredith
    September 21, 2018 at 3:29 am

    5 stars
    I absolutely love homemade mac and cheese! Your spicy version with bacon sounds delicious, I can’t wait to try it!

    • Reply
      Chris
      September 22, 2018 at 2:44 pm

      Enjoy!! 🙂

  • Reply
    Sharon
    September 21, 2018 at 3:02 am

    5 stars
    I too am a sucker for mac and cheese! The addition of lots of spicy goodness in this classic dish make it even better.

    • Reply
      Chris
      September 22, 2018 at 2:43 pm

      Cheese and spice is such an awesome combo!

  • Reply
    Annissa
    September 21, 2018 at 2:29 am

    5 stars
    First of all, I love the name of your blog because I love everything a little more with a healthy addition of bacon. Secondly, you’re so right about baking the cheese topping! So much better!

    • Reply
      Chris
      September 22, 2018 at 2:42 pm

      Haha, life is so much better with bacon right!?

  • Reply
    Tisha
    September 21, 2018 at 12:56 am

    5 stars
    I love homemade mac n cheese!! Especially with the added spice and crunch on top!!!

    • Reply
      Chris
      September 22, 2018 at 2:42 pm

      Allllll about the crunch!!

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