Sweet apples and savory cheddar give a fresh twist on a classic recipe in this Apple Bacon Mac and Cheese!
Sooooo this is pretty much my new favorite thing in the world.
What’s not to love about apples+bacon+cheese+macaroni???
This dish is full of smoky, savory, ooey-gooey goodness, with just a hint of sweetness from the apples.
I absolutely love the combination of cheddar and apples, but for this recipe I also added gouda for extra melti-ness.
So what inspired this recipe?
Well, every autumn my property is just drowning in apples.
If you follow me on Instagram you’ve probably seen a few pictures of the bounty of fruit I’ve been gathering in the back orchard this summer.
I’ve mostly been able to stay on top of the plums, cherries, and blackberries… but now that the apples are coming in things have just gotten out of control.
I’m definitely going to make some awesome cider and applesauce here in a few weeks, but in the meantime, I’m enjoying these little beauties one at a time.
By far the best way to enjoy a wholesome piece of fruit is to cut it up and add it to a hot mess of pasta, bacon, and cheese.
I’m on one of those perpetual diets where every other meal is strict, and every other meal is a splurge.
It’s called balance, people.
But this apple bacon mac and cheese. It makes my heart happy just to think about it.
And not just because it’s an excuse to use up some of the produce from my backyard.
One apple at a time. Baby steps.
This apple bacon mac and cheese takes just 45 minutes to make, and a it’s a meal the whole family will love.
Or, you can do as I did and eat the whole pot by yourself.
Here’s Your Recipe!
- 1/2 pound dried macaroni noodles
- 1/2 pound bacon, chopped
- 1/2 a large sweet onion, chopped
- 1 firm, crisp apple (such as Braeburn), seeded and chopped
- 1/4 cup unsalted butter
- 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 cup low-sodium chicken broth
- 1 1/2 cups milk (I used 2%)
- 5 ounces Gouda cheese, shredded
- 3 ounces Cheddar cheese, shredded
- Salt & Pepper
- Bring 6 cups of water to a boil in a large pot over high heat. Add the noodles and cook until al dente (do not overcook!).
- Drain the noodles and set aside. Return the pot to the stove and set the heat to medium. Add the chopped bacon and cook until the fat has rendered, about 6-8 minutes. Remove the cooked bacon with a slotted spoon and reserve the bacon grease in the pot.
- Add the onions to the pan. Saute for 3 minutes, using a wooden spoon to scrape up any brown bits on the bottom of the pan. Add the apples and saute for another 3 minutes. Remove the onion and apples from the pan and set aside with the cooked noodles. Carefully wipe any excess fat from the pan.
- Add the quarter cup of butter to the pan and allow it to melt. Sprinkle the flour into the pan and whisk into the butter. Cook the roux mixture* for 3 minutes, whisking constantly.
- Slowly pour the chicken broth into the pan and continue to stir. Allow the sauce to come to a boil over medium heat. Once it has come to a boil, pour the milk into the sauce and stir well.
- When the sauce mixture just barely returns to a boil, turn off the heat and stir in the shredded cheese one handful at a time. Return the cooked pasta, bacon, onions, and apples to the pot. Taste, and add salt and pepper as needed. Serve hot!
*The roux mixture (butter and flour) should be about the consistency of melted peanut butter. If it is too thick, add a little more butter. If it is too thin, add a little more flour. Cook for 3 minutes after adding any additional flour to the pot.
Nutrition InformationServing Size 1
Amount Per ServingCalories 2439 Total Fat 128g Saturated Fat 79g Cholesterol 396mg Sodium 1925mg Carbohydrates 218g Sugar 27g Protein 100g