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How to Mix Macaroni & Cheese with a BLT

In our house, macaroni and cheese is not a meal we can make for dinner. Our dad has some issues with digesting oils and certain cheeses, so we usually stay away from any recipe that uses the word, “creamy” in the title. But whenever he happens to have plans for the night, my mom always suggests that we make something he can’t eat as a special treat. All of us absolutely love Panera Mac-n-cheese, but since we do not eat out very often, it is rare for us to get this treat. So when I saw this recipe for BLT Macaroni and Cheese in my new cookbook, I was very excited to try it because this had two of my favorite foods: cheese and bacon! How could it go wrong?

Messy Bacon for BLT Macaroni and Cheese

The first thing I did was get my mom to start cooking the bacon. This is NOT one of her favorite things. I laid out the bacon in the pan before turning it on so it wouldn’t start splattering all over me. My mom is very particular about how bacon is cooked, she likes it crunchy and even, so she cooks it at a low temperature and flips it over and over so that the sides are even. She told me that many times she tries to multi-task while cooking bacon and it never ends well. So I put on my apron to keep my shirt from getting ruined and sat next to her as she discussed what a mess bacon makes on her stove top.

Years ago, she read in a blog of how to cook bacon in the oven on aluminum foil with the draw of easy clean up. She was so excited UNTIL she looked inside the oven after a few times and saw the complete greasy mess all over the inside. Lesson learned, better to see the mess happening and deal with it right away, than spend hours and hours scraping the inside of your oven.

After we had all of the bacon on the counter and snitched a few pieces (because who could resist?), we started the water boiling. My mom was pretty skeptical about boiling the cheese with the pasta. She had never done that before and neither had I. After the first 5 minutes of cooking, we took the top off and thought we were in some real trouble. The cheese was all curdled on the sides, and there was a lot of water in the pot. It did not look appetizing.

Our conclusion on Cheese for Recipe

gathering cheese for BLT Macaroni and Cheese

My mom realized a bit too late that using pre-shredded cheese for any recipe that you plan on melting is not a good idea because they coat that cheese with cornstarch to keep it from getting stuck together in the bag. We shredded the cheddar, which was most of the cheese but used a shredded package for the Parmesan. I would not do that again.

We modified the recipe a bit, by using green onions instead of leaks. We added those to the unappealing pasta and hoped for the best. We did not add the salt or the pepper because we wanted to see how salty the final product was with the bacon. This was a regret and I would make sure to add it next time when they call for it.

After the 7 minutes that the recipe calls for, it did start to look a bit better. The noodles had cooked and it was not watery. I wouldn’t actually say that it was thick though. We also changed the tomato in the recipe from plum to cherry, just because we are not tomato people and my mom says she thinks they are sweeter. I am not sure if that is actually true, but they were easier to cut. We added the bacon and I felt a bit more encouraged to see that it was cheesy, but I still wouldn’t say it was thick.

Is This a Repeat Recipe?

We added some salt after serving, and the flavor was quite good. It was not a heavy, cheese-laden meal, but it was a lighter version which we all enjoyed. The leftovers were a bit dry, and we added a bit of milk and shredded cheese when we reheated. I think we might try one of other Macaroni and Cheese recipes before this one.

Another issue with this recipe is that the pots were awful to clean. The cheese had gotten hard on the sides and it took a long time and some serious scrubbing before mom was satisfied.

BLT Macaroni & Cheese

BLT Macaroni & Cheese

Yield: 6 Servings
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes


  • 5 Cups (1.2L) Water
  • 8 Slices Bacon (though I would make more to snitch before using in the meal)
  • 1 Oz Parmesan Cheese
  • 4 Oz Sharp White Cheddar Cheese
  • 4 Oz Cream Cheese
  • 1 lb Uncooked Elbow (or other shape) Pasta
  • 1 Tsp Salt
  • 1/2 Tsp Coarsely Ground Black Pepper
  • 2 Stalks of Green Onions
  • 8 Cherry Tomatoes


1. Cook bacon over stovetop (with an apron). Flip commonly to avoid over burning, and drain on a paper towel-lined plate
2. To start pasta mixture, bring water to a boil in a 8-qt stockpot or larger
3. Meanwhile, grate cheddar and Parmesan cheeses. Add pasta, cream cheese, grated cheese, salt and black pepper to boiling water in stockpot. Cover and simmer vigorously 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
4. As pasta mixture cooks, slice the green onions and cut the tomatoes into eighths. Add the onions to the pasta and cook uncovered for 5-7 minutes or until pasta is cooked to desired tenderness and sauce is thickened, stirring occasionally.
5. Remove stock pot from heat and stir in tomatoes and most of the bacon. Spoon pasta mixture into serving bowls and garnish with left over bacon and tomatoes if desired.


Adapted from 29 Minutes to Dinner by the Pampered Chef

Did you experiment with this recipe?

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