- 1 lb bacon, cut into 1/2 inch pieces
- 1 lb macaroni pasta
- 1/4 cup onion, chopped finely
- 1–2 jalapeno peppers, seeded and finely chopped (you can use more or less according to taste)
- 1/2 cup sharp aged cheddar cheese, shredded
- 3/4 cup crushed crackers (I used vegetable crackers but any variety you like should be fine)
- 6 tbsp all purpose flour
- Pinch of cayenne pepper – use more if you want it more spicy
- 1 tsp garlic salt
- 1 tsp paprika
- Pinch of pepper
- 1/4 cup butter or margarine
- 1 tsp of reserved bacon fat
- 2 cups milk
- 2 cups sharp aged cheddar cheese, shredded
- In a large skillet cook the chopped bacon until very crisp. Drain the fat from the pan and reserve 1 tsp for use in the cheese sauce. (Don’t wash the pan yet! You’ll need it again in a couple steps!)
- Place the cooked bacon on a couple layers of paper towel on a plate to allow to drain more. Give the bacon a pat down with some paper towel to help remove an more excess fat. Set aside.
- Bring a pot of water to boil and cook the macaroni noodles. (You won’t have to add any salt to the water since there’s salt in the cheese sauce.)
- While the macaroni is cooking, cook the chopped onion and jalapeno between Low and Medium heat until softened. Any of the leftover bacon fat in the pan (should only be a little coating the pan since most of it was drained before) will add a HUGE amount of flavour to to onions and jalapenos. Cook until just softened, remove from the pan and set aside.
- Once the macaroni pasta has cooked, drain and place into a 15″x10″ glass baking dish.
- Add the reserved jalapeno, onions and cooked bacon to the pasta and combine well.
- Make the cheese sauce according to instructions below and combine with the pasta in the baking dish. Make sure everything is coated in the cheese sauce.
- Use a spatula or a large spoon to spread the mac and cheese evenly in the baking dish.
- Sprinkle the top evenly with the remaining shredded cheese and then top that with the crushed crackers.
- Place in the oven on the broiler setting for about 15 minutes or until the top is golden.
- Once it has finished in the oven, serve right away! 🙂
Cheese Sauce Instructions:
- In a sauce pot on medium heat, melt the butter or margarine.
- Add the reserved 1 tsp of bacon fat to the pot.
- While the butter/margarine is melting, in a small dish combine the flour with the spices and seasonings.
- Once melted, heat still on medium, add the flour mixture while whisking quickly for about 1 – 2 minutes.
- Pour the milk into the pot and turn the heat up to high to bring to a boil.
- Quickly whisk while it’s coming to a boil. The sauce will thicken up fast.
- Once the sauce thickens up add the cheese to the pot and turn the heat down to LOW.
- Use the whisk to combine the cheese sauce and turn off the heat.
- Add the sauce to the macaroni pasta as described above.
- Category: Main