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"Cracked Out" Bacon Macaroni and Cheese | Can't Stay Out of the Kitchen | this #Mac&Cheese is divine! The sauce is thick & creamy with several #cheeses and filled with #bacon & homemade #Ranchdressingmix. #glutenfree #pasta #macaroniandcheese

Cracked Out Bacon Macaroni and Cheese

This macaroni and cheese dish is the ultimate in comfort food. Bacon, Ranch dressing mix and several cheeses make this pasta, creamy, cheesy and absolutely divine! Gluten free.
Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 50 mins
Total Time 1 hr 5 mins
Course Pasta
Cuisine American
Servings 10
Calories 826 kcal

Ingredients
  

  • 12 oz. box Ronzoni gluten free penne pasta
  • 1/3 cup red onion chopped (or a sweet onion)
  • 1/2 red or green bell pepper diced
  • 1/2 orange or yellow bell pepper diced
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 lb. Wright’s thick sliced bacon cooked and drained, divided use
  • 1/3 cup homemade ranch dressing mix
  • 3/4 cup Bob’s Red Mill gluten free flour
  • 2 1/2 cups half-and-half
  • 2 1/2 cups heavy whipping cream
  • 1 tsp. pink Himalayan sea salt
  • 1/8 tsp. pepper
  • 3 dashes red pepper flakes or more, if desired
  • 3 dashes cayenne pepper or more, if desired
  • 1 cup sharp cheddar cheese shredded
  • 2 cups Italian 6-cheese blend: shredded
  • 1 cup fontina cheese shredded (or substitute either cheddar or Italian cheese blend)
  • 3/4 cup unsalted butter melted (1 1/2 sticks), divided use
  • 1/2 cup 4C Gluten Free Italian Style Bread Crumbs
  • 1/3 cup parmesan cheese shredded
  • 1/4 cup Italian 6-cheese blend: shredded
  • cayenne pepper to taste
  • reserved bacon for garnish
  • fresh chives snipped, for garnish
  • sharp cheddar cheese shredded, for garnish

Instructions
 

  • Preheat oven to 350.°
  • Prepare GF noodles according to package directions.
  • Cook a little longer than al dente, but less than “tender.”
  • Drain.
  • Cook bacon and drain on paper towels.
  • Break into bite-sized pieces.
  • Set aside.
  • Meanwhile, prepare cheese sauce.
  • Melt 1 stick butter in a Dutch oven. (8 tbsp.)
  • Add onion, bell peppers and garlic and sauté about 5-8 minutes or until veggies are tender.
  • Whisk in gluten free flour and Ranch dressing mix.
  • Slowly add whipping cream and whisk until incorporated.
  • Add half-and-half and do the same.
  • Add salt, pepper, red pepper flakes and cayenne pepper.
  • Cook over low to medium heat until sauce is thick.
  • Add cheddar cheese, Italian blend and fontina cheeses and stir to combine.
  • Remove from heat and set aside.
  • Combine ½ stick melted butter, GF bread crumbs, parmesan cheese and ¼ cup Italian cheese blend.
  • Stir with a fork until well combined.
  • Drain noodles and add to Dutch oven with cheese sauce and about one-half to two-thirds of the bacon.
  • Stir to combine well.
  • Grease a 9x13” glass baking dish.
  • Add macaroni mixture.
  • Sprinkle evenly and lightly with cayenne pepper.
  • Sprinkle bread crumb mixture over top.
  • Bake, uncovered, at 350° for about 15-20 minutes or until crumbs are golden brown and mixture is heated through.
  • Garnish with bacon, chives and additional cheddar cheese, if desired, before serving.

Notes

NOTE: The amount of cayenne pepper you sprinkle on top of the casserole is dependent upon your personal preference. If you don’t add some kick to the cheese sauce, the recipe is too bland. If you prefer spicier dishes, than add crushed red pepper flakes and cayenne pepper according to your desire.
NOTE: Low-fat, non-fat substitutes will not work well for the butter, cream, half-and-half, cream and whole-milk cheeses in this recipe.
NOTE: While using these cheese choices is optimal, you can use all cheddar cheese, or any combination equivalent to four cups of cheese for the sauce.
© Can’t Stay Out of the Kitchen

Nutrition

Calories: 826kcalCarbohydrates: 30gProtein: 28gFat: 66gSaturated Fat: 35gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 8gCholesterol: 189mgSodium: 1486mgPotassium: 208mgFiber: 2gSugar: 8gVitamin A: 2600IUVitamin C: 29.7mgCalcium: 640mgIron: 1.1mg
Keyword bacon, casserole, cheese, gluten free, macaroni and cheese, main dish, noodles, parmesan cheese, pasta, ranch dressing mix
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