Apple ‘n’ Bacon Mac & Cheese

You know how sometimes you come across a recipe that just totally blows any and all of your expectations out of the water? Something you think could be – ehh, pretty good – but turns out to be absolutely out of this world?

Yes…that would be this recipe right heeeeere.

apple n bacon mac and cheese

I actually have Jay to thank for initiating this delicious dish, after seeing it mentioned in a recent issue of Rachel Ray magazine. She had something like, 15 different kinds of mac and cheese in there, but this one happened to catch his eye…and then immediately caught mine as well.

I decided to make a few minor modifications to the original recipe…

For one, I upped the butter to 3 sticks because, well, you can never have too much butter, right?

I also tripled the amount of cheese because 8oz just really didn’t seem like it’d be enough. Gimmealldacheese.

Finally, I cooked up an entire package of bacon and then added all of the remaining bacon fat to the pot of water that the pasta cooked in. I mean, if you’re gonna go big, you gotta go all in, right?

Oh hey, quick side note,  did you guys realize what today is…?

Apple ‘n’ Bacon Mac & Cheese

April Fools.Winking smile

Did I get anyone? Anyone? ……Bueller?

Apple ‘n’ Bacon Mac & Cheese

All kidding aside though, while my ingredient list above may have sounded a bit like a recipe for a heart attack, the real recipe for this dish is no joke.

Soft and tender apples, sweet onions, crispy bacon and freshly shredded cheddar cheese all combine to make this dish just unbelievably delicious. But before I go getting all wordy on you guys again, just take my word for it and try this stuff ASAP. You won’t regret it…promise!

Apple ‘n’ Bacon Mac & Cheese

(lightly adapted from this recipe)

  • 6 slices bacon, cut into 1/4-inch pieces
  • 2 granny smith apples, peeled, cored and cut into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 1 large yellow onion, thinly sliced and cut into quarters
  • 3/4 pound elbow macaroni
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 3 cups milk, at room temperature
  • 8 ounces sharp white cheddar, coarsely shredded (about 2 cups)*
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1/3 cup chopped flat-leaf parsley

*If you can buy the real stuff and shred it yourself, DO IT. It makes such a difference!


  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and spray a 9×13” pan with cooking spray.
  2.  In a pot of boiling, salted water, cook the pasta until al dente, 4 to 5 minutes; drain in the colander and set aside.
  3. In a large skillet, cook the bacon over medium heat, stirring frequently, until crisp, about 8 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer to a paper-towel-lined plate. Pour off all but 1 tbsp. fat, add the onions and cook, stirring frequently until the just begin to soften. Then, add the apples and cook until browned and beginning to soften, about 5 minutes. Transfer to a bowl.
  4. In a medium saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the flour and cook, whisking constantly, for 1 minute. Whisk in the milk; cook until smooth and thickened, about 10 minutes. Remove from the heat and add 1 1/2 cups cheese and a generous sprinkling of pepper; whisk until smooth.
  5. In a bowl, add the pasta, the sauce, onions, apples, and parsley; toss well. Reserve 1/4 cup of the bacon. Add the remaining bacon to the pasta; toss. Season with salt and pepper.
  6. Pour mixture into pan, top with remaining 1/2 cup cheese and bake for 30 minutes. Sprinkle with the reserved bacon and serve hot. Enjoy!

Anyone have any good April Fools pranks they’ve played today and/or get pranked? I did attempt one on the blog a couple of years ago which was kinda fun. Winking smile


  1. says

    Holy smokes you got me at first! When I was first reading I was like “woah this seems weird of her… and I wonder what I can change so I can eat this!” lol. Sounds fantastic. I hate trying to make thinks too healthy because sometimes it really just changes it into a whole new dish, but I think mixing some of the bacon for turkey bacon might be an easy substitution for me! I’ve never been a good April Fool’s pranker but I am extremely gullible so I usually get fooled a few times :)
    Kim @FITsique recently posted..Tracking Your Macros – The Ultimate Guide

    • Courtney says

      Haha I just heard about that one on the radio this morning. Talk about a disappointment after biting into one of those! lol

  2. Catherine Culligan says

    Ya totally got me!!! Good one :)

    Question – do we cook the pasta before everything is mixed together? Or does it go into the oven raw?

    • Courtney says

      Whoops, good catch Catherine! Totally forgot to put that part in the directions, but it’s in there now…thank you!!

  3. says

    When I started reading I couldn’t believe the amount of butter and fat!! I was thinking, where the apples take place? Is that the only thing healthy about the dish? Ha!!! You totally got me! I haven’t been pranked too much, but when I have, oh man they know how to get me!!
    Jess @dearhealthyness recently posted..Is it True or False?

  4. Alaina says

    That recipe looks interesting! I definitely have to try it! Speaking of recipes you would never think are delicious and come out A-MAZING, have you ever tried the Deep Dish Cookie Pie made from chickpeas? You MUST! It is BETTER than a traditional cookie but has healthy perks of applesauce and chickpeas! The recipe is here:
    P.S. I used 3/4 cup chocolate chips and it still was plenty! Enjoy! 😀

  5. says

    At first I was super excited to read this post because I looove mac n cheese and this one sounded different. Then I was super scared because I thought if I made this recipe I would end up killing someone. Then I was super excited again with the real recipe!!! I can’t wait to give this a try :)
    Serene@HouseofYumm recently posted..Root Beer Float Muddy Buddies

  6. says

    i can’t stop laughing because i am searchi9ng website for apple macbook product review and find to sweettoothsweetlife so imagine that hows you popular by the way nice recipe first of i am going to close website but rather stay and read out title its looks interesting so read out whole story


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