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Apple ‘n’ Bacon Mac & Cheese

by Courtney on April 1, 2014

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!

Directions

  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

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{ 28 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Kim @FITsique April 1, 2014 at 6:21 am

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 :)
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2 Danielle @ It's a Harleyyy Life April 1, 2014 at 6:31 am

Looks sooooo good!
Danielle @ It’s a Harleyyy Life recently posted..Tone it UP Tuesday: The Fat Burn Revolution

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3 Sara @ LovingOnTheRun April 1, 2014 at 6:43 am

Haha you did get me at first. I was like WOW!!! :)

This recipe does look pretty delicious! Hope you have a great Tuesday!
Sara @ LovingOnTheRun recently posted..Bloggers on the Run: Erin from Erin’s Inside Job

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4 Erica @ For the Sake of Cake April 1, 2014 at 6:48 am

Gah, I hate April Fools because I am so gullible! lol

This looks really yummy though!
Erica @ For the Sake of Cake recently posted..Meal Plan Monday: 3/31

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5 Linz @ Itz Linz April 1, 2014 at 7:11 am

lol!!! i was like THREE sticks of butter?!?! woah!! my brother was scraping the cream out of oreos and putting toothpaste in the middle to bring to the office today lol we were dying laughing last night!
Linz @ Itz Linz recently posted..35 Weeks Pregnant | Packing the Hospital Bag

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6 Courtney April 1, 2014 at 9:01 am

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

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7 Heather @Fit 'N' Cookies April 1, 2014 at 7:16 am

I was getting a little concerned when reading your list, haha. I was like hmm that it is a lot of butter, and bacon grease yuck, haha. All kidding aside, this looks really good! And now I better get my April Fools face on for the day!
Heather @Fit ‘N’ Cookies recently posted..Crank It Up {Workout} and Principle of Overload/Progression

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8 Jamie @ Sometimes Healthy Living Blog April 1, 2014 at 7:18 am

haha when I saw three sticks of butter, I knew something was up!

I’ve been waiting for you to share this recipe – it looks absolutely delicious. I love the combo of apple, bacon and cheese and mac n’ cheese is one of my all-time favorite dishes. Pinning right now :-)
Jamie @ Sometimes Healthy Living Blog recently posted..5 Things I Learned from Yoga

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9 Sam @ Better With Sprinkles April 1, 2014 at 7:51 am

Dammit…I knew I was gullible :-p the recipe does look amazing though! I’ve been thinking lately that I need to make some mac and cheese…
Sam @ Better With Sprinkles recently posted..Rehashing March.

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10 Kim @ Hungry Healthy Girl April 1, 2014 at 8:33 am

You totally got me and I was like…WHAT! Haha…. this sounds absolutely wonderful!
Kim @ Hungry Healthy Girl recently posted..A Look Back at March 2014

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11 Catherine Culligan April 1, 2014 at 8:46 am

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?

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12 Courtney April 1, 2014 at 9:01 am

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

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13 Catherine Culligan April 1, 2014 at 9:35 am

Thanks! Grabbing the ingredients soon to try this out. Sounds delish!

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14 Jess @dearhealthyness April 1, 2014 at 8:56 am

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?

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15 Haley @Cupcakes and Sunshine April 1, 2014 at 8:57 am

Hahahaha WAY too funny. You got me. But I can’t wait to try the real thing!

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16 Lauren @ LoveChocolateLife April 1, 2014 at 9:04 am

ahhhhhhhh omg you got me SO good.. I was like REALLY??? 3 sticks of butter ?? Then was thinking to myself.. maybe its a big pan?? lolol so funny
The mac and cheese pic looks SO GOOD i want to eat it right now and its only 9am :)
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17 Kelby April 1, 2014 at 9:20 am

Oh. My. Goodness. This recipe’s name alone sounds delicious! I’m also in full support of “Gimmealldacheese” hahahah. This is a must-try recipe for me!
NewEnglandOutlook.com
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18 laura April 1, 2014 at 9:45 am

Well bacon fat and organic grass fed butter are in fact healthy but 3 sticks is pushing it.

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19 Alaina April 1, 2014 at 10:30 am

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: http://chocolatecoveredkatie.com/2011/05/31/deep-dish-cookie-pie/
P.S. I used 3/4 cup chocolate chips and it still was plenty! Enjoy! :D

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20 Alexa @ Simple Eats April 1, 2014 at 10:41 am

This looks fantastic! I have a feeling my bacon-loving boyfriend would love this! Definitely making it. :)

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21 Holly @ EatGreatBEGreat April 1, 2014 at 11:19 am

This looks amazing! It’s so different but then again, anything to do with bacon is a win in my book! ;-)
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22 Marieve April 1, 2014 at 11:23 am

I thought you were pregnant for few seconds with all that extra fat/cravings!
Good one ;)

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23 Nancy April 1, 2014 at 12:43 pm

Hahahaha totally got me on those first few lines.

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24 Lauren @ Focused To Be Fit April 1, 2014 at 12:44 pm

Haha, dang it! I’ve fallen for every bloggers pranks so far! I’m really glad this is an actual recipe though because I was sad when I thought you were going to say it’s totally made up!
Lauren @ Focused To Be Fit recently posted..Weekend {Extended} + Workouts This Week

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25 Serene@HouseofYumm April 1, 2014 at 1:50 pm

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

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26 Eryn @BlondMindedBrunette April 1, 2014 at 1:54 pm

I suck at April Fools jokes so I gave up on them a long time ago. Apples in Mac and cheese? That sounds soooo good! I love apples way more in things as apposed to just eating an apple. Can’t wait to try it!
Eryn @BlondMindedBrunette recently posted..April Fools!

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27 Ellie@Fit for the soul April 1, 2014 at 3:17 pm

Holy bacon! I don’t even like bacon very much, but this recipe sounds divine! I can definitely see how those flavors combine well together.
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28 Sarah @ Sarah Sincerely April 1, 2014 at 6:03 pm

Ha! I was totally going with it for a minute there! Nevertheless, it sounds delicious with ONLY 8 ounces of cheese and 1/2 a stick of butter. :-)
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