Bacon mac and cheeseWe are in the loooooong stretch of winter. The holidays have passed, but its still snowing and temperatures got down to -14 last night. Ugh. I’m just going to keep on keeping on until spring. For now, bring on more comfort foods. 

I’ve been really loving mac and cheese recipes with other things mixed in. We had dinner at Druthers Brewery, one of our favorite places in Saratoga, last week and I had a great Hawaiian Mac and Cheese there. They’ve won a bunch of local Mac and Cheese competitions, and I’d never tried any of their recipes before. It was a great hit (and we had a ton of leftovers!). This is an easy, homemade version that also sneaks a little bit of a veggie in there too. 

This is also a great make ahead dinner. Just leave off the topping and when you get home from work and while the oven is preheating, mix up the topping, add it on and throw the whole thing in the oven. 

Read on for the recipe.

Bacon and Broccoli Mac and Cheese
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Ingredients
  1. 16 oz. macaroni noodles or your favorite short-cut pasta
  2. 2 cups freshly chopped broccoli
  3. 4 tbsp. butter
  4. 4 tbsp. flour
  5. 1 tsp. pepper
  6. 2 cups milk
  7. 1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt (I used Fage)
  8. 3 cups shredded white cheddar cheese, divided
  9. 1 cup thick cut bacon, cooked and crumbled
  10. 3/4 cup crushed butter crackers (I used Town House)
Instructions
  1. Bring a pot of water to a boil. Pour in the noodles and cook for 6 minutes. Add the broccoli and bring back to a boil and cook another 2 minutes. Drain and set aside.
  2. Melt the butter in a large skillet. Whisk in the butter and pepper and cook for 2-3 minutes. Whisk in the milk and bring to a boil. Cook and stir until it thickens slightly. Stir in the yogurt and 2 cups cheese and continue stirring until melted and creamy.
  3. Add the noodles, broccoli, and bacon to the melted cheese mixture and stir until coated. Pour into a large ceramic baking dish that was sprayed with non-stick spray. Mix together the remaining cheese and crushed crackers. Sprinkle over the top of the noodles. Bake at 350 degrees for 20 to 22 minutes until warm and bubbling.
  4. To make ahead: Assemble the whole mac and cheese (minus the topping) and store in the fridge until ready to eat. While the oven is preheating to 350, bring the dish to room temperature and sprinkle with the topping. Bake for 22 minutes or until bubbling.
Notes
  1. This makes a ton! Like I was eating the leftovers for several days. This would be an excellent recipe for when you have guests (and their little ones) over!
Christen in the Kitchen http://christeninthekitchen.com/