A simple macaroni and cheese recipe made fancy, this Peas and Bacon Mac and Cheese if full of flavor and three kinds of cheese!
Welp, it’s January 6 and I’m already posting a cheesy recipe. Forgive me? But it’s not just cheese, it’s also bacon and peas (side note: I hate the fact that “cheese” and “peas” rhyme—I can’t take myself seriously), which makes it better, right?!
I know the majority of people try to eat better when the new year starts, and I’m all for that, but you know I’m really all about balance. Yes, balance and not stressing out about food—because I’ve been there done that and it was terrible and not healthy. Sooooo, mac and cheese it is!
I actually saw a segment the other day on TV (obviously I don’t remember what show) and they were talking about incorporating more vegetables into your diet and how it doesn’t have to feel like a burden. If you’re someone who struggles with eating enough vegetables, just know that you don’t have to eat a salad every day or raw broccoli as a snack to start. Nope. It’s as easy as throwing some spinach into your egg omelet or kale into your smoothie or even peas into your mac and cheese. It’s approachable and a simple way to add nutrients without compromising taste. Now that’s something I can get behind.
This peas and bacon mac and cheese is made with gruyere (my fave), gouda and parmesan cheese and is topped with breadcrumbs, the way all mac and cheese should be. It’s baked and packed with flavor thanks to the onion, bacon and red pepper flakes. I ended up using a 1.5 qt dish to bake this in, which is sort of an awkward size, so feel free to use a larger dish. In fact, I couldn’t even use up all of the noodles from the package because they wouldn’t fit. But, how cute is that dish? Priorities, people.
Also, I wish I had tips to give you to make this recipe easier, buuuut I’m fairly confident it’s a no-fail recipe. If you don’t like the cheeses I used, feel free to use your favorites instead. Also, YES you could absolutely leave out the bacon to make this vegetarian. Up to you. ENJOY, friends!
- 1 lb. macaroni noodles
- 1 cup peas, cooked
- 2 slices bacon, cooked and chopped into small pieces
- ¼ cup onion, diced
- 2 tbsp butter
- ½ cup milk
- ½ cup gruyere cheese
- 1 cup gouda cheese
- ½ cup parmesan cheese
- ¼ cup breadcrumbs
- Black pepper & red pepper flakes to taste
- Preheat oven to 375°.
- Cook macaroni over stovetop until noodles are soft; strain and pour into a large bowl.
- While noodles are cooking, grate cheese and set it in a separate bowl.
- Add peas and chopped bacon to bowl with macaroni.
- Next, heat butter and onion in a large saucepan over medium heat, stirring occasionally until butter has melted and onion is soft.
- Add milk and HALF of the cheese to the saucepan and stir until cheese has melted; slowly stir in the rest of the cheese, along with some black pepper.
- Pour cheese overtop of noodles, peas and bacon and stir to combine. Pour noodles into a greased 1.5 qt casserole dish (can also use an 8x8 dish, I believe), sprinkle with breadcrumbs and bake for 20-25 minutes, or until cheese has melted and breadcrumbs have browned.
- Sprinkle with additional pepper and/or red pepper flakes and enjoy!