The easiest stovetop macaroni and cheese with bacon! It’s all about perfectly cooked macaroni mixed with a creamy cheese sauce, topped off with crispy bacon for that extra kick.

stovetop mac and cheese cooked in one pot.

Stovetop Macaroni and Cheese with Bacon

Mac and cheese doesn’t have to be complicated. This recipe is a quick and tasty twist on the classic, all cooked up in one pot on the stovetop – no need for baking! The addition of bacon adds incredible flavor and best of all? Ingredients are simple and accessible!

What You Need

Here are the ingredients you need to make the easiest mac and cheese:

macaroni pasta, chicken broth, streaky bacon, velveeta cheese, evaporated milk, onion powder, garlic powder, and dried herbs.
  • Macaroni – Elbow macaroni is the classic and most commonly used pasta for mac and cheese. Its small, curved shape allows the cheese sauce to cling to it, providing a perfect bite with each forkful. Corkscrew-shaped pasta, shell pasta, rotini or fusilli, and penne will work well too.
  • Bacon – Streaky bacon adds richness to the dish due to its higher fat content. Back bacon is leaner and works well too.
  • Evaporated Milk – The secret to rich and creamy macaroni and cheese without using flour or butter. It has a thicker consistency than milk but not as thick as heavy cream.
  • Chicken Broth – Low-sodium chicken broth for boiling the pasta. A clever technique that infuses extra flavor into the pasta itself.
  • Cheese – more on this later.
  • Garlic powder, onion powder, dried herbs, and black pepper – A convenient way to add depth of flavor to your favorite cheese recipe. You can also use fresh garlic and onions if preferred.

How to Make Stovetop Mac and Cheese

And here’s how to make macaroni and cheese in one pot:

step by step process on how to make bacon mac and cheese.
  • Cook the bacon until crispy. Start with a cold pot, add the bacon, and then gradually heat it. As it cooks, the bacon will slowly release its flavorful fat, turning irresistibly brown and crispy. Add the aromatics and stir for 30 seconds to bring out their flavor.
  • Simmer the chicken broth and add the pasta, making sure there’s only enough liquid to cover it. Let the liquid slowly evaporate until the pasta is almost al dente. This process concentrates the starch, enhancing its ability to emulsify the cheese seamlessly in the next steps.
step by step photos on how to cook mac and cheese in one pot.

Pour evaporated milk then bring to a boil over medium heat. Add the cheese and gently stir until it melts and the mixture becomes smooth, creamy, and cheesy!

Immediately remove from heat. As the pasta cools down, it will become more creamier and cheesier. The perfect macaroni and cheese consistency. Yum!

Serve

Macaroni and cheese with bacon is a hearty and flavorful dish on its own, but you can enhance the meal by pairing it with complementary sides such as steamed vegetables like broccoli, grilled chicken or pulled pork, garlic bread, and cornbread.

macaroni and cheese with bacon in a rectangular dish

Shelf-life and Storage

Store leftover macaroni and cheese in an airtight container in the refrigerator. Properly stored, it can last for 3 to 5 days.

macaroni and cheese with bacon in a rectangular dish

Reheat only the portion you plan to consume. For microwave reheating, use medium heat for 1 minute, stirring every 30 seconds. Alternatively, warm it in a skillet over medium heat for stovetop reheating.

Types of Cheese

When making mac and cheese, the choice of cheese can significantly influence the flavor and texture of the dish. Here are the types of cheese that are recommended:

  • Velveeta – what I used and my kids enjoyed it!
  • Gruyere – combine with cheddar for more depth of flavor.
  • Cheddar – sharp cheddar cheese or mild cheddar cheese.
  • Monterey Jack or Colby – mix with cheddar for more flavor.
  • Gouda – combine with cheddar for more flavor.

Watch How to Make It

stovetop mac and cheese with velveeta and bacon.

Stovetop Mac and Cheese with Bacon

Rate this recipe
Making mac and cheese doesn't have to be complicated. This quick and delicious recipe puts a spin on the classic, cooked effortlessly in one pot on the stovetop – no baking required! The extra kick from bacon brings amazing flavor and the best part? It's made of simple ingredients!
Servings4 servings
preparation time5 minutes
Total cooking time20 minutes

Ingredients
 

  • 8 oz streaky bacon (diced, note 1)
  • 2 tsp vegetable oil
  • ½ tsp garlic powder
  • ½ tsp onion powder
  • ½ tsp Italian seasoning (or preferred dried herbs, note 2)
  • black pepper (to taste)
  • 2 ¼ cup chicken broth, low-sodium (note 3)
  • 8 oz elbow macaroni (2 cups uncooked, note 4)
  • 1 cup evaporated milk (note 5)
  • ½ lb Velveeta cheese (cut into cubes, note 6)
  • grated cheddar cheese (optional)

Instructions

  • Heat oil in a pot over medium heat. Add bacon and cook until lightly golden. You can set aside a quarter of it for topping later, if preferred.
  • Sprinkle garlic powder, onion, powder, and Italian seasoning. Stir for 20 seconds then pour chicken broth. Bring to a boil.
  • Add elbow macaroni. Stir regularly until it's almost cooked, about 9-10 minutes. The liquid will slowly evaporate and concentrate the starch. This is what we want.
  • Pour evaporated milk. When it starts to simmer, lower the heat then quickly add the cubes of cheese. Stir until melted, creamy and smooth.
  • Remove from heat. Adjust black pepper, to taste. The sauce will continue to thicken and reduced. Serve immediately!

Recipe Notes & Tips:

  1. Bacon – Use streaky bacon or back bacon.
  2. Dried herbs – You can also use dry mustard, dried oregano, or basil.
  3. Chicken Broth – You can also dissolve 1/2 piece of chicken bouillon in hot water.
  4. Pasta – Corkscrew-shaped pasta, shell pasta, rotini or fusilli, and penne will work well too.
  5. Evaporated Milk – can be substituted with half and half.
Jump to Video
Author : Mella
Course : Side Dish
Cuisine : American-Western
Keyword : macaroni cheese with bacon, stovetop mac and cheese, velveeta mac and cheese
Nutrition Facts
Stovetop Mac and Cheese with Bacon
Amount per Serving
Calories
549
% Daily Value*
Fat
 
34
g
52
%
Saturated Fat
 
15
g
94
%
Trans Fat
 
0.1
g
Polyunsaturated Fat
 
4
g
Monounsaturated Fat
 
11
g
Cholesterol
 
82
mg
27
%
Sodium
 
1841
mg
80
%
Potassium
 
561
mg
16
%
Carbohydrates
 
33
g
11
%
Fiber
 
1
g
4
%
Sugar
 
12
g
13
%
Protein
 
27
g
54
%
Vitamin A
 
737
IU
15
%
Vitamin C
 
1
mg
1
%
Calcium
 
510
mg
51
%
Iron
 
1
mg
6
%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
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