Macaroni cheese is one of the most comforting and satisfying dishes you can make at home. It’s creamy, cheesy, and easy to customize with your favorite ingredients. But if you want to take your mac and cheese to the next level, you need to try Mary Berry’s macaroni cheese with bacon recipe.
This recipe is a twist on the classic mac and cheese, with the addition of crispy bacon bits that add a smoky and savory flavor to the dish. The cheese sauce is made with butter, flour, milk, and cheddar cheese, and seasoned with Dijon mustard, salt, and pepper. The macaroni and cheese sauce is then mixed with the bacon and baked in the oven until golden and bubbly. The result is a rich and indulgent meal that will please the whole family.
In this article, I will show you how to make Mary Berry’s macaroni cheese with bacon recipe step by step, with tips and tricks to ensure a perfect result.
So let’s get started!
What is Mary Berry Macaroni Cheese with Bacon?
Mary Berry Macaroni Cheese with Bacon is a delicious and easy recipe that combines cooked macaroni pasta with a creamy cheese sauce and crispy bacon bits. It is baked in the oven until golden and bubbly, and sprinkled with fresh parsley for a touch of color and flavor.
Why You Love This Recipe?
- It’s a comforting, satisfying family favorite that pleases all ages.
- Simple and quick to prepare, with minimal steps and ingredients.
- Highly customizable with options for various cheeses, meats, veggies, or herbs.
- Can be enjoyed as a hearty main dish or a delicious side.
- Perfect for make-ahead meals, easily reheated for convenience.
Ingredients Needed to Make Mary Berry Macaroni Cheese with Bacon
To make Mary Berry’s macaroni cheese with bacon recipe, you will need the following ingredients:
- 350g elbow macaroni
- 200g smoked bacon lardons
- 50g unsalted butter
- 50g plain flour
- 600ml whole milk
- 200g grated cheddar cheese
- Salt and black pepper
- 2 tbsp chopped fresh parsley
To make Mary Berry’s macaroni cheese with bacon recipe, you will need the following equipment:
- A large pot for cooking the macaroni
- A colander for draining the macaroni
- A frying pan for cooking the bacon
- A medium saucepan for making the cheese sauce
- A whisk for stirring the cheese sauce
- A measuring cup and spoons for measuring the ingredients
- A cheese grater for grating the cheese
- A knife and a cutting board for chopping the parsley
- A 2-liter ovenproof dish for baking the macaroni cheese
- A mixing bowl for combining the macaroni, cheese sauce, and bacon
- A spoon for transferring the mixture to the ovenproof dish
- A small bowl for mixing the breadcrumbs and Parmesan cheese
- A baking sheet for toasting the breadcrumbs
- An oven for baking the macaroni cheese
Instructions to Make Mary Berry Macaroni Cheese with Bacon
Here are the step-by-step instructions for making Mary Berry’s macaroni cheese with bacon recipe:
- Preheat the oven to 180°C (160°C fan) / Gas 4 and lightly grease the ovenproof dish with some butter or cooking spray.
- Cook the macaroni in a large pot of boiling salted water for about 10 minutes or until al dente (firm to the bite). Drain well and return to the pot.
- In a frying pan over medium-high heat, cook the bacon lardons for about 15 minutes, stirring occasionally, until crisp and golden. Drain on paper towels and set aside.
- In a medium saucepan over low-medium heat, melt the butter and whisk in the flour. Cook for 1 minute, stirring constantly, to make a roux (a thick paste).
- Gradually whisk in the milk, a little at a time, until smooth and well combined. Bring the sauce to a boil, then lower the heat and simmer for 5 minutes, stirring frequently, until thickened and smooth.
- Stir in the grated cheddar cheese and season with salt, pepper, and Dijon mustard to taste. Remove from the heat and set aside.
- In a mixing bowl, toss the cooked macaroni with the cheese sauce and the bacon lardons. Spoon the mixture into the prepared ovenproof dish and spread it evenly.
- In a small bowl, combine the breadcrumbs and the Parmesan cheese. Sprinkle the mixture over the top of the macaroni cheese.
- Bake the macaroni cheese in the oven for 25 to 30 minutes, or until golden and bubbling.
- Sprinkle the chopped parsley over the macaroni cheese and serve hot with a green salad or some steamed vegetables.
Pro Tips to Make Perfect Mary Berry Macaroni Cheese with Bacon?
Here are some tips and tricks for making Mary Berry’s macaroni cheese with bacon recipe:
- You can use any type of pasta you like, such as penne, fusilli, or shells, instead of macaroni. Just make sure to cook it according to the package directions and drain it well.
- You can use any type of cheese you like, such as mozzarella, Gruyere, or Parmesan, instead of cheddar. You can also mix and match different cheeses for a more complex flavor. Just make sure to grate the cheese finely and stir it well into the sauce.
- You can use any type of bacon you like, such as streaky, back, or turkey, instead of lardons. You can also use ham, sausage, or chicken for a different protein option. Just make sure to cook it well and chop it into small pieces.
- You can add some extra flavor and texture to the macaroni cheese by adding some chopped onion, garlic, mushrooms, broccoli, spinach, or peas to the cheese sauce. You can also add some herbs, such as thyme, oregano, or basil, to the cheese sauce or the breadcrumb topping.
- You can make the macaroni cheese ahead of time and refrigerate it for up to 2 days or freeze it for up to 3 months. Just make sure to cover it tightly with foil or plastic wrap and reheat it in the oven or microwave until hot and bubbly.
How do I Serve Mary Berry Macaroni Cheese with Bacon
Mary Berry’s macaroni cheese with bacon recipe is a hearty and satisfying meal that can be served as a main course or a side dish. You can serve it with a green salad or some steamed vegetables for a balanced and nutritious meal. You can also serve it with some crusty bread or garlic bread for a more indulgent treat.
How do I store Mary Berry Macaroni Cheese with Bacon Leftovers?
- Store leftover macaroni cheese in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
- Can also freeze it for up to 3 months in an airtight container.
- Make sure to cover it tightly with foil or plastic wrap before storing it.
How do I reheat Mary Berry Macaroni Cheese with Bacon?
- Reheat in the oven at 180°C for 15-20 minutes until hot and bubbly.
- Can also reheat in microwave in a microwave-safe dish for 5-10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Add extra cheese or milk before reheating to make it more moist and creamy.
- Bake at 180°C if reheating from frozen for 20-25 minutes.
Variations and Substitutions
Mary Berry’s macaroni cheese with bacon recipe is a versatile and adaptable dish that can be customized to your liking. Here are some variations and substitutions you can try:
- Vegan macaroni cheese: You can make a vegan version of this dish by using vegan butter, flour, milk, cheese, and bacon alternatives. You can also use nutritional yeast instead of cheese for a cheesy flavor and some cashew cream instead of milk for a creamy texture.
- Gluten-free macaroni cheese: You can make a gluten-free version of this dish by using gluten-free pasta, flour, breadcrumbs, and bacon. You can also use cornstarch instead of flour for a thicker sauce and some almond flour instead of breadcrumbs for a crunchy topping.
- Low-carb macaroni cheese: You can make a low-carb version of this dish by using low-carb pasta, such as shirataki noodles, zoodles, or cauliflower rice, instead of macaroni. You can also use heavy cream instead of milk for a richer sauce and some pork rinds instead of breadcrumbs for a crispy topping.
Other Cheese Recipes to Try
- Delia Smith Cauliflower Cheese
- Delia Smith Macaroni Cheese
- Mary Berry Cheese Straw
- Mary Berry Cheese And Onion Pie
- Mary Berry Cheese Scones
- Mary Berry Cauliflower Cheese
- Nigella Cauliflower Cheese
What kind of bacon should I use for Mary Berry’s macaroni cheese recipe?
You can use any type of bacon you prefer, such as streaky, back, or turkey bacon. Chop or cut the bacon into small lardons or pieces before cooking to incorporate well into the macaroni cheese. Make sure to cook the bacon until crispy before adding to the pasta.
Can I prep Mary Berry’s macaroni cheese ahead of time?
Yes, you can prep this macaroni cheese in advance. First, prepare the recipe as instructed. Allow the macaroni cheese to cool completely, then transfer it to an oven-safe container. Cover tightly and store in the refrigerator for up to 2 days. When ready to serve, bake in a preheated oven at 180°C for 15-20 minutes until heated through. You can also freeze the assembled macaroni cheese for up to 3 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator before reheating.
How to make vegan macaroni cheese with bacon?
To make a vegan macaroni cheese with bacon, use vegan butter, non-dairy milk like soy or almond, nutritional yeast instead of cheese, and vegan bacon bits or coconut bacon. Follow the same steps as the original recipe, cooking pasta until al dente and making a roux with vegan butter and flour. Add non-dairy milk and nutritional yeast to make cheese sauce. Stir in vegan bacon bits. Assemble in a baking dish, top with breadcrumbs, and bake until browned. The vegan ingredients will give a similar creamy, cheesy flavor.
What is the best Cheese To use for Macaroni and Cheese?
For a creamy, indulgent macaroni and cheese, a good melting cheese is key.
Here are a few suggestions:
- Cheddar cheese is the traditional choice for its sharp flavor and excellent melting properties.
- Medium to sharp cheddar is recommended for a balance of creaminess and taste.
- Gruyere cheese can be used for a nutty flavor and a more sophisticated profile.
- Combining cheeses such as Monterey Jack and mozzarella gives a creamy texture with a nice stretch.
- For added tang and savoriness, incorporate some cream cheese or Parmesan.
- Choose cheeses that are known for melting well to achieve a smooth sauce.
- Avoid pre-grated cheeses which may contain anti-caking agents that can affect the sauce’s texture.
- Grate your cheese from a block just before use for the best melt and fresh flavor.
Mary Berry’s macaroni cheese with bacon recipe is a delicious and easy way to make a classic comfort food dish. It’s creamy, cheesy, and smoky, and perfect for any occasion. You can make it with simple ingredients and equipment, and customize it to your taste. You can also make it ahead of time and reheat it later for a quick and convenient meal.
Try this recipe today and enjoy a warm and cozy dish that will make you feel happy and satisfied.