Stove Top Macaroni and Cheese with Apples and Bacon | Virtually Homemade: Stove Top Macaroni and Cheese with Apples and Bacon

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Stove Top Macaroni and Cheese with Apples and Bacon

I originally got the idea of this stove top macaroni and cheese from the wonderful food blog White on Rice Couple.  Not only is the mac and cheese stove top - it's made in one pot.  I thought this was genius.  It's almost like risotto mac and cheese!  You cook your macaroni in the milk - not water.  While the pasta is slowly cooking in the milk, this beautiful white and creamy bechamel style sauce starts forming.  The pasta starts to soften and cook while lending it's starch to thicken the sauce.  So cool!  I'm telling you - there are some seriously creative people out there.  After your pasta has absorbed all the milk, mix in some gooey orange cheddar cheese and "ta dah" - macaroni and cheese.
I decided to get a little crazy and add some flavorful bursts of fall into this fantastic recipe.  I took the lead from my Potato Apple Gratin recipe and chopped up some Galas.  I also really like bacon on/in my macaroni and cheese. So I cooked up a few slices and then tossed the apple and fresh rosemary in a little bit of the warm grease to soften it all up.  Then stir it in and bam - a really delicious stove top macaroni and cheese.  I have a real sweet and salty fetish, so marrying apples with cheddar and bacon just make me very happy.
A couple of notes on the recipe:
*Use  elbow macaroni. I used an elbow with ridges on it so I needed to added extra milk to get the pasta cooked through.  The ridged pasta was just a bit thicker and not as delicate as the elbows.  If you do want to use a different shape, just keep adding 1/4 cup of milk until the pasta is done to your liking.
*Stir, stir and stir some more!  While the dish is cooking, it's important to keep it moving so it doesn't turn into a sticky, clumpy mass of macaroni.
*I topped my macaroni with a little extra shredded sharp cheddar - I just really love it when my mac and cheese is orange.  If you are making this for kids, they seem to like a medium cheddar as opposed to sharp. No problem switching it out.

Stove Top Macaroni and Cheese with Apples and Bacon

Recipe by Liz Hughes
Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 25 minutes
Yield: 3-4 servings

  • 8 ounces elbow macaroni
  • 2 cups low fat milk
  • 2 tablespoons butter, divided
  • 1/2 teaspoon dry mustard
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 cup grated sharp cheddar cheese
  • 2 apples, cut in 1/4" dice
  • 6 slices center cut bacon
  • 1 teaspoon finely chopped fresh rosemary
  • Grated cheddar for garnish
Cooking Directions
  1. In a large saucepan pour in macaroni, milk, 1 tablespoon butter, mustard, nutmeg and salt. Heat on medium and bring milk to a simmer. Reduce heat to low and stir macaroni mixture for 15 to 20 minutes (the milk will start to thicken and be absorbed by the pasta).
  2. Taste pasta for doneness and stir in cheese and butter until completely combined. Turn off flame and cover and let sit for 5 minutes. The macaroni will soak up any extra liquid and soften a touch more.
  3. While the macaroni sits cook of your bacon until golden and crispy. Drain on a paper towel. Save about 1 tablespoon of bacon grease and in same pan add apples and rosemary. Cook for about 4 minutes over medium heat until apples are slightly softened. Crumble and add bacon to apple mixture.
  4. Stir apple mixture into macaroni and cheese. Serve right away and garnish with grated cheddar.
Here are some more cheesy recipes from Food Network and some of my favorite food bloggers:
The Lemon Bowl: Spelt Salad with Apples, Cheddar and Scallions
Jeanette's Healthy Living: 
Loaded Mashed Cauliflower Casserole with Bacon and Caramelized Onions {Low Carb}
Creative Culinary: 
Cilantro Serrano Rice
Virtually Homemade: 
Stove Top Mac and Cheese with Apples and Bacon
Napa Farmhouse 1885: 
Mary Lane's Pasta With Pesto Tomato Sauce
Red or Green: 
Cheesy Polenta with Spicy Leeks
The Wimpy Vegetarian: 
Cheesy Beer Bread with Quinoa, Millet and JalapeƱo Peppers
Homemade Delish: 
Cheesy Zucchini and Summer Squash
Daisy at Home: 
Bell Pepper Pizza
Elephants and the Coconut Trees: 
Indian Cottage Cheese & Bell Pepper Quick Stir-Fry
Cheesy Turkey Meatballs
Swing Eats: 
Frico: Parmesan Cheese Crackers (gluten-free)
The Mom 100: 
Leek, Mushroom and Goat Cheese Quiche
FN Dish: 
6 Ways to One-Up Side Dish Favorites with Cheese

1 comment:

  1. I love your site, you give so Ventless fireplaces many great tips especially since I use word press and the plug-in section of your blog is great.


Join the conversation - I'd love to hear from you!