Two of my favorite things wrapped into one – Mac & cheese with turkey bacon. Check out this easy and guilt free recipe below.
- 1 pound penne (I used Ancient Harvest – quinoa penne pasta)
- 4 cups 1% milk
- 4 cloves garlic, chopped
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter3 tablespoons whole wheat flour
- 4 1/2 cups shredded sharp white cheddar (I used Cabot – low-fat cheddar)
- 4 slices of turkey bacon, cut crosswise into thin strips
- 1 large onion, diced
- Black pepper & salt
- Bring a pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the penne and cook until al dente.
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
- In a small saucepan heat the milk and 2 garlic cloves. Melt the butter in a large, deep skillet over medium-high heat. Whisk in the flour and cook for about 1 minute, stirring constantly, to keep lumps from forming. Strain the solids out of the milk and whisk it into the butter and flour mixture. Continue to whisk vigorously, and cook until the mixture is nice and smooth. Stir in the 4 cups of the cheese and continue to cook and stir to melt the cheese. Season with salt and pepper. Add the cooked penne and cover with the cheese mixture. Put into a baking dish and sprinkle with the remaining 1/2 cups cheese. Bake for 30 minutes.
- While that bakes, heat a sauté pan. Add the bacon and cook until crispy. Add onion and cook for about 5 minutes to soften the onion. Season with salt and pepper.
- To serve, scatter the bacon mixture over the mac and cheese. Use a big spoon to scoop out servings, making sure you get some of the smoking bacon mixture on each spoonful.