- 1 pound shell pasta
- 8 ounces bacon, chopped
- 4 cups cheese sauce
- 2 pink lady apples, peeled and chopped into 1-inch pieces
- A few sprigs of thyme, chopped
- 2 tablespoons grainy Dijon mustard
- 1 cup store-bought fried onions
- 1 cup smoked cheddar cheese
Preheat oven to 375°F.
Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Salt liberally and cook the pasta two minutes shy of al dente. (It’s ok if the pasta is a little under cooked, the pasta will continue to cook as it bakes.) Drain the pasta then return it to the pot and reserve.
Place the bacon into a cold, large skillet and place over medium-high heat. Let the bacon fat slowly render as the pan comes up to heat. Stir occasionally to evenly cook the bacon. Once the bacon becomes crisp, turn the heat to high and add the apples. Sauté the apples for just a few minutes and then add in the thyme and Dijon. Remove from heat and add the bacon and apples, and the cheese sauce to the pot with the pasta. Toss to combine then place into a large casserole dish. Top with the smoked cheddar cheese and fried onions.
Bake for 20 minutes or until the mac ’n cheese is brown and bubbly. Garnish with chives to serve.
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