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Stovetop bacon 'mac and cheese' recipe

Stovetop bacon 'mac and cheese' recipe

57 ratings

Enjoy a twist on a classic with this stovetop 'mac and cheese' recipe. Easy to make, and low cost too, this midweek meal pairs a creamy cheese sauce with smoky back bacon, red pepper, and spinach. Use mature Cheddar for an extra hit of flavour. See method

  • Serves 4
  • 10 mins to prepare and 20 mins to cook
  • 572 calories / serving


  • 280g penne pasta
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 100g smoked back bacon, roughly chopped
  • 1 red pepper, deseeded and finely sliced
  • 2 tbsp plain flour
  • 1 pint semi-skimmed milk
  • 100g medium Cheddar, grated
  • 125g baby spinach
If you haven't got penne, try using fusilli or another short pasta

Each serving contains

  • Energy

  • Fat

    25g 35%
  • Saturates

    10g 52%
  • Sugars

    10g 11%
  • Salt

    1.6g 27%

of the reference intake
Carbohydrate 66.7g Protein 25.1g Fibre 2.7g


  1. Bring a large pan of salted water to the boil and cook the penne to pack instructions; drain and set aside.
  2. Meanwhile, heat ½ tbsp oil in a saucepan over a medium heat. Add the bacon and fry for 6-8 mins until crisp. Remove with a slotted spoon and set aside on kitchen paper. Add the pepper to the pan and cook for 5-7 mins until softened. Remove from the pan and set aside.
  3. Add 1½ tbsp oil to the pan and, once hot, stir in the flour to combine. Cook for 1 min, then gradually add the milk, stirring continuously. Bring to the boil, then reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer for 2-3 mins until thickened. Stir in the pasta, pepper, Cheddar and spinach and cook until the cheese has melted and the spinach has wilted. Season to taste, then divide between 4 bowls and scatter with the crispy bacon to serve.

See more Pasta recipes

For top tips on protecting you and your family when preparing raw meat and poultry, visit Food Safety in the Home.

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