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Smoked Gouda and Bacon Macaroni and Cheese

Updated on September 22, 2014

Restaurant quality

My boss brought this dish in to a company potluck, and it was gone within an hour. She claims to have gotten the recipe from a restaurant that specialized in catering, as you will see from the recipe. It's fairly heavy and can be used as a main dish.

This yields 12 servings, so for home use you can half the recipe - or not. This freezes very well.

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Cook time

Prep time: 15 min
Cook time: 40 min
Ready in: 55 min
Yields: 12 servings


  • 2 lbs. Penne Pasta
  • 2 lbs. Bacon
  • 2 tbls. Olive Oil
  • 1 Medium Onion, chopped
  • 1 tbls. Garlic, minced
  • 1/2 lb. Butter
  • 1-2 cups Flour, for thickening - amount may vary
  • 1 quart Milk
  • 3 cups Chicken Broth
  • 2 wheels Smoked Gouda, shredded
  • 2 cups Sharp Cheddar, shredded
  • 1/4 tsp. Red Pepper, or more to taste
  • 1 tsp. Paprika
  • To taste Salt and Pepper
  • 2 tbls. Rosemary, Fresh - chopped


  1. Cook pasta according to package instructions. Strain, set aside.
  2. Brown bacon until it's crispy, drain, and set aside to cool. You will crumble this up later.
  3. Cook chopped onion and minced garlic in the olive oil. Cook until soft but not browned (about five minutes).
  4. Add butter to the garlic and onion mixture, melt.
  5. Whisk in flour until it forms a paste and cook for about one minute. Start with less - you can add more as needed to thicken the mixture.
  6. Whisk in milk and chicken broth and cook until the mixture thickens. If you need more flour, take a little of the hot milk and chicken broth mixture and put aside in a bowl. Whisk a little more flour into that until smooth, then pour the contents of the bowl into the pot and whisk. If you add the flour directly to the mixture in the pot, it will form clumps.
  7. Add cheeses to the mixture by the handful and melt until smooth.
  8. Stir in red pepper, paprika, salt, black pepper, and rosemary.
  9. Combine cheese mixture and pasta into the container you will be serving out of. Crumble bacon over the top and garnish with extra rosemary.

Nutrition Information

Nutrition Facts
Serving size: 421g
Calories 1223
Calories from Fat711
% Daily Value *
Fat 79 g122%
Saturated fat 39 g195%
Carbohydrates 65 g22%
Sugar 4 g
Fiber 1 g4%
Protein 61 g122%
Cholesterol 256 mg85%
Sodium 2947 mg123%
* The Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet, so your values may change depending on your calorie needs. The values here may not be 100% accurate because the recipes have not been professionally evaluated nor have they been evaluated by the U.S. FDA.

How to make this lower calorie

The nutrition information assumes you'll be using 2% milk. You should not use skim milk in this, as it will make it harder to thicken the sauce. You can try using reduced fat versions of the cheese, turkey bacon, or removing the bacon completely. Instead of making this with pasta (which has approximately 200 calories a cup, as a rule) you can serve this cheese sauce over zucchini or with some other type of squash.


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