Let’s chat about everyone’s beloved mac ‘n cheese shall we?
Um, it’s a freakin’ mess and a half to make. Right?! I mean, there’s grated cheese everywhere (because we all know a good mac ‘n cheese doesn’t just have one cheese in it!) including the floor which then of course means dog saliva all over my floor as well with an eager weimaraner at my feet, a pot to boil the pasta in, a pot to make the cheesy sauce in, sometimes a baking dish if it finishes off in the oven and that assumes you haven’t had to cook any extras (like meat or something) which requires it’s own cutting board and skillet along with everything else. Every time I make it (unless it’s Annie’s and god bless Annie. Really, she’s a savior some nights) my kitchen literally looks like a tornado tore through it. I’m not sure any other meal wreaks the kind of havoc mac ‘n cheese does.
But I still love it. Outside of his mom’s Greek food, it’s Ulysses favorite meal too so unfortunately the tornado-ized kitchen happens a bit too often. So I set out to do 2 things with this recipe.
1. Lighten things up to create a recipe that doesn’t make you feel like you belong in a confessional after eating.
2. Seriously pare down on the pots and pans used to make it.
With greek yogurt and goat cheese as most of the creamy factor in this recipe, I’d say #1 gets a solid A. And with 1 pot, 1 cutting board and 1 small skillet for #2, I think that’s about as good as it can get for mac ‘n cheese.
Plus, it tastes out of this world and it’s got bacon. The end.
- 3 slices bacon, chopped
- 2 ounces sharp white cheddar, grated
- 2 ounces grated mozzarella
- 4 ounces goat cheese
- ½ cup plain Greek yogurt (full fat or 2% are best)
- 2 cups whole wheat elbow pasta
- 1½ cup frozen peas
- Cook bacon over medium heat in a skillet until crispy, drain on a paper towel and set aside.
- Bring a large pot of water to a boil.
- Once boiling, add pasta and cook until al dente (about 6 minutes). Add the peas to the pasta water during the last minute of cooking.
- Reserve 1 cup of the pasta water and then drain the peas and pasta into a strainer.
- Return the pasta to the pot, add about ¼ cup of the pasta water and all the cheeses and yogurt. Stir until all the cheese melts and coats the pasta evenly. Add more pasta water as needed.
- Scoop the pasta into bowls and top with the cooked bacon.
Brandy and Rachel are hosting Mac & Cheese Mania all this week sponsored by Door to Door Organics and OXO where you can head over and link up your own favorite mac ‘n cheese recipe (you don’t need to have a blog to enter!) and enter to win some awesome giveaway prizes.
For more Mac & Cheese Mania posts check out all these amazing recipes:
Jalapeno Popper Mac & Cheese by Heather’s Dish
Buffalo Cheddar Mac and Cheese by Eats Well With Others
Creamy Spinach Artichoke Macaroni and Cheese with Gouda by Sarah’s Cucina Bella
Light Sweet Potato Mac ‘n Cheese Recipe by Cookin’ Canuck
Macaroni and Cheese Fritters by Amuse Your Bouche
Skinny Chicken Mac and Cheese Casserole by A Zesty Bite
Creamy Pancetta + Leek Macaroni and Cheese by Simply Scratch
Smoked Bacon Mac and Cheese by Cravings of a Lunatic
Pizza Mac and Cheese by Very Culinary
Crab Mac and Cheese by Dine & Dish
Bacon & Eggs Breakfast Mac & Cheese by Sweet Remedy
Fried Mac & Cheese Balls by The Little Kitchen
Sweet Pork Macaroni and Cheese by Oh, Sweet Basil
Butternut Squash Quinoa Mac n’ Cheese Bake by Queen of Quinoa
Lightened Up Buffalo Chicken Mac and Cheese by Prevention RD
Butternut Mac and Cheese with Pretzel Crust by Healthy. Delicious.
Skinny Greek Mac and Cheese with Crunchy Pita Chip Topping by The Law Student’s Wife
Potato Skin Mac and Cheese by Eat Your Heart Out
Homestyle Baked Mac & Cheese by Pocket Change Gourmet
Bacon Mac and Cheese Egg Rolls by Miss in the Kitchen
Pepper Jack Mac and Cheese by Crunchy Creamy Sweet
Blue Cheese Bechamel Mac and Cheese by Sweetphi
Korean Mac & Cheese by Cooking with Books
Black and Blue Mac and Cheese by Fabtastic Eats
Tomato and Leek Mac and Cheese by Susie Freaking Homemaker
Healthier Mac & Cheese with Chipotle Peppers by Go Gingham
Mac and Cheese Ice Cream by Fat Girl Trapped in a Skinny Body
Blue Cheese & Bacon Macaroni & Cheese by Gimme Some Oven
Poutine Mac and Cheese with Andouille Gravy by Climbing Grier Mountain
Double Smoked Chicken Mac and Cheese by Girl Carnivore
Nudel Gratin by Crumbs and Chaos
Mushroom and Truffle Sea Salt White Cheddar Macaroni and Cheese by Big Bear’s Wife
Roasted Poblano and Goat Cheese Mac by Daisy at Home
Creamy Cauliflower ‘n Cheese with Bacon by Barefeet in the Kitchen
Wisconsin Cheese, Brats, and Onion Macaroni and Cheese by a farmgirl’s dabbles
Spinach Queso Mac & Cheese by Bake Your Day
Roasted Garlic Mac and Cheese with a Pancetta Parmesan Crust by Mountain Mama Cooks
French Onion Mac & Cheese by Dinners, Dishes, and Desserts
Healthier Macaroni and Cheese by Texanerin Baking
Pulled Pork Mac and Cheese by CafeTerraBlog
Macaroni and Cheese Stuffed Peppers by Cook the Story
Jack Daniels Mac and Cheese by The Slow Roasted Italian
Lobster Mac and Cheese by FoodieCrush
Green Chili 5-cheese Baked Mac and Cheese by A Southern Fairytale
Homemade Elbow Noodle Tutorial + a Recipe for Roasted Veggie Mac by Bakeaholic Mama
Salsa Verde Mac-n-Cheese (two ways) by Eat2Gather
Cauliflower Mac and Cheese with Crispy Panko Topping by The Lemon Bowl