Jack Daniel’s Bacon Mac and Cheese (With Video)

This Smoky Mac and Cheese recipe has peppered bacon, tons of cheese, plus Jack Daniels whiskey! This is the comfort food of your dreams.
Macaroni and cheese has to be the #1 comfort food. Not only that, it’s a simple go-to dish.
It is our favorite.
Anytime you ask my 4 year old what she wants for dinner, it’s mac and cheese with bacon!
Well that makes 3 of us, because with all the ooey gooey cheese, I could certainly eat it every day for the rest of my life and never tire of it.
Needless to say, I have a lot of unbelievable twists for the traditional macaroni and cheese recipe.
I am especially proud of this most recent creation – Jack Daniel’s Smoky Mac and Cheese with Bacon.
homemade macaroni and cheese with bacon

 

This meal is ready to eat in just 30 minutes, and I know you are going to love it!
Dinner’s ready!
It’s unlike any cheesy pasta you have ever eaten.

Cooking with Jack Daniels Whiskey

Jack Daniels whiskey cooks down to leave the perfect smokiness, some maple, and a hint of woodsiness to recipes and to me that meant it would be perfect with bacon!!

After creating bbq saucepork chopsgrill saucepulled pork, a surprising fudgy brownie and cocktail after cocktail with Jack Daniels, I knew I wanted to use it in the best comfort food ever.

Ingredients
Oodles of ooey gooey cheese, 12 ounces of hickory smoked peppered bacon and a collection of spices that will wake up your taste buds and leave you
  • hickory smoked peppered bacon, uncooked
  • unsalted butter
  • Jack Daniels whiskey
  • chicken broth (or stock)
  • all-purpose flour
  • smoked paprika
  • garlic powder
  • New Mexico chili powder
  • chili pepper paste
  • Worcestershire sauce
  • milk (I use whole milk)
  • extra-sharp cheddar (white), shredded
  • smoked provolone cheese, shredded
  • Asiago cheese, shredded
  • uncooked elbow macaroni

Smoky Mac and Cheese Recipe Tips:

  • The recipe may be doubled. Simply use 2 times the ingredients and follow cooking directions. The sauce will thicken as it cools. If the sauce is too thick, add milk, 1/2 cup at a time, until it reaches your desired consistency.
  • Reheating instructions: Add leftover macaroni and cheese to a pot with milk. Heat until warmed through, adding 1/2 cup of milk at a time until desired consistency is reached.
  • Freezing instructions: Allow the dish to come to room temperature before freezing. Place in a resealable plastic bag or container.

If using a container, press a small piece of plastic wrap over the top to avoid freezer burn. If frozen, will keep for up to 6 months.

To reheat, thaw pasta and follow reheating instructions.

  • Alcohol substitutions: You can substitute another liquid for the whiskey. Beer, bourbon or chicken broth would be best.

Tools for Making Bacon Mac and Cheese:

  • 8 Quart Pot- 
  • 12″ Skillet
  • Cheese Grater- As much as I love buying shredded cheese because I’m lazy, fresh grated cheese melts down so much better and creates a smoother soup.
Enjoy!
Check out more of our favorite mac and cheese recipes:

JACK DANIEL’S SMOKY MAC AND CHEESE

This Smoky Mac and Cheese has crispy peppered bacon, tons of cheese, plus Jack Daniels whiskey. Make this comfort food recipe tonight!

INGREDIENTS

  • ½ tsp kosher salt + more for pasta water
  • 12 oz hickory smoked peppered bacon, uncooked
  • 2 Tbsp unsalted butter
  • ½ cup Jack Daniel’s Whiskey
  • ½ cup chicken broth
  • ¼ cup all-purpose flour
  • ½ teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • ½ teaspoon New Mexico chili powder
  • 1 tablespoon chili pepper paste
  • ½ tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 cups milk
  • 4 ounces extra-sharp cheddar (white), shredded
  • 2 ounces smoked provolone cheese, shredded
  • 2 ounces Asiago cheese, shredded
  • 8 oz dry elbow pasta
  • croutons (garnish)

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Bring an 8 quart covered pot filled with water to a boil over high heat. Once it boils, add a handful of salt and pasta. Reduce heat to medium high and cook uncovered to al dente (has a bite to it). Drain and set aside.
  2. Meanwhile warm a large 12” skillet over medium-high heat. Using clean kitchen shears cut bacon into bite size pieces over the skillet and let them to fall into the pan. Stir occasionally as needed. Cook until crisp.
  3. While the bacon is cooking, shred cheeses and prepare remaining ingredients.
  4. Once bacon is cooked through, remove bacon to a bowl with a slotted spoon. Reserve 2 tablespoons of bacon drippings and discard the rest. Wipe the side of the skillet to avoid flame ups.
  5. Pour reserved bacon drippings back into the skillet over medium heat and add butter. Once melted add flour and whisk to combine. Add spices, chili paste, Worcestershire, whiskey and chicken broth. Whisk to combine. Allow to come to a bubble for 3 minutes, whisking occasionally to help pick up the bits on the bottom of the pan. Add milk. Whisk to combine. Bring back to a bubble and add cheeses.  Stir until cheese is melted and smooth.
  6. Add pasta to sauce and stir to combine. Add bacon. Cook pasta in sauce for 5 minutes over medium heat until sauce thickens and the pasta has a chance to absorb some of the sauce.
  7. Sprinkle with croutons, if desired.
  8. Serve and enjoy!

DONNA’S NOTES

  1. Recipe may be doubled. Simply use 2x the ingredients and follow cooking directions. Sauce will thicken as it cools. If sauce is too thick, add milk ½ cup at a time until it reaches your desired consistency.
  2. Reheat instructions: Add pasta to pot with milk. Heat until warmed through, adding ½ cup of milk at a time until desired constancy is reached.
  3. Freezing instructions: Allow pasta to come to room temperature. Place in resealable plastic bag or container. If using a container press a small piece of plastic wrap over top to avoid freezer burn. Will keep for up to 6 months. To reheat, that pasta and follow reheat instructions.
  4. Alcohol substitutions: You can substitute another liquid for the whiskey. Beer, bourbon or chicken broth would be best.