Great-Grandma T’s Bacon, Macaroni & Cheese

On my to-do list for a while has been to compile and organize my collection of recipes, which right now are scattered throughout multiple cookbooks, a binder of family recipes my mom and I made before my 2nd year of college when I moved into an apartment with a full kitchen, my long-forgotten Pinterest boards, and haphazard screenshots within my phone’s photo albums. So I shall be kicking off another personal project for my blog with posting longtime favorite recipes to have them all in one place!  I figured what better to start with than what is probably my family’s oldest, most unique, yet simplest recipe ever: Bacon, Macaroni and Cheese (it’s also a twist on my first fave food ever, which was mac ‘n cheese made with none other than the liquid gold we Texans all know and love, Velveeta).

My great-grandma used to make this variation for my Grammie, my Grammie made it for my mom, my mom made it for me, and now I share with others this long-standing mac ‘n cheese. But not just any cheese mind you… Cottage Cheese. Right around here is where I typically lose people. Cottage cheese is a known commonly hated food, however I always tell people that I was a picky-eating kid who didn’t like cottage cheese when I first tried this and loved it. There’s something about how the flavor mixes with the bacon grease and gets slightly melty coating the noodles that makes you forget the standard cold chunky consistency and bland taste. I’ve even made this for one of my roommates who was super skeptical of cottage cheese, and now he actually asks when I’m going to make this next!

 

Great-Grandma’s Bacon, Macaroni + Cheese

Ingredients:

  • 2 – 12 oz packages center-cut bacon (can do just 1 package for budget cooking)
  • 12 oz macaroni (or 1 lb package works too)
  • 24 oz small curd cottage cheese (can get low-fat, but come on if you’re gonna have bacon, just get the 4%/whole milk cheese and enjoy 😉 )
  • salt and pepper to taste

Cooking Instructions:

  1. Cut bacon into 1 in x 1 in chunks. (Optional: let bacon sit in the freezer for ~20 mins prior to cutting – this helps it firm up a little and cut easier.)
    – Start cooking bacon in non-stick skillet on medium-high, stir with spatula periodically
  2. Start water for noodles in a large pot
  3. Put whole container of cottage cheese into large glass (oven-safe) bowl
    – Turn oven on to 325°
  4. Salt boiling water (like a tbsp., who knows), dump in noodles, set timer for 6 minutes
    – Put glass bowl with cottage cheese in oven for 5-7 mins
    – Take bacon skillet off heat when orange + crispy + bubbly but not yet brown/black
    – Save bacon grease in skillet
  5. Strain noodles, take bowl out of oven
    – Add in ½ of noodles, ½ of bacon, a few shakes of salt and pepper, stir
    – Repeat with rest of noodles and bacon, also adding in some bacon grease. (What I do to get a small amount of grease is use the spatula to spoon the bacon into the bowl and so just a little grease gets on the flat surface with the bacon.)
    – Optional: can put back in the oven to keep warm if not serving right away
  6. Serve and people can salt + pepper to taste

    Can serve with Caesar salad or some oven-roasted veggies in olive oil, or just by itself! Also reheats well in microwave for leftovers, zap for between 60 and 90 seconds to get cheese melty. 🙂

bacon macaroni cheese

 

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