Grown-Up Mac & Cheese (Save the Blue Box for the Kids)

February 29, 2016 59 Comments

Grown-Up Mac & Cheese (Save the Blue Box for the Kids)

Grown Up Mac and Cheese from Wayward Gourmet

Save the Blue Box for the Kids

In continuation with our “Grown Up” theme (Grown Up Tater Tots), we decided to give mac & cheese the same treatment and boy were we glad we did! I’m sure you all remember the mac & cheese in the blue box as a kid.  It certainly served a purpose and I’d be remiss to say that I don’t revert to it every now and then. But now that I’m older and have a (supposedly) more refined palate, I crave something a bit more with my mac and cheese!

Liz and I have been playing around with a few different mac and cheese recipes over the past few months.  We’ve been drawing what we liked best from each recipe and folding it into our own unique one.  It took a little while and we undoubtedly gained a few pounds in the meantime, but it was absolutely worth it!

The fruit of our labor is a cheesy, smoky (can you say bacon!?) and satisfying mac and cheese that has the slightest bit of heat to it. Of course it features one of our Spice Blends because 1. We're biased and 2. They're awesome!  This recipe calls for Sweet Heat but we've interchange it with Yes We Mexi-Can or Maple Chipotle Mashup as well.

Experiment with the flavors and see what you come up with!

This recipe is insanely easy to prepare, makes 6 servings, and kicks some serious fanny!

Here's what you need:

  • 12 ounces dry macaroni (we actually prefer penne, but really any bite-sized pasta will work just fine.)
  • 4 ounces bacon, cut into 1/2" pieces (or thicker if you're a bacon-holic like us)
  • 1 Cup gruyere cheese, shredded. WARNING: Try to avoid pre-shredded cheese. It doesn't melt nearly as well and is coated with this weird anti-caking agent that some people tastes like old socks....just sayin.
  • 1 cup Italian fontina cheese, shredded
  • 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, grated or shredded.
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • 2 cups milk
  • 1 tablespoon Wayward Gourmet Sweet Heat Spice Blend

Here's what you do:

  1. Cook and drain the macaroni according to the directions.
  2. Fry bacon over medium high heat in a saucepan until desired doneness. Usually takes around 5 minutes or a little more (we like our bacon a bit on the soft side, but if you like it crispier, fry a bit longer.)
  3. Take bacon off heat and chop up into small bits (as big or a small as you like, remember you're a grown-up now!)
  4. Pour out all but about 1 tbsp. of the bacon fat from the saucepan.
  5. Reduce heat to medium and add flour and Sweet Heat Blend
  6. Slowly whisk in milk. (Will be thick at first).
  7. Slowly whisk in all 3 blends of cheese and watch as it melts into gooey goodness!
  8. Pour macaroni and bacon into pan and mix (It's ok to transfer everything to a bowl if the pan is too small to mix everything together.)
  9. Tell the kids to keep their grubby hands off!

Let us know how they turned out, we love to see your creations on Instagram #WaywardGourmet and Twitter @WaywardGourmet. We'll post your deliciousness on our site. Thanks!




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Josh Wilson
Josh Wilson

March 08, 2016

This is really good with the Maple Chipotle Mashup blend. My roommates scarfed it down.

Piper S
Piper S

March 08, 2016

This looks absolutely delicious! we are definitely going to give it a try…..though now adults, we can (and will) still love good ole’ mac and cheese. Maybe with some grownup flavors of tenders….yes? The kiddos will be gone for spring break with the grandparents, so time to spice up our meals for a whole week. :)

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