“This post has been sponsored by Sargento. All thoughts and opinions are my own.”
What is your favorite comfort food, the dish that just makes you feel like all’s right with the world? For me, it’s mac and cheese all the way. So, I’ve created a “classy” mac and cheese recipe for you with NEW Sargento Shreds® Reserve Series 18-Month Aged Cheddar—for all you #realcheesepeople out there who love mac and cheese. I picked up the Sargento Reserve Series Cheese, along with the rest of what I needed for my 20-minute One-Skillet Bacon Mac and Cheese recipe at my local Albertsons Market.
How to make 20-minute One-Skillet Bacon Mac and Cheese
This simple, delicious homemade mac and cheese actually starts out with the Bacon first. Bacon should always be cooked slowly, so place bacon in a cold pan and set it to medium heat—stirring occasionally. While the bacon gently browns, you can proceed with making the mac and cheese.
Next, you’ll mix water, evaporated milk (NOT sweetened condensed milk!) and a pinch of salt in a large nonstick skillet. Make sure to reserve a little of the evaporated milk. Bring this mixture to a light boil. Evaporated milk doesn’t curdle as much as regular milk, helping the creamy cheese sauce to be nice and smooth.
Once boiling, stir in your macaroni. Now, in this recipe, I used gemelli (which I also found at Albertsons Market, thank you very much), which are adorable little spiral macaronis that are the perfect shape for holding the sauce yet still small enough to be bite-sized. Did you know that the shape of each type of pasta serves a unique purpose? They’re shaped to hold different types of sauces. And gemelli serves its purpose nicely in this recipe :0)
Cook the gemelli in the milk-water mixture until tender, about 10-12 minutes.
To this mixture, I also added a bit of reserved evaporated milk mixed with Dijon mustard and cornstarch to thicken and flavor the sauce.
Once the gemelli is soft, there should be just enough liquids left to melt your Sargento Shredded Cheese into for a deeply flavored, aged cheddar cheese sauce. I liked using aged cheese because the aging process deepens the flavors of the cheese and makes the taste more delicious and complex—perfect for my One-Skillet Bacon Mac and Cheese recipe!
I also added a small handful of Sargento Shreds Swiss and Gruyere cheese blend to the aged cheddar, to round out the cheese flavors and make this sauce even more melty smooth.
Once the shredded cheese is all melted in, sprinkle the top with the browned bacon. I also sprinkled on a few chopped scallions to make it extra pretty. :0) That is some ultimate “high class” comfort food right there, my friends!
And just FYI, did you know that Albertsons (and Albertsons Market) has an app with lots of coupons? (Who doesn’t have an app these days???) In fact, here’s a link to a coupon for your own bag of Sargento Selects Aged Cheddar. I love shopping at Albertsons, especially now that more and more locations offer online ordering with curbside pickup!
Give One-Skillet Bacon Mac and Cheese a try, and be sure to use Sargento Shredded Cheese’s new aged cheddar for superior flavor. As always, please rate and review this recipe below for other readers. I want to hear from you!
One-Skillet Bacon Mac and Cheese
- Total Time: 20 minutes
- Yield: 4 Servings 1x
This 20 minute One-Skillet Bacon Mac and Cheese is ultimate high-class comfort food when you use Sargento aged cheeses. A fast, easy and delicious weeknight meal.
- 4–6 ounces of bacon, chopped small
- 3 and 1/2 cups water, plus more as needed
- 1 (12 oz.) can of evaporated milk, divided
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 8 ounces of Gemelli pasta (about 2 and 1/2 cups)
- 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
- 1 teaspoon cornstarch
- 1 (6 oz.) bag Sargento Shreds Reserve Series 18-Month Aged Cheddar
- 1/2 cup of Sargento off the Block Swiss Shredded Cheese blend
- Chopped scallion (optional garnish)
- Place bacon in a cold skillet and set the heat to medium. Cook bacon, stirring occasionally, until browned and slightly crispy. Remove with a slotted spoon to cool on a paper towel lined plate or bowl.
- While the bacon cooks, add the 3 and 1/2 cups water to a large non-stick skillet set over medium high heat. Pour two tablespoons of evaporated milk in a small container, set it aside, then pour the rest into the water. Sprinkle the salt over and bring mixture to a gentle boil. Stir in gemelli pasta and cook for 10 minutes.
- Stir the Dijon and cornstarch into the 2 tablespoons reserved evaporated milk. Pour mixture into skillet with the pasta. Boil for 1 minute, then remove from heat.
- Off heat, stir in cheeses until fully melted, adding a little water if necessary to loosen the sauce if it becomes too thick. Sprinkle cooked bacon bits and chopped scallion over pasta and serve immediately.
- Prep Time: 5 minutes
- Cook Time: 15 minutes
- Category: Dinner
- Cuisine: American
- Serving Size: 1/4 recipe
- Calories: 524
- Sugar: 10.5 g
- Sodium: 1121 mg
- Fat: 23.7 g
- Saturated Fat: 10.2 g
- Carbohydrates: 52.4 g
- Fiber: 2.1 g
- Protein: 26.9 g
- Cholesterol: 68 mg