Bacon and Onion Mac and Cheese

Bacon and Onion Mac and Cheese served on a blue camping plate with a green spoon and ready to eat.

Nothing is worse than a boring mac and cheese. The simple addition of bacon and onions creates a rich flavor that will have kids and adults coming back for more.

First developed for a mac and cheese competition (second place) it has been a family favorite ever since. This dish is classic comfort food, with a smoky twist and a super-easy cheese sauce. 

There are lots of variations you can try with the cheese combinations for this. Personally, we always use a self-made hot-smoked homemade cheese but sharp cheddar and creamy mozzarella also create great results.

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Bacon and onion mac and cheese simmering in a pan over a camp gas stove.
This bacon and onion mac and cheese can be made just as easily over a gas stove as it can in a Dutch oven over the fire.
Close up of Mac and Cheese served on a blue camp plate.
The bacon, onions, pasta, and creamy cheese sauce combine to create this tasty dish.
Aerial view of bacon and onion mac and cheese on a blue plate with a green spoon ready to be eaten.
Bacon and Onion Mac and Cheese is ready to be enjoyed while camping as a main dish.
Bacon and Onion Mac and Cheese served on a blue camping plate with a green spoon and ready to eat.
Bacon and Onion Mac and Cheese is so good it can be served as a main, but also makes a great side dish.

Bacon and Onion Mac and Cheese Recipe

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Bacon and Onion Mac and Cheese served on a blue camping plate with a green spoon and ready to eat.
Nothing is worse than a boring mac and cheese. The simple addition of bacon and onions create a rich flavor that will have kids and adults coming back for more.
Preparation 15 minutes
Cook 25 minutes
Ready in 40 minutes
Servings 4 Servings
CourseLunch
InfluenceGlobal
DifficultySeasoned
MethodSimmer

Ingredients

  • 2 cups macaroni
  • 6 slices bacon diced
  • 1/2 yellow onion finely diced
  • 4 cups full-fat milk
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch (cornflour)
  • 18 ounces shredded smoked cheddar cheese

Equipment

  • pot
  • 10 inch Dutch oven

Directions

  • Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add the macaroni and cook until it is al dente. Drain and put aside.
  • In a 10-inch Dutch oven over medium heat slowly cook the diced bacon. When the fat starts to render add the finely diced onions.
  • Tip about a ½ cup of milk into a cup. Add the remaining milk to the Dutch oven with the bacon and onions, then heat until almost boiling.
  • While the milk is heating whisk the cornstarch into the ½ cup of milk.
  • When the milk is almost boiling add the cornstarch slurry and stir until it starts boiling, this will thicken the milk making a white sauce.
  • Add the grated smoked cheese and stir into the white sauce while it is simmering until all the cheese has melted, creating a bechamel sauce.
  • Stir through the cooked macaroni and serve immediately.

Nutritional Information

Calories: 1020kcalCarbohydrates: 59gProtein: 49gFat: 65gSaturated Fat: 34gPolyunsaturated Fat: 4gMonounsaturated Fat: 17gTrans Fat: 1gCholesterol: 179mgSodium: 1150mgPotassium: 667mgFiber: 2gSugar: 14gVitamin A: 1686IUVitamin C: 1mgCalcium: 1218mgIron: 1mg

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Portrait Photo of Saffron Hodgson cooking on a Camp Stove with a campfire in the background

About Saffron Hodgson

Outdoor cooking has been Saffron’s passion since she was young, often choosing to go camping and cook hearty meals over fire rather than stay inside, watch TV, and eat take-out. Today she is the driving force of Bush Cooking bringing the skills of cooking outdoors to thousands of people.

Learn more about Saffron Hodgson
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