Ina Garten Mac and Cheese with Bacon

Ina Garten grown up mac and cheese is not your ordinary macaroni and cheese! It’s loaded with a rich, creamy cheese sauce that is made from 3 types of cheese! The crispy bacon mixed in adds flavor and texture to this grown up comfort food.

Ina Garten Bacon Mac and Cheese Recipe

Mac and cheese lovers of the world, unite!  This easy, cheesy dinner is easily the most indulgent mac and cheese that you’ll ever eat! Bonus: It’s FANTASTIC for a crowd!

It’s no secret that we are a huge fans of food.  We watch a few of our favorite chefs who can teach us their cooking secrets.  I learn the methods necessary to roast the world’s juiciest turkey and create a succulent stew.

Many of our friends sit down to watch episodes of Real Housewives and Grey’s Anatomy, while I watch stars like Ina Garten.  I love watching Ina create goodness in her kitchen.  She’s down to earth, elegant, and incredibly talented.

I’m a comfort food junkie, so when I saw Ina Garten’s Grown Up Mac and Cheese recipe  on a whim, I had to make it!

Ina Gartens Macaroni and Cheese has it all

Smoky crispy bacon. ???? It has 3 types of cheese to start ???? . Oh my word yes. Creamy Cheesy Cheese Sauce with so much delicious flavor and it is absolute decadence at it’s finest. This Mac and Cheese seriously HAS IT ALL.

Ina’s recipe starts with a basic bechamel sauce, kicked up with a rich blend of sharp cheddar and Gruyère cheeses.

It’s even more grown up with the addition of fresh tomatoes and homemade bread crumbs on the top.  It sounds delightful in its own right, but good tomatoes are hard to come by right now. I had to find an acceptable substitute. So we’ve adapted this recipe a little bit. In reality, we really are here for the cheese sauce.

Ina Garten Bacon Mac and Cheese

You top with breadcrumbs to create this crispy crunch crust that is just to die for. Watch the recipe video below. You’ll see what I’m talking about. This crust is something we want you to enjoy.. so…

Can This Mac and Cheese Be Made Ahead of Time or Frozen?

Truly if you are making this for the first time you want to make this the day of. You can create the sauce and add to the casserole dish with breadcrumbs the day of or even day before if need-be. I strongly recommend baking this up until you are ready to serve it though.

Seriously… you’ll understand. There is NOTHING better than freshly baked and cheesy mac and cheese.

Can we freeze it? If you’ve got leftovers from thanksgiving (although I would be surprised if you did) you can most definitely freeze this. The sauce will get a little more on the dry side when you dethaw and rebake but it is definitely doable and MOST DEFINITELY good enough to enjoy. We hate wasting food.

Ina Garten Bacon Mac and Cheese

This is not your average macaroni and cheese from a box

I’m sure that kids will enjoy a bowl of this comfort food, but it’s definitely not a taste you’ll get from a blue box.

When it’s possible, I never turn down opportunities to use bacon, and kids, this was a possible moment!

In addition to bacon, I added more cheese. I used a white cheddar and Gruyère blend, but then I took the sauce to a sophisticated level.

The third cheese into the pot is crumbled Blue Cheese, and for even more creaminess, a couple of ounces of cream cheese.  Four cheeses? Oh, yes I did!

What?  You’ve never seen a a cheese lover doing what she does best?

Ina Garten Bacon Mac and Cheese

Come on now.  You know you need to have Ina Garten grown up mac and cheese in your belly.

If you love comfort foods with cheese you’ll love these!

Ina Garten Grown Up Bacon Mac and Cheese

This mac and cheese isn't kid stuff from a blue box, but your kids will love it! It's loaded with 4 cheeses and bacon. It's baked macaroni and cheese made with grown ups in mind! Ina Garten grown up mac and cheese is not your ordinary macaroni and cheese! It's loaded with a rich, creamy cheese sauce that is made from 3 types of cheese!
4.23 from 22 votes
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes
Course Dinner, Main, Main Course
Cuisine American
Servings 8 servings
Calories 768 kcal



  • Kosher salt
  • 1 pound uncooked elbow macaroni (or small pasta shape of your choosing)
  • 32 ounces (4 cups) milk
  • 4 ounces (8 Tablespoons) unsalted butter divided
  • ½ cup all-purpose flour
  • 6 ounces Gruyère cheese grated
  • 8 ounces white cheddar cheese shredded
  • 4 ounces ounces crumbled blue cheese
  • 2 ounces cream cheese softened
  • 4 ounces crisply cooked and crumbled bacon
  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • ½ teaspoon nutmeg
  • ½ cup Panko bread crumbs


  • Heat oven to 375 degrees.
  • Bring a large pot of water to a rolling boil. Add enough salt to make the water taste “like the sea”. Add the macaroni and cook according to the directions on the package, 6 to 8 minutes. Drain well in a colander.
  • Meanwhile, heat the milk over medium heat in a small saucepan, but don’t boil it. Melt 3 ounces (6 tablespoons) of butter in a large (4-quart) pot and add the flour, stirring to create a roux.
  • Cook over low heat for 2 minutes, stirring with a whisk. Slowly whisk the hot milk into the roux and cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until thickened and smooth.
  • Turn heat to low and add all cheeses, crumbled bacon, pepper, and nutmeg. Add the cooked macaroni and stir well. Pour into a 3-quart baking dish.
  • Melt the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter, combine them with the bread crumbs, and sprinkle on the top. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, or until the sauce is bubbly and the bread crumbs are browned on the top.




Serving: 1servingCalories: 768kcalCarbohydrates: 58gProtein: 34gFat: 44gSaturated Fat: 25gCholesterol: 127mgSodium: 793mgPotassium: 454mgFiber: 2gSugar: 8gVitamin A: 1227IUCalcium: 653mgIron: 2mg
Tried this recipe? Mention @itsyummi or tag #itsyummirecipe!


  1. Droooool. I am pretty sure that bacon makes EVERYTHING better…and adding it to homemade mac and cheese…so delish!

  2. I love Ina too!! She just seems like someone I could hug and love LOL. Oh and anything with bacon in it, instant love for me!! Thanks for sharing and welcome to #SundaySupper!

    1. Tammi, I couldn’t agree more! Ina seems SO lovable! Thanks for hosting this week and for the warm #SundaySupper welcome 🙂

  3. This recipe has all the right cheeses. It´s just amazing and your pics are wonderful! Ina´s recipes just don´t dissapoint. Welcome to the group!

  4. I am afraid that mac and cheese is my ultimate weakness and this recipe just made my weakness even worse. I swear I can taste it just looking at the photo.

  5. Ina is so great at teaching us the basics of cooking. I love here q & a portion of the show. She makes everything look so easy and her recipes are easy to follow. This grown up mac and cheese looks absolutely sinful. I know how good it is because I’ve made it myself too. 🙂

  6. I am so honored that you joined us Around the Family Table for #SundaySupper this week. I love this recipe and can’t wait to try it. I bet my family will love!

  7. For the love of CHEESE! I’m drooling! Ina always impresses me with her recipes. I’m so getting her cookbook this christmas. Oh, I have never watched Greys Anatomy or any of the Housewives for that matter. LOL! Welcome to #SundaySupper!

    1. I agree, Lyn… I love Ina to pieces and I’ve never been disappointed with any of her recipes. Also, I’m thrilled to know that I’m not the only woman in the universe who’s never seen one of those shows! 🙂

  8. White cheddar, Gruyère and cream cheese? Oh my! I think I am in love!! Love this!! 🙂 Looks fabulous!

    1. Hi Eileen,
      The mac and cheese recipe as written won’t work very well being cooked in a slow cooker because of the flour that’s used. When you slow cook foods with flour, they can get very gummy. That being said, you have two options that I can think of. You could make the mac and cheese on the stove top and just reheat it on low heat in the slow cooker, OR you could try to adapt my recipe for the slow cooker, by using this slow cooker mac and cheese recipe:
      Good luck and Merry Christmas!

  9. I love Ina too!! She just seems like someone I could hug and love LOL. Oh and anything with bacon in it, instant love for me. Thank you for sharing this information to us

  10. 5 stars
    So I’m making this for a Friendsgiving can I make the Mac and cheese but do the bake part there and havenit turn out ok?

    1. You sure can, Heather! I would put the mac and cheese in the oven in a covered casserole on 350 F for the first 20 minutes, then add the topping and finish it off uncovered. Happy Friendsgiving! 🙂

4.23 from 22 votes (20 ratings without comment)

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