Carbonara Mac and Cheese is simply the things that dreams are made of. Pasta, cheese, and bacon. Need I say more? This pasta is creamy, cheesy and one of the best mashups of some of my favorite comfort foods. Shell pasta is doused in a rich and creamy carbonara style sauce and then finished off with crispy bacon and more cheese. It's the perfect addition to your Sunday dinner feast or a fun weeknight dinner with the family.
What is Carbonara?
Carbonara is one of my ABSOLUTE favorite pasta dishes. Carbonara is a rich Italian pasta dish that consists of a sauce made from egg and cheese. There is usually some sort of pork added to it, such as bacon or pancetta, and it is seasoned with black pepper. This dish uses simple ingredients, but it packs a TON of flavor. Because the sauce with made with both eggs and cheese, it's decadent and extra creamy.
Carbonara Mac and Cheese
Way back when I was in college and living in Arizona, I remember going to a restaurant that served a carbonara style macaroni and cheese. It was soooo good and I have always wanted to re-create it. This mac and cheese is made with shell style noodles. Not the mini ones, but medium sized ones. It's perfect for mac and cheese because they can hold all of the yummy sauce so well. Thick cut bacon is rendered down until crispy and then some of the bacon fat is used to make the sauce, along with flour, milk, cheese and egg. I season my sauce with nutmeg, salt and pepper and mix it with the cooked shells. Then, add that crispy bacon back along with some more cheese and voila! The best Carbonara Mac and Cheese you have ever tasted.
Tips for Making Carbonara Mac and Cheese
There are a couple of things I want to point out that will help make this dish a breeze:
- When cooking your bacon pieces, make sure you remove them after they just start to look crispy. There will be some carry over cooking and if you wait until they are too crispy, they will burn.
- Make sure you remove the sauce from the heat while you temper in the eggs so that the sauce doesn't burn.
- Make sure you temper the eggs into the sauce! Tempering the eggs into the sauce will allow them to come up in temperature slowly so they do not scramble. This is done by simply taking a small amount of the sauce (¼ cup should do) and mixing it thoroughly into the beaten eggs. Then, slowly add the eggs mixture back into the sauce while mixing continuously so it heats gently. Once it is mixed in completely, continue to whisk it while heating the sauce on low. This will make sure the eggs are cooked, but done slowly enough so they don't scramble and the sauce remains creamy.
Quick and Easy Comfort Food Recipes
I hope you enjoy this Carbonara Mac and Cheese as much as our family does. For more quick and easy comfort food recipes, try some of these other recipes:
Lastly, If you make this Carbonara Mac and Cheese, please be sure to leave a comment and give it a rating. I love to hear from each and every one of you! Don’t forget to tag me on Instagram as well, if you make any of my recipes. It makes my day to see all of your photos of the food you have made.