Last Wednesday, Little Jenny made a box of macaroni and cheese and I have been craving it like a mad person ever since. So this past weekend, since it was ugly out and I had nothing to do, I thought why not make Mac & Cheese, but my style? So I gathered my ingredients which was Hot Habanero Jack Cheese, Qunioa Elbow noodles and Applegate All Natural Bacon. I made my recipe and low and behold one of the best Mac & Cheese dishes I ever had. If you like bacon and a kick of heat this is the Mac & Cheese for you. It’s amazing, and my Husband had no clue it was made with quinoa pasta and low-calorie bacon. Just check out my yummy dish!
This Mac & Cheese, is creamy, spicy, a tad salty and the bacon, ohhhhh yeah! Bacon! I am just so excited to share this with you. After I made my recipe I calculated the calories and was a tad afraid, but 1 cup was only 258 calories which is pretty darn good considering I used full fat Pepper Jack cheese. Score! I am so happy!
For the noodles, I had a box of Quinoa Pasta by Ancient Harvest. The pasta is a little bit fatter in size than traditional elbow noodles, but I used only 3 cups, which is equivalent to 4 cups regular noodles. My Husband had no idea it was quinoa. I have told so many people to try quinoa pasta and those who did, never turn back. It’s higher in fiber, more filling and it’s also gluten-free and you can find it in the blue box in the pasta aisle or the gluten-free aisle of your grocery store.
For the bacon I used Applegate All Natural Good Morning Bacon. It’s a new product on the market and will not disappoint bacon lovers. It’s made from the pork belly of the pig and is 60%less fat than regular bacon. Oh and get this, only 20 calories a slice. Again, Husband had no clue it was fewer calories than traditional bacon. Trust me, check it out. Matter in fact you can go to Applegate and get a coupon.
For the cheese I used Tillamook Hot Habanero Jack Cheese. I love spicy cheese and this cheese is amazing and melts like a dream. If you do not like a lot of heat, but some, I recommend just using pepper jack cheese or regular cheddar cheese.
- 3 cups uncooked Quinoa elbow macaroni or 4 cups regular elbow noodles
- 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour (you can use gluten free flour)
- 1 tsp. salt
- ¼ tsp. black pepper
- 2 cups fat-free milk
- 2 tbsp (1 ounce) ⅓-less-fat cream cheese, softened
- 1¼ cups (5 ounces) shredded Hot Habanero Jack Cheese
- 6 slices Applegate Good Morning Bacon, cooked, crumbled
- Cook noodles according to directions on package. Once cooked, drain, rinse with cold water, set aside.
- While noodles are cooking, start the cheese sauce. In a large pot add flour, salt and pepper, stir in milk. Drop in cream cheese a teaspoon at a time and whisk until melted, bring to a boil. Reduce heat and let it simmer for 2 minutes. Stir in habanero jack cheese, until melted. Add cooked noodles to cheese sauce and mix until combined. Stir in bacon.
Bacon tip: While the water was boiling for the noodles, I cooked my bacon. I heat the pan on high, add the bacon and turn the heat to medium low. I flip the bacon about every minutes until fully cooked. Add to a paper towel to drain the fat.
I have to admit this is comfort food at its finest. I loved this dish and so did my family. I find it amazing that you can make dishes like this and make them better for you. I truly couldn’t get over how it tasted and my Husband out of all people loved the bacon and the quinoa pasta. Remember he is the guy that is afraid of quinoa.
Have a great week. I am on my way to Philadelphia. Stay tuned on Instagram for some pic.