Bacon Broccoli Mac and Cheese

Bacon broccoli mac and cheese loaded with broccoli and topped with crispy bacon… this cheesy comfort food is ready to rock your face off! My family goes nuts over this easy macaroni and cheese casserole!

Bacon Broccoli Mac and Cheese

For a food blogger, I’m a bit hopeless. No matter how hard I try to be inventive for you guys, I usually wind up making the same few meals over and over again. It varies season to season, but  it’s essentially a lot of the same song and dance. When we buy broccoli, for instance, it’s usually with a set purpose in mind: as a dunker for ginger dressing and hummus, as the star of my soup, and to pimp my pizza.

Today I got sassy. It’s been far too long since I’ve made mac and cheese and the craving hit me like a mac truck.

Well, technically a mack truck full of mac, but in my book that makes it a mac truck.

Tomatoes tomahhhhtoes.

Ooey gooey homemade mac and cheese has met it’s match!

Bacon Broccoli Mac and Cheese

The second the pairing hopped into my head there was no stopping it. It had to be done. Bacon broccoli mac and cheese needed to exist on my plate… and in my face!

It may be Spring but gosh darn it, it’s chilly here in NC and comfort food is on the menu! With side salad of course, because, veggies.

Let’s talk about mac and cheese. Lets talk about you and me. Let’s talk about all the broccoli and the bacon that may be…

Pretend you didn’t see that. All cheesiness aside, you need more cheese in your life. Make this, stat.

Bacon Broccoli Mac and Cheese

Bacon Broccoli Mac and Cheese

Loaded with gorgeous green broccoli and topped with crispy bacon, this cheesy comfort food is ready to rock your face off. My family goes bonkers over this bacon broccoli mac and cheese!
4.95 from 18 votes
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Bacon Broccoli Mac and Cheese
Prep Time: 12 minutes
Cook Time: 23 minutes
Total Time: 35 minutes
Servings: 4 servings
Author: Jenn Laughlin - Peas and Crayons


  • 3-4  slices cooked bacon
  • 5-6 oz freshly grated cheddar cheese (see notes)
  • 3 cups broccoli florets (steamed or blanched)
  • 8 oz dry pasta
  • ¼ cup  unsalted butter
  • 1/4  cup all purpose flour
  • 2 cups whole milk (room temperature or warmed)
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • ¼ tsp  garlic powder
  • 1/8  tsp black pepper
  • additional salt and pepper to taste, if desired


  • Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees F.
  • Measure out all your ingredients, chop your broccoli, and grate your cheese.
  • Boil pasta per package instructions (times will vary a smidge by brand/shape) until al dente. Drain and set aside one done.
  • While the pasta cooks, start your sauce and broccoli.
  • Cook broccoli via your favorite method. I'm a big fan of quickly blanching broccoli in boiling hot water until the florets turn bright green and tender.
  • For the sauce, melt 1/2 stick of butter (1/4 cup) over medium heat.
  • Add flour and whisk constantly while the flour cooks off into a roux, approx. 3 minutes. 
  • Season with garlic powder, salt, and pepper, to taste.
  • Slowly pour in your room temperature milk, whisking constantly until smooth and fully incorporated. Remove from heat. Sauce will thicken  as it rests.
  • Add pasta and broccoli florets to a 9-inch baking dish.
  • Sprinkle 5-6 ounces of freshly grated cheese on top of the pasta.
  • Pour your cream sauce over the noodles and cheese. Use a rubber spatula to fold it all together. Feel free to top with a little extra cheese if you'd like, then top with bacon.
  • Bake on center rack at 350 F for 20 minutes, until hot and bubbly.


CRAZY FOR CHEESE? You can add a little extra on top before baking to amp up the cheese-factor even further! I made mine with a mixture of sharp white cheddar and medium cheddar cheese but love adding gouda to my mac and cheese as well. Gouda and cheddar are amatch made in heaven! I highly suggest using a good quality brick or wedge cheese and grating it yourself - the flavor and texture will be spot-on this way!
Nutrition Facts below are estimated using an online recipe nutrition calculator. Adjust as needed and enjoy!


Calories: 601kcal, Carbohydrates: 38g, Protein: 24g, Fat: 31g, Saturated Fat: 18g, Cholesterol: 87mg, Potassium: 583mg, Fiber: 4g, Sugar: 11g, Vitamin A: 1783IU, Vitamin C: 62mg, Calcium: 451mg, Iron: 3mg

My favorite method for cooking bacon is to bake it vs frying. Though it can also be microwaved if you need it in a hurry or fry bacon in a skillet if preferred. In case you want to try the oven method, here’s how I incorporate baked bacon into this recipe:

easy oven baked bacon

  1. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper and top with bacon.
  2. Set oven to 400 degrees F and place on center rack.
  3. Bake for 16-20 minutes depending on bacon thickness. That’s it!
  4. After the bacon is done, decrease oven temp to 350 F for the mac and cheese to bake in.

Bacon Broccoli Mac and Cheese

I couldn’t resist a good action shot. Get saucy!

so. . . how was it?!

So. Flipping. Good. I want to swim in it.

Is that possible? No? Fine, I’ll settle for having this on repeat year-round. This compromise thing is easy! Combining sinfully delicious melty mac and cheese with crispy bacon may be naughty but adding broccoli makes it oh-so-nice.

I’m pretty sure the whole dish is classified as a veggie now. It’s science.

Don’t quote me on that. Just smile, nod, and grab your fork!

It’s easy, cheesy, and oh so dreamy! I hope you love this bacon broccoli mac and cheese as much as we do!

spoiler alert: that’s a LOT!

I mean, can you blame me? Cheese is life.

That should say broccoli. Broccoli is life! Ok that’s a stretch, but man has this gorgeous green veggie got it GOOD!

Bacon Broccoli Macaroni and Cheese :: the cheesiest!

:: pin it for later ::

If you get a chance to try this bacon broccoli mac and cheese let me know!

You can leave me a comment here (LOVE checking those daily!) or tag @PEASandCRAYONS #PEASANDCRAYONS on Instagram so I can happy dance over your creations! I can’t wait to see what you whip up!

Hungry for more? Try my BLT Pimento Cheese Sandwich next!

Jenn Laughlin Headshot Photo - About the Author
About The Author:

Jenn Laughlin

Jenn Laughlin created Peas and Crayons in 2009 after graduating with B.S. in Dietetics from Florida State University while working as a Nutrition Educator for WIC. The goal was simple: create and share delicious tested and perfected recipes with vegetables as the star!

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Recipe Rating

Questions & Reviews

  1. This is my FAVOURITE recipe for Mac and cheese. I’ve been making this since 2016 when I was 17 and in university, it’s been a hit every time I make it! Thank you so much for sharing this!

    1. You seriously just made my day! Thank you! I’m so honored this recipe has become a regular in your kitchen.

  2. 4 stars
    This has turned out so delicious the two times I’ve made it! BUT it takes a bit of prep and SO many dishes. A pot for broccoli, a pan for bacon, a pot for noodles, a pot for sauce, and a few other things. Would love to find a way to make this with less dishes!

    1. I’m so glad you’ve been loving the recipe! There are totally some small changes that can be made to use less dishes. You can coarsely chop the bacon and sauté in the pot until crispy, transfer the bacon to a paper towel to drain and then quickly wipe out that same pot and add the water for the noodles to boil in. Instead of cooking the broccoli in a separate pot it can be thrown in within the last few min of the pasta cooking. I like to do the sauce on it’s own for this recipe but I also have a recipe where you can make the sauce in the same pot as the noodles. It’s a little different than the sauce here but still super tasty!

    1. Hi Sharon! I’ve never frozen macaroni and cheese before because cheese sauces can be finicky. When I freeze spaghetti sauce based pasta dishes I freeze one mixed then thaw and bake from frozen.

  3. I tried making this tonight and followed everything exactly, except my sauce wasn’t sauce at all – it was basically pasta sitting in milk when it came out of the oven. Am I missing something? Should cheese be added to the sauce to thicken it, like in a typical macaroni and cheese recipe? Thanks for your help!

    1. Hi Julia! The sauce should be super thick and creamy, like a béchamel sauce. It sounds like it separated in the oven and I’m here to troubleshoot if you’d like! Were any low fat or fat-free dairy products used? Was the sauce thick when you poured it over the pasta or was it runny?

  4. 5 stars
    Ridiculous! I was about to order a pizza and then read this on your blog.

    Inspired! A treat for certain but wow!

    1. Hi Nadine! I’ve never made pasta in the slow cooker so I’m not sure. I know with soups the crockpot can curdle dairy, so I’d probably stick to the conventional method for this one.

  5. 5 stars
    This is so good. I add the broccoli to the pasta the last couple of minutes of cooking time and then just drain them together. I also pan fry the bacon and use the drippings for half of the butter.

    1. Hi Claudia! You can use any pasta you’d like. I’ve made this one with both Cavatappi and Fusilli. The one in the photo is Fusilli that has been broken in fourths so it’s bite/fork sized. I don’t have recipe videos yet as I haven’t quite figured out how to make them, lol!

  6. 5 stars
    Made it, loved it. We’ve had it twice already. I’ve been making a homemade broccoli mac & cheese for years, but this is a different recipe altogether & now we have 2 broccoli mac & cheese recipes that we love!! Thanks!

  7. 5 stars
    This dish was amazing! A bit longer prep time than anticipated, but that’s probably because I’m not a great multi-tasker when cooking!! My kiddos loved it….including the broccoli! 🙂 Thanks for sharing this recipe!!

    1. So glad your family loved it, Michelle! Hooray for kiddos eating broccoli – always a win in my book when I can get green things in my kiddos face at mealtime 🙂 Thanks for the review Michelle!

  8. I was wondering if you are able to add chicken into this ? It shouldn’t mess with be time or would it ? Since everything is cooked already. Let me knooooow 🙂

    1. Hey Naylea! If it’s pre-cooked and not added cold from the fridge then it won’t add anything to the bake time at all — it’ll be a fabulous (and filling!) addition! I can’t wait to hear all about it! <3

  9. Hi! I’m hoping to make this tomorrow, but meanwhile, I have a question. When you cook the bacon in the oven, does it splatter?

    1. Hey Rebecca! I’m so exciting you’re trying it! The bacon does spritz/splatter little bit yes, but I find that it’s super worth it for how easy it is. The splatter will also vary based on the fat contend of the cut of bacon. My new oven runs hot so I have perfectly crispy bacon in 17-18 minutes with zero effort and I love that. I find that I’ll need to clean the oven once every 6 months or so from all the bacon baking (my toddler is a bacon fiend!) but part of that may be the excessive pizza making we do in there as well, haha! For bacon crumbles like this you can also chop the bacon up into little pieces and then fry those up and it will cook much quicker than manually flipping full pieces of bacon on a frying pan.

  10. 5 stars
    I made this for my women’s group last night, and their eyes grew ten times. There were leftovers for my kids and they finished it in no time flat. I used Gruyere, cheddar, and mozzarella cheeses. I added cayenne pepper to the list of seasonings. I used Jenn’s tip to add panko. I mixed together panko bread crumbs, freshly grated Parmesan cheese, basil flakes, garlic powder, pepper, and sprinkled all that on top of the bacon. This dish was the bomb! It’s definitely a keeper. Thanks Jenn!

    1. I’m so thrilled it was a hit! Thank you for the kind and rave review! Next time you’ll save me a bowl, right? 😉 xoxo

  11. 5 stars
    Love this recipe, but where do you add in the garlic powder?! I added mine to the sauce. Maybe I missed this in the steps somewhere?!

    1. Well I’m a goober! It’s to be added to the sauce with the salt and pepper (you were right on the money, lol) and my crazy butt completely left it out of the seasoning step somehow! #facepalm I just updated the steps + thanks so much for pointing that out Haley! 🙂 I’m so glad you loved it! <3

    1. Hi Anne! You can use any pasta you’d like but I’ve made this one with Cavatappi and Fusilli. The one in the photo is Fusilli that has been broken in fourths so it’s bite sized 🙂 Hope you adore the recipe as much as we do! <3

  12. 5 stars
    Oh-my-gosh, you had me at the word bacon. You’ve taken the lowly mac and cheese, and turned it into something spectacular! I found you on Pinworthy Projects and would like to invite you to share this recipe with us at our Friday Frenzy party too.

  13. I think a version with GF pasta and turkey bacon is in order…any tips on which GF pasta works best in casseroles like this? (Rice vs. quinoa?)

    1. I’m a really big fan of quinoa pasta so that one has my vote! Though totally use your favorite! The key is to cook the pasta al-dente since it will cook a little more once in the oven. Hope you adore it, Alyssa!

  14. Oh yum! This looks great. I made Ethan some mac n’ cheese this weekend, but he snubbed it… probably my fault for adding kale. If only I’d had bacon… 😉

  15. oh man this looks so good….so much for a focaccia for lunch in abit, I want pasta. PASTA. Well, anything doused in cheese.

  16. Ever since I saw this on IG this morning I have been craving it!!! Alas, my craving will have to wait until the weekend to be satisfied because I ain’t got no broccoli!!! Ugh. Thank God tomorrow is my grocery shopping day.

  17. Mac & Cheese has been on my mind lately. Mainly because I can’t remember the last time I made or ate it. That’s a travesty and needs to change stat. Back in my bacon days, I used to make a mac with alpine lace swiss, green onions and bacon. The combo was fantastic, although I am absolutely digging this one too. Broccoli for the win.