Loaded Mac and Cheese recipe – the ultimate comfort food with crispy bacon and sour cream, garnished with green onions. Super creamy, ultra cheesy – worth every indulgent bite.

gray bowl with loaded mac and cheese garnished with bacon and sliced green onions

This creamy stovetop Mac and Cheese is an easy dinner recipe that’ll win over even the picky eaters we all know and love. Enjoy as a main dish or side that goes with almost anything.

Ready in under 30 minutes this the BEST Loaded Mac and Cheese I’ve ever made.

gray bowl with loaded mac and cheese garnished with bacon and sliced green onions

As far as family dinners go, it’s hard to please everyone. This recipe may be the exception. It’s simple, hearty and whips up quickly with basic grocery store ingredients.

WHAT’S needed for this recipe?

  • elbow macaroni
  • butter
  • all purpose flour
  • half and half OR whole milk OR 2% milk (skim not recommended)
  • salt and pepper
  • sharp cheddar cheese freshly shredded
  • sour cream – full fat
  • bacon cooked to crisp and diced OR packaged bacon bits
  • sliced green onions

HOW TO MAKE LOADED MAC AND CHEESE:

Shred the cheese (I like using a box grater) then set it aside.

Bring a large pot of water to a boil then add a generous pinch of salt. This helps season every layer of this dish. Cook macaroni according to the package directions for al dente then drain and set aside.

Using the same pot melt butter over medium heat. Sprinkle the flour over the top stirring until smooth then cook 1 minute.

Gradually add the milk a little at a time, blending before adding more then season with salt and pepper.

Bring to a boil then reduce the heat to medium low and cook 1 minute whisking constantly as the sauce starts to thicken.

Reduce the heat to low then add the grated cheese a handful at a time, letting the cheese melt before adding more. Stir a couple minutes until the sauce is smooth and velvety.

Fold in the sour cream and the drained macaroni then add half of the bacon. Garnish with the remaining bacon and sliced green onions then serve right away.

TIPS FOR THE BEST MAC AND CHEESE:

  • Grate the cheese yourself (can be done a day ahead). Packaged grated cheese contains additives that prevent it from clumping and the cheese sauce won’t be as creamy.
  • The bacon can also be cooked and refrigerated a day ahead of time. Warm it in the micro for a few seconds before adding to this dish to help re-crisp it.
  • Precooked bacon or bacon bits can also be used in this recipe.

overhead view gray bowl with loaded mac and cheese garnished with bacon and green onions

WHAT’S THE BEST CHEESE to use?

Whether you’re making the best cheese sauce for veggies, fries or mac and cheese, you can’t go wrong with classic flavors like Sharp Cheddar, White Cheddar Cheese or Monterey Jack Cheese.

Other options include:

  • American cheese
  • Gouda
  • Gruyere
  • Pepper Jack cheese (if you want to bring the heat)
  • Or a blend of one of the above cheeses along with mozzarella cheese for extra gooey cheesiness.

LOOKING FOR MORE MAC AND CHEESE RECIPES?

Macaroni and cheese may just be the perfect comfort food. There are so many varieties – here are a few of my favorite recipes to try next time:

Baked Macaroni and Cheese – creamy mac and cheese with buttery bread crumbs over the whole thing baked until golden brown.

Buffalo Mac and Cheese – spicy buffalo ranch flavored 3-cheese gooey mac and cheese. Cooks all in one pot. A delicious meal and a family favorite in my house

Pesto Mac and Cheese with Chicken – bites of chicken and pasta in a creamy herby pesto cheese sauce. Cooks completely in one skillet

This Loaded Mac and Cheese is a delicious comfort food recipe – enjoy!

pinterest pin showing loaded mac and cheese

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overhead view gray bowl with loaded mac and cheese garnished with bacon and green onions

Loaded Mac and Cheese Recipe

The ultimate comfort food - Loaded Mac and Cheese with crispy bacon, sour cream and green onions. Super creamy, ultra cheesy - worth every indulgent bite.
5 from 2 votes
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Course Main Course, Side Dish
Cuisine American
Servings 4
Calories

Ingredients
  

  • 1 1/2 cups elbow macaroni
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 2 tablespoons all purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 cups half and half may sub whole or 2% milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt or to taste
  • small pinch black pepper or to taste
  • 8 ounces sharp cheddar cheese freshly grated
  • 1/2 cup sour cream full fat
  • 4-5 strips bacon cooked to crisp (or sub packaged bacon bits)
  • 2 whole green onions thinly sliced

Instructions
 

  • Shred the cheese (I like using a box grater) then set it aside.
  • Bring a large pot of water to a boil then add a generous pinch of salt. Cook macaroni according to the package directions for al dente then drain and set aside.
  • Using the same pot melt butter over medium heat. Sprinkle the flour over the top stirring until smooth then cook 1 minute.
  • Gradually add the milk a little at a time, blending before adding more then season with salt and pepper.
  • Bring to a boil then reduce the heat to medium low and cook 1 minute whisking constantly as the sauce starts to thicken.
  • Reduce the heat to low then add the grated cheese a handful at a time, letting the cheese melt before adding more. Stir a couple minutes until the sauce is smooth and velvety.
  • Fold in the sour cream and the drained macaroni then add half of the diced bacon. Garnish with the remaining bacon and sliced green onions then serve right away.
Keyword mac and cheese, loaded mac and cheese, homemade mac and cheese, stovetop mac and cheese
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4 Comments

  1. I must say this looks delicious Bernie! But when you load anything up with that amount of cheese and bacon it’s going to be delicious. Great recipe ๐Ÿ™‚