Bacon Mac and Cheese Waffles turn leftover macaroni and cheese into crispy, golden brown mac and cheese that you can hold in your hand! With bacon, scallions and garlic, this homemade mac and cheese recipe is over-the-top flavorful!
Topped to your hearts content mac and cheese bites make a great lunch or snack or serve with breakfast meats, fresh fruit, and eggs as a the star of a fun brunch spread; perfect for parties and early morning kickoffs.
Fun brunch idea
This post has been sponsored by Smithfield®. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
In big cities like NYC and Las Vegas you can find mac and cheese waffles at restaurants all over near you served as a mac and cheese waffle sandwich or mac and cheese waffle burgers, or even Nashville hot chicken topped mac and cheese waffles.
Oh my yum.
And these easy Bacon Mac and Cheese Waffles are, I’d argue, equally delicious.
And easily made at home using a waffle iron and leftover homemade mac and cheese. BACON mac and cheese that is.
Simply make a super-cheesy, super-bacony creamy stovetop mac and cheese with rendered bacon grease in the cheese sauce and crumbled thick cut Smithfield bacon stirred in for extra bacon flavor.
Enjoy it then spread the leftovers in a thin layer on a baking sheet.
When cool cut with a small biscuit cutter, pop into a hot waffle iron and press into flat, crispy bacon mac and cheese waffles. Then top and serve with crumbled bacon, sour cream, scallions, hot sauce and whatever else you’d like!
- Bacon – or make it a super meat-lovers and add a combo of chicken, lobster, crab, sausage and/or ham with the bacon.
- Elbow macaroni
- Cheddar cheese and mozzarella cheese – or mix in cream cheese to make three cheese mac and cheese . Or choose any other cheese like goat cheese, Parmesan, Gouda or smoked cheddar.
- All purpose flour
- Whole milk – or other milk.
- Garlic –
- Scallions – or green onions, sliced, white and greens separated
- Dijon mustard – adds a little flavor
- Nutmeg – optional, adds a nice contrast to the creamy sauce
- Optional – add vegetables like spinach, mushrooms, jalapenos, broccoli, etc.
Step by step instructions
- Chop and brown bacon. Chilled bacon cuts the most easily and cleanly.
- Once browned, turn off heat and remove bacon to drain on paper towel lined plate. Reserve the bacon grease.
- Return pan to heat to make creamy bacon cheddar sauce. Warm a mixture of bacon grease and butter with garlic, and scallion whites until frothy and aromatic.
- Sprinkle over flour and stir to slightly cook the flour. Whisk in milk until smooth and bubbly then remove from heat and stir in cheese seasoning to taste with salt, pepper and nutmeg.
- Meanwhile, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and cook elbow macaroni until al dente. Drain but do not rinse.
- Stir cooked pasta into cheese sauce until evenly coated in a large stockpot or mixing bowl. Then stir in scallion greens, bacon bits and more shredded cheddar cheese.
- Spread in an even layer on parchment paper lined baking sheet and chill until firm, at least three hours. Or, make a double batch of mac and cheese and enjoy half while refrigerating other half for waffles.
- When ready to serve preheated waffle iron and use a biscuit cutter, cookie cutter or small bowl of your choice to slice rounds of chilled bacon mac and cheese.
- Place, one at a time, in the middle of a preheated waffle iron and cook until crispy.
- Keep warm in a low oven or serve immediately.
- Top as desired.
How to serve
To turn Mac and Cheese Waffles into a Mac and Cheese Waffle Bar simply place out an assortment of toppings and allow diners to top their waffle bites however they desire!
Find everything to set up a fun, cheesy mac and cheese waffle bar waffle buffet. Perfect for feeding a crowd at brunch, lunch, dinner or game day!
- Fresh fruit – berries and tropical fruit like papaya, fresh coconut, and kiwi.
- Fresh vegetables – diced tomatoes, fresh herbs (cilantro, basil, chives and/or dill), arugula, chives, scallions, etc.
- Breakfast meats – bacon, sausage, ham, smoked salmon, etc
- Eggs – sliced hard boiled eggs, soft boiled with egg cups, baked, etc.
- Sauces – hot sauce, sausage gravy, chimichurri, pico de gallo or other salsa, guacamole, toum creamy garlic sauce, sour cream, etc.
- Other carbs – bagels, flatbreads, biscuits, cornbread, etc.
- Beverages – orange juice, coffee, bloody marys, coffee, etc.
- 1 pound bacon chopped into 2″ pieces
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
- ¼ cup all purpose flour
- 3 cups whole milk room temperature
- 2 cloves garlic crushed
- 3 medium scallions sliced, whites and greens separated
- 4 cups shredded cheddar cheese
- 2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
- ½ teaspoon dijon mustard
- 1 pinch dried nutmeg
- 2 splashes hot sauce or more, to taste
- 1 pound elbow macaroni
- salt and pepper to taste
- Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat and cook pasta al dente according to package instructions, drain but do not rinse. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.
- In large skillet or saucepan over medium high cook chopped bacon until browned and crispy. Drain, reserving 3 tablespoons bacon grease, and remove to paper towel to drain.
- Add butter to reserved grease in pan and heat over medium heat until melted. Add garlic and scallion whites and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Then whisk in flour and cook until pale golden and nutty, scraping up the browned bits of bacon off the bottom.
- Slowly whisk in milk and bring to a simmer. Stir in Dijon mustard and a few dashes of hot sauce then add 3 cups cheddar and 1 cup mozzarella. Stir until smooth then remove from heat and season with nutmeg, salt and pepper.
- Pour bacon cheddar cheese sauce over drained al dente elbow macaroni and gently toss to coat. then stir in crispy bacon, scallion greens and remaining grated sharp cheddar and mozzarella cheese. Spread evenly over parchment-lined baking sheet and refrigerate at least 3 hours, ideally overnight.
- When ready to serve, preheat oven to 200 degrees Fahrenheit and waffle iron to highest setting. Cut chilled mac and cheese ‘sheet’ into rounds with a small biscuit cutter then place, one at a time, into the center of preheated waffle maker and cook until crispy and easily releases from iron, about 2 minutes. Keep warm on a baking rack in warm oven until all are cooked.
- Top as desired and serve.