Friday night we went to a dinner/party for my husband's work. It was a family friendly casual affair with giant aluminum pans filled with home-cooked (catered) favorites like macaroni and cheese, chicken tenders, green beans, and mashed potatoes. Upon leaving this super fun work/family outing (which included a full-size indoor basketball court where I lost a game or two of PIG), we were offered a giant pan of mac & cheese. Up for the challenge, I figured I could do something with it and came up with this delicious loaded macaroni and cheese. To be honest, it was a LOT of macaroni, more than we could use so I shared with a friend when her son came over to play and still had to freeze some.
This is one of those "you don't really need a recipe" kind of recipes. Simply mix in your favorite flavors and bake at 350 degrees for about 30 minutes. You end up with this amazing mac & cheese casserole that is good enough for company, a potluck or even the super bowl.
If you're not into macaroni, I think a loaded cauliflower casserole would be amazing. I am going to try it sometime and will let you know how it goes:)
You will need a big pot of macaroni and cheese to start. I recommend homemade style over the box. If you are trying to throw this together quickly, you could always purchase prepared macaroni and cheese in the deli or the prepared refrigerated foods section of your grocery store. Don't use a cold macaroni salad sold with potato salad. It will likely be seasoned with a vinegar type of dressing. You can also make some macaroni and cheese ahead and refrigerate for a day or two until making the casserole.
Several cups Macaroni and Cheese, depending on how much you make (I probably used 6-8 C.)
1 lb. bacon
1/2 onion, diced
1 clove garlic, minced
Large handful fresh spinach leaves
2-3 cups shredded cheese (depending on how much you make and how cheesy you want it, I used mexican and parmesan cheese)
2 T. butter, optional
Salt and pepper
1. Spray a large casserole dish with cooking spray and preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
2. Crisp all but 3 slices of bacon, crumble and set aside to top casserole.
3.. Over medium heat, saute 3 slices bacon, chopped up with onion and garlic. Cook until bacon is crisp and onion is tender. If needed add butter or extra bacon grease from the previous crisping to the skillet. My bacon didn't produce enough grease to saute the onion so I added butter.
4. Remove bacon and onions from skillet, leaving bacon grease in the skillet and saute spinach to wilt.
5. In a large bowl, mix macaroni with bacon/onion mixture, wilted spinach, shredded cheese saving some to top casserole, and salt and pepper to taste.
6. Scoop mixture into prepared casserole dish. Top with extra cheese and extra crumbled bacon.
7. Bake at 350 for about 30 minutes until hot and cheese is melted.
Welcome to Home Ec @ Home
Hi, I'm Faith, a former Family and Consumer Science teacher turned food blogger. I love God, my family, and food. You can usually find me in the kitchen preparing family friendly, homemade recipes and taking lots of pictures.
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