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Jack Daniels & Bacon Mac and Cheese

If you love - and I mean LOVE - whiskey, then you should totally try this one. While it is yummy, cheesy and full of bacon, there is a definite whiskey taste ... You can just ask my sister about that one! Very yummy!

Total Cook Time: 30 Minutes

Serves 4 people - The first time I made it, I doubled the recipe for 8 people and there was plenty!

Ingredients: ½ tsp salt + more for pasta water 12 oz Hickory smoked bacon, uncooked 2 Tbsp unsalted butter ½ cup Jack Daniel's Whiskey ½ cup chicken broth ¼ cup all-purpose flour ½ teaspoon smoked paprika 1 teaspoon garlic powder ½ teaspoon New Mexico chili powder ½ tablespoon Worcestershire sauce 2 cups milk 4 ounces extra sharp cheddar (white), shredded 2 ounces smoked provolone cheese, shredded 2 ounces Asiago cheese, shredded 8 oz dry elbow pasta

Instructions: Bring an 8 quart covered pot filled with water to a boil over high heat. Once it boils, add a handful of salt and pasta. Reduce heat to medium high and cook uncovered to al dente. Drain and set aside. Meanwhile warm a large 12” skillet over medium-high heat. Using clean kitchen shears cut bacon into bite size pieces over the skillet and let them to fall into the pan. Stir occasionally as needed. Cook until crisp. While the bacon is cooking, shred cheeses and prepare remaining ingredients. Once bacon is cooked through, remove bacon to a bowl. Reserve 2 tablespoons of bacon drippings and throw out the rest. Wipe the side of the skillet to avoid flame ups. Pour reserved bacon drippings back into the skillet over medium heat and add butter. Once melted add flour and whisk to combine. Add spices, Worcestershire, whiskey and chicken broth. Whisk to combine. Allow to come to a bubble for 3 minutes, whisking occasionally to help pick up the bits on the bottom of the pan. Add milk. Whisk to combine. Bring back to a bubble and add cheeses. Stir until cheese is melted and smooth. Add pasta to sauce and stir to combine. Add bacon. Cook pasta in sauce for 5 minutes over medium heat until sauce thickens and the pasta has a chance to absorb some of the sauce. Serve and enjoy!

Double the Recipe: If you double the recipe like I did, make sure that you have a large enough pot to not only cook the cheesy sauce, but to also add the noodles - Not that I am speaking from experience or anything :) Also, if the sauce is too thick after doubling, add milk until you get the consistency you want.

The original recipe was found here.

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