Ingredients45 m servings 563 cals
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease a 2 1/2- or 3-quart baking dish.
- Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Cook elbow macaroni in the boiling water, stirring occasionally until tender yet firm to the bite, 8 minutes. Drain. Transfer pasta back to pot; cover and keep warm off heat.
- Place bacon in a large skillet and cook over medium-high heat, turning occasionally, until evenly browned and crisp, about 10 minutes. Drain bacon slices on paper towels. Crumble.
- Place butter and minced garlic in a saucepan over medium-high heat; stir until butter is melted. Whisk flour into butter mixture, and continue whisking until flour starts to turn golden brown, about 1 minute. Slowly add milk, heavy cream, salt, and pepper to the saucepan, whisking until there are no lumps. Bring to a boil, stirring frequently. Reduce heat to medium.
- Stir grated Cheddar cheese into the cream mixture, stirring until the cheese is melted. Add basil pesto sauce and half of the crumbled bacon; stir. Transfer mixture to pot with cooked elbows; stir to combine. Pour into prepared baking dish.
- Mix panko bread crumbs and Parmesan cheese together in a bowl. Sprinkle topping evenly over macaroni and cheese.
- Bake in preheated oven until bubbly and just starting to brown, about 20 minutes. Top with remaining half of bacon.
- Preheat the oven's broiler. Place baking dish under broiler until browned, 1 to 3 minutes. Garnish with chopped basil.
- Cook's Note:
- I used Barilla® Elbows and Barilla® Traditional Basil Pesto.
Per Serving: 563 calories; 30 g fat; 50.7 g carbohydrates; 23.1 g protein; 76 mg cholesterol; 548 mg sodium. Full nutrition
ReviewsRead all reviews 9
Definitely more of a pasta 'bake' than mac and cheese. I added more milk than originally called for and it was still dry. I also halved the pesto and should have doubled the bacon.
We really liked this, but I do have to agree with the other reviewer that said this was more like a pesto pasta bake than a mac and cheese. Next time, I'm gonna make my usual mac and cheese sauc...
After reading the reviews, I added a little less milk because we prefer a creamy mac and cheese. In addition, I added a little less pesto so as to not mask the cheese flavor. It came out perfe...
I did play with this some - but not too much. Mostly I played with the consistency of the cheese sauce to get it nice and thick (so added a fair amount more flour, but then also added a bit more...
We really enjoyed this! It was a great "grown-up" twist on regular mac & cheese. I replaced the regular milk with half & half, using about a cup and a half, in addition to the heavy cream.
I'm not sure if I should rate this a 5 or 4 star. I made some small changes by using penne and not elbow macaroni. I read the reviews about the sauce being too thin and reduced the milk to 1 cup...
I love pesto and love mac & cheese, so, this seemed like the perfect combination! It had a great pesto flavor, but, didn't really taste like a "mac & cheese"to me. The cream sauce is much thin...
Followed the recipe exactly and it turned out amazing! Definitely making this again. Thought I made enough for 2 days of leftovers, but it was so good I ate it in 1.