Red Hot Chipotle Bacon Mac and Cheese


A next-level macaroni and cheese with a red sauce, smoky chipotle spice, and bacon.

Prep Time:
10 mins
Cook Time:
40 mins
Total Time:
50 mins
8 servings


  • 1 (16 ounce) box Barilla® Elbows

  • 1 ½ cups Barilla® Roasted Garlic Sauce

  • 6 slices bacon

  • 2 cups milk

  • ½ cup heavy cream

  • ¼ teaspoon cumin

  • salt and pepper to taste

  • 1 canned chipotle chile in adobo, or more to taste

  • 2 tablespoons butter

  • 2 garlic cloves, minced

  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour

  • 8 ounces shredded Cheddar cheese

  • 8 ounces shredded Monterey Jack cheese

  • 1 red bell pepper, seeded and chopped

  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley (Optional)


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease a 2 1/2- or 3-quart baking dish.

  2. 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. Return pasta to pot; cover. Keep warm off heat.

  3. 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.

  4. Puree milk, heavy cream, cumin, salt, pepper, and chipotle pepper in a blender or food processor. Pulse until the pepper is completely incorporated into the mixture, 8 to 10 pulses.

  5. 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 pureed milk and chipotle mixture to the saucepan, whisking until there are no more lumps. Bring to a boil, stirring frequently. Reduce heat to medium.

  6. Stir Cheddar and Monterey Jack cheeses into the cream mixture, stirring until the cheese is melted. Add roasted garlic sauce and mix thoroughly. Transfer mixture to pot with cooked pasta; stir. Pour into prepared baking dish.

  7. Bake in preheated oven until bubbly, about 20 minutes.

  8. Remove from the oven. Stir in crumbled bacon and chopped bell pepper. Bake until lightly browned, about 10 more minutes. Garnish with chopped parsley.

Cook's Note:

For a milder, more family-friendly pasta, use only one chipotle pepper. If you like an extra kick, use two chipotle peppers.

Nutrition Facts (per serving)

597 Calories
31g Fat
54g Carbs
27g Protein
Nutrition Facts
Servings Per Recipe 8
Calories 597
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 31g 40%
Saturated Fat 18g 91%
Cholesterol 94mg 31%
Sodium 677mg 29%
Total Carbohydrate 54g 20%
Dietary Fiber 4g 13%
Total Sugars 4g
Protein 27g
Vitamin C 20mg 101%
Calcium 502mg 39%
Iron 1mg 4%
Potassium 225mg 5%

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

** Nutrient information is not available for all ingredients. Amount is based on available nutrient data.

(-) Information is not currently available for this nutrient. If you are following a medically restrictive diet, please consult your doctor or registered dietitian before preparing this recipe for personal consumption.