Bacon, Basil, Tomato Mac and Cheese

When people find out that I am a food blogger, they often ask, “Have you always loved to cook?” or “Where did you learn how to cook?”

Here’s the deal- No, I haven’t always loved to cook. And that’s mostly because I never knew how. Shocking.

Another shocker- I got married when I was 19. I was thrown into the world of, “Hey honey, what’s for dinner?” and after I realized he was talking to me, I was wondering the same thing…

I started learning the basics- like Mac and Cheese. I taught myself to cook, and once I grew comfortable adapting simple things like macaroni and cheese, the world was my oyster.

kinda.

Bacon, Basil, and Roasted Tomato Mac and Cheese

I know it’s nothing fancy, and yes this is a box of macaroni and cheese, but I’m not out to change the world – just to simplify it.

You don’t have to be a Julia Child knock off to enjoy good food.

Ok, off my soap box.

This Bacon, Basil, Tomato Mac and Cheese is delicious.

If you’re like me, you might have a loads of tomatoes from your garden and looking for ways to use them up. We planted 4 cherry tomato plants this year, and that was 3 too many. I’m up to my eyeballs in tomatoes.

Bacon, Basil, and Roasted Tomato Mac and Cheese

I grabbed some diced pancetta (italian style bacon, regular bacon will work too), and cooked it up in my skillet. Then I halved my tomatoes and threw them in the hot bacon grease for a minute or two. They blistered and absorbed the delicious flavor. Seriously good stuff right there.

I sliced up some fresh basil from my garden. who am I? #icantbelieveihaveagardenthatactuallyproduces

Bacon, Basil, and Roasted Tomato Mac and Cheese

I threw it all on top of some white cheddar mac and cheese (also made it with original) and it was delicious. Fresh and tasty, savory and a tad sweet from the tomato.

Trust me, this is one you’ll want to dig in to.

Bacon, Basil, Tomato Mac and Cheese

Ingredients

  • White Cheddar Mac and Cheese, prepared according to package instructions
  • 1 cup diced Italian style Pancetta, (diced thick cut bacon will work too)
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 3 large fresh basil leaves, thinly sliced into ribbons
  • freshly cracked black pepper

Instructions

  1. While your macaroni and cheese is cooking, heat a skillet over medium high heat. Add the pancetta or bacon and cook until crisp. Use a slotted spoon to remove from skillet and transfer to a paper towel lined plate.
  2. Reduce the heat to medium and add the tomatoes to the bacon grease. Let them blister a bit, but try not to stir too much, cause you might make them too squished. Once they are slightly charred and blistered, remove them from the skillet.
  3. Place the pancetta, tomatoes, and basil on top of the prepared mac and cheese, sprinkle with a little bit of cracked black pepper. Enjoy.
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Spice up your box of Mac 'n Cheese!

Don’t forget to check out these other fun ways to spruce up the blue box!

Cajun Mac & Cheese   |  French Onion Mac & Cheese   |  Taco Mac & Cheese

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Comments

  1. I am also up to my eyeballs in cherry tomatoes. This looks delicious. Thanks for the idea.

  2. I liked hearing your story of how you learned to cook :) I started out the same way..I never learned or cared to learn until I got married and my husband obviously expected normal people dinners on the table often :) I loved your mac n cheese recipes this week!!

  3. Funny, same thing happened to me. My husband told my Mom he sure would be glad when I learned how to cook. We ate straight out of the can for a year. Finally figured out how to turn the oven on. Then how to read a recipe and now they are just guide lines.
    Thanks for the inspiration.

  4. Great way to spice up a classic favorite! :)

  5. Ok your killing me with the mac-n-cheese recipes! this looks scrumptious; )

  6. I am so loving all these fun versions of things to do to the blue box!!!

  7. I’ve never added tomatoes to mac and cheese before, normally just random green veggies. I’ll have to give this a try!

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