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Country Bacon-Beef Mac and Cheese

This extra meaty mac and cheese is super easy to make in the slow cooker. Kids love it, so I like to sneak in some veggies. —Nancy Heishman, Las Vegas, Nevada
  • Total Time
    Prep: 35 min. Cook: 1-1/2 hours
  • Makes
    8 servings

Ingredients

  • 5 bacon strips, chopped
  • 1-1/2 pounds ground beef
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 medium sweet red pepper, chopped
  • 1 large carrot, coarsely grated
  • 1 tablespoon dried parsley flakes
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon pepper
  • 3 cups uncooked protein-enriched or whole wheat elbow macaroni
  • 1 can (14-1/2 ounces) reduced-sodium beef broth
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 2 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese
  • 2 cups shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese

Directions

  • In a large skillet, cook bacon over medium heat until crisp, stirring occasionally, 5-6 minutes. Remove with a slotted spoon; drain on paper towels. Discard all but 1 tablespoon of drippings. Brown ground beef in drippings; crumble beef; remove from pan. Add onion to skillet; cook and stir until translucent, 2-3 minutes. Add garlic; cook 1 minute more.
  • Combine red pepper, carrot, seasonings and pasta in a 4-qt. slow cooker. Layer with ground beef, bacon and onion mixture (do not stir). Pour in broth.
  • Cook, covered, on low for about 1 hour, or until meat and vegetables are tender. Thirty minutes before serving, stir in sour cream and cheeses.

Test Kitchen tips
  • If mixture becomes too dry, stir in milk or broth to desired consistency.
  • If you would like a creamier macaroni, stir in more sour cream.
  • Nutrition Facts
    1-1/2 cups: 591 calories, 36g fat (17g saturated fat), 113mg cholesterol, 719mg sodium, 29g carbohydrate (5g sugars, 3g fiber), 38g protein.

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