The first time I ever experienced the joy of eating Cast-Iron Skillet Macaroni & Cheese was at a dive bar that was near our old apartment from years ago. We barely made a dent after diving into that seemingly small skillet of delectable Mac & Cheese. It was rich, creamy, and thick. While filling, it was also satisfying.
We rarely had Mac & Cheese over the next few years. One day after reminiscing about that dive bar, I suddenly felt inspired. I purchased my first cast-iron skillet with the sole purpose of replicating that recipe.
Cast-Iron Macaroni & Cheese can certainly be eaten on its own, but it’s best as a side dish. Make this recipe with a Caesar salad or with your favorite BBQ dish.
Cast Iron Mac & Cheese Recipe
- 1 1/2 cups elbow macaroni noodles
- 4 slices bacon cooked and crumbled
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 small jalapeño, diced
- 2 tbsp diced onion
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 2 1/4 cup shredded cheddar cheese
- Salt & pepper to taste
- 1 tbsp bread crumbs
- 1/4 cup shredded parmesan
- Cook the elbow macaroni, drain and set aside
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees
- In a large pan, heat the olive oil
- Add the diced onion and jalapeño and sautée until onion is translucent. Add the minced garlic and sautée an additional minute
- Pour in heavy cream and bring to a simmer
- Slowly mix in 2 cups of shredded cheese until smooth
- Add the bacon, salt, pepper, and mix well
- Mix in the prepared elbow macaroni noodles
- Pour the mixture into a 10″ cast iron skillet
- Sprinkle on remaining shredded cheese, bread crumbs, and parmesan (optional)
- Bake for 30 minutes or until golden brown and bubbly
- Remove from oven and let sit for 10 minutes before serving
Cast-Iron Skillet Mac & Cheese Variations
Over time, I’ve made many different variations. I’ve tried different cheeses, added lobster, removed the bacon, and even made without any meat.
There really is no right or wrong way to make this recipe. It’s truly one that can be made to taste! Try it with different types of herbs and peppers, add lobster or bacon, and mix up the type of cheese. Instead of using cheddar cheese, I’ll use a three cheese blend or even add a little mozzarella. Additionally, when it comes to cooking oil there are options. While this recipe only calls for olive oil, I occasionally use one tablespoon of olive oil and one tablespoon of butter instead.
Most importantly, have fun preparing AND eating this dish!