Greek Orzo Salad with Olives, Cucumbers, & Feta

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Greek Orzo Salad with Kalamata Olives, Cucumbers, and Feta Cheese in a bowl with wood spoon!  It's combined with a creamy lemon dressing that's bright and light!

This is a recipe to make you go weak in the knees.  My Greek Orzo Salad with Kalamata Olives, Cucumbers, and Feta Cheese is seduction in a bowl!  Yes, I have been seduced and believe me, you will be too.  It’s creamy, tangy, crunchy, salty, fresh, bright, and irresistibly delicious.  The base here is Orzo, which is the perfect size and texture.  Cucumber brings a cool refreshing crunch.  The kalamata olives and feta bring the saltiness and tang that keep you coming back for more…and more…and more.   All of this goodness is combined with a creamy lemon dressing that’s bright and light!

Serve with my Ground Chicken Greek Meatballs!

This is a super easy recipe to make anytime because most of the ingredients come right out of your pantry or freezer!  Click here to get more pantry dinner ideas and  Pantry Must-Haves for Quick & Easy Dinners!

Spoonful of Greek Orzo Salad with Kalamata Olives, Cucumbers, and Feta Cheese over a bowl! It's combined with a creamy lemon dressing that's bright and light!

Cold Salads are EASY Meal Prep

Meal Prep with all the identical containers so perfectly organized.  

identical meal prep containers.

Do you look at this and think, “beautiful!  But it ain’t gonna happen in my house”?  Well, if you have kids and are making family dinners, of course it’s not gonna happen!  

Thats where making one big bowl of something, whether its a soup, a stew, a casserole, or a salad, can make all the difference.  You can make one bowl that everyone can serve themselves from.

Or you can make one bowl for YOU for lunches throughout the week.  Here are some other favorite cold salad ideas for meal prep:

Greek Orzo Salad with Kalamata Olives, Cucumbers, and Feta Cheese in a bowl with lemon on side. It's mixed with a creamy lemon dressing that's bright and light!

Quick note!  This post contains affiliate links, which means I earn a commission (at no extra cost to you) if you purchase from them.  This commission is what helps me keep this blog afloat :).  But, I also share these links because I have used the products, genuinely love them, and want you to know exactly what I used. 

EQUIPMENT NEEDED

Nothing special for this one! Just medium pot for boiling the Orzo.

And mincing garlic is made super easy with a Garlic Press.

PREP-AHEAD FOR YOUR GREEK ORZO SALAD

We are all extremely busy and making dinner during the week can be overwhelming. Here are the steps you prepare in the day(s) in advance and store in the fridge as your meal Kit… (See the recipe below for more details) 

For this recipe, you can prep the entire salad ahead!  It will last 5-6 days in your fridge so you can enjoy it all week long!

Start by cooking your Orzo until al dente, then strain and rinse it with cold water. Store in the fridge until ready to mix.Cooked Orzo in bowl for Greek Orzo Salad.

While the pasta is cooking, prep the other ingredients:  Slice your cucumber, pit and quarter your olives, slice the scallions, chop the cilantro, crumble Feta.  Note: You can substitute parsley in for the cilantro, but I love the bright flavor that cilantro brings to this salad!

Kalamata Olives being quartered for Greek Orzo Salad with Kalamata Olives, Cucumbers, and Feta Cheese.  It's mixed with a creamy lemon dressing that's bright and light! Diced Cucumbers for Greek Orzo Salad with Kalamata Olives, Cucumbers, and Feta Cheese.  It's mixed with a creamy lemon dressing that's bright and light!

Once the pasta is cooled in a large bowl, add the cucumbers, olives, scallions, and feta.  I like to leave the cilantro out until the end.

Cucumber, Kalamata Olives, Feta Cheese, Scallions, and orzo all separate in bowl for Greek Orzo Salad.

Can I use another Pasta shape?

Yep!  I love Orzo because it’s such a small shape and size, so the dressing easily coats each and every piece.  Also the small shape allows the other ingredients to really stand out.  However, if you don’t have Orzo, you can use another small cut pasta, such as fusilli, rotini, ditalini, pene, or similar.

Do I have to use pasta?

Not at all!  You could use quinoa, rice, farro, or any other hearty grain you like!  If you want to skip the carbs all together, you could add in kale or other greens.  You could also make this into a meal by adding a protein such as chopped chicken breast or tuna or chickpeas.

PREP THE LEMON DRESSING

In a small mixing bowl, add the mayonnaise, dijon mustard, honey, salt, and pepper.

Zest entire Lemon, then cut in half. Add the zest and juice from half of the lemon to the dressing. 

Zesting Lemon over bowl for Greek Orzo Salad with Kalamata Olives, Cucumbers, and Feta Cheese.

MIX & SERVE YOUR GREEK ORZO SALAD 

Mix the dressing and then add it to the orzo salad. Fold gently to completely combine.  Last fold in the fresh cilantro, saving some for garnish if you want.

Ingredients in bowl for Lemon dressing for Greek Orzo Salad with Kalamata Olives, Cucumbers, and Feta Cheese.

Pouring dressing over Greek Orzo Salad with Kalamata Olives, Cucumbers, and Feta Cheese.  It's mixed with a creamy lemon dressing that's bright and light!

Cilantro added to Greek Orzo Salad with Kalamata Olives, Cucumbers, and Feta Cheese.  It's mixed with a creamy lemon dressing that's bright and light!

Serve with cilantro garnish. This will last 5 days in the fridge!

ENJOY! 😍 Carrie

 

Greek Orzo Salad with Kalamata Olives, Cucumbers, and Feta Cheese in a bowl with spoon on side. It's mixed with a creamy lemon dressing that's bright and light!

Greek Orzo Salad with Olives, Cucumbers, and Feta

This Greek Orzo Salad with Kalamata Olives, Cucumbers, and Feta Cheese will make you go weak in the knees!  It's creamy, tangy, crunchy, salty, fresh, bright, and delicious.  It starts with Orzo pasta. Cucumber brings a cool refreshing crunch.  The kalamata olives and feta bring the saltiness and tang. All of this goodness is combined with a creamy lemon dressing that's bright and light! #greeksalad #orzosalad #pastasalad #picnicfood #summerrecipes #grillingsides #easysalads

Course pasta, Salad, Side Dish
Cuisine Greek
Keyword feta, kalamata olives, meatless, orzo, vegetarian
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 6 servings
Author Carrie Tyler

Ingredients

Salad

  • 8 oz Uncooked Orzo 2 cups cooked
  • 3/4 cup Kalamata Olives, Pitted and quartered
  • 1/2 cup Crumbled Feta Cheese
  • 1/2 English Cucumber
  • 3 Scallions
  • 1/4 cup Cilantro You can substitute parsley

Lemon Dressing

  • 1/4 cup Mayonnaise
  • 1 tsp Honey
  • 1 Lemon
  • 1 clove Garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp Dijon Mustard
  • 1/4 tsp Salt
  • 1/2 tsp Fresh Ground Pepper (or to taste)

Instructions

Prep Ahead Ingredients

  1. Boil a medium pot of water for the Orzo pasta. Once the pasta water is boiling, add a pinch of salt. Add the Orzo and stir. Boil the Orzo until al dente, about 5-8 minutes. Strain the pasta and rinse with cold water. Store in the fridge until ready to mix.

    Cooked Orzo in bowl for Greek Orzo Salad.
  2. While the pasta is cooking, prep the other ingredients: Wash your English cucumber and then slice in half lengthwise. Cut each half in half again lengthwise so it's now quartered. Slice into 1/4 inch thick slices.

    Diced Cucumbers for Greek Orzo Salad with Kalamata Olives, Cucumbers, and Feta Cheese. It's mixed with a creamy lemon dressing that's bright and light!
  3. If your Olives are not pitted and quartered, do that now.

    Kalamata Olives being quartered for Greek Orzo Salad with Kalamata Olives, Cucumbers, and Feta Cheese. It's mixed with a creamy lemon dressing that's bright and light!
  4. Slice the scallions. Chop the cilantro. Crumble Feta if not already done.

  5. Once the pasta is cooled in a large bowl, add the cucumbers, olives, scallions, and feta. I like to leave the cilantro out until the end and fold it in after the dressing.

    Cucumber, Kalamata Olives, Feta Cheese, Scallions, and orzo all separate in bowl for Greek Orzo Salad.

Prep Ahead Lemon Dressing

  1. In a small mixing bowl, add the mayonnaise, dijon mustard, honey, salt, and pepper.

    Adding minced garlic to Lemon dressing for Greek Orzo Salad with Kalamata Olives, Cucumbers, and Feta Cheese.
  2. Zest entire Lemon, then cut in half. Add the zest and juice from half of the lemon to the dressing.

    Zesting Lemon over bowl for Greek Orzo Salad with Kalamata Olives, Cucumbers, and Feta Cheese.

Mix and Serve!

  1. Mix the dressing and then add it to the orzo salad. Fold gently to completely combine. Serve with cilantro garnish. This will last 5 days in the fridge!

    Cilantro added to Greek Orzo Salad with Kalamata Olives, Cucumbers, and Feta Cheese. It's mixed with a creamy lemon dressing that's bright and light!

Dreamy Bacon Mac and Cheese

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Bacon Mac and Cheese on a plate. It has a creamy and cheesy sauce with a touch of smokiness from the bacon, coats each piece of pasta.  On top, crispy crunchy, indulgent bacon fat cracker crumbs!
Bacon Mac and Cheese in baking dish. It has a creamy and cheesy sauce with a touch of smokiness from the bacon, coats each piece of pasta.  On top, crispy crunchy, indulgent bacon fat cracker crumbs!

Luscious, decadent, mouthwatering, and irresistible.  This is my daughter’s  Dreamy Bacon Mac and Cheese recipe and it’ll make you sooooo happy!  The creamy and cheesy sauce with a touch of smokiness from the bacon, coats each piece of pasta.  You get the traditional cheesy backdrop from the cheddar and then more depth and nuttiness from the manchego.  On top, crispy crunchy, indulgent bacon fat cracker crumbs!  

The great thing about this recipe is that you can always have the ingredients on hand in your pantry and your freezer!  The cheese can be shredded and stored in the freezer as well as the bacon.  The pasta, cornstarch, and bouillon are on hand in the pantry.  So if you can’t get to the store, make THIS Bacon Mac and Cheese!

Click here to more freezer food storage top with my printable cheat sheet with 10 Freezer Hacks to make easy dinners!

Bacon Mac and Cheese scooped up. It has a creamy and cheesy sauce with a touch of smokiness from the bacon, coats each piece of pasta.  On top, crispy crunchy, indulgent bacon fat cracker crumbs!

A Little Bacon Goes a Long Way!

Bacon has a reputation for being unhealthy because of the fat and cholesterol.  Of course, if you are eating tons of bacon everyday, it can of course be unhealthy.  But, as with any food, moderation is extremely important.  A small serving of bacon, for example 1.2oz or 1-2 slices depending on the cut, is about 70 calories and 5-7g of fat.  There is also new information about bacon’s cholesterol impact and “scientists now agree that it has minor effects on cholesterol levels in your blood“.

AND a little bacon goes a long way!  I love to use bacon in recipes where a little bit can completely infuse an entire dish.  Whether it’s a sauce, a stew, or soup, bacon can take the flavor from good to great with just a little bit!  In this Bacon Man and Cheese recipe, I only used 2oz in the entire recipe!  But I crumbled it up and added it to the sauce from the start so the smokey flavor would infuse all of the cheesy goodness.  THEN, I used the bacon fat to crisp up the cracker topping!  Only 5g of fat from the Bacon in this dish!

Here is another delicious bacon-in-moderation recipe to try: Bacon, Brussels Sprouts, & Chicken Stew!

More on Bacon

Bacon is a great source of high-quality complete protein with about 30-40g in a serving.  It also contains B6 and B12 which are good for your immune system!

Be sure to look for UNCURED or NITRATE-FREE bacon.  Cured bacon is soaked in nitrates to preserve it before smoking it.  However, there are many brands now that offer a more natural option without toxins, such as nitrates. 

You should consult your doctor or nutritionist for any dietary changes or questions. 

Bacon Mac and Cheese on a plate. It has a creamy and cheesy sauce with a touch of smokiness from the bacon, coats each piece of pasta.  On top, crispy crunchy, indulgent bacon fat cracker crumbs!

Quick note!  This post contains affiliate links, which means I earn a commission (at no extra cost to you) if you purchase from them.  This commission is what helps me keep this blog afloat :).  But, I also share these links because I have used the products, genuinely love them, and want you to know exactly what I used. 

EQUIPMENT NEEDED

You need (1) a large pasta pot (2) a baking dish and (3) a medium-size (8″ or similar size is good) frying pan.

For the baking dish, I love to use a deep loaf dish vs. a casserole dish. The pasta and sauce stay thicker and creamier vs. drying out in a thinner layer. I used a ceramic 1 pound loaf dish that was 10″x 5″x 3.5″. You could also use an 8″x 8″ baking dish.

PREP-AHEAD FOR YOUR BACON MAC AND CHEESE

We are all extremely busy and making dinner during the week can be overwhelming. Here are the steps you prepare in the day(s) in advance and store in the fridge as your meal Kit… (See the recipe below for more details) 

In terms of prep-ahead, you can certainly make this entire dish and reheat it later.  However, I recommend just prepping the ingredients and eating it right after you make it, when it’s creamiest.  Once it goes into the fridge, the pasta soak up the sauce. 

You can prep ahead the cheeses, the bacon, crackers, and the parsley.  You can even cook up the bacon bits and the cracker crumb topping. 

Shred the manchego cheese and cheddar cheese.

Manchego and Cheddar on cutting board for Bacon Mac and Cheese. It has a creamy and cheesy sauce with a touch of smokiness from the bacon, coats each piece of pasta.  On top, crispy crunchy, indulgent bacon fat cracker crumbs!

Shredding Manchego for Bacon Mac and Cheese. It has a creamy and cheesy sauce with a touch of smokiness from the bacon, coats each piece of pasta.  On top, crispy crunchy, indulgent bacon fat cracker crumbs!

Shredded Manchego and Cheddar on cutting board for Bacon Mac and Cheese. It has a creamy and cheesy sauce with a touch of smokiness from the bacon, coats each piece of pasta.  On top, crispy crunchy, indulgent bacon fat cracker crumbs! Chop the parsley. Crush the crackers.Chopped Parsley for Bacon Mac and Cheese. It has a creamy and cheesy sauce with a touch of smokiness from the bacon, coats each piece of pasta.  On top, crispy crunchy, indulgent bacon fat cracker crumbs!

Crackers in bag for Bacon Mac and Cheese. It has a creamy and cheesy sauce with a touch of smokiness from the bacon, coats each piece of pasta.  On top, crispy crunchy, indulgent bacon fat cracker crumbs!

Crushing crackers in bag for Bacon Mac and Cheese. It has a creamy and cheesy sauce with a touch of smokiness from the bacon, coats each piece of pasta.  On top, crispy crunchy, indulgent bacon fat cracker crumbs!

Dice the bacon.  Since I use only a little bit of bacon at a time, I store mine in the freezer.  I can then cut off just the amount I need across all slices and put the rest back in the freezer!

Knife cutting raw bacon for Bacon Mac and Cheese. It has a creamy and cheesy sauce with a touch of smokiness from the bacon, coats each piece of pasta.  On top, crispy crunchy, indulgent bacon fat cracker crumbs!

Raw bacon diced for Bacon Mac and Cheese. It has a creamy and cheesy sauce with a touch of smokiness from the bacon, coats each piece of pasta.  On top, crispy crunchy, indulgent bacon fat cracker crumbs!

Preheat a medium (about 8″) frying pan. Add the diced bacon on medium heat. Stir so that the bacon doesn’t burn. Render the fat and crip the bacon. Remove the bacon with a slotted spoon leaving the fat behind and place on a plate to the side or store in the fridge if doing this in advance.Raw diced bacon in pan for Bacon Mac and Cheese. It has a creamy and cheesy sauce with a touch of smokiness from the bacon, coats each piece of pasta.  On top, crispy crunchy, indulgent bacon fat cracker crumbs!

Cooked bacon pieces in pan for Bacon Mac and Cheese. It has a creamy and cheesy sauce with a touch of smokiness from the bacon, coats each piece of pasta.  On top, crispy crunchy, indulgent bacon fat cracker crumbs!

To the bacon fat still left in the pan, add a tbsp of butter and melt it stirring it into the bacon fat. Add the cracker crumbs and the parsley and mix to coat with the fat. Stir and toast in the pan on medium-low heat for 2-3 minutes. Remove from the heat and set aside or store in fridge until ready to top the mac and cheese.

bacon fat and butter in pan for Bacon Mac and Cheese. It has a creamy and cheesy sauce with a touch of smokiness from the bacon, coats each piece of pasta.  On top, crispy crunchy, indulgent bacon fat cracker crumbs!

Cracker crumbs and parsley in pan for Bacon Mac and Cheese. It has a creamy and cheesy sauce with a touch of smokiness from the bacon, coats each piece of pasta.  On top, crispy crunchy, indulgent bacon fat cracker crumbs!

Cracker crumbs and parsley in pan for Bacon Mac and Cheese. It has a creamy and cheesy sauce with a touch of smokiness from the bacon, coats each piece of pasta.  On top, crispy crunchy, indulgent bacon fat cracker crumbs!

COOK YOUR BACON MAC AND CHEESE 

I realize that this recipe is called ‘Mac’ and Cheese, but we are opting for Fettuccine instead.  You can use any pasta you want, but my daughter loves fettuccine and she created this recipe.  While Italian grandmothers are probably rolling in their graves, I do break this pasta in half.  Frankly, it’s just easier for me to cook than trying to cook and easier for the kids to eat in smaller pieces.

Fettuccine pasta broken in half for Bacon Mac and Cheese. It has a creamy and cheesy sauce with a touch of smokiness from the bacon, coats each piece of pasta.  On top, crispy crunchy, indulgent bacon fat cracker crumbs!

Boil the pasta in a large pot of water with a splash of Olive Oil and a pinch of salt.  Remove 1 cup of the pasta water and then drain the pasta. Leave the pasta in the strainer until the sauce is ready.

Make the cornstarch slurry by mixing the cornstarch into the cold milk.Adding cornstarch to milk for Bacon Mac and Cheese. It has a creamy and cheesy sauce with a touch of smokiness from the bacon, coats each piece of pasta.  On top, crispy crunchy, indulgent bacon fat cracker crumbs!

Using the same pot that you used for the pasta, add the reserved 1 cup of pasta water plus 1 bouillon cube or chicken/vegetable base. Heat to simmer and dissolve the bouillon.  Whisk in the cornstarch slurry and add the cooked bacon pieces. Continue to whisk while it heats through and starts to thicken (about 2-3 minutes).

Adding cornstarch slurry to broth for Bacon Mac and Cheese. It has a creamy and cheesy sauce with a touch of smokiness from the bacon, coats each piece of pasta.  On top, crispy crunchy, indulgent bacon fat cracker crumbs!

Adding cooked bacon bits to sauce for Bacon Mac and Cheese. It has a creamy and cheesy sauce with a touch of smokiness from the bacon, coats each piece of pasta.  On top, crispy crunchy, indulgent bacon fat cracker crumbs!

Whisk in the shredded cheeses and stir until it is completely combined and smooth.

Adding shredded cheese to sauce for Bacon Mac and Cheese. It has a creamy and cheesy sauce with a touch of smokiness from the bacon, coats each piece of pasta.  On top, crispy crunchy, indulgent bacon fat cracker crumbs!

Daughter cooking Bacon Mac and Cheese. It has a creamy and cheesy sauce with a touch of smokiness from the bacon, coats each piece of pasta.  On top, crispy crunchy, indulgent bacon fat cracker crumbs!

Add in the cooked pasta and mix to combine. Pour the pasta and cheese sauce into a baking dish that is either loaf size 10″ x 5″ x 3.5″ or 9″ x 9″ x 2″. Add the cracker crumbs on top.Mixing fettuccine into cheese sauce for Bacon Mac and Cheese. It has a creamy and cheesy sauce with a touch of smokiness from the bacon, coats each piece of pasta.  On top, crispy crunchy, indulgent bacon fat cracker crumbs!

Pouring cracker crumbs over pasta for Bacon Mac and Cheese. It has a creamy and cheesy sauce with a touch of smokiness from the bacon, coats each piece of pasta.  On top, crispy crunchy, indulgent bacon fat cracker crumbs!

Pouring Fettuccine Bacon Mac and Cheese into a baking dish. It has a creamy and cheesy sauce with a touch of smokiness from the bacon, coats each piece of pasta.  On top, crispy crunchy, indulgent bacon fat cracker crumbs!

Bake in the oven for 10 minutes just for the topping to get extra crispy.

ENJOY!  😍 Carrie

Bacon Mac and Cheese on a plate. It has a creamy and cheesy sauce with a touch of smokiness from the bacon, coats each piece of pasta.  On top, crispy crunchy, indulgent bacon fat cracker crumbs!

 

Bacon Mac and Cheese on a plate. It has a creamy and cheesy sauce with a touch of smokiness from the bacon, coats each piece of pasta.  On top, crispy crunchy, indulgent bacon fat cracker crumbs!
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Dreamy Mac and Cheese

This Bacon Mac and Cheese will make you so happy!  The creamy and cheesy sauce with a touch of smokiness from the bacon, coats each piece of pasta.  You get the traditional cheesy backdrop from the cheddar and then more depth and nuttiness from the manchego.  On top, crispy crunchy, indulgent bacon fat cracker crumbs!  

Course Main Course, pasta, Side Dish
Cuisine American
Keyword Bacon, casserole, cheese
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Servings 4 servings
Author Carrie Tyler

Ingredients

  • 2 oz Bacon
  • 10 oz Dry Fettuccine Pasta, broken in half
  • 6 oz Cheddar Cheese, shredded
  • 2 oz Manchego Cheese, shredded
  • 1 tbsp Cornstarch
  • 1/4 cup Milk
  • 1 cup Water (use the pasta water after pasta cooks)
  • 18-20 Ritz crackers, crushed
  • 1 tbsp Italian Parsley, chopped

Instructions

Prep Ahead Steps

  1. Shred the manchego cheese and cheddar cheese

    Shredded Manchego and Cheddar on cutting board for Bacon Mac and Cheese. It has a creamy and cheesy sauce with a touch of smokiness from the bacon, coats each piece of pasta.  On top, crispy crunchy, indulgent bacon fat cracker crumbs!
  2. Chop the parsley. Crush the crackers. Dice the bacon.

    Knife cutting raw bacon for Bacon Mac and Cheese. It has a creamy and cheesy sauce with a touch of smokiness from the bacon, coats each piece of pasta.  On top, crispy crunchy, indulgent bacon fat cracker crumbs!
  3. Preheat a medium (about 8") frying pan. Add the diced bacon on medium heat. Stir so that the bacon doesn't burn. Render the fat and crip the bacon. Remove the bacon with a slotted spoon leaving the fat behind and place on a plate to the side or store in the fridge if doing this in advance.

    Cooked bacon pieces in pan for Bacon Mac and Cheese. It has a creamy and cheesy sauce with a touch of smokiness from the bacon, coats each piece of pasta.  On top, crispy crunchy, indulgent bacon fat cracker crumbs!
  4. To the bacon fat still left in the pan, add a tbsp of butter and melt it stirring it into the bacon fat. Add the cracker crumbs and the parsley and mix to coat with the fat. Stir and toast in the pan on medium-low heat for 2-3 minutes. Remove from the heat and set aside or store in fridge until ready to top the mac and cheese.

    Cracker crumbs and parsley in pan for Bacon Mac and Cheese. It has a creamy and cheesy sauce with a touch of smokiness from the bacon, coats each piece of pasta.  On top, crispy crunchy, indulgent bacon fat cracker crumbs!

Cook your Bacon Mac and Cheese

  1. Boil a large pot of water for the pasta. Once the pasta water is boiling, add a splash of Olive Oil and a pinch of salt. Add the pasta and stir so that it all is immersed in the water and doesn't stick it itself. Boil the pasta until al dente. Remove 1 cup of the pasta water and then drain the pasta. Leave the pasta in the strainer until the sauce is ready.

    Save 1 cup of pasta water to dish for Bacon Mac and Cheese. It has a creamy and cheesy sauce with a touch of smokiness from the bacon, coats each piece of pasta.  On top, crispy crunchy, indulgent bacon fat cracker crumbs!
  2. Make the cornstarch slurry by mixing the cornstarch into the cold milk.

    Adding cornstarch to milk for Bacon Mac and Cheese. It has a creamy and cheesy sauce with a touch of smokiness from the bacon, coats each piece of pasta.  On top, crispy crunchy, indulgent bacon fat cracker crumbs!
  3. Using the same pot that you used for the pasta, add the reserved 1 cup of pasta water plus 1 bouillon cube or chicken/vegetable base. Heat to simmer and dissolve the bouillon. Whisk in the cornstarch slurry and add the cooked bacon pieces. Continue to whisk while it heats through and starts to thicken (about 2-3 minutes).

    Adding cooked bacon bits to sauce for Bacon Mac and Cheese. It has a creamy and cheesy sauce with a touch of smokiness from the bacon, coats each piece of pasta.  On top, crispy crunchy, indulgent bacon fat cracker crumbs!
  4. Whisk in the shredded cheeses and stir until it is completely combined and smooth.

    Adding shredded cheese to sauce for Bacon Mac and Cheese. It has a creamy and cheesy sauce with a touch of smokiness from the bacon, coats each piece of pasta.  On top, crispy crunchy, indulgent bacon fat cracker crumbs!
  5. Add in the cooked pasta and mix to combine. Pour the pasta and cheese sauce into a baking dish that is either loaf size 10" x 5" x 3.5" or 9" x 9" x 2". Add the cracker crumbs on top.

    Pouring cracker crumbs over pasta for Bacon Mac and Cheese. It has a creamy and cheesy sauce with a touch of smokiness from the bacon, coats each piece of pasta.  On top, crispy crunchy, indulgent bacon fat cracker crumbs!
  6. Bake in the oven for 10 minutes just for the topping to get extra crispy.