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One-Pan Apple Butter, Bacon and Gouda Mac and Cheese

Mac and cheese gets elevated to the next delicious level with this creamy one-pan iteration, enhanced with apple butter, bacon and creamy Gouda cheese.
By Stephanie Wise
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When push comes to shove, I can definitely get by with less sugar in my diet. I can try to incorporate more greens, try to quell my sweet tooth with peanut butter (don’t they say a spoonful a day keeps the doctor away? Especially with some chocolate chips on top?). But there’s one thing I could never give up: Mac and cheese. 

I’m surprised anyone could, with the combination of warm pasta and melted gooey cheese. And then when you make it a one-pan version made sweet and savory with apple butter, bacon and shredded Gouda cheese? Well, let’s just say it’s hard to eat anything else for dinner, ever. 

To make this easy and delicious mac and cheese, you’ll need some medium or small shell pasta, milk (which, as opposed to water, makes this dish extra-creamy and tasty), shredded Gouda and white cheddar cheeses, some cooked crumbled bacon, chopped fresh rosemary and salt and pepper. (You can find the complete recipe, with all the specifics regarding ingredients, below.)

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In a large skillet or saucepan, bring the pasta and milk to a simmer, then reduce the heat to low. You’ll want the pasta to be in as much of a single layer as possible so it can cook well in the milk, but stirring the pasta frequently will also help it cook evenly.

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Once the pasta is tender and most of the milk is absorbed, stir in the shredded cheeses, crumbled bacon, chopped rosemary and some salt and pepper to taste. Remove the pan from the stovetop and let it sit for 5 minutes to thicken. Give the mixture another thorough stir just before serving.

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I love to serve this dish on its own, or with a light salad on the side to balance out the creaminess. In any case, if you had any plans to do away with mac and cheese in your life, this recipe is likely to change your mind.

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