Jack Daniel's Bacon Mac and Cheese

Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 30 mins
Total Time 0:40
Serves 8

Whiskey and bacon come together for a killer dinner in this Jack Daniel's Bacon Mac and Cheese! Gooey & cheesy with sweet pops of candied bacon make this macaroni oh so crave-able!!


Whiskey Candied Bacon

  • 8 slices bacon
  • 1/2 cup Jack Daniel's Tennessee Whiskey (or whiskey of your choice)
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper


  • 1 pound macaroni pasta
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon Jack Daniel's Tenessee Whiskey
  • 2 cups milk
  • 12 ounces medium or sharp cheddar cheese
  • 4 slices provolone cheese (double if thin cut)
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper


    Candied Bacon:

    1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with foil and coat with non-stick cooking spray.
    2. In a small saucepan, bring ½ cup Jack Daniel's to a boil. Reduce heat to medium, and simmer until reduced to 1/4 cup. Remove from heat.
    3. On a plate, combine brown sugar and cayenne. Dip bacon into Jack Daniels and then press each side into brown sugar mixture to coat. Place on prepared baking sheet.
    4. Bake for 10 minutes, then flip and bake for another 7 to 10 minutes, or until bacon is crisp. Watch the bacon so it doesn't burn!! (The sugar will run all over the pan and the bacon with have a shiny lacquered look.) Remove from the oven.
    5. Transfer the bacon to a plate coated with non-stick cooking spray to cool completely. Chop bacon; set aside.


    1. Bring water to a boil in a large pot. Add macaroni and cook until al dente, about 8 to 10 minutes. Drain pasta; set aside.
    2. While pasta is cooking, melt butter in a medium saucepan or large skillet over medium-high heat. Add flour, and whisk to combine. Add 1 tablespoon Jack Daniel's and whisk into the roux. (The roux will be very tight.)
    3. Whisk in 1 cup milk until combined, removing all lumps. Add remaining milk and whisk frequently until sauce thickens and begins to bubble. Add cheeses; whisk until cheeses melt and sauce is smooth. Add paprika, salt, and pepper, stir to combine.
    4. Pour sauce over pasta and add chopped bacon. (I like to reserve a little of the bacon to sprinkle on top.) Stir until pasta is completely coated in sauce. Add more salt and pepper if desired. Serve immediately.


    Recipe Notes

    Watch your bacon like a hawk after it's flipped! The sugar can go from awesome to burned quickly if you're not paying attention.
    DO NOT use pre-shredded cheddar cheese. Buy a block of cheese and grate it yourself. The coating on pre-shredded cheese can give the sauce a grainy texture.
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