Mac N’ Cheese Minus the Macaroni

Written by  //  March 2, 2012  //  Caviar and Other Lesser Foods, The Table  //  1 Comment

Just because it’s called macaroni and cheese doesn’t mean you have to follow all the rules.

This was originally posted on Bacon & Other Bad Habits. For more recipes visit

Well hello delicious, my but aren’t you pretty.

It’s perfectly okay to talk to your food–especially if it’s totally and completely something you shouldn’t be eating. Case in point, my genius decision to make a mac n’ cheese dish. What’s so bad about it? Oh honey, it’s soooo bad it’s good.

The good: (A) It is delicious, and, (B) It is made almost entirely of cheese.

The bad: (A) It has a bajillion calories, and, (B) It is made almost entirely of cheese (and I think I am allergic to cheese).

When I was eating dairy regularly I was a pretty big fan of cheese and made a mean Lobster Mac N’ Cheese that people would ask me to make pretty much whenever we had dinner. Sigh. The good ole days. But a treat every now and again is what makes life worth living, right? So here we are. I was craving something home-y and comforting and there aren’t many other comfort foods that come close to beating macaroni and cheese. But I wanted something more pillowy than macaroni so I made my mac sans macaroni and substituted gnocchi. (Note to self: Best decision ever).

Gnocchi “Mac” N’ Cheese
–15 oz. package gnocchi
–4 pieces bacon
–2 cups shredded cheddar cheeses (mild, medium, sharp, mix it up)
–splash of milk or half and half
–black pepper

Cook the gnocchi per the package directions, omitting any salt or oil. Drain and set aside in a large mixing bowl.

While the gnocchi cooks, fry the bacon. Remove from the pan and drain on paper towels.

Add 1 3/4 cups of the cheese to the bowl. The heat from the gnocchi will melt the cheese nicely. Add in a splash of milk to help make the melted cheese into a nice (non-stringy) sauce.

Add lots of fresh black pepper to the mix and give a few good stirs. Take your cooked bacon and crumble it directly into the bowl. Stir again for a nice mix. You will not need to add salt——there will be plenty from the bacon! Pour the mixture into a small glass baking dish.

Top with the remaining cheese (and if you’re me, add more cracked pepper) and bake, uncovered, for 15 minutes until the cheese on top is fully melted and you have to resist the urge to eat the whole pan of cheesy badness. Eat up and perhaps choke down a salad so you can pretend this isn’t completely terrible for you, or just chain smoke a whole carton of cigarettes, eat this straight from the pan, and live it up.

Time: 25 minutes
Serves: 4
Calories: 513 per serving

About the Author

Leah Charney, aka Belle von Bonaventure de Bacon, was born during a hurricane and has had a flair for the dramatic ever since. Part Southern belle, part glutton, her ability to attract odd suitors (like the man who took her to buy a gun rack on a first date) garnered her a dating column published monthly in the now defunct Boulder Women's Magazine. When she is not serving as Donnybrook's resident Cuisinier, she runs her own food site, Bacon & Other Bad Habits. Follow Leah on Twitter, Facebook, and Google+.

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One Comment on "Mac N’ Cheese Minus the Macaroni"

  1. Father Guido Sarducci IV
    Father Guido Sarducci IV March 2, 2012 at 11:36 am · Reply

    Crap on my face!!!

    This looks awesome!

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