One Pot BLT Mac & Cheese
A new comfort food classic. This super family-friendly fusion of BLTs and mac and cheese cooks all in 1 pot for less clean up on busy weeknights. Ready right from the stove top or take it one step further to bake with more cheese and panko breadcrumbs on top.
- Prep Time: 15 minutes
- Cook Time: 30 minutes
- Serves: 4 to 6
- 8 oz. bacon, diced
- 4 cups reduced-sodium chicken broth or water
- 2 cups 2% or whole milk 1 lb. uncooked cavatappi or rotini pasta
- 2 cans (14.5 oz. each) Take Root Organics™ Diced Tomatoes, well drained
- 12 oz. white Cheddar cheese, shredded (about 3 1/2 cups)
- 4 oz. cream cheese, cubed
- 5 oz. baby spinach, reserve 1/4 cup as whole leaves and coarsely chop the rest (about 5 cups)
- Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- Cook bacon in a Dutch oven over medium heat 10 to 12 minutes, until crisp. Using a slotted spoon, transfer to a paper towel-lined plate. Pour off all the fat from the pot and wipe out any remainder with a paper towel.
- Bring broth and milk to a boil over medium-high heat. Stir in pasta and cook according to package directions until tender, stirring frequently. DO NOT DRAIN. During last 2 minutes of cooking, stir in tomatoes and all but 1/4 cup of the cooked bacon.
- Reduce heat to medium-low and add cheeses; stir constantly until melted. Stir in spinach; let stand 5 minutes for sauce to thicken and spinach to wilt. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve garnished with reserved spinach leaves and 1/4 cup bacon.
Variation: For Baked Mac & Cheese preheat oven to 400°F. Prepare recipe as directed, then transfer pasta mixture to a greased 9x13-inch pan. Sprinkle an additional 4 oz. Cheddar on top, followed by 1/2 cup panko bread crumbs. Bake, uncovered, 15 to 20 minutes until cheese and panko are golden brown. Garnish with reserved spinach leaves and bacon.
Tip: Save any drained tomato juices not used in recipe to flavor other dishes, thin sauces and more. Store juices in a separate closed container 2 days in the refrigerator, or 2 months in the freezer. Tomato juices can be used in sauces, roasts, soups, stews, braises, beverages, slow cooker dishes, chili, grains, beans and more.