When the leaves start to change colors and the evenings dip just a bit cooler there is nothing better than comfort food recipes like Apple Cheddar Mac & Cheese to warm you up. It’s just barely starting to cool off here in Colorado. Usually by this time of year we’ve seen some snow but so far this fall the streets have been dry and the warm weather has given us time to enjoy the changing of the leaves.
I needed a bit of comfort food this week to help me feel more like the season has actually changed and we aren’t enjoying some slightly extended summer. This apple cheddar mac & cheese recipe pulls together some of my favorite fall flavors with the creamy & sharp Farmhouse Cheddar from Hickory Farms.
Start out by grating up 2 1/2 cups of cheese. This is about 3/4 of a 10 oz package. Set the cheese aside and dice up a green apple and mince a clove of garlic. Start the macaroni boiling in a pot and cook 4 strips of bacon in a frying pan. Drain the macaroni and set the bacon aside to drain while you work on the rest of the recipe.
Saute 2 tps butter with the apples and garlic in a large sauce pan. Allow the pan to cook until the apples are soft and the garlic is fragrant.
Add your 2 cups of the pre-grated cheddar cheese to the pan alongside 1 1/2 cups of milk. Stir until the cheese has melted. You should have an almost soupy consistency. This means it’s time to add the macaroni. Turn the heat down and allow the dish to thicken. Now is the time to add the remaining 1/2 cup of cheese and the crumbled or chopped bacon (save some for garnish).
Once the mixture is a perfect mac & cheese consistency, serve in a bowl. I’m a big fan of serving mac & cheese as a standalone entree but this would also work well as a side. Store any left overs in a baking dish and toss in the oven to reheat!
Apple Cheddar Mac & Cheese Recipe
- 2 1/2 cups Hickory Farms Farmhouse Cheddar
- 1 Granny Smith Apple
- 1 clove garlic
- 4 cups cooked macaroni
- 4 slices bacon
- 2 tsp butter
- 1 1/2 cup milk
- Grate the cheddar cheese and dice up both the apple and garlic.
- Cook the bacon in a frying pan. Set aside to cool. Dice.
- Saute the apple and garlic with butter in a large sauce pan.
- Add 2 cups of the grated cheese and milk to the pan. Stir until fully melted.
- Combine the macaroni and allow to thicken. Add remaining cheese and the diced bacon.
- Serve in a bowl and garnish with bacon.
Annie Murlowski is the author behind Rocky Mountain Bliss, a lifestyle blog featuring recipes, DIY and decor. A home cook, Annie loves using Hickory Farms to create new and delicious recipes for the whole family. With a focus on weeknight recipes and easy party solutions, Hickory Farms helps bring new flavors to some of Annie’s favorite dishes.