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August 16, 2015

MICROWAVED HORSERADISH-BACON MAC AND CHEDDAR CHEESE FOR ONE

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Convenient and easy homemade microwaved mac and cheese for one with creamy horseradish bacon cheddar cheese sauce. No dirtying and cleaning up pots and pans. What's not to love?


Microwaved Horseradish-Bacon Mac and Cheddar Cheese for One
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So here is the scenario—everyone is out of the house and you have a few hours to yourself. You want to spend it catching up on some unfinished business, or maybe it's going to be a lazy night in and you want to cuddle up on the couch in front of the TV. And now it's dinner time. You are not in a mood for takeout, but you don't want to invest the time dragging out and cleaning up pots and pans to make a meal for one. This bowl of smooth, cheesy, creamy, hearty pasta and cheese for one is exactly what you need. It is homemade, so you know exactly what you are getting. And you can have this bowl of goodness in 12 minutes...without dragging out the pots and pans! 

Microwaved Horseradish-Bacon Mac and Cheddar Cheese for One

I recently started microwaving my own single serve mac and cheese style dishes. My only regret is I wished I had thought of it sooner. This pasta dish is so versatile: you can mix and match ingredients to suit your taste at the moment. Change out the pasta and use your favorite. You just need to play around with the cooking time as thicker pastas take a minute or so more to cook. For the sauce, if you happen to have cheddar, prepared horseradish, and bacon you can use them. But this is supposed to be a quick and easy recipe, so why go through all that trouble when you can buy a chunk of cheese that already has all three? Or you could switch out the cheese entirely. Use your favorite mixture of cheeses, or Brie, or blue cheese, or goat cheese...whatever you want. Experiment with it. Want veggies? Add chopped broccoli, red pepper, peas, and so on. Add precooked chicken or beef. See what I mean? The possibilities are virtually endless. Just remember, swapping out or adding ingredients may take few minutes longer for you to make this dish, but this microwaving method makes a 12-15 minute meals a piece of cake! And remember, all the cooking is in the microwave—no heating up the house and no washing pots and pans. Heck! It takes longer to get your own takeout!


Microwaved Horseradish-Bacon Mac and Cheddar Cheese for One
Let me assure you, this microwaved mac and cheese is just as good as the traditional stovetop or oven baked version. The pasta comes out perfectly al dente. I have used this microwave method to make egg noodles with Brie and bacon. The egg noodles take even less time than elbow macaroni to cook! The sauce was silky, mild, and cheesy with a touch of saltiness. Yum! Try it out!

I need to point out that the bacon topping in today's mac and cheese is entirely optional. Since there is already bacon in the horseradish/cheddar cheese, adding more is not necessary. But I'm a bacon girl, so the more the better. I frequently have leftover cooked bacon in the freezer. The recipe calls for pre-cooked bacon, but you can easily cook your own in the microwave. It literally takes less than 2 minutes (instructions are in the recipe below). I also need to address the parsley in the photos. It is there merely for your viewing pleasure. I don't add it to my own bowl when I make it for myself. Besides, who has time for chopped parsley garnish in a 12-minute meal!? 
Microwaved Horseradish-Bacon Mac and Cheddar Cheese for One

This recipe is not only great for a party of one at home, but also perfect for settings where cooking amenities are limited, such as in student housing or hotel rooms, where microwaving may be the only cooking option. Plus, this pasta dish is great for the kids for a wholesome meal without the added the preservatives and artificial additives like those store bought versions. And this adult size pasta for one will easily serve two children portions. Enjoy!


Microwaved Horseradish-Bacon Mac and Cheddar Cheese for One


MICROWAVED HORSERADISH-BACON MAC AND CHEDDAR CHEESE FOR ONE



INGREDIENTS:

2/3 cups uncooked elbow macaroni
2 cups water
1/4 tsp. salt (for pasta)
7 tbsp. milk
1/2 tsp. flour
2 oz. cheese of choice, shredded or very thinly sliced (I used Horseradish and Smoked Bacon Pasteurized and Process Cheddar Cheese)—see Image A
1 tbsp. butter, cut into 3 slices
1/8 tsp. salt (for the sauce)
1/8 tsp. black or white pepper
2 strips cooked bacon, finely chopped (optional) — See Note 2




INSTRUCTIONS:
Image A

Place macaroni, water, and 1/4 teaspoon salt in a large (at least 4 cups capacity) microwavable bowl. Using a bowl that is too small will allow water to spill over during cooking. Microwave on high for 10 minutes, stopping halfway to stir once.

While macaroni cooks, assemble the sauce ingredients. Pour milk into a small microwavable bowl. Whisk in flour using a fork or spoon. Add cheese (if the cheese comes in a block, no need to take out the grater, just cut into 1/8" x 1/2" x 1/2"  pieces to ensure quick melting). Add butter, salt, and pepper. Set aside.

When pasta is cooked to al dente, remove from microwave. Cover bowl with a large plate and drain any excess water. Keep covered. Microwave the milk/cheese mixture for 45 seconds. Stir. Microwave again for 45 seconds. Use a fork to whisk cheese mixture smooth. Add to pasta. The sauce will seem thin at first, but allow it to sit for a minute and it will thicken. Top with preheated, cooked bacon and serve. Makes 1 serving.

Note:
1) Cooking time given for a 1200 watt microwave. Cooking time might vary slightly depending on the wattage of your microwave. Increase or decrease the time as necessary.

2) If you don't have pre-cooked bacon, you can microwave them. Place 2 pieces of paper towels on a paper plate or a microwavable plate, add uncooked bacon (flat), and top with 2 additional pieces of paper towels. Microwave for 1 1/2 to 2 minutes. Rotate the plate 180 degrees once if there is no turntable. Chop or crumple when cooked and add to pasta.




ALSO FOUND ON IN GOOD FLAVOR

Ham and Peas Macaroni Alfredo

Ravioli with Chicken and Jerk Alfredo Sauce



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36 comments:

  1. OMG! Please just give me a big bowl of this RIGHT NOW! I love how easy it is! And NO DISHES is always smiled upon! I will definitely be making this next time I'm craving mac n cheese! Pinned! Thanks for sharing! :D

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    1. Thank you for the pin, Kennedy! I don't like to put my pans in the dishwasher, so I hand wash them all. This recipe is great because there are no pans and everything can go straight into the dishwasher. :)

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  2. I've never seen this kind of cheese, and it sounds like worth to try. I've never made mac n cheese in a microwave either, but that looks as a good option too. Delicious result, Thao! Could you double the serving for me, please?:)

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    1. I will gladly make you a double, Ben! Will it be pickup or takeout? Haha!! I love all of the different variety of cheese that is available today. This single serve method is a great way to taste test them all.

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  3. This sounds so delicious. I love the idea of horseradish flavor in mac n cheese, especially with the bacon. Such a good idea!

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    1. Thank you, Kathleen! If you like horseradish, you will love this cheese.

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  4. OMG that bacon, that cheese and how easy and flavorful this s, such a comforting meal!

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    1. Yeah! I'm happy you feel that way about the dish, Katalina!

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  5. This looks amazing!! I love that you added bacon too ; )

    http://madelinemarieblog.com/

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    1. Thank you, Madeline. Bacon puts me in a happy place. :)

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  6. WOA - this is some amped up mac and cheese! Using Horseradish and Smoked Bacon cheese makes this so totaly unique!

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  7. My husband's favorite food is mac & cheese and he will be so psyched when I show him this recipe tonight. Now he'll be able to make his own mac & cheese whenever he wants to! And I'm a bacon girl too so love your belief "the more the better". Amen sister!! :)

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    1. Oh yeah! I hope he likes it, Karrie. Then he can make it to his heart's content, and you won't have to touch a thing! I'm so glad that we belong to the same Gamma Gamma Giveme More Bacon Sisterhood!! :)

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  8. This dish looks so yummy and I am so hungry right now. I don't have a microwave but I am sure I can manage this without one. :)

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    1. You can certainly make this on the stovetop and get the same delicious result, Adina.

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  9. What a terrific idea! It's like Easy Mac but a heck of a lot more gourmet!!!

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    1. Thanks, Liz. More gourmet was what I was going for. :)

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  10. If mac and cheese was a woman, my husband would be having an affair. I need to make this for him! Love the bacon addition. Found your post on the pint sized baker link party. My hubby will thank you!

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    1. Haha!! He should be thanking you for allowing him to take part in such debauchery! :) Thank you for your comment, Chrissa. I'm glad you stopped by.

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  11. Seriously genius post, Thao! Who doesn't love mac n' cheese? But, WITH bacon and horseradish AND made in the blink of the eye? PLUS no pots and pans to clean? Woot-Woot! Sign me up! Love this, girlfriend! Looks just and creamy and delicious as any other mac n' cheese out there that takes twice the time and effort! Pinned! Cheers, girlie!! <3

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    1. Awww! I'm basking in the glory of your praise, Chey! It means a lot coming from you, the chef. This is my lazy girl's mac 'n cheese, but I'm happy to say that it is quite yummy. Thanks for the pin, girlfriend!

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  12. oh my goodness this sounds so easy and creative and delicious! I used to eat so much mac and cheese but stopped to keep my weight steady haha. Maybe I'll just have to splurge some calories on this. I love microwave recipes - so much easier than stovetop

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    1. Thanks so much, Natalie! Do allow yourself to splurge on mac and cheese once in a while. You deserve it! :)

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  13. Mac and cheese is the ultimate comfort meal and I love this jazzed up and easy version! Perfect for those busy or lazy nights :)

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  14. Oh wow! This sounds so easy and quick. I love microwave recipes, they are quick and fuss free. And I also Mac and cheese, this is one of the yummiest meals. Lovely share, Thao! :)

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    1. Thank you, Anu! I'm so glad you like the microwave version. :)

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  15. Oh my, how on earth did I miss this! Macaroni is my kryptonite - and the fact that you've made it single-serve, quick in the microwave, and it's made with horseradish AND bacon... holy @$%# this sounds good! Pinning for sure!

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    1. I never would have guessed that macaroni is your Achilles heel, but l'm so glad this mac and cheese has your solid seal of approval! Thanks for the pin, Kathleen!

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  16. LOL You basically summed up every night I've ever had by myself perfectly! This bacon mac and cheese looks amazing! And exactly what I would want for a girls night in alone. I can picture it now...me, a big bowl of this mac, some wine, and a chick-flick!

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    1. Thanks Lindsey! I'm a bit jealous though. I would love to have many more girl's night in and quality alone time. :)

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  17. This dish looks so good, wish I had a bowl right now. Thanks so much for sharing your awesome post with Full Plate Thursday. Hope you are having a great day and come back soon!
    Miz Helen

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    1. Thank you, Miz Helen. Me too! I Haven't had dinner yet! :)

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  18. What a great idea to use a flavored cheese. I love horseradish!

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    1. Thank you, Lori. The horseradish flavor in this mac and cheese is wonderful.

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