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French Onion Mac & Cheese

French Onion Mac & Cheese recipe

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French Onion Mac & Cheese is a delightful twist on the classic comfort food, combining the rich flavors of caramelized onions, creamy cheese sauce, and crispy bacon. This recipe brings together the savory essence of French onion soup with the indulgent creaminess of macaroni and cheese, making it a perfect dish for any occasion.

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Ingredients:

  • 8 ounces macaroni, boiled and strained
  • 6 slices bacon, cooked and crumbled
  • 1/4 cup salted butter, divided
  • 1 onion, quartered and thinly sliced
  • 7 ounces shredded Gruyere cheese
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1 1/2 cups whole milk
  • Salt and pepper, to taste

Instructions:

1. Prepare the Ingredients:

  1. Cook the Macaroni: In a large pot, cook the macaroni according to package instructions until al dente. Drain well and set aside.
  2. Prepare the Bacon: In a skillet over medium heat, cook the bacon until crispy. Remove from the skillet, drain on paper towels, and crumble into small pieces.
  3. Caramelize the Onions: In the same skillet used for bacon (or a separate one if preferred), melt 2 tablespoons of butter over medium-low heat. Add the thinly sliced onions and cook slowly, stirring occasionally, until caramelized and golden brown, about 20-25 minutes. Remove the caramelized onions from the skillet and set aside.

2. Make the Cheese Sauce:

  1. Prepare the Roux: In a large saucepan, melt the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter over medium heat. Add minced garlic and cook for 1-2 minutes until fragrant.
  2. Create the Roux: Sprinkle flour over the butter and garlic mixture. Cook, stirring constantly, for 1-2 minutes to form a roux, ensuring it doesn’t burn.
  3. Add the Cream and Milk: Gradually pour in the heavy cream and whole milk, whisking constantly to combine with the roux. Continue cooking over medium heat, stirring frequently, until the sauce thickens and begins to simmer, about 5-7 minutes.
  4. Incorporate the Cheese: Gradually add shredded Gruyere cheese to the sauce, stirring until the cheese melts and the sauce becomes smooth and creamy. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

3. Combine and Bake:

  1. Preheat the Oven: Preheat your oven to 350°F (175°C). Grease a baking dish lightly with butter or cooking spray.
  2. Mix Ingredients: In a large mixing bowl, combine the cooked macaroni, crumbled bacon, and caramelized onions. Pour the prepared cheese sauce over the macaroni mixture and gently fold until evenly coated.
  3. Bake the Mac & Cheese: Transfer the macaroni mixture into the prepared baking dish. Sprinkle an additional layer of shredded Gruyere cheese on top if desired. Bake in the preheated oven for 25-30 minutes, or until the top is golden brown and the sauce is bubbly.
  4. Serve: Remove from the oven and let it cool for a few minutes before serving. Garnish with chopped fresh parsley if desired. Serve hot and enjoy!

Tips for Success:

  • Caramelizing Onions: Take your time to caramelize the onions slowly over low heat to achieve a sweet and rich flavor profile.
  • Choosing Cheese: Gruyere cheese adds a nutty and slightly sweet flavor to the dish. You can also experiment with other cheeses like Swiss or a combination of Gruyere and Parmesan for added complexity.
  • Creamy Texture: Stir the cheese sauce constantly while adding the cheese to ensure a smooth and creamy consistency.
  • Baking Time: Keep an eye on the macaroni and cheese while baking to prevent over-browning. If the top browns too quickly, cover loosely with foil.

French Onion Mac & Cheese is a comforting and flavorful dish that combines the best of both worlds: the rich, savory flavors of French onion soup and the creamy indulgence of classic macaroni and cheese. With its layers of caramelized onions, crispy bacon, and gooey cheese sauce, this dish is sure to be a hit at your table. Whether served as a main course or a side dish, French Onion Mac & Cheese offers a delicious twist on a beloved favorite. Enjoy making and savoring this delightful recipe with your family and friends!

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This recipe ensures a satisfying and delicious meal with its creamy cheese sauce and savory toppings. Enjoy preparing and sharing it!

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