Michael Symon revamps a classic with his Bacon Mac and Wisconsin Cheese recipe

(Photo by Jason Koerner/Getty Images)
(Photo by Jason Koerner/Getty Images) /

For many people mac and cheese is the ultimate comfort food. As the cheese pulls, the first bite invites another until the bowl is empty. Although there is a time and place for that blue box, the reality is that a homemade mac and cheese with Wisconsin Cheese is a cheese lover’s delight. This Bacon Mac and Wisconsin Cheese recipe from Chef Michael Symon is the dish that will quickly become the most requested version of the classic comfort food.

Many people know Chef Michael Symon from the Food Network, his many cookbooks and even his infamous laugh. While he might be showcasing the best of BBQ on the Food Network, Symon appreciates that the best ingredients ensure that a recipe is full of flavor.

When it comes to mac and cheese recipes, it can be a hotly contested debate. While many people appreciate that the gooey, creamy factor is key to delicious dish, the reality is that choosing the right cheese is key. Although some prefer to combine many cheeses in that classic comfort food, Chef Symon turns to one cheese which he feels brings the utmost flavor.

Symon said, “I love Wisconsin Gruyère because it has that nutty flavor and that rich body.” That touch of nuttiness adds nuance to the dish. Contrasting the unctuous qualities of the bacon, the creaminess of the Wisconsin Gruyère is quite satisfying.

In some ways, the robust flavor of the cheese is a result of the cheesemongers who have perfected the craft. As Symon shares, “The cheese is only as great as the people that make it and is only as great as the products they get that surround it- and that’s what makes Wisconsin Cheese so special. They have the old school technique but then they have a new feel for flavor.”

Here’s how to make Michael Symon’s All-American Bacon Mac and Wisconsin Cheese recipe.


  • 1 package (16 ounces) uncooked elbow macaroni
  • 1/2 pound bacon, diced
  • 1 quart (4 cups) heavy whipping cream
  • 4 tablespoons fresh rosemary leaves, minced
  • 8 ounces Roelli Little Mountain Wisconsin cheese, shredded (2 cups)
  • Salt and coarsely ground pepper to taste
  • Minced fresh chives


  • Cook macaroni according to package directions; drain, reserving 3 tablespoons hot pasta water.
  • Meanwhile, fry bacon in a large skillet over medium heat until crisp. Remove with a slotted spoon to paper towels to drain.
  • Bring cream and rosemary to a gentle boil in a Dutch oven over medium heat, whisking constantly. Gently boil cream until reduced to about 2 cups, whisking constantly.
  • Reduce heat to low. Gradually whisk in Little Mountain Wisconsin cheese until melted. Add the macaroni, reserved pasta water and bacon; heat through, stirring constantly. Remove from the heat. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Garnish with chives… and ENJOY!

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Ready to upgrade that next comfort food dinner? Once you go Wisconsin Cheese you might never go back to that box in the pantry.