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An Irishman’s Mac and Cheese | halfbakedharvest.com @hbharvest
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4.65 from 28 votes

An Irishman's Mac and Cheese.

It's loaded with all things a really good mac and cheese should be loaded with, and then some.
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time40 mins
Total Time55 mins
Course: Main Course, Side Dish
Cuisine: American, irish
Keyword: mac and cheese, pasta
Servings: 6 Servings
Calories: 549kcal
Author: halfbakedharvest


Kale Pesto Slaw

  • 1 bunch kale sliced into thin shreds
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • salt
  • 1/3 cup [homemade | https://www.halfbakedharvest.com/20-minute-brown-butter-chunky-basil-pesto-pasta/] or store- bought pesto
  • juice of half a lemon

Mac and Cheese

  • 1 pound of your favorite short cut pasta
  • 4-6 slices thick cut bacon chopped
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup stout beer or another 1/2 cup of milk
  • 3 cups whole milk warm
  • 2 1/2 cups sharp Irish white cheddar cheese shredded
  • 1 1/4 cups havarti cheese shredded
  • 1/4 cup of the kale slaw recipe above
  • 1/4 teaspoon mustard powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoons salt + pepper
  • 1-2 cups lightly crushed potato chips


Kale Pesto Slaw

  • Add the kale to a large bowl and drizzle with olive oil and salt. Massage the olive oil and salt into the kale for a minute or two. Add the pesto and lemon juice, toss well to combine. Keep stored in the fridge.

Mac and Cheese

  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Spray a baking dish with nonstick spray or lightly grease with oil.
  • Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Boil the pasta until al-dente. You want it to have a bit of bite to it. It will finish cooking in the oven. Drain well.
  • In the same pot you boiled the pasta, cook the bacon over medium heat until browned and crisp. Remove the bacon from the pot and drain on a paper towel lined plate. Drain all but one tablespoon of the bacon grease out of the pot. In the same pot, melt the 4 tablespoons butter over medium heat. Whisk in the flour. Reduce the heat to medium-low and let cook/bubble for 1 minute, stirring once or twice to avoid burning. Gradually whisk in the beer and cook another minute. Now slowly pour in the milk, whisking until combined. Raise the heat up to medium-high. Bring the mixture to a boil, whisking frequently until the sauce has thickened, about 2-3 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in all of the cheese, kale pesto, mustard powder, cayenne, salt and pepper. Stir until the cheese is fully melted (if needed, return the pot to the heat to fully melt the cheese). Stir in the pasta and bacon, transfer to the prepared baking dish. Sprinkle on the potato chips crumbs and place the baking dish on top of a baking sheet. Bake for 25-30 minutes or until the crumbs are golden brown and the sauce is bubbling. Remove from the oven and let site five minutes (yeah, right). Top with the kale pesto slaw. Dig in!!


Calories: 549kcal | Carbohydrates: 78g | Protein: 32g | Fat: 54g | Saturated Fat: 23g | Cholesterol: 103mg | Sodium: 694mg | Potassium: 728mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 9g | Vitamin A: 2500IU | Vitamin C: 22.2mg | Calcium: 577mg | Iron: 2.2mg