Grandma Bessie’s inspired Mac & Cheese

1 pound box of Rigatoni or Penne pasta
4 cups of milk
5 tablespoons of flour
1 stick of butter
1 pound of Velveeta Cheese
4 cups of crushed corn flakes
1 pound of thick cut bacon (optional)
Cholula hot sauce (optional)
Pickled jalapeños (optional)

  1. Preheat oven to 350°
  2. Dice up thick-cut bacon and fry until browned; Drain grease and set bacon aside.
  3. Boil a pot of water and add pasta; Cook until al dente.
  4. For the cheese sauce, you will make a rue. Melt one stick of butter in a pan over medium heat, making sure not to burn the butter.
  5. Add four cups of milk and five tablespoons of flour and bring up to a medium-high heat; Stir until the rue thickens. Add salt and pepper to taste.
  6. Once the rue is thick enough to stick to the back of a spoon, add the Velveeta in cubes.
  7. When the cheese is melted into the rue, you can add hot sauce and jalapeños if you like spice.
  8. Add bacon and pasta into the sauce.
  9. Pour mixture into a baking dish and top with crushed corn flakes.
  10. Place dish in the oven and bake for one hour, checking every 15 minutes to make sure the top doesn’t burn.
  11. Once the top is golden brown, take the mac & cheese out and let cool a little bit before serving.

This is a spicy twist to my Grandma Bessie’s famous Mac & Cheese. As a kid growing up with my grandparents, I always loved it when family reunions rolled around because that was the only time my grandma would make her mac & cheese. Everyone loved it so much that she had to make three casserole dishes of it so everyone could get some. Hopefully this recipe will bring you and your family the same joy it brought ours.

-Derek B.