Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Jack Daniel's Smoky Bacon Mac and Cheese (With Video)


Jack Daniel's Mac and Cheese recipe loaded with hickory smoked peppered bacon, tons of ooey gooey smoky cheese and a selection of spices to wake up all your senses.  This is the mac and cheese of your dreams.

Macaroni and cheese has to be the #1 comfort food. But not only that its a simple go to dish.  It is our favorite.  Anytime you ask my 4 year old what she wants for dinner, it's mac and cheese!  Well that makes 3 of us, because with all thay ooey gooey cheese I could certainly eat it every day for the rest of my life and never tire of it.

Needless to say I get the chance to create a lot of unbelievable twists on traditional mac and cheese.   I am especially proud of my most recent creation - Jack Daniel's Smoky Bacon Mac and Cheese.  After creating bbq sauce, pork chops, grill sauce, pulled pork, a surprising fudgy brownie and cocktail after cocktail  I knew I wanted to create a Jack Daniel's Mac and Cheese.

It's ready in just 30 minutes and I know you are going to love it!
Dinner's Ready!

It's unlike any mac and cheese you have ever eaten.  Jack Daniel's cooks down to leave the perfect smokiness, some maple and a hint of woodsiness to recipes and to me that meant it would be perfect with bacon!!  Oodles of ooey gooey cheese, 12 ounces of hickory smoked peppered bacon and a collection of spices that will wake up your taste buds and leave you completely satisfied makes this the best mac and cheese of your life.

With love from our kitchen table to yours. 


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Super Simple Mac & Cheese Italian Style with a mere 7 ingredients and 15 minutes you can have this fantastic Mac & Cheese on your table. Ooey gooey Italian cheeses and spices come together to make this the perfect Italian style stove top mac and cheese.


Jack Daniel's Smoky Bacon Mac and Cheese
SERVES 4  |  ACTIVE TIME 30 Min  |  TOTAL TIME 30 Minutes

½ tsp kosher salt + more for pasta water
12 oz Hickory smoked peppered bacon, uncooked
2 Tbsp unsalted butter
½ cup Jack Daniel's Whiskey
½ cup chicken broth
¼ cup all-purpose flour
½ teaspoon smoked paprika
1 teaspoon garlic powder
½ teaspoon New Mexico chili powder
1 tablespoon chili pepper paste
½ tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
2 cups milk
4 ounces extra sharp cheddar (white), shredded
2 ounces smoked provolone cheese, shredded
2 ounces Asiago cheese, shredded
8 oz dry elbow pasta
croutons (garnish)

Bring an 8 quart covered pot filled with water to a boil over high heat. Once it boils, add a handful of salt and pasta. Reduce heat to medium high and cook uncovered to al dente (has a bite to it). Drain and set aside.

Meanwhile warm a large 12” skillet over medium-high heat. Using clean kitchen shears cut bacon into bite size pieces over the skillet and let them to fall into the pan. Stir occasionally as needed. Cook until crisp.

While the bacon is cooking, shred cheeses and prepare remaining ingredients. 

Once bacon is cooked through, remove bacon to a bowl with a slotted spoon. Reserve 2 tablespoons of bacon drippings and discard the rest. Wipe the side of the skillet to avoid flame ups.

Pour reserved bacon drippings back into the skillet over medium heat and add butter. Once melted add flour and whisk to combine. Add spices, chili paste, Worcestershire, whiskey and chicken broth. Whisk to combine. Allow to come to a bubble for 3 minutes, whisking occasionally to help pick up the bits on the bottom of the pan. Add milk. Whisk to combine. Bring back to a bubble and add cheeses.  Stir until cheese is melted and smooth.

Add pasta to sauce and stir to combine. Add bacon. Cook pasta in sauce for 5 minutes over medium heat until sauce thickens and the pasta has a chance to absorb some of the sauce.

Sprinkle with croutons, if desired. 

Serve and enjoy!

DONNA'S NOTES: Recipe may be doubled. Simply use 2x the ingredients and follow cooking directions. Sauce will thicken as it cools. If sauce is too thick, add milk ½ cup at a time until it reaches your desired consistency.

Reheat instructions: Add pasta to pot with milk. Heat until warmed through, adding ½ cup of milk at a time until desired constancy is reached.

Freezing instructions: Allow pasta to come to room temperature. Place in resealable plastic bag or container. If using a container press a small piece of plastic wrap over top to avoid freezer burn. Will keep for up to 6 months. To reheat, that pasta and follow reheat instructions.

Alcohol substitutions: You can substitute another liquid for the whiskey. Beer, bourbon or chicken broth would be best.


Recipe developed by Donna Elick - The Slow Roasted Italian
Copyright ©2014 The Slow Roasted Italian – All rights reserved.

Originally published 2/24/14


  1. Loving everything about this dish! Definitely one I need to make asap. Thanks for helping us kick off our event!

  2. Absolutely everything about this recipe screams my name! LOVING the addition of whiskey...yum! Thank you so much for helping us kick off this event. It's so early in the morning and all I want to eat is mac and cheese...haha :)

  3. Jack Daniels + Bacon?!? Sign me up. This looks and sounds amazing!

  4. I adore cooking with alcohol ;-)
    I think you should be my new best friend :-) Seriously fabulous recipe!

    Happy Mac and Cheese Mania Day!

  5. A cup of whiskey in mac 'n cheese? That sounds like a dream come true...especially with the bacon.

  6. Mac n' Cheese and JD .... how could it get any better!?! Looks amazing - will definitely be trying soon!

  7. Now this is one amazing mac! Love the combo of JD and bacon!

  8. You are a total genius. This is absolutely divine.

  9. I always cook with JD....once in a while I even add it to the food

  10. Can't wait to step this comfort food recipe & enjoy on one of our cold Canada days.

    Gourmet Granny

  11. My mouth is watering, I must make this!!

  12. Not good we made this tonight doubling the recipe 2 cups of whiskey is just way to much we could not even eat it next time we will leave the whiskey out nasty

    1. I am sorry to hear this recipe did not turn out for you. I would love to have you try it again with 1 cup of whiskey. Let me know how it goes. We love it. We only use 1 cup for a double batch.

    2. Original recipe says 1/2 cup JD, so doubling it would only be 1 CUP not 2!

    3. This didn't work out for us as well. Needed a very large batch, usedan 32 Oz of pasta and 2 cups of whiskey. Everyone said the whisky was too much. Have it in the freezer to use in chili and goulash. WI'll try again with half as much alcohol.

    4. 2 cups of whiskey would definitely be too much..yep, probably why if you double it should have only been 1 cup.

  13. Wow these look sooo good!...Thanks for sharing this...


  14. the person that said they doubled the recipe and used two cups of whiskey should have read the recipe right it only calls for a half a cup in the recipe for 4 servings

    1. Yeah.. what a moron. And he put it in writing.

    2. Was your comment really necessary? Have you never made a mistake? This site is for recipes, not sarcasm.

    3. Yeah, the comment was necessary. What a moron.

  15. I can`t wait to try all of them

  16. Will definitely try this but will add some sweetcorn and maybe broccoli. And cover with cheese and put in the oven for 20 mins to get a nice crust on top. Can't wait!

    1. My thoughts exactly! I'm adding a little chopped spinach and garlic with cheese and bread crumbs on top in the oven for a few... it happens TONIGHT! What better way to spend a dark winter night in Alaska? Oh, I know... a side of steamed asparugus and the meal paired with a nice dark beer...yummy!

  17. I am taking this to a party- what size dish will the original recipe fit into? A 9x9, etc.
    Thank you!

  18. This sounds so good. I'm going to make this today and put it on my smoker for a little while. Can't wait to share the results.

  19. I'm going to make this today. I'm going to smoke it on my smoker. Can't wait to share the results.

  20. Want to try this, but will leave out the whiskey, as no one in my home likes alcoholic beverages.

    1. The alchol cooks out. You wont get drunk because you used whiskey to cook with. Its for the flavor. Leaving it out will defeat the whole purpose.

  21. Hi Donna
    Can you taste the whiskey in this recipe.

  22. sounds like an awesome compliment with barbecue

  23. sounds like an awesome compliment with barbecue

  24. I made it. It was alright. Needs to be cheesier

  25. Ok so the verdict is in..... Its alright. We both had two servings. It wasnt quite what I was expecting. The color was different then the video. Jaime doesnt think it has enough kick. For me it there was plenty of kick in the after taste. I was expecting a more Velveeta Shells and Cheese look and taste.

  26. Just when I thought Mac and Cheese could not get any better

  27. Made with gluten free macaroni or penne (I used quinoa based by Ancient Grains) and King Arthur's Gluten free flour blend - came out beautifully and I could eat it without getting sick! There you go for those that REALLY want Mac & Cheese but need to be G Free!

  28. This is such a tasty recipe idea. I am making it for my hubs this weekend. He's going to love it!

    1. Holli@TheSlowRoastedItalianMarch 12, 2018 at 7:19 AM

      That is awesome! Enjoy and let us know how it goes!

  29. Have everything to try to make this but can't find chili pepper paste in any of my local stores. Anyone know what I can substitute?


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