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dutch oven mac and cheese in mini pots.
5 from 3 votes
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Loaded Dutch Oven Mac and Cheese

This loaded dutch oven mac and cheese is the ultimate comfort food. Creamy, rich, and stuffed with four cheese, crispy bacon, and caramelized onion...it's homemade mac and cheese to a whole new gourmet level!
Servings 6 servings
Prep 1 hr 20 mins
Cook 20 mins
Total 1 hr 40 mins
Course : dinner
Cuisine : American
Author : Cambrea Gordon

Equipment

Ingredients 
 

  • 6 strips bacon cut into 1 inch piece chunks
  • 2 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 large yellow onion chopped into 1 inch chunks
  • 12 ounces elbow macaroni
  • 1 ½ cup whole milk
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 2 cups shredded medium sharp cheddar cheese
  • 1 cup shredded gruyere cheese
  • 6 ounces cream cheese room temperature
  • 1 cup shredded gouda cheese
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ½ tsp black pepper
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ½ teaspoon onion powder
  • ½ teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1 teaspoon mustard powder
  • fresh chives to top

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F/180 C.
  • Heat a large dutch oven over medium heat and add the bacon. Cook stirring occasionally for 20 minutes, or until the bacon is crispy. Use a slotted spoon to transfer it to a paper towel lined plate.
    6 strips bacon
  • Carefully pour the bacon grease into a mug or heat proof bowl. Use a paper towel to wipe out any excess grease, then add the olive oil.
    2 tablespoon olive oil
  • Add the chopped onion to the dutch oven then decrease the heat to medium-low to keep them from burning. Cook the onions for 35-40 minutes or until they are brown and caramelized.
    1 large yellow onion
  • Transfer the caramelized onions to a bowl and set aside.
  • When the onions have about 10 minutes left, fill a large stock pot with water and bring it to a boil.
  • Boil the macaroni noodles until al dente following the package instructions. Drain the noodles.
    12 ounces elbow macaroni
  • To the dutch oven, add the cream cheese, gruyere, gouda, spices, milk, heavy cream and all but ½ of the cheddar cheese and mix to combine with a wooden spoon.
    1 ½ cup whole milk, 1 cup heavy cream, 2 cups shredded medium sharp cheddar cheese, 1 cup shredded gruyere cheese, 6 ounces cream cheese, 1 cup shredded gouda cheese, ½ teaspoon kosher salt, ½ teaspoon black pepper, ½ teaspoon garlic powder, ½ teaspoon onion powder, ½ teaspoon smoked paprika, 1 teaspoon mustard powder
  • Add the reserved bacon and onions and stir to combine.
  • Add in the boiled noodles and mix to combine.
  • Top it with the remaining ½ cup of shredded cheddar cheese.
  • Bake the mac and cheese uncovered for 20-25 minutes or until the cheese is melted and bubbly.
  • Place the dutch oven on a wire rack or cooling pad and serve immediately with fresh chopped chives!
    fresh chives

Notes

Step by step process photos are provided above, in the body of this post.
  • Best cheeses: Feel free to use any of your favorite cheeses! You can substitute the gruyere cheese with swiss, cheddar with white cheddar, and the gouda with Monterey Jack cheese. You could also use mozzarella or brie as well.
  • More additions: If you aren't a fan of bacon, this recipe is great with ground beef.
  • Toppings: For a crunchier topping, you could top the mac and cheese with buttery bread crumbs before baking.
  • Serving: This dish is best served immediately hot from the oven as a main or side dish!
 
Shred your cheese: While you can use any cheese you desire, I do recommend grating it yourself! Pre-shredded cheeses are covered in anti-caking agents which can prevent their ability to melt into a creamy sauce.
Season as needed: Because there is cheese and bacon in this recipe, the amount of salt will vary depending on your personal preference. I recommend adding just a little, then tasting as needed.
Don't overbake it: Baking this dish for too long will dry out the cheese and the noodles will get mushy
Storage Instructions: Store any leftovers in a sealed container in the fridge for 3-4 days.
To reheat: Reheat the mac and cheese on the stove in a pot with a few tablespoons of milk until it's hot and creamy again. The milk keeps the cheese from separating when reheating which can cause it to become greasy.

Nutrition

Serving: 1serving | Calories: 929kcal | Carbohydrates: 52g | Protein: 38g | Fat: 63g | Saturated Fat: 36g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 3g | Monounsaturated Fat: 20g | Cholesterol: 201mg | Sodium: 963mg | Potassium: 428mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 8g | Vitamin A: 1954IU | Vitamin C: 2mg | Calcium: 913mg | Iron: 1mg