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Cast Iron Skillet Mac and Cheese Recipe

This savory homemade macaroni and cheese recipe is made in a cast iron skillet and has a creamy sauce, bacon, and a crunchy-cheese topping that will quickly become a family favorite.

Who doesn't love mac and cheese? Macaroni and cheese is a family favorite in my home. This cast iron skillet mac and cheese doesn't last long; everyone loves it, even the pickiest of eaters. This mac and cheese recipe comes together quickly and because it's made in a cast iron skillet it goes from the stovetop directly into the oven.

I recommend using brick cheese and grating it yourself. Shredded cheese in a bag is coated with powdered cellulose and/ or other additives. Coating the shredded cheese with cellulose blocks out the moisture so the cheese shreds don't clump, and stick together. Pre-shredded cheese is convenient but brick cheese tastes better, melts better, and has a creamier texture.

Frequently Asked Questions


Q: How do I preheat a cast iron skillet?

A: Cast iron skillets and dutch ovens take longer to heat. Preheat your cast iron on low to medium heat for 5-10 minutes.

Q: Do I preheat cast iron before baking?

A: Yes, preheat the cast iron in the oven before baking. Place the cast iron in the oven, and turn on the oven to 400 degrees. Leave the skillet in the oven for 15 minutes or until it's hot.

Q: Do you preheat cast iron with or without oil?

A: Always heat your skillet prior to adding oil or butter.

Q: Can I make this mac and cheese without a cast iron skillet!

A: Yes, you can make this recipe without cast iron.

Q: What is a cast iron skillet?

A: Cast iron was originally designed for open-hearth cooking. This heavy metal could withstand heat from cooking on an open fire in earlier centuries. Cast iron retains heat which helps food quickly and evenly.

NOTE The handles of cast iron are also made of metal and get hot. An oven mitt is essential.



  • 1 box of elbow macaroni

  • 4 pieces of bacon sliced into small pieces

  • 1 medium onion

  • 1-2 tablespoons butter

  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour

  • 3 cups of milk

  • 4 cups shredded cheddar cheese

  • 1 teaspoon paprika

  • salt and pepper to taste

For The Topping

1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese

1/2 cup bread crumbs (panko bread crumbs will give the mac and cheese a crunchier topping)


Let's Get Cooking

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add the pasta and cook according to the package directions. Drain the pasta and set aside.

While the pasta is cooking, place the cut-up bacon in the cast iron skillet and cook over medium heat for a few minutes until the bacon fat covers the bottom of the pan. Stir in the onions and continue cooking until the onions are golden brown and the bacon is fully cooked.

Add enough of the butter to have three tablespoons of fat in the pan. Once it's melted, stir in the flour and cook for about 3 minutes, stirring constantly. Whisk in the milk and bring to a boil, stirring until smooth. Reduce the heat and simmer for 10 minutes or until the sauce has thickened. Add 4 cups of the cheese and stir until it has all melted. Stir in the cooked macaroni and season with paprika, salt, and, pepper.

Combine the parmesan cheese and bread crumbs in a bowl. Spread the mixture over the macaroni and cheese and bake for 20 minutes.


Did you know you can make pizza in a cast iron skillet? Check out my post, How to make pizza in a cast iron skillet? This deep-dish pizza is crispy on the outside and chewy on the inside. I know you will love it!

Cast iron skillet pizza recipe

Thank You for stopping by Lia Rose Simply Home, where you will find simple, inspirational, homemaking.



Hi, thanks for stopping by!

Hello, my name is Wendy I live in upstate NY with my husband and four children. Now that my children are getting older I have some extra time to share my experiences, recipes, traditions and life tips.

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