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December 19, 2021

Savory bacon, sweet onions and three types of cheese add layers of flavor to Ree's rich, creamy macaroni and cheese!
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Take one sassy former city girl, her hunky rancher husband, a band of adorable kids, an extended family, cowboys, 3,000 wild mustangs, a herd of cattle and one placid basset hound and you have The Pioneer Woman. The Pioneer Woman is an open invitation into Ree Drummond's life: The award-winning blogger and best-selling cookbook author comes to Food Network and shares her special brand of home cooking, from throw-together suppers to elegant celebrations. The series, set against the incredible story of life at home on the range, is the next best thing to actually sitting on a stool in Ree's kitchen.

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Caramelized Onion and White Cheddar Mac
Level: Easy
Total: 1 hr
Active: 30 min
Yield: 6 servings


1 1/2 pounds macaroni
8 slices bacon
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 large yellow onions, sliced thin
2 sprigs fresh thyme, leaves removed
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
4 tablespoons salted butter plus 2 tablespoons, melted
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
3 cups whole milk
1/3 cup heavy cream
2 cups shredded white Cheddar
4 ounces white processed cheese, such as Velveeta, cubed
4 ounces crumbled goat cheese
1 cup seasoned panko breadcrumbs
2 tablespoons chopped fresh oregano
1 tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary


Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

Cook the macaroni in boiling water until al dente according to the package instructions, then drain and set aside.

Fry the bacon in a dry skillet over medium heat, turning several times, until almost crisp, about 10 minutes. Remove and set aside. Pour away all but 2 tablespoons of the bacon grease. Return the skillet to the heat and add the garlic, onions and thyme. Season with a pinch of salt and pepper, then cook over medium-low heat until the onions are golden and caramelized, 12 to 15 minutes.

While the onions cook, make the cheese sauce for the macaroni. Melt 4 tablespoons of the butter in a large pot over medium heat. Sprinkle in the flour, whisking to combine. Cook the flour, stirring, for a minute or so. Continue to whisk as you add the milk, then the heavy cream. Cook until thick and bubbling, 8 to 10 minutes. Add the Cheddar and processed cheese, stirring until completely melted. Taste and season with salt and pepper as needed. Stir in the cooked macaroni until completely coated.

Add half of the onion mixture to a 9-by-13-inch baking dish. Top with half of the macaroni mixture. Repeat with another layer of onions and the remaining macaroni mixture. Dot the top with the goat cheese.

Chop the bacon and toss with the panko breadcrumbs, oregano, rosemary, melted butter and a pinch of salt. Sprinkle over the top of the dish. Bake until bubbly and golden, about 20 minutes.

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Ree Drummond's Caramelized Onion and White Cheddar Mac | The Pioneer Woman | Food Network

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