Sweet Corn and Bacon Skillet Mac & Cheese

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Creamy, homemade mac and cheese laced with smoky bacon and sweet corn is made right on the stove top. 

Sweet Corn + Bacon Skillet Mac and Cheese | iowagirleats.com

Before I got pregnant I had big dreams about the crazy cravings I wouldn’t be able to resist during the 9 months we’d be cookin’ up this baby.

Oreos dipped in peanut butter. A salty pickle in one hand, sweet ice cream in another. And most definitely sending Ben out semi-regularly to pick up movie theater popcorn without even seeing a movie. Extra butter, natch.

Well here we are with 2 weeks to go and…nothing. Still no sudden urges that won’t dissipate until the craving has been crushed, still no melt downs, still no gotta have it NOW. Nothing!

Except, for mac and cheese.

Honest to God, I have looked at this post at least 3 times a week over the last 8 months, trying to justify eating one pot mac and cheese for every single meal of the day. I can’t get enough! Is it the carbs? The cheese? The creaminess of it all? Probably (say it with me) all. The. Things!

I’m surprised the dish hasn’t made an appearance more often on the blog over the winter and spring, probably because I turn to good ol’ Annie’s so frequently for a quick fix, but this recent homemade concoction was too good to not share. Sweet Corn and Bacon Skillet Mac & Cheese. 

Sweet Corn + Bacon Skillet Mac and Cheese | iowagirleats.com

Creamy mac and cheese laced with smoky bacon and sweet corn, topped with fresh chopped tomatoes. The combo is quickly assembled right on the stove top, which is KEY for when that mac and cheese craving hits. No baking required!

The sweet corn in here just blows my mind. I considered doubling the amount after the first taste, but then I figured it might be more like cheesy corn with pasta….which doesn’t sound half bad, actually! Crisp bacon balances out the sweet, and chopped tomatoes provide a fresh flavor burst on top. Whether you’re a mac & cheese-craving Mama to be, or just mad about mac (who can blame ya’) I think you’ll love this dish!

Sweet Corn + Bacon Skillet Mac and Cheese | iowagirleats.com

Start by dropping 1/2lb gemelli (or any other short-cut pasta) into salted, boiling water. Cook until al dente then drain and set aside.

Sweet Corn + Bacon Skillet Mac and Cheese | iowagirleats.com

Next, heat a large skillet over medium heat then add 4 strips chopped bacon. Cook ‘em ’til they’re crisp then remove to a paper towel-lined plate and set aside. Then remove all but 1 teaspoon bacon fat from the skillet.

Sweet Corn + Bacon Skillet Mac and Cheese | iowagirleats.com

Now add my favorite part – the sweet corn! 2 ears worth of corn cut off the cob. This tri-colored corn I recently got was sweeter than candy. MMM! Saute the corn for 3-4 minutes, just until it’s barely tender, seasoning with a bit of salt and pepper.

Sweet Corn + Bacon Skillet Mac and Cheese | iowagirleats.com

FYI – there are lots of ways to get corn off the cob but the easiest way I know how, without having kernels fly all over the kitchen, is to lay the cob on a cutting board and cut off a strip. Rotate so the just-cut side is flat against the cutting board then cut off another strip. Keep going until you get all around the cob.

Sweet Corn + Bacon Skillet Mac and Cheese | iowagirleats.com

Once the corn is tender, remove it to a plate then melt 2 Tablespoons butter in the skillet. Next add 2 Tablespoons flour, stir to combine, and then cook for 30 seconds or so.

Sweet Corn + Bacon Skillet Mac and Cheese | iowagirleats.com

Slowly stream in 1 cup each milk (I used skim) and chicken broth, season with salt and pepper, and then stir until the sauce is thickened and bubbly, about 5 minutes. Remove the skillet from the heat then stir in 2 cups shredded cheddar cheese (hand-shredded if possible!)

Sweet Corn + Bacon Skillet Mac and Cheese | iowagirleats.com

Add the cooked pasta, corn, and bacon into the skillet then stir to combine.

Sweet Corn + Bacon Skillet Mac and Cheese | iowagirleats.com

Pile onto plates, top with chopped tomatoes, and crush that mac & cheese craving!

Sweet Corn + Bacon Skillet Mac and Cheese | iowagirleats.com

Sweet Corn and Bacon Skillet Mac & Cheese

Print this recipe!

Serves 4

Ingredients:
1/2lb gemelli or other short-cut pasta
4 strips bacon, chopped
2 ears sweet corn, kernels cut off cob (2 cups)
salt and pepper
2 Tablespoons butter
2 Tablespoons flour
1 cup milk (I used skim)
1 cup chicken broth
2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
1 vine-ripened tomato, chopped (about 1 cup)

Directions: 

  1. Add pasta to a large pot of salted, boiling water and cook until al dente. Drain then set aside.
  2. Preheat a large skillet over medium heat then add bacon and cook until crisp. Remove to a paper towel-lined plate then set aside. Remove and discard all but 1 teaspoon bacon fat from the skillet then add sweet corn and season with salt and pepper. Saute until just barely tender, 3-4 minutes, then remove to a plate and set aside.
  3. Melt butter in skillet then add flour and stir for 30 seconds. Slowly add milk and chicken broth while whisking constantly. Season with salt and pepper then switch to a wooden spoon and cook, stirring near constantly, until the mixture is thick and bubbly, about 5 minutes. Turn off heat then remove skillet from hot burner. Add cheese then stir until smooth.
  4. Add cooked pasta, bacon, and corn into the skillet then stir to combine. Serve topped with chopped tomatoes.

Sweet Corn + Bacon Skillet Mac and Cheese | iowagirleats.com

Thick, creamy, and decadent, this Sweet Corn and Bacon Mac & Cheese is hard to keep your fork out of. Hope you enjoy!

Sweet Corn + Bacon Skillet Mac and Cheese | iowagirleats.com

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Comments

  1. Cori 07.11.2013

    Ohhh yum! Making this next week.

  2. Hilary 07.11.2013

    6 months pregnant and I will be making this over the weekend… yum!!

  3. Courtney 07.11.2013

    That looks incredible! Cannot wait to make it.

  4. Looks delicious,as always! Can’t wait to make this with summer sweet corn:)
    And I agree…I didn’t really have any cravings either, except for CARBS! (and avocados. There was ONCE a ‘scene’ about avocados;)

  5. Tieghan 07.11.2013

    Sweet, cheesy and SO awesome! YUM!

  6. katie 07.11.2013

    This mac & cheese sounds awesome! I always wonder if one day when I am pregnant if I will have crazy cravings. A lot of my friends don;t… but I think craving mac & cheese is a good one to have!

  7. Oh my goodness! This is one big, beautiful bowl-full of comfort food. I love it!

  8. I’m not pregnant and I crave mac n cheese like its going out of style! This one looks incredible. I have been eating corn and tomatoes in almost everything I make so I know this would fit in perfectly! But with tempeh bacon. ;)

  9. Claire 07.11.2013

    This looks amazing! I’ve been obsessed with your Chicken Cordon Blu mac & cheese (making it 5 times in the past 2 months) and this looks just as good!

  10. erin@hooleywithaz 07.11.2013

    i cannot believe you haven’t had any cravings! i have them when i’m not pregs…that being said, thank you for this creation, it looks amazing.

  11. Betsy 07.11.2013

    That looks amazing! I too wondered if I would be sending my husband out at all hours to feed my cravings, but alas my one and only desire was ice water! It was completely bizarre.

  12. Trisha 07.11.2013

    Whoa.

    That is all.

  13. Oh, this reminds me of meals my husband used to make us when we were first dating (read: had no money). He would make Kraft mac & cheese (don’t judge, it’s good sometimes!), and just throw random stuff into it. No matter what went in, he would call it “Homemade Hamburger Helper.” And….it was tasty :)

  14. Also – recently, when I was running low on blog recipe inspiration, he asked if he should do a guest post about his “Homemade Hamburger Helper.” I sort of laughed it off. But maybe I should let him? hahahaha.

  15. Melissa 07.11.2013

    I love the shape of noodles you used in this recipe, they are ideal!

  16. Tracy 07.11.2013

    I’m 7 months pregnant and have been unable to resist the mac-N-cheese!! I craved it during my last pregnancy, too!!

  17. Love fresh corn and this dish is one I’ve gotta try!!!

  18. brandy m 07.11.2013

    yummmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm…

  19. Erin 07.11.2013

    I also craved mac and cheese when I was pregnant with our daughter Adley! It was the only thing I would eat in the beginning. That was before I failed the GD test MISERABLY and had to cut out carbs. I wouldn’t wish that on my worst enemy! Enjoy the last little bit you have left. : )

  20. Nikki 07.11.2013

    I craved protein, big time, specifically red meat. Could NOT get enough juicy burgers!

    However, the restaurant where I often bought lunch above my workplace had the best, best, best mac-n-cheese, which we called crack-n-cheese because it was so addicting! It was not unusual for me to order french toast with a side of mac-n-cheese, lol! I got some weird looks for that combo…until I finally started to really show, then they handed over my grub with a knowing smile :)

    Enjoy these last couple weeks of pregnancy!! Those were my favorite!!

  21. Jess 07.11.2013

    From one mac and cheese-craving mama-to-be to another…THANK YOU!!!

  22. Jamie 07.11.2013

    Also didn’t have any urgent cravings but did eat a ton of watermelon last summer when I was preggers. This mac looks amazing. I too will tell you – enjoy these last few weeks of pregnancy! I remember them as being pretty magical.

  23. Tracy 07.11.2013

    I think my kids will go CRAZY for this recipe!! The lazy cook in me is wondering if I can make it more like the one pot recipe? Maybe add the crisp bacon and corn at the end? I think your recipe would definitely have more flavor….but what do you think about the shortcut? Any advice?

  24. Katie 07.11.2013

    You’re the best!! Growing up the rule was we had to add a vegetable to our bowls when making kraft mac and cheese, and I always preferred corn! I’m not sure if I could add tomatoes (I’m not really a fan) but I would probably add some broccoli to pump it up nutritionally!

  25. Jennifer D. 07.11.2013

    Looks delicious!! With baby #1, I craved Japanese food, tempura specifically, but that was it. With baby #2, no cravings at all. I always thought that was weird. :) Best wishes on an easy delivery of your little bundle of joy!

  26. Julia 07.11.2013

    This looks sooo yummy! I am now officially craving mac and cheese. I love the tomatoes in it too! I actually didn’t have many cravings either–other than loads of watermelon and pizza..random!

  27. Karen 07.11.2013

    That looks delicious. What kind of skillet are you using? It is a Le Creuset?

  28. I’m 5 months pregnant and can’t get enough of mac-n-cheese. I have to limit myself to one box of Annie’s a week…but it’s so hard. This is getting pinned, like right now. And the corn! I can’t even handle the genius.

  29. Love love love this! The only weird craving I had while pregnant was mayo… I didn’t eat it by the spoonful but I could not get enough of stuff with mayo like macaroni salad, egg salad etc.

  30. I love adding veggies and tomatoes to my mac & cheese, but I have never thought to add corn. You better believe that I will be trying that the next time that I make it!

  31. that looks amazing! cheese? yes! bacon? yes!

  32. I am so NOT pregnant but that won’t stop me from making this multiple times over the next couple weeks. I love a good homemade mac and cheese and with sweet corn and bacon added into the mix, I call it perfection!!!

  33. Liz 07.11.2013

    I know I’m going to love this (fattening). Thank you.

  34. Nessa 07.11.2013

    Dibs on this ;)

  35. Jane 07.11.2013

    I had major cravings for pork chops, fried fish and Sierra Mist pop! More specifically, my dad had a restaurant, and I would alternate meals of pork chops and fish, haha :) Cannot believe you only have 2 weeks left! EEEKKKK :D

  36. This IS all the things. Oh my. I’ve been adding corn to my mac n’ cheese since I ate Kid Cuisine macaroni and stirred my corn in. Innovation starts young. Anyway, this looks absolutely GAW-geous, and it will be making an appearance at my house super soon. Can’t wait to “meet” your sweet baby soon!

  37. Sara 07.12.2013

    Can’t wait to try this.

    With both of my pregnancies, mac and cheese was one of the only things I could keep down first trimester. Cravings hit later, with my poor husband having to go find me vanilla soft-serve late at night, and eating jars of peaches in a given day!

  38. I love using fresh corn in dishes!! Mac and cheese is such comfort food :)

  39. Flo 07.12.2013

    I’m not a fan of altering someone’s receipe – But what do you suggest as a protein if not bacon in this?

    Thanks!

  40. great idea! thanks so much for sharing!

  41. House of Bedlam 07.12.2013

    Sadly, my cravings for mac & cheese didn’t end once I had my kids – I feel like it might have gotten even worse. :) This recipe sounds delicious – thanks for sharing!

  42. Janine 07.12.2013

    Looks so yummy! Now I just have to figure out how I can justify the calories. I’m sure that won’t be too hard ;-)

  43. Kathleen 07.13.2013

    Made this tonight- LOVE the fresh tomatoes on top! Very tasty, and came together quickly!

  44. Kathy 07.13.2013

    I now know what’s for dinner tomorrow. looks delicious. Can’t go wrong with mac & cheese-add bacon and corn-YUM! Thanks for sharing

  45. Tracy 07.14.2013

    I suddenly have a mac&cheese craving. And I have all the ingredients…

    Hmm. I think I know what I’m having for dinner tomorrow!

  46. Sara 07.14.2013

    When I was pregnant I worked right across the street from a steakhouse. Every time I stepped outside the building I would crave steak and I’m not even much on red meat in general. I can’t wait to try this recipe since my fiance is all about macaroni and cheese. He wants me to make it every night. I’m sure this one will be a regular in the dinner rotation.

  47. Hayley 07.14.2013

    This was the bomb! A perfect end to the weekend. I added some roasted broccoli since I had some on hand I wanted to use up. It was a great addition! I absolutely loved the fresh corn–nothing better in the summer :)

  48. Kelsey 07.16.2013

    Yum! Still haven’t had fresh sweet corn yet this year…need to change that asap! I hear ya on the pregnancy cravings. I was all set to buy stock in Blue Bunny but ended up craving nothing. Just ate lots of pizza. Carbs+cheese=heaven.

  49. Bonnie 07.17.2013

    Thanks for this recipe! I made it last night with turkey bacon and had precooked the corn in the microwave with full husks so it shucked super easily and it was delish. Figured it at 600 calories/serving as I used add’l turkey bacon and a little olive oil since no bacon grease (found out I didn’t need it as corn was cooked, duh). One I’ll definitely make again – along with your mozzarella bruschetta burgers, cheeseburger quesadilla, etc. :)

  50. [...] (and the bonus was, on those night, I didn’t have to share with anyone). This recipe for mac ‘n cheese with sweet corn and bacon (bacon!) had me at hello. I love bacon, as overdone as it’s been as of late. I also love pasta [...]

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