Shrimp and Bacon Mac-n-Cheese

Shrimp and Bacon Mac-n-Cheese

 
 
Ingredients:
1 box whole wheat elbow pasta
1/2 cup shredded Gouda cheese
1 cup Greek Yogurt
1/2 cup Cream Cheese
5 Tablespoons Butter ( plus some to saute the shrimp)
1 lb. Shrimp 
1 package bacon ( I use center cut)
2 cups 6 cheese Italian Blend shredded  (I used Sargento)
1/2 cup Monterrey Jack Cheese shredded
1/2 cup crumbled Feta
3/4 cup Swiss cheese shredded
3/4 cup Gruyere cheese shredded
1 cup Cheddar cheese shredded
1/2 cup milk
3/4 cup Parmesan cheese
1/2-3/4 cup Panko bread crumbs
 
 
Large baking dish.
 
Preheat oven to 350.
 
While preparing the shrimp and bacon, cook the pasta and drain. (Be sure to keep 1 1/2 cups of the pasta water which you will need later). Make sure you cook the pasta, with mac-n-cheese you do not want al-dente because the pasta will continue to absorb later and will make your mac-n-cheese dry. 
 
Peel and rinse shrimp. Drain well. With 2-3 tablespoons of butter, saute in pan over med-high heat until for 5-7 min or until cooked. Be careful not to overcook- they can become tough. When done drain from butter and cut into small pieces.

 
 
 

 
 

In another skillet (or on a sheet pan in the oven) cook bacon until slightly crispy. Don’t overcook. Cut or break into similar size pieces as the shrimp.

 
Grease the bottom of the baking dish with a good amount of butter. Drain the pasta and return the pot to low heat. 
Combine the cheeses and pasta starting with the butter, cream cheese and Greek yogurt. When they are well combined add the additional cheeses, stirring well. Add 1/2 cup of milk and let cheeses melt and combine. (If you want to add extra Parmesan here you can- just keep enough on hand for the topping). Add 1/2 cup of the pasta water (the water has the starch in it which will help bind the dish). Make sure to keep an eye that the mixture does not look dry. You want it to be wet, but not over saturated, it will cook off a bit in the oven. Add shrimp and bacon. Stir well and add more milk or pasta water if needed. Add salt and pepper to taste.

 
Transfer the mixture to the baking sheet and cover with small bits of butter, Parmesan cheese and bread crumbs. Bake at 350 for 25 min. For the last 3 turn the broiler to low to brown and crisp the top of the dish.
 
 

 
 
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