A sizzling skillet filled with cheese, fat, and carbs—but mostly cheese—is reason enough to crawl out from under the comforter. This a.m. take on classic macaroni and cheese is loaded with all your favorite breakfast staples: eggs, tater tots, and bacon bits. Bake it all up in a skillet until the top is crisped to your liking. Plates and bowls are fine, but why dirty a dish? Pass out forks and gather around the pan until it’s gone.
And if from-scratch mac and cheese is too daunting for the morning hours (we've all been there), we've come up with a quick-fix method using your favorite boxed brand. Easy peasy, mac and cheesy.
Baked Breakfast Mac and Cheese
Fake it ‘til you make it:
Cook 2 boxes of your favorite mac and cheese, stir in the bacon pieces, top with 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese and thawed, chopped tater tots. Broil until the cheese is melted and tater tots are golden brown. Top with a couple of fried eggs.
½ box cavatappi pasta
½ pound thick cut bacon, chopped
½ cup chopped onion
½ teaspoon dry mustard
½ teaspoon kosher salt
¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 cup milk
2 cups heavy cream
1 16-ounce package shredded sharp cheddar cheese
1 5-ounce package shredded Swiss cheese
4 large eggs
2 cups frozen tater tots, chopped
1 tablespoon chopped fresh chives
How to Make It
Preheat oven to 400°F. Cook the pasta according to package directions. While the pasta is cooking, sauté the bacon pieces in your largest skillet for 7 to 8 minutes. Remove the bacon pieces from the pan and reserve.
Transfer the bacon fat to a large saucepan. (There should be around 3 tablespoons of fat in the pan—if not, just add butter.) Add the onions and next 3 ingredients. Saute until the onions are soft and translucent, stirring frequently. Add the flour, and cook, stirring constantly, until golden brown and smooth. Gradually whisk in milk and cream, and bring to a boil, whisking constantly. Reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer, whisking occasionally, 2 to 3 minutes or until slightly thickened (when mixture coats the back of a spoon, it’s ready). Remove from heat, and stir in cheese until melted. Stir in pasta, bacon, and ½ of the tater tots. Pour into a large cast iron skillet.
Using a spoon, make 4 indentations in the pasta and crack an egg into each indentation; top mixture with chopped tater tots. Bake at 400°F until egg is set and cheese is bubbly and golden. Cool 10 to 15 minutes. Top with chives.