Wicked Good Bacon Mac & Cheese

1 (16-oz.) package penne pasta
1/4 cup butter
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
2-1/2 cups 2% reduced-fat milk
2 cups shredded Italian Five-Cheese
1 cup (8 oz.) shredded extra-sharp Cheddar Cheese
1 pkg extra thick bacon, cooked and diced well
Paprika (optional)


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Place bacon on tin-foil lined baking sheets and bake for 20-25 minutes. Once done, immediately remove bacon from the grease and pat dry. Be sure to leave the oven on for the pasta, if baking.
  3. Prepare pasta according to package directions. Drain pasta and pour into a 9×13 pan.
  4. Melt butter in a sauce pan over low heat. Whisk in flour and milk; cook over medium heat, whisking until mixture thickens and is bubbly. Remove from heat.
  5. Add cheeses, stirring until cheese melts and sauce is smooth.  Add bacon and mix well.
  6. Pour sauce over pasta and stir.  If desired, sprinkle more cheese (not cheddar), over pasta. Bake for 10-15 minutes or until cheese is melted/heated. Serve immediately.

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