Anne Burrell’s flavorful recipe for Super Bowl Sunday

Anne Burrell’s killer mac & cheese with bacon.

Anne Burrell knows good mac and cheese.

The host of Network’s “Worst Cooks in America” tells USA TODAY that she gets excited every time she sees the creamy pasta dish on the menu or at a buffet. Sometimes though the offerings turn out to be a bit of a letdown.

Her for killer mac and cheese is anything but, she says.

“I tried to make it really flavorful because that’s what happens a lot with mac and cheese – it’s either a little too dry or it’s not creamy or not flavorful enough,” she explains. By adding bacon, Dijon mustard and hot sauce, along with a combination of various cheeses, “there’s no way for this not to be super zesty and flavorful,” she adds.

The shell shaped pasta helps, too, holding the cheesy goodness inside making for a flavorful, explosive bite.

Super Bowl 2023 ideas: Best for your party include wings, salsa, chili

‘Most Valuable Pimento’ cheese : Pitmaster Rodney Scott’s Super Bowl staple

The key, though, is to salt the pasta water.

“When you are the pasta … make sure that your pasta water is adequately salted,” Burrell says. “It should be salty like the ocean (water) because that makes a huge effect on the final dish.”

Hot tip: Any dish that needs to absorb water to cook needs to be cooked in well-seasoned water in order to take on more flavor, she explains.

Burrell shared her for her “killer” mac and cheese with bacon with USA TODAY. Check it out:

Killer mac & cheese with bacon

Time: About 50 minutes

Makes: 6 to 8 servings


  • Extra virgin olive oil

  • 6 slices bacon, cut crosswise into ½-inch strips

  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter 1 onion, cut into ¼-inch dice Kosher salt

  • ½ cup all-purpose flour

  • 1 quart whole milk, plus more as needed

  • 1 pound shells or other short pasta

  • 2 cups freshly grated Cheddar cheese

  • 2 cups freshly grated Fontina cheese

  • 1 cup freshly grated Parmigiano

  • ¼ cup Dijon mustard Tabasco or other hot sauce, to taste



Read More