Chef's Corner: Bacon and Peas Mac and Cheese

Posted on March 14, 2024


When many think of comfort foods, mac and cheese is the first that comes to mind. Watch Whitsons’ R&D Chef Robert take this classic dish to the next level by adding in some extra pizzaz! You an make this dish at home, too, just follow the recipe card at the end, and your friends and family will surely love it!

About Chef Robert

Chef RobertRobert joined the Whitsons team last year as an R&D Chef in our prepared meals facility in Islandia, NY. Robert got his start in the culinary and hospitality early on at the age of 13 working in restaurants during the summers. With a passion for cooking he pursued a Hospitality Management Degree at SUNY Delhi, in upstate New York. While attending SUNY Delhi he was a member of the National Champion Student ACF competition team. Robert’s career has taken him in many directions after graduating, starting in restaurants, country clubs, professional sports, and leading him to his current environment of research and development for the past 5 years.  

Mac & Cheese with Bacon and Peas


  • 4 oz. Chopped Bacon
  • 2 tbsp. Minced Shallots
  • 3 tbsp. Flour
  • 1 qt. Whole Milk
  • 1 lb. American Cheese
  • 1 lb. Cavatappi Pasta (dry weight)
  • 2 cup Peas
  • 1 cup Crushed Ritz Crackers
  • Salt, to taste
  • Black pepper, to taste
  • Cooking Spray, as needed



  1. Bring a pot of salted water to a boil. 
  2. Cook pasta until tender, strain and set aside.
  3. In a sauce pot over, medium high heat, render the chopped bacon until the bacon is about halfway cooked. 
  4. Reduce heat to medium low and add in minced shallots with the bacon. Cook until shallots become translucent, and bacon is fully cooked.
  5. Add flour to the pot, cook until flour becomes golden in color.
  6. Whisk in milk to the flour and bring to a simmer
  7. Slowly add the cheese and stir until all cheese has melted
  8. Grease baking dish with cooking spray and add cooked pasta. 
  9. Pour cheese sauce over pasta. Top mac and cheese with crushed ritz crackers.
  10. Bake in oven at 350°F until top of mac & cheese has browned, about 15 minutes. 

Contributed by Robert Sawyer, R&D Chef