INGREDIENTS

Servings
  • 5 lb. penne pasta, uncooked
  • 3 lb. onions, medium dice
  • 2 lb. butter, divided
  • 7 oz. flour
  • 1 Tbsp. plus 2 tsp. salt
  • 2-1/2 tsp. pepper
  • 2 gal. milk
  • 3 lb. shredded Cheddar cheese
  • 2 lb. cream cheese, cubed, softened
  • 1 lb. shredded Monterey Jack cheese
  • 6 lb. bacon, cooked, chopped, divided
  • 1 lb. RITZ Crackers, crushed
  • 1 oz. fresh parsley, chopped
  • 1 oz. fresh thyme, chopped

DIRECTIONS

  1. Cook  pasta as directed on package.
  2. Meanwhile,  saute onions in 2/3 cup butter until caramelized; set aside.
  3. Melt  15 oz. of the remaining butter in large saucepan on medium-low heat. Add combined flour, salt and pepper; cook 2 to 3 min. or until thickened, stirring constantly. Gradually stir in milk; cook just until mixture comes to boil and thickens slightly, stirring frequently. Stir in cheeses; cook until melted. Remove from heat. Stir in onions and about 1-1/4 qt. of the bacon.
  4. Drain  pasta; place in large bowl. Add sauce; toss to coat. Spoon about 1-1/2 cups into each of 50 (5-inch) greased crocks; place in sheet pan.
  5. Melt  remaining butter; mix with cracker crumbs and herbs. Top each crock with 3 Tbsp. of the cracker mixture.
  6. Bake  in 300ºF-convection oven 10 min. or until lightly browned and bubbly. Top each with about 1 Tbsp. of the remaining bacon.
  7. Substitute

    Prepare using spinach-flavored or whole wheat rotini pasta.

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