6 to 8 medium (4 cups) carrots, sliced 1/4-inch
4 slices bacon, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1/4 cup finely chopped celery
1 tablespoon chopped onion
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon dry mustard
1 cup milk
1 cup seasoned croutons, crushed
Heat oven to 350°F.
Place carrots into 2-quart saucepan; add enough water to cover. Cook over medium heat 8-10 minutes or until just tender. Drain. Place cooked carrots into ungreased 8-inch square baking dish.
Cook bacon in 2-quart saucepan over medium heat until cooked but not crisp; add celery and onion. Continue cooking, stirring occasionally, 3-4 minutes or until celery is crisply tender.
Stir in flour, salt and dry mustard. Continue cooking, stirring occasionally, 1 minute or until bubbly. Stir in milk with whisk. Continue cooking, stirring occasionally, 4-5 minutes or until mixture thickens and comes to a full boil. Continue boiling 1 minute. Remove from heat; stir in cheese until melted.
Pour sauce over carrots. Sprinkle crushed croutons over carrots. Bake 35-40 minutes or until bubbly in center and bread cubes are lightly browned.
To make ahead, prepare as directed except do not top with croutons or bake. Pour sauce over carrots; refrigerate overnight. Crush croutons; place into resealable plastic food bag. To bake, remove carrots from refrigerate; let stand at room temperature 1 hour. Heat oven to 350°F. Sprinkle carrots with crushed croutons; bake 35-40 minutes or until bubbly in center and croutons are lightly browned.