Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Cover a baking sheet with foil. Place bacon slices on foil and bake at 400°F on the second top rack of your oven for about 8-10 minutes, just until crispy to your liking.
Meanwhile, when the bacon is in the oven you can cook pasta according to package directions and begin making the sauce.
Add butter to a large saucepan or deep skillet over medium heat. Once butter is mostly melted, add the garlic and sauté just a minute or two until softened.
Sprinkle flour and whisk into the garlic butter mixture, then whisk in almond milk.
The bacon should be done about now, so remove from the oven and add about a tablespoon of the bacon grease to the butter garlic mixture. Stir to combine and set aside bacon to cool at room temperature. NOTE: you can also add the bacon grease later on if it's not yet done cooking at this stage. In the video, I add it after the cheese shreds have melted and before I add spices.
Add your dairy-free cheddar-style shreds, whisk until some of it melts, then add dairy-free mozzarella shreds and whisk until smooth. Add in the nutritional yeast, salt, pepper, and paprika, and whisk all together until the mixture is creamy and smooth.
Drain pasta, then slowly add the pasta and combine until pasta is coated in the cheesy mixture.
Chop cooked bacon into small crumbly pieces. Top dairy-free mac and cheese. Sprinkle optional chopped thyme if you like. Serve immediately.
NOTE: you can omit the bacon and bacon grease to make this a vegan mac and cheese.
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