Make Smoked Mac and Cheese for the ultimate comfort food. Creamy, delicious and easy to make. This is the perfect side dish for all your BBQs.

Smoked mac and cheese in a bowl
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Take your macaroni and cheese to the next level and make smoked macaroni and cheese. It is made with three types of cheese to give it the best flavor and texture.

This side dish is the ultimate comfort food and one of our favorite smoker recipe. We love that it is topped with panko bread crumbs for crispy topping. Make this dish with grilled meats, smoked meats, and more. You may also love this Smoked Green Beans.

Why You Will Love this Recipe

  • Smoky Flavor – This is the ultimate way of making mac and cheese. The smoky flavor takes this side dish to a whole new level. We usually prepare in the oven, but smoking it is now our preferred method.
  • Saves Oven Space – If you are looking for a dish to free up oven space, make smoked mac and cheese. This is the perfect dish to make for the holidays or your next BBQ.
  • Simple Ingredients – We love that this recipe can be made in a variety of ways. You can easily use different cheese and mix in a protein.

Ingredients

Ingredients needed for smoked mac and cheese - macaroni noodles, butter, flour, mustard powder, milk, heavy cream, salt, pepper, cream cheese, cheddar cheese, gouda cheese, bread crumbs, parmesan cheese, garlic salt

Scroll to the bottom for the full recipe and ingredients in the recipe card.

Variations Ideas

  • Noodles – We used macaroni style noodles, but you can easily use other small noodles. Penne noodles or rotini noodles is great variation.
  • Cheese – Feel free to use different types of cheese. You can even use a cheese sauce. Other variations to try is sharp cheddar cheese, smoked gouda, colby jack cheese, or monterey jack cheese.
  • Meat – You can also make this a one pot meal by adding in cooked meats. We recommend pork, sausage, brisket, chicken, or shredded beef. We also think that diced ham, lobster or chopped chorizo would be a delicious combination.
  • Other Mix-Ins – Feel free to add other ingredients to this dish. Our suggestions are chopped bacon, jalapenos, peas, bell peppers, and more.

How to Make Smoked Mac and Cheese 

  • Step 1 – Prepare Noodles – Boil the elbow macaroni based on the package instructions to al – dente. 
  • Step 2 – Heat Smoker – Preheat the smoker to 225 degrees Fahrenheit.  
Melted butter in a cast iron skillet

Step 3 – Melt Butter – Melt the butter in a cast iron skillet over medium heat.  Whisk in the flour and continue whisking for 1 minute.  Whisk in the mustard powder. 

Milk and heavy cream in a cast iron skillet with a cowl of shredded cheese and a bowl of cream cheese

Step 4 – Whisk in Milk – Then gradually whisk in the milk and heavy whipping cream.  Continue to whisk as you slowly pour these in.  Continue to heat over medium heat, whisking constantly until the mixture has thickened (2-4 minutes).

Cream cheese and shredded cheese in the cast iron skillet with the milk mixture

Step 5 – Stir in Cheese – Remove the pan from the heat.  Then stir in the cheddar cheese, cream cheese, gouda cheese, salt and pepper.  Stir until all these ingredients are combined and the cheese has melted.

Mixing in the cooked noodles with the cheese mixture in the cast iron skillet

Step 6 – Stir in Pasta – Then stir in the cooked macaroni noodles. Stir until the pasta is completely covered in the cheese mixture.

Combining the topping ingredients in a bowl

Step 7 – Add Toppings – Mix together the topping ingredients.  Sprinkle the mixture on top of the Mac and cheese in the cast iron skillet.  

Smoked mac and cheese in a cast iron skillet

Step 8 – Smoke –Place the cast iron skillet in the smoker and smoke for 1 hour.  Remove the pan from the smoker, serve immediately while warm and enjoy.

Recipe Tips

  • Cooking Macaroni – Cook the macaroni noodles al dente or according to the package in a large pot. Make sure to not over cook them so they do not get mushy.
  • Cast Iron Skillet – We recommend using a 12-inch cast iron skillet to prepare this dish. You can prepare everything in the skillet and serve it from there too.
  • Prepare Smoker – Before placing the mac and cheese in the pellet grill, allow the smoker to preheat. We recommend heating it no high than 225 degrees.
  • Making Roux – All the roux to thicken before adding in the cheese and macaroni noodles.
  • Shred Cheese – For the best taste, we recommend to shred the cheese yourself. Pre-shredded cheese as added ingredients that are not necessary for this recipe. It does not melt as well and could affect your mixture.

How to Make Ahead

This smoked mac and cheese can be prepared ahead of time. This would be perfect if you are making for the holidays.

Cook the macaroni as directed in the recipe card. Then continue with making the roux and combining the cheese with the macaroni. Let the mixture cool and cover with plastic wrap and store in the fridge.

You can prepare up to two days in advance before the mac and cheese needs to be smoked. Once you are ready to smoke, remove the mac and cheese from the refrigerator. Let it rest and then smoke.

Smoked mac and cheese in a cast iron skillet with a wooden spoon

Topping Ideas

We love the breadcrumb topping to add flavor to this mac and cheese recipe. Here are some of our favorite topping ideas.

  • Melted Butter and Bread Crumbs – Combine melted butter and breadcrumbs together in a bowl. You can start with ¼ cup of melted butter and combine with one cup of bread crumbs. This combination can be changed to what you prefer.
  • Bacon – Another idea is to add in bacon with the combination above. Everything is better with bacon and the chopped bacon really adds a delicious savory flavor.
  • More Cheese – Top with the breadcrumbs then add in more pre-shredded cheese for amazing flavor.
  • Crackers – If you do not have any bread crumbs, crush up some crackers to still have that nice crunch.

What to Serve with Smoked Mac and Cheese

  • Smoked Beef Short Ribs These ribs are the ultimate comfort food. They cook tender, juicy and amazing flavor. Add this smoker recipe for your next BBQ. Perfect served with this mac and cheese.
  • Smoked Chicken Breast This is the Best Smoked Chicken Breast Recipe that you will ever make in your smoker. All you need is simple seasoning and chicken breast to make a family favorite dinner idea.
  • Bacon Wrapped Smoked Pork LoinThis pork loin is loaded with flavor and easy to make. The smoker cooks the pork loin perfectly with simple ingredients.
Smoked mac and cheese in a bowl

How to Store Leftovers

Refrigerate the leftovers in an airtight container for up to 5 days.  We love that this side dish is easy to reheat and taste amazing the next day.

Store in individual container with some smoked brisket or ham for the ultimate lunch the next day.

Frequently Asked Questions:

What is the Best Wood to Smoke Mac and Cheese?

We like using a hickory flavored wood while smoking mac n cheese. We love the smoke flavor it gives, but you can also use cherry, apple or pecan.

How Long to Smoke Mac and Cheese:

After preparing the macaroni and combining with the other ingredients in the skillet, place in the smoker. Cook time may vary, but one hour seems to be the perfect amount of time.

Can you Freeze Smoke Mac and Cheese?

Yes, you can easily freeze this smoke mac and cheese recipe. Place the cooked pasta in a disposable freezer container and make sure it is covered. If stored properly, it will last about 3 months. The great thing about this recipe is that you can take it from the freezer to the oven. Bake in a preheated oven at 350 degrees for about 45 minutes.

More Easy Smoker Recipes

We love to hear from you. If you make this smoker mac and cheese recipe, please leave a comment or a star review.

Smoked Mac and Cheese

5 from 1 vote
Make Smoked Mac and Cheese for the ultimate comfort food. Creamy, delicious and easy to make. This is the perfect side dish for all your BBQs.
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour 15 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 25 minutes
Servings 8
Cuisine American
Course Side Dish
Calories 1006

Ingredients

  • 1 pound Elbow Macaroni Noodles
  • 1/2 cup Butter
  • 1/2 cup All Purpose Flour
  • 1 Tablespoons Mustard Powder
  • 2 cups Whole Milk
  • 1 cup Heavy Whipping Cream
  • 1 teaspoon Salt
  • 1 teaspoon Pepper
  • 4 ounces Cream Cheese
  • 3 cups Cheddar Cheese shredded
  • 1 1/2 cups Gouda Cheese

For the Topping:

  • 1 1/2 cup Planko Bread Crumbs
  • 4 Tablespoons Butter melted
  • 1/2 cup Grated Parmesan Cheese
  • 1 teaspoon Garlic Salt
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Instructions

  • Cook the noodles based on the package instructions to al dente.
  • Preheat the smoker to 225 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Melt the butter in a cast iron skillet over medium heat.  Whisk in the flour and continue whisking for 1 minute.  Whisk in the mustard powder.
  • Then gradually whisk in the milk and heavy whipping cream.  Continue to whisk as you slowly pour these in.  Continue to heat over medium heat, whisking constantly until the mixture has thickened (2-4 minutes).
  • Remove the pan from the heat.  Then stir in the cheddar cheese, cream cheese, gouda cheese, salt and pepper.  Stir until all these ingredients are combined and the cheese has melted.
  • Then stir in the pasta until the pasta is completely covered in the cheese mixture.
  • Mix together the topping ingredients.  Sprinkle the mixture on top of the Mac and cheese in the cast iron skillet.
  • Place the cast iron skillet in the smoker and smoke for 1 hour.
  • Remove the pan from the smoker, serve immediately while warm and enjoy!

Nutrition Facts

Calories 1006kcal, Carbohydrates 69g, Protein 36g, Fat 66g, Saturated Fat 39g, Polyunsaturated Fat 3g, Monounsaturated Fat 16g, Trans Fat 1g, Cholesterol 199mg, Sodium 1723mg, Potassium 299mg, Fiber 2g, Sugar 7g, Vitamin A 1986IU, Vitamin C 0.2mg, Calcium 821mg, Iron 2mg

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About the Author

Hi, I’m Carrie. Welcome to Grill on a Dime!

I’m on a mission to help you cook delicious meals without busting your budget. From the Best Blackstone recipes, to grilling, and easy smoker recipes, together we are going to cook real food, with easy ingredients… for real families!

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