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.
Get My Easy Grilling Cookbook Bundle for 75% OFF
Easy Smoked Mac and Cheese Recipe:
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.
If you are looking for a delicious side dish to make in your smoker, make this smoking mac n cheese. The easy ingredients are placed in a cast iron skillet to bring in the smoking flavor.
This side dish is the ultimate comfort food. We love that it is topped with panko bread crumbs for crispy topping. Make this dish with grilled meats, smoked meats, and more.
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.
- Elbow Macaroni Noodles
- All Purpose Flour
- Mustard Powder
- Whole Milk
- Heavy Whipping Cream
- Cream Cheese
- Cheddar Cheese (shredded)
- Gouda Cheese
For the Topping:
- Planko Bread Crumbs
- Butter (melted)
- Grated Parmesan Cheese
- Garlic Salt
How to Make Smoked Mac and Cheese:
- Step 1 – Prepare Noodles – Boil the noodles based on the package instructions to al – dente.
- Step 2 – Heat Smoker – Preheat the smoker to 225 degrees Fahrenheit.
- 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.
- 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).
- 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.
- Step 6 – Stir in Pasta – Then stir in the cooked macaroni noodles. Stir until the pasta is completely covered in the cheese mixture.
- Step 7 – Add Toppings – Mix together the topping ingredients. Sprinkle the mixture on top of the Mac and cheese in the cast iron skillet.
- Step 8 – Smoke –Place the cast iron skillet in the smoker and smoke for 1 hour.
- Step 9 – Serve – Remove the pan from the smoker, serve immediately while warm and enjoy.
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.
Smoker Mac and Cheese 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.
Smoked Mac and Cheese 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.
- 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, 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.
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 Loin – This pork loin is loaded with flavor and easy to make. The smoker cooks the pork loin perfectly with simple ingredients.
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:
We like using a hickory flavored wood to smoke the mac and cheese. We love the smoke flavor it gives, but you can also use cherry, apple or pecan.
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.
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.
Print Recipe for Smoked Mac and Cheese:
Smoked Mac and Cheese
- 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!
Pin This Now to Remember It LaterPin Recipe