This Smoked Mac and Cheese is loaded with gouda, cheddar, and sharp cheddar cheese then covered in crispy bacon and panko bread crumbs!
For more delicious recipes to throw on the smoker this summer check out my tender Smoked Turkey Legs or easy, addictive Smoked Queso Dip (Viral TikTok Recipe)!
Smoked Mac and Cheese is a MUST HAVE at all your BBQs and backyard get-togethers this summer! Just when you thought mac and cheese couldn’t get any better I take the classic creamy cheesy comfort food and give it an upgrade of mouthwatering smoky flavor and a savory, crumbly bacon topping!
Growing up we ate more than our fair share of mac n cheese, and when I became a mother I figured out why. It’s SO easy to make and it’s one of the few meals the kids won’t complain about eating.
This is why I’ve gone on to make sure there are as many tasty, easy-to-make variations as possible! From Crock Pot Mac and Cheese to Mac and Cheese In A Mug (Viral TikTok Recipe), or even One-Dish Corn Mac and Cheese, there’s a method and flavor out there that will work everyone!
Why I Love This Recipe!
- Creamy & Cheesy! The cream cheese, gouda, cheddar, and sharp cheddar cheese all melt together to create the creamiest, cheesiest dish!
- Savory Bacon! Infusing the panko bread crumb toppings with bacon drippings and crumbled pieces of bacon really drives this mac n cheese over the top!
- Easy To Make! Aside from cooking the pasta and bacon, the smoker does most of the work!
- Crowd Pleaser! Macaroni and cheese is always a crowd-pleaser from toddlers all the way up to grown adults! Whether you enjoy it as a side dish or main course, it WILL go quickly!
Get started with this Smoked Mac and Cheese recipe by creating that creamy sauce that helps hold this dish together! To do so you’ll mix together half and half, butter, cream cheese, Worcestershire sauce, minced garlic, and black pepper.
While that’s melting together on the smoker, you’ll cook and drain the pasta. Then just stir in shredded gouda cheese, cheddar cheese, and sharp cheddar cheese.
Next, you’ll need crumbled bacon, the drippings from cooking the bacon, and panko bread crumbs to make the delicious topping that covers the macaroni and cheese. Once this dish is finished smoking sprinkle on some smoked paprika and fresh chopped chives as garnish!
How To Make Smoked Mac and Cheese
- Mix half and half, butter, cream cheese, Worcestershire sauce, minced garlic, and black pepper in a large bowl. Pour the mixture into a cast-iron skillet and then put it on the smoker grill grates.
- Cook the macaroni in a pot of boiling water until it’s al dente, about 2-3 minutes less than what the package recommends. Drain pasta and rinse in cold water, then add it to a large mixing bowl.
- Shred the cheese and add it to the bowl of pasta.
- Remove the cream sauce from the smoker.
- Whisk the cream sauce and pour it into the bowl of pasta. Stirring until well combined.
- Add the pasta to a foil grill pan.
- Cook the bacon on medium heat, saving the fat drippings off to the side afterward. Crumble up the bacon and place it in a small bowl.
- Mix the bacon drippings with the panko bread crumbs and then add in the crumbled bacon.
- Spread the bacon crumble mixture over the top of the macaroni in the foil grill pan. Place the pan on the smoker and close the lid.
- Smoke for an hour then remove it and let it sit for 5 minutes. Top with smoked paprika and chives before enjoying!
Frequently Asked Questions
How To Store
Store any leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 3 to 4 days.
How Do I Reheat Smoked Mac N Cheese?
Place the macaroni and cheese into the oven at 350 degrees F until it’s heated through. You may want to incorporate a tablespoon or two of milk into the mac and cheese to keep it from drying out.
What Kind Of Wood Should I Use In My Smoker For This Recipe?
I recommend using mild wood such as apple, cherry, or maple wood. Pecan wood would also be a fun flavor to try as well!
Can I Just Cook The Cream Sauce On The Stovetop Instead Of The Smoker?
You could but then the macaroni and cheese would miss out on a lot of the smoky flavor that we aim for in this dish!
Smoked Macaroni and Cheese is a deliciously fun way to mix up the classic dish we all love! Try another macaroni and cheese recipe to keep switching up the way you serve this well-loved family meal!
- Three Cheese Bacon Mac and Cheese – Overflowing with crispy, salty bacon and loaded with three different kinds of cheese – parmesan, mozzarella, and cheddar cheese!
- Butternut Squash Mac and Cheese – Perfectly cooked pasta is drenched in a creamy butternut cheese sauce and then topped with bacon crumbles, ready in just 35 minutes!
- Marinara Mac and Cheese – Everything you love about creamy mac and cheese but with the addition of thick and hearty marinara sauce!
- One-Pot Chili Mac and Cheese – Two of the best comfort foods collide for one delicious meal that’s ready in only 30 minutes!
- Best Ever Creamy Mac and Cheese – Stovetop mac and cheese made with sharp cheddar and parmesan cheese, heavy cream, and whole milk then richened with butter and kicked up a notch with mustard powder!
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Smoked Mac and Cheese
- 8 ounces cheddar cheese
- 8 ounces Gouda cheese
- 8 ounces sharp cheddar cheese
- 3½ cups half and half
- 8 tablespoons salted butter
- 8 ounces cream cheese
- 5 garlic cloves minced
- 1 teaspoon worcestershire sauce
- 1 teaspoon black pepper
- 24 ounces elbow macaroni about 1½ boxes
- 2 cups panko bread crumbs
- 1 tablespoon smoked paprika
- 1 lb thick cut bacon
- Fresh chopped chives as garnish
- Preheat the smoker to 180°F for 15 minutes
- Combine half and half, butter, cream cheese, Worcestershire sauce, minced garlic, and black pepper in a large bowl. Mix, then pour into a 12-inch castiron skillet. Place on the grill grate in the smoker and close the lid. Smoke for 45 minutes.
- While the cream is smoking, bring a pot of water to a boil. Add the macaroni and cook for 3 minutes less than the package recommends. Drain pasta and rinse with cold water. Add to a large mixing bowl.
- Shred the cheese then add it to the bowl with the pasta and stir.
- Remove the cream sauce from the smoker.
- Increase the smoker temp to 325°F and preheat for 15 minutes.
- Whisk the cream sauce well, and pour into the bowl with the noodles. Stir until well combined.
- Add pasta to a 9×13-inch foil grill pan.
- Cook bacon on the stovetop until crisp. Set aside fat drippings. Crumble the bacon and add to a small bowl.
- Mix bacon drippings with panko crumbs. Stir in the crumbled bacon. Spread mixture over the top of the macaroni.
- Place into the smoker and close the lid. Smoke for 1 hour.
- Remove from the smoker and let sit for 5 minutes. Top with smoked paprika and chives. Enjoy!
- How To Store: Store any leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 3 to 4 days.
- How Do I Reheat Smoked Mac N Cheese? Place the macaroni and cheese into the oven at 350 degrees F until it’s heated through. You may want to incorporate a tablespoon or two of milk into the mac and cheese to keep it from drying out.
- What Kind Of Wood Should I Use In My Smoker For This Recipe? I recommend using mild wood such as apple, cherry, or maple wood. Pecan wood would also be a fun flavor to try as well!
- Can I Just Cook The Cream Sauce On The Stovetop Instead Of The Smoker? You could but then the macaroni and cheese would miss out on a lot of the smoky flavor that we aim for in this dish!