It’s tough to beat homemade mac and cheese, but I think I just figured out how. It starts with a homemade cheese sauce, a little bit of smoke flavor, bacon, and some fresh roasted hatch chiles. Get ready to learn how to make the best smoked mac and cheese you’ve ever tasted.
Smoked Mac and Cheese Ingredients
For this recipe, you need 6 cups of shredded cheese total, and it’s really important that you shred the cheese yourself. Cheese that you buy pre-shredded doesn’t melt the same, and we want this smoked mac to be perfect.
I picked up about 8 ounces each of Sharp Cheddar, Gruyere, and Gouda.
The last big decision you have to make before you make the Hatch Chile Bacon Mac and Cheese is what kind of noodles you’re going to use. We opted for shells.
Love Hatch Chiles? Check out my Smoked Hatch Chile Cheeseburgers.
How to Make Smoked Macaroni and Cheese
Hatch Chiles and Bacon
The star of this recipe is the Hatch Chile, and the first thing we need to do is roast them.
To roast them at home set up your smoker to cook at 450 degrees, and then place them directly on the grill grate. Flip the chiles every 5 minutes. They’re done when the skin of the chiles has charred up. It should take about 20 minutes total. Let the chiles cool for a bit and then remove the charred skin, stem, and seeds to reveal a beautiful and tasty green flesh.
Dice up the green chiles and set aside. I cooked 8 strips of bacon alongside the chiles and diced that up as well.
Boil 16 ounces of Shells in water until they are almost done. The noodles I used had directions that said boil for seven minutes, and we pulled them off the stove and strained after five. Rinse the noodles under cold water to stop them from cooking while you prep the cheese sauce.
The Cheese Sauce
Shred your three kinds of cheese, remember you’ll need 2 cups of each. Hopefully, you bought enough for you to snack on the extra. Once the cheese is shredded it’s time to make the sauce.
In a large saucepan melt a half stick of butter with a ¼ cup of flour. Use a whisk to stir briskly for about a minute, and then pour in 2 cups of milk, 1 cup of beer, and a ½ cup of cream. Continue whisking while you pour everything in to make sure you get all the clumps broken up.
Now add each of the cheeses and continue stirring. The cheese will melt fast and should have a smooth texture.
Smoking the Mac and Cheese
Set up your smoker to smoke at 180 degrees using indirect heat.
Pour half of your noodles into a 13x9 baking dish. Pour half of your cheese sauce over the noodles, followed by half of the bacon, and half of the hatch chiles. Pour the rest of the noodles in, followed by the rest of the bacon, hatch chiles, and cheese sauce.
Top the mac n cheese with a ¼ cup of panko mixed with a ¼ cup of grated parmesan to give it a crispy crust.
Place the mac and cheese in your smoker for 15 minutes – that’s all it takes for the noodles to take on some of the smoky flavor. Then adjust the temperature up to 375 degrees. Let the mac and cheese cook for an additional 20 minutes. The topping should start to get golden brown, and bubbly.
Hatch Chile and Bacon Smoked Mac and Cheese
The next time you want to make macaroni and cheese at home, consider this recipe.
One of the reasons I love this smoked mac and cheese recipe is because it’s great as a side, or as the main entrée! I hope you get a chance to try it, it’s delicious!
Smoked Mac and Cheese
- 16 ounces macaroni noodles or shells
- 8 slices of bacon cooked and crumbled
- 8 hatch chiles roasted and diced
- 2 cups Gruyere shredded
- 2 cups Sharp Cheddar Cheese shredded
- 2 cups Gouda shredded
- 4 tbsp butter
- ¼ cup flour
- 2 cups whole milk
- 1 cup of beer drink the rest
- ½ cup heavy whipping cream
Mac and Cheese Topping
- ¼ cup panko
- ¼ cup grated parmesan
- Prepare noodles as directed, but remove from the boiling water a few minutes before they are done. Drain and run under cool water to stop them from cooking.
- Melt the butter with the flour in a saucepan over medium heat. Whisk for a minute and then add milk, beer, and cream.
- Add in the shredded cheeses and continue to stir.
- Set up your smoker to smoke at 180 degrees.
- Pour half of the noodles in a 13x9 baking dish.
- Pour half of the cheese over the noodles, followed by half the bacon, and half the chiles. Pour the rest of the noodles in, followed by the rest of the bacon, chiles, and cheese sauce.
- Top with the panko and parmesan mixture and place in your smoker.
- Let the mac and cheese smoke for 15 minutes and then adjust the temperature up to 375 degrees.
- Continue cooking the smoked mac and cheese for an additional 20 minutes. It's done when the topping has started to turn golden brown, and the edges are bubbly.