Summer Smoker Side Dish Recipe: Hearty Smoked Mac and Cheese

July 2, 2019| by ashlynn reynolds-dyk

I’m going to offer one last smoker recipe. Since I’ve offered a couple main dishes  (see the June issue’s <Smokin’ for the Summer> or <A Smokin’ Summer Recipe: Brisket>)and, most recently, a dessert (see <Kid Tested, Mom Approved: Fruit Pizza Recipe>), I will give you one of my favorite side dish recipes. 

Smoked macaroni and cheese is a hearty side dish you can throw in the smoker with your meat/main dish to fill it up. It’s a double win - you get optimal use of your wood/smoke by filling up the smoker and you get a delicious side dish. In no way, shape, or form is this dish healthy… like, not one thing in it is good for you and it doesn’t go well with any diet. That said, I’m not offering any alternatives for this one. There is one way to make (aka eat) it and one way only—with ALL the fat and carbs. You’ll have to take it or leave it. #sorrynotsorry

Smoked Mac and Cheese

Ingredients:

  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 1 lb shredded extra sharp cheddar cheese
  • ½ lb shredded Monterey jack cheese (or for a little kick, try substituting with pepperjack)
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon pepper
  • 16 oz elbow/macaroni noodles (rotini and penne pasta work well, too)
  • 8 strips sliced bacon
  • ½ cup panko

To Cook:

  1. Cook bacon strips (stovetop, oven, microwave—however you choose)
  2. Boil noodles al dente

Make cheese sauce:

  1. Create a roux: in a saucepan, heat butter and flour over medium heat.
  2. Once you get a smooth texture, add ½ cup of cream at a time, stirring as the sauce thickens.
  3. Once all cream is added and sauce is thickened, slowly add all cheese and garlic.
  4. Pour cheese mixture over cooked noodles and stir, add salt and pepper, and stir gently.
  5. Place noodle and cheese mixture into a smoker-safe pan (iron skillets work great).
  6. Sprinkle panko on the top of noodle-cheese combo.
  7. Chop and mince bacon into tiny bits and sprinkle on top of noodle-cheese-panko combo.
  8. Place in the smoker at 350 degrees for approximately 1 hour, 15 minutes (if you are cooking with meat at a lower temperature, adjust smoke/cook time accordingly—you will know it is finished when the top bubbles and browns with a slight golden brown crust around the edges).
  9. Let cool for approximately 10 minutes and serve. 
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