Adding beer and bacon to mac and cheese is hard for anyone to resist. This Baked Beer and Bacon Mac and Cheese is filled with hickory smoked bacon, chopped chives, and sharp cheddar cheese. Top this casserole dish with panko crumbs for added crunch and texture.
What I love about Macaroni and Cheese is it serves as a baseline that can easily be turned into a completely different dish altogether.
- You can add buffalo chicken sauces and shredded chicken and make Buffalo Mac and Cheese.
- Add grilled chicken and broccoli for Baked Chicken and Alfredo Mac and Cheese ( I might have to try that one).
- You can also add ground beef, diced tomatoes, and taco seasoning for Mexican Baked Mac and Cheese (I might have to try that too).
But something about the combination of beer, cheese, and bacon is super comforting. That is why I love this Jalapeno Baco and Beer Cheese Soup. I did the same thing with this Beer Mac and Cheese, partially adapted from Delish.
Ingredients in this Mac and Cheese Recipe
To make this recipe, you start with your normal mac and cheese ingredients such as:
- All-Purpose Flour
- Sharp Shredded Cheese
- Seasonings and Spices
- Elbow Macaroni and Cheese Pasta
But to turn this into this Beer and Bacon Mac and Cheese recipe, I added the following ingredients:
- Crispy Chopped Bacon
- Diced Chives
- Lite Beer
- Panko Bread Crumbs
See how basic the ingredients are?!
Notes about this recipe
Here are some insightful tips and notes to keep in mind about this recipe:
- This recipe can be made in a crockpot. You will follow the recipe as instructed and keep it on low for about 2 hours until ready to serve. Once ready to serve, you can sprinkle the toasted panko crumbs on top, and you will still have that crunchy texture.
- You can substitute pork bacon for turkey, chicken, or vegan bacon. You can also leave the meat out completely.
- You can also substitute the Elbow Macaroni pasta for Penne or Shells Pasta
- You can make this recipe using individual ramekins of your choice for individual servings. If you decide to do this, it may be a good idea to lay out some topping that people can add on tops of their mac and cheese, such as sliced jalapeno, diced tomato, chopped cilantro, crushed tortillas, or caramelized onions.
Commonly Asked Questions
Yes, but I do not have an alternative that I would recommend, as I have only tried lite beer for this recipe. I imagine the stronger the beer, the stronger the beer taste, so you may want to taste it as you go. Otherwise, beers such as Heineken, Coors Lite, or Bud Lite are safe choices.
Yes! I made this recipe twice before posting, and some alternative cheese choices I would recommend are Smoked Gouda, Smoked Cheddar Cheese, and Gruyere. I recommend that at least one of those cheeses is smoked, especially if you use smoked bacon. Trust me; it takes the flavor of this mac and cheese recipe to another level.
I think that is your preference. This good stand-alone comfort food dish will go well with a side of Texas Toast or cornbread.
If you like Mac and Cheese recipes like this one, you will like the recipes below:
- Southern Homemade Mac and Cheese Recipe
- Loaded Baked Mac and Cheese
- Cheddar and Broccoli Mac and Cheese
- Slow Cooker Mac and Cheese
Beer and Bacon Mac and Cheese
- Total Time: 50 minutes
- Yield: 8–10 1x
This Baked Beer and Bacon Macaroni and Cheese feature hickory smoked bacon, chopped chives, and sharp cheddar cheese topped with crunchy panko crumbs to add an extra twist of flavor.
- 3/4 lb. smoked bacon, diced
- 2 tbsp. unsalted butter
- 3 tbsp. all-purpose flour
- 2 c. whole milk
- 1 c. heavy cream
- 1 1/2 c. lite beer
- 16 oz. macaroni pasta, cooked
- 2 c. sharp cheddar cheese, grated
- 1 c. smoked cheddar cheese, grated
- 2 c. white cheddar cheese, grated
- 4 oz. cream cheese
- 1/3 c. chives, chopped
- 1/2 tbsp. seasoned salt
- 1 tsp. black pepper
- 1 tsp. garlic powder
- 1 tsp. onion powder
- 1 tsp. smoked paprika
- 1 tsp. dry mustard
- 2 tsp. chicken bouillon
- A few dashes of hot sauce
- 2 tbsp. Unsalted butter
- 1 1/2 c. panko breadcrumbs
- 1 tsp. dried parsley
- Garnish: Chopped chives and more bacon bits
- Preheat the oven to 350 Degrees. Grease a 9X13 casserole dish with butter and set aside.
- Place the bacon on a baking sheet and cook in the oven until crispy, about 15 minutes. Once cooled enough to manage, remove from the baking sheet and chop. Set aside. Reserve 2 tablespoons of the bacon grease from the bacon drippings.
- Cook the pasta to al dente. Drain and return to the pot, off the burner. Add 2 tbsp butter to the pasta and stir to ensure the pasta doesn’t stick.
- Add the bacon grease and 2 tablespoons of butter to another large pot on medium-high heat. Once the butter has melted, sprinkle the flour in the pot and whisk. Large clumps of flour will form.
- Slowly pour in the milk and whisk as the mixture becomes smooth. Next, add the heavy cream and beer and stir. Allow the milk mixture to come to a small simmer for about 5 minutes. The mixture will thicken.
- Next, add the cheeses (1 cup cheddar, 1 cup white cheddar, cream cheese, all smoked cheddar) and stir in the milk mixture until smooth. Reduce heat to low.
- Add the seasonings (salt, pepper, garlic powder, onion powder, smoked paprika, and dry mustard) and the chicken bouillon to the cheese sauce. Stir to combine. Add a few dashes of hot sauce and stir.
- Fold in the cooked macaroni. Add the chopped bacon and chives and fold in until evenly distributed. Add half of the macaroni to the casserole dish and sprinkle about half of the remaining cheese. Pour the other half of the macaroni and cheese on top and add the remaining cheese.
- On medium heat, melt 2 tablespoons of butter in a medium skillet and add the panko bread crumbs. Continuously stir the bread crumbs until they turn golden brown. Be careful, as they can turn very quickly. Sprinkle the breadcrumbs over the mac and cheese.
- Bake in the oven, uncovered, for about 15 minutes. The mac and cheese should be golden brown and crisp. Allow to cool slightly and serve.
- Prep Time: 20 minutes
- Cook Time: 30 minutes
- Category: Casserole
- Method: Bake
- Cuisine: American
Keywords: beer bacon mac and cheese, beer and bacon mac and cheese, homemade mac and cheese, mac and cheese recipes with beer, bacon and mac and cheese, the best mac and cheese recipe
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