Comfort Food, Dinner Ideas, Sides

Mac and Cheese with Beer Cheese

Another delicious Mac & Cheese because we all need comfort food these days!!!

This Mac & Cheese is creamy and delicious and has an amazing cheese pull, so you know it’s good 😋!

What make the cheese pull so great is the Gruyère 😋.  This cheese is creamy and nutty and perfect for Mac & Cheese.  I also added Pepper Jack because why not 😋.   When I make Mac & Cheese, I usually make enough for a 3qt casserole dish and this typically equates to half a box of pasta.  If you want enough for a large casserole, just double the recipe.

I hope you enjoy this Mac & Cheese and cheers 🍻!


Mac & Cheese Notes

  • Cook your pasta to al dente since it will continue to cook with the warm cheese sauce during the bake.
  • Feel free to use the cheeses you love and a combination of cheeses to create a delicious flavor. Below you will find some of my favorites:
    • Hard or Semi Hard Cheeses
      • Cheddar, adds tanginess and always perfect for Mac & Cheese
      • Smoked Gouda, adds smokiness
      • Gruyère, adds nutty flavor
      • Pepper Jack, adds spice and will kick the sauce up a notch
    • Soft Cheeses
      • Gorgonzola or blue cheese, adds funk
      • Mozzarella, adds milkiness
      • Cream Cheese, adds extra creaminess
  • I’d use block cheese and cube it or grate it versus using bag shredded cheese because that cheese tends to be coated with cellulose and you lose some cheese flavor with it.
  • I used cavatappi for my Mac & Cheese because it’s a larger pasta and allows more surface area for that yummy cheese.
  • Make sure you salt your pasta water well and a good rule of thumb is for every two gallons of water, add a 1/2 cup of salt.
  • I always finish my mac & cheese under the boiler because I like to brown my panko topper.
  • I served this Mac & Cheese with Buffalo Wings, but feel free to enjoy it with another protein or on its own!
  • I used a light lager 🍺 in this recipe.  If you’d rather cook without alcohol, just substitute milk, cream or 1/2&1/2.


More Mac & Cheese Recipes

Creamy Mac & Cheese – This was the first Mac & Cheese I featured at the site and it delivers some heat with hot sauce and pepper jack cheese and I also included cheddar and cream cheese.

Lobster Mac & Cheese – My brother created this masterpiece with a delicious lobster saffron cream sauce and used gouda, American and cream cheese.

Super Creamy Mac & Cheese – My Creamy Mac & Cheese kicked up a notch with mustard power!

Buffalo Mac & Cheese – Got leftover rotisserie chicken or tenders, check out this tangy Mac & Cheese that has become a favorite in our household!

Mac & Cheese with Beer Cheese

Jackie
Nutty, creamy and oh so delicious
Prep Time 20 mins
Cook Time 30 mins
Total Time 50 mins
Course Dinner, Side Dish, Sides
Cuisine American
Servings 6 servings

Ingredients
  

  • 8 oz cavatappi pasta,  prepare to al dente

Cheese Sauce

  • 3 TBSP unsalted butter
  • 3 TBSP all purpose flour
  • cups milk
  • 8 oz light lager, if the sauce is looking too thin add less beer
  • 1 tsp mustard power
  • Couple dashes hot sauce
  • salt & pepper, for seasoning
  • 8 oz Gruyère cheese, grated
  • 4 oz Pepper Jack cheese, grated

Panko Bacon Topper

  • 3 stripes bacon, sliced thinly for frying
  • 1 TBSP unsalted butter
  • 2 green onions, chopped
  • ½ cup panko bread crumbs

Instructions
 

  • Begin by preparing the pasta to al dente in salted water. Set aside once it’s cooked until you are ready to combine with the cheese sauce.

Preparing the Cheese Sauce

  • Meanwhile, melt the butter in a medium size saucepan.
  • Once melted add your flour and whisk together to cook off the flour.
  • Once the flour has been cooked ~3mins, create the bechamel sauce by adding the milk and beer slowly and whisk together until thick. Note: Add less milk and/or beer if your sauce is looking too thin.
  • Add the mustard powder, hot sauce and season with salt & pepper, as desired.
  • Now time to add the cheese in batches, whisking together until nice and creamy.

Preparing the Mac & Cheese

  • Add the al dente pasta to the cheese sauce and combine together.
  • Add to a greased casserole dish.
  • Top with the Panko Bacon Topper (See below)
  • Bake in a 350 degree oven for 30 minutes. At the 30 minute mark turn the boiler on high for a crispy topper.

Serving the Mac & Cheese

  • Serving warm with your favorite protein or on it's own. Enjoy and cheers 🍻!

Preparing the Panko Bacon Topper

  • Add the bacon bites to cold skillet and cook on medium high until crispy.
  • Once crispy, turn off the heat, add the butter and allow it to melt.
  • Add the panko and onions and combine the ingredients together. Set aside until you are ready to bake the mac & cheese.
Keyword Creamy Mac & Cheese, Mac & Beer Cheese, Mac & Cheese with Beer Cheese, Super Creamy Mac & Cheese

 

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