Although mac & cheese is almost everyone’s go-to indulgent meal, it is time to level up!
I like to add a bacon topping. This gives it a delicous salty crunch on top!
Why I Love This Bacon Mac and Cheese Recipe?
Not only do kids love mac and cheese, its always a winner with adults too! So at my cookouts, I always try and include this recipe.
You won’t believe how many people ask me for this recipe!
Make this a few times you people will be begging you to make it again!
What You Need to Make Smoked Mac and Cheese With Bacon
6 oz Monterey Jack
6 oz cheddar or Gouda
1lb pasta shells
12oz cooked bacon crumbled
1/2 stick of butter
16 oz velvetta
2 cups milk 2 cups Parmesan
1 cup milk
1 cup milk
What Cheese Do I Use to Make Smoked Mac and Cheese?
To get the perfect smoked mac and cheese, a combination of sharp cheese and an easy melting cheese need to be added to the base of cream cheese/Velveeta.
Good combinations of easy melting and sharp cheese are as follows:
– sharp cheddar and gouda
– extra-sharp cheddar and mozzarella
– cheddar and Havarti
– or add some spice with pepper jack
Furthermore, mixing and matching cheeses such as Swiss, Gruyere, Monterey Jack, Bleu Cheese and Parmesan can give you the flavor profile you are looking for.
Smoked Mac and Cheese Recipe
The recipe is fairly standard and easy to replicate.
It is advised to use extra sauce to accommodate the slow cooking time and the noodles should be al dente to prevent them from overcooking.
Step 1: Preheat The Smoker
Preheat smoker to 300 degrees with a smoke tube burning for supplemented smoke flavor
Step 2: Combine Your Cheese
Shed your cheeses. Don’t use pre-shredded. Mix together in a large bowl
Step 3: Cook The Pasta
Cook pasta to Al dente in salted water for 7-8 min, drain and rinse.
Step 4: Melt Cheese and Add Milk
In a large pot melt Velveeta, 3 cups of shredded cheese mixture, and 2 cups milk stirring until smooth
Pour noodles into an aluminum 9×13 pan. .
Mix with shredded Parmesan garlic powder black pepper and 1.5 cups of remaining shredded cheese mix and 1 cup of milk.
Step 6: Cook The Bacon and Chop Up
Pour cheese sauce and bacon on top and stir well.
Fry the bacon and when its reaches your desired texture remove from the pan and chop up. Combine the bacon and cheese mixture.
Step 7: Create Your Mac and Cheese
Top with the remaining cup of milk remaining shredded cheese mix and then sprinkle your favorite bbq rub on top.
Step 8: Place The Mac and Cheese in The Smoker
Place in the smoker for 45 mins until the top is browned and bubbly.
Getting More Smoke Into the Mac and Cheese
Let it cook at 180°F for the first 30 minutes, then increase the heat to 225°F for the next 30 minutes.
An Expert’s Tips
The following tips are sure to give you the perfect smoked Mac & Cheese:
– Do NOT overcook the pasta.
The low-and-slow cooking time will cause the pasta to keep absorbing more sauce, which may lead to overcooking.
– Don’t be afraid if it looks too saucy at first because all of it will be sucked up by the pasta as it cooks.
– Let all the cheese melt before checking the sauce for salt.
– Like it hot? Add jalapenos or red chilli flakes into the sauce to add variety and experiment with the dish.
-Splitting the dish up and smoking in several pans will require a cut on the cooking time and double the amount of bacon topping.
– Warm the sauce and noodles in a large pot before smoking to reduce cooking time.
The warmer your sauce is when it goes into the smoker, the faster it’ll take to get cooked through.
– If the top of your Mac & Cheese starts to get too brown, loosely cover the pan with some foil to slow down the browning.
Side Dishes to Serve With Smoked Mac and Cheese
Green veggies such as green beans and tomatoes perfectly complement this smoked mac & cheese by adding some freshness.
This is one of my favorite sides to have with smoked chicken drumsticks, smoked turkey or grilled steak to pair with this recipe.
Freezing Smoked Cheddar Mac and Cheese for Later?
Freezing this smoked Mac & Cheese recipe is no problem; if it is thoroughly chilled first.
You can freeze portions in air-tight containers or zipper-top bags for up to three months.
To reheat, you can let it thaw in the fridge or pop it into the microwave.
Next, add a dash of milk or cream to help it get creamy again and warm it covered in a low oven at 300-325°F or on half power in the microwave.
The Best Bacon for Smoked Bacon Mac & Cheese
Thicker cut bacon is recommended for crumbling as thinner bacon tends to fall apart when cooked crispy and chunky bits work better with Smoked Mac & Cheese.
The smokier the bacon, the better.
The butcher bacon is an ideal pick, although packaged bacon can work wonders as well.
Are Macaroni Noodles a Must for Mac & Cheese?
Macaroni is a type of tubed pasta, also known as ‘elbow macaroni’ when it has a curve in it.
If you don’t have macaroni noodles at hand then any flat style noodles, or even spirals can be broken into pieces and do the work.
Regardless of any noodle you use, you can create the perfect smoked Mac & Cheese by making sure the noodles are slightly undercooked before tossing them into the smoker.
Make sure to give this hearty and filling recipe a go by adding some bacon into the mix the next time you find yourself whipping up a serving of Mac & Cheese!
Want More Easy And Declious Recipes?
Here are some of my favorite Traeger recipes you can try at home.
Seared and Smoked Filet Mignon
Traeger Smoked Bacon Mac and Cheese (In 6 Easy Steps)
- 1 Pellet smoker
- 6 oz cheddar
- 6 oz Monterey Jack
- 6 oz cheddar or Gouda
- 1 lb pasta shells
- 12 oz cooked bacon crumbled
- 1/2 stick of butter
- 16 oz velvetta
- 2 cups milk 2 cups Parmesan
- Garlic powder
- Black pepper
- 1 cup milk
- 1 cup milk
- Bbq rub
- Preheat smoker to 300 degrees with a smoke tube burning for supplemented smoke flavor
- Shed your cheeses. Don’t use pre-shredded. Mix together in a large bowl
- Cook pasta to Al dente in salted water for 7-8 min, drain and rinse.
- In a large pot melt Velveeta, 3 cups of shredded cheese mixture, and 2 cups milk stirring until smooth
- Pour noodles into an aluminum 9×13 pan.
- Mix with shredded Parmesan garlic powder black pepper and 1.5 cups of remaining shredded cheese mix and 1 cup of milk.
- Fry your bacon and chop into bite sized pieces. Mixture the bacon in with cheese mixture
- Pour cheese sauce and bacon on top and stir well.
- Top with the remaining cup of milk remaining shredded cheese mix and then sprinkle your favorite bbq rub on top.
- Place in the smoker for 45 mins until the top is browned and bubbly.
Author: Charlie Reeves
Hi, I’m Charlie, I am head taste tester at Simply Meat Smoking! I love it grilling, smoking, and getting out in the yard with the kids! The family also love to test all my recipes (especially my EXTRA CRISPY pulled pork, smoky pork loin, and ANY SEAFOOD I grill)
You will usually find me playing with the kids, perfecting my brisket bark, or sipping beers with boys around the fire. Can’t wait to share all my delicious smoking and grilling adventures with you!
You can read more on our About Us page.
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