Beer Cheese Macaroni and Cheese
The perfect combination of two comfort foods! Beer cheese soup meets mac & cheese in this delicious recipe from Twin Cities food blogger greens & chocolate.
I always knew before I had kids that I would feed them boxed macaroni and cheese occasionally. But can I say that I vastly underestimated just how often I would do so. I had no idea it would be a staple on my grocery list every single week. True confession: I eat it for lunch with him at least once a week. With a side of kale because, balance.
Since my two-year-old is such a mac and cheese enthusiast, I thought I would be mother of the year and make him/us homemade macaroni and cheese. Of course, he was less than enthused. The noodles weren’t “slippery” enough, whatever that means.
Toddler opinions aside – you guys, this is hands-down the best macaroni and cheese I’ve ever made. It has every darn thing you want from a macaroni and cheese recipe: it’s creamy, cheesy, has a crispy topping and has so much flavor! The secret ingredient? Beer.
I knew beer did magical things in beer cheese soup and beer cheese sauce, but I had no idea it could be so delicious in macaroni and cheese too! But why not? It totally works.
The best part about this recipe is that it’s not even that much more difficult than that boxed version. It takes a little bit more time because I recommend baking it with a crispy Panko breadcrumb topping – but believe me, those extra 20 minutes are worth it. You can also make the cheese sauce while the noodles are cooking, to speed things up a bit. But if you can melt butter and stir a whisk, you have the skills to make this cheese sauce!
Even though my toddler wasn’t a huge fan, everyone else who tried it (i.e., adults with more refined palates) LOVED it. We served it along with a side salad to round it out and it was the perfect comfort food on a cold winter night!
Beer Cheese Macaroni & Cheese
12 ounces large macaroni noodles (about 2 cups)
3 tablespoons butter
3 tablespoons flour
1 ⅓ cups whole milk
1 cup beer (I used a pale ale)
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
½ teaspoon paprika
½ teaspoon garlic powder
½ teaspoon salt
Black pepper, to taste
16 ounces shredded cheddar cheese (I used a combination of sharp cheddar and white cheddar)
2 tablespoons butter, melted
½ cup Panko breadcrumbs
- Heat oven to 375 F.
- Cook macaroni noodles according to package directions, until noodles are al dente.
- Meanwhile, heat butter in a saucepan over medium-high heat.
- Add flour and stir to combine; cook for one minute, letting bubbles form.
- Very, very slowly, add the milk, whisking constantly to incorporate it with the butter/flour mixture. This should take a couple of minutes.
- Add beer in just as slowly as you added the milk, stirring constantly.
- Add in Dijon, paprika, garlic powder, salt and pepper; stir to combine.
- Add in cheese and stir until melted.
- Combine macaroni noodles and cheese sauce; stir well to combine.
- Pour into a greased 9×13-inch baking dish.
- In a small bowl, mix together butter and Panko bread crumbs; sprinkle over macaroni and cheese.
- Bake at 375 F for 20-25 minutes, until macaroni is bubbling and breadcrumbs are slightly golden brown. Serve and enjoy!