Beer + cheese + pasta is definitely a winning combination, don’t ya think? Enter this delicious creamy baked mac and cheese —>this one is packed with mozzarella, cheddar, gouda, parmesan and cream cheese for one creamy bite. The beer adds a subtle flavour and sweetness to the mix – definitely comfort food perfect for a cold day.
Hi everyone? How’s it going? Around here the weather is getting colder. I’m totally about all things comfort from my clothes (hello oversized sweaters, woolly socks, and leggings) to a bazillion candles lite for ambiance to, of course, my food.
Truth be told, I’m always about comfort food (well about 99.9% of the time). The remaining 0.1% is behaving because, otherwise, it’s a life-long journey in stretchy pants – feel me??
Creamy Baked Mac and Cheese
It may look like a fair number of ingredients here but, honestly, they are all very simple pantry/fridge staples. And this recipe yields lots so it’s perfect for feeding a family, or for entertaining when you have friends over. And talk about cheesy and creamy! There’s a creamy bechamel sauce and loads of cheese for one creamy, comforting dish. Homemade mac and cheese never looked so good 😉
I opted to crisp up the bacon separately from the mac. Why? I didn’t want all that bacon grease spreading all over the place. There’s a place for everything, including bacon grease, but it’s not in this recipe. Grandma’s deadly biscuits? Sure! Here? Nope!
How to Garnish this Baked Mac and Cheese Recipe
Now, there’s a little matter of condiments! It’s highly debatable on what type of condiment goes on mac and cheese. Do you enjoy yours as is? Or do you drizzle your favourite little somethin’ somethin’…I’m looking at you ketchup and hot sauce. Some people may shiver at the thought of ketchup with pasta, but I grew up with the stuff. These days, I don’t use ketchup for my mac, but definitely hot sauce. Dad still rocks the ketchup. You do you, am I right?? This ain’t rocket science or anything 😉
The only problem with this creamy baked mac and cheese is having to wait for it to cool a bit before digging in but, trust me, it’s worth the wait.
Until next time take care and chit chat again soon 🙂
P.S. If you missed my last post, you can check it out here.
P.P.S If you think this creamy baked mac and cheese recipe will make your belly happy too, please be sure to hit that little Pin button. Many thanks, you guys! XO
Creamy Baked Mac and Cheese (with 5 Cheeses, Beer & Bacon)
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 small onion -minced
- 2 cloves garlic -minced
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp paprika
- 1 tsp mustard powder
- 1/2 tsp cayenne powder
- 1/4 tsp nutmeg
- 1/2 tsp black pepper
- 1/4 cup unsalted butter
- 1/3 cup all purpose flour
- 1 bottle beer -your fave
- 3 cups milk -whole or 2%
- 1/4 cup cream cheese -softened and cut into small cubes
- 3.5 cups mozzarella cheese -shredded, divided
- 1 cup cheddar cheese -shredded
- 1 cup gouda cheese -shredded
- 1/2 cup parmesan cheese -shredded
- 1/2 cup panko bread crumbs
- 1/4 lb bacon slices -about 4-5 slices
- 1 package macaroni noodles
- 2 tbsp fresh parsley -roughly chopped, optional
- Pam cooking spray -or butter to grease baking dish
- Place milk in a small pot and keep on low heat just to warm. Preheat oven to 375F.
- Cook pasta per package instructions. My pasta instructions were 5 minutes to al dente. Cook just short of that, about 1 minute less (it will finish cooking in the oven). Drain. Reserve.
- On the stove top on medium high heat in a large, heavy bottomed pot add olive oil and cook onion until translucent, about 5 minutes. Add garlic and cook an additional 1 minute. Add salt, pepper, paprika, mustard powder, cayenne powder, nutmeg, and pepper. Stir.
- Add butter to onion mixture and melt. Add flour and stir to combine and cook 2-3 minutes. Add half of beer to pot, stirring until thickened slightly. Add remaining beer, stirring for a couple more minutes until thickened slightly.
- About a cup at a time add milk to pot, stirring between each addition and letting thicken slightly. Add cream cheese and whisk until incorporated.
- Turn off heat and add 2 cups of mozzarella and all of the cheddar and gouda. Stir in cooked pasta.
- Spray baking dish with cooking spray or grease with butter and pour mixture in. Top with bread crumbs and parmesan and remaining 1.5 cups of mozzarella cheese. Bake for 25-30 minutes until top has browned slightly and mixture is bubbly. Carefully remove from oven and let cool 15-20 minutes.
- While mac-n-cheese is cooling, place bacon on a sheet pan (in 375F oven) and bake 15-20 minutes until crispy. Drain on paper towel. Crumble over mac-n-cheese and garnish with parsley, if using. Enjoy!