|September 26, 2022


What can be a better comfort food than homemade mac and cheese? And that too, with bacon?!

Mouthwateringly good smoked mac and cheese with bacon made the easy way with a smoky mac and cheese sauce with smoked Gouda, smoked cheddar, smoked paprika, and smoked Gruyère! This smoked mac and cheese recipe with bacon is an absolute winner!  

Smoked mac and cheese – easy recipe 

This smoky mac and cheese is just incredible! It's made from smoked Gouda cheese, smoked Gruyère, and smoked cheddar cheese, everything in a flavorful and creamy cheese sauce. And that's not even the best part – we're adding smoky, crispy bacon to take it to another level altogether! Rest assured that you won't regret trying this ridiculously good smoked mac and cheese


Mouthwateringly good smoked mac and cheese with bacon made the easy way with a smoky mac and cheese sauce with smoked Gouda, smoked cheddar, smoked paprika, and smoked Gruyère! This smoked mac and cheese recipe with bacon is an absolute winner!
Print Recipe
  • Course - Main Course (Side Dish) 
  • Cuisine - American 
  • Servings - 12 servings 
  • Calories - 205kcal 
  • Prep Time - 10 minutes 
  • Cooking Time - 45 minutes 
  • Total Time - 55 minutes


  • Cooking spray
  • 8 oz (227 g) - Elbow macaroni boiled as per to package directions
  • 8 - Slices diced bacon
  • 2 tbsp - Unsalted butter
  • 1 - Medium chopped onion
  • 4 - Cloves chopped garlic
  • 2 tbsp - All-purpose flour
  • 1 cup - Whole milk
  • 1-1/3rd ounce - Can of evaporated milk (or ¾ cup whole milk)
  • ½ tsp - Mustard powder
  • ½ tsp - Smoked paprika
  • ½ tsp - Cayenne pepper (optional)
  • ½ cup - Freshly grated smoked Gruyère cheese
  • ½ cup - Freshly grated smoked Gouda cheese
  • ½ cup - Partly skimmed mozzarella cheese (freshly grated)
  • ½ cup - Smoked sharp cheddar cheese (freshly grated)
  • Cracked pepper and salt (to taste) 


  • Preheat your oven to 375°F and spray a casserole dish or cast-iron skillet with cooking spray.
  • Boil the macaroni according to package instructions. Remove from the heat 1 or 2 minutes early.
  • Cook the bacon, stirring regularly, on medium-high heat until it turns crisp. Remove from the pan and drain the bacon onto paper towels. Remove any excess bacon grease from the pan, except for 2 tablespoons of grease. 
  • Heat the extra bacon grease and butter in a pan on medium heat till the butter has melted. Add in the chopped onion and garlic and cook till they soften. 
  • Whisk in the flour and cook for a minute or two at the most. Remove from heat. 
  • Slowly pour in the milk and evaporated milk and stir the mixture till it gets slightly thickened.  
  • Stir in the smoked paprika, mustard powder, cayenne pepper, and salt to taste.
  • Stir in grated cheeses, keeping about ⅔ cup balance for the topping. The cheese should begin to melt by now.
  • Add the macaroni and pour over to coat. Pour the mixture into the skillet or prepared dish and top it with the previously reserved cheese and fresh cracked pepper. 
  • Bake in a preheated oven for about 20 minutes or until the cheese filling is melted. To brown the topping further, place on a broiler on low for about 2-3 minutes. Let it cool slightly before serving. 
  • Serve delicious, mouthwatering smoked bacon with mac and cheese. Enjoy!


What are the cheeses that go best with mac and cheese?

These are the best cheeses to use in Mac and Cheese:

  • Parmesan – Parmesan is a salty cheese with incredible and complex flavors.
  • Monterey Jack
  • Cheddar – Cheddar is the staple cheese for innumerable recipes.
  • Gruyere – Upgrade your mac and cheese recipes to something more mature with Gruyere.
  • Smoked Gouda
  • Brie
  • Fontina 

Why is my smoked mac and cheese dry?

Any temperature over 225°F will overcook the pasta and cause the dish to dry out. Therefore, make sure that you use enough liquid. Since the macaroni/pasta isn't boiled first, the total amount of liquid should cover the pasta completely. You can also add a little extra milk if needed so that the macaroni cooks all the way through. 

What spice makes mac and cheese better?

Basil, Oregano, and Marjoram are excellent flavoring additions to any traditional mac and cheese recipe. Italian herbs generally pair well with pasta and cheese so it’s better to incorporate them into mac and cheese. 

How do I get my mac and cheese creamy?

Simple. Add more cheese. The last layer of cheese on top isn't just for looks; it also prevents the saucy noodles underneath from drying out while baking. Adding breadcrumbs also helps insulate the noodles, acting as a protective layer during baking while also adding a nice little crunch.

What wood is best for smoking mac and cheese?

Well, it’s a personal choice, though many would swear by hickory. Hickory wood is bold enough to deliver a noticeable smoky flavor without overpowering the dish. Milder wood, such as cherry, pecan, or apple, also works well. 

What gives mac and cheese more flavor? 

The best spices for mac and cheese are onion powder, oregano, garlic powder, paprika, cayenne pepper, and even nutmeg. But again, the spices you select will depend on the flavor you desire from your mac and cheese. Usually, Italian and Mediterranean herbs are the most common spices added in traditional mac and cheese.


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