Chipotle Smoked Mac and Cheese
Smoky Chipotle Mac and Cheese that starts off on the stove in a cast-iron skillet and finishes on the smoker.
Servings: 6 people
- 2 cups dry elbow pasta
- 4 slices bacon
- 4 cloves garlic
- 2 tablespoon flour
- 2 cups milk (a combination of milk, half and half, and cream may be used)
- 4 ounces cream cheese (cubed)
- 1½ teaspoon salt (divided)
- ½ teaspoon white pepper
- 1 cup cheddar cheese
- 1 cup smoked gouda
- ½ 7 oz can chipotle peppers in adobo sauce (use less or leave out if you want milder mac and cheese)
- 1 cup Colby jack cheese (shredded)
- 1 bag crispy jalapenos (optional)
Set smoker to 225 degrees F.
Add water to a large pot and bring to a boil. Add elbow pasta to the pot of boiling water, and add 1 teaspoon salt. Set a timer for 7 minutes. Cook the pasta until al dente (not completely soft and tender).
Meanwhile, using a 10" cast-iron skillet, fry the bacon until crispy then drain on paper towels. Add minced garlic and fry for approximately 30 seconds. Sprinkle flour into the pan to make a roux. Stir over low heat for about a minute then turn off the heat.
Drain cooked pasta and add to a medium-sized bowl. Pour milk over the pasta, then add cream cheese, salt, and pepper. Shred cheddar and gouda and add, along with bacon.
Stir in the diced chipotle peppers and their sauce into the pasta, then pour the contents of the bowl into the cast iron pan. Mix with a rubber spatula to incorporate the garlic and roux that are in the pan into the pasta.
Cover the skillet with a lid or foil and simmer over low heat for 5 minutes. Stir pasta and place uncovered on the grill. Smoke for 30 minutes (not you, the pasta). Stir once more and sprinkle with the Colby jack cheese. Smoke, uncovered, for an additional 30 minutes.
Optional: Sprinkle the finished Smoked Mac and cheese with crispy jalapeños before serving.
- If you don't own a cast-iron skillet, you can use a disposable aluminum pan instead. You'll want to spray the pan with cooking spray before pouring the pasta mixture into it.
- This recipe is not meant to be smoked at a higher temperature. It will dry it out.
- If the Smoked Mac and cheese gets too dried out, add additional milk (1 tablespoon per cup of pasta). You can also use half and half, or cream to rehydrate the pasta.
- To make Macaroni and Cheese creamier, stir more cheese or sour cream into the pasta.
- Besides bacon, you can add other pulled pork, artichoke hearts, mushrooms, chives, or whatever ingredient you are fond of.
- For a crispy topping, add crumbled crackers or panko crumbs on top before smoking.
- To reheat the Mac n Cheese, stir approximately 2 tablespoons of whole milk or half and half (per serving) into the Mac and Cheese. Microwave it for 30-60 seconds.
- You can freeze leftover Macaroni and Cheese by placing it in an air-tight container or in a freezer Ziplock bag. Be sure to remove all the air from the bag before sealing it. Store in the freezer for up to 3 months.
- To reheat Mac and Cheese in the oven, place it in a glass dish, stir in 2 tablespoons of milk per serving, then cover with a lid or foil and bake at 350 degrees F. for 20-30 minutes.
Serving: 1serving | Calories: 457kcal | Carbohydrates: 38g | Protein: 19g | Fat: 26g | Saturated Fat: 14g | Cholesterol: 79mg | Sodium: 1112mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 8g