This Smoked Mac and Cheese is easy to make and absolutely delicious! You can make it your own and serve it up with veggies and your protein of choice, or enjoy it as is. Either way, I am confident that you will not be disappointed!
Disclosure: this post is sponsored by Cabot Cheese and I am being compensated monetarily; however, all opinions expressed are my own. Cabot Cheese is a brand we use regularly in our home and absolutely love!
ingredients you need for this smoked mac and cheese
Chances are you already have most of the ingredients you need to whip up this Smoked Mac & Cheese!
- Any shape of pasta noodles — we love it with shells, but you could also use penne, rotini, elbow noodles; whatever you like or have on hand!
- Shredded cheese — I used Cabot Cheese’s Mac & Cheese shreds in this recipe, but any of their shredded cheeses would be amazing!
- Cream cheese
- LOTS of pepper, and some salt & spices
- Jalapenos (optional)
As far as equipment, it is ideal to have a big cast-iron skillet for this recipe! The one I used is a 12″. If you don’t have one and you are using a smoker/grill, you could also use a large, disposable foil pan, or a 9×13 glass pan if cooking in the oven.
why cabot cheese is the best choice for this smoked mac and cheese
If you have never had Cabot Cheese before, you are MISSING OUT. It is truly the best cheese we have ever had, and I’m not just saying that. The flavor is so rich and the texture is perfect. They have so many delicious varieties and we love them all.
The Seriously Sharp Cheddar is probably our all-time favorite, but to be honest, we don’t discriminate. ; )
Another great thing about Cabot Cheese is that it is naturally lactose-free, making it a wonderful option for anyone that is lactose intolerant, but still wants to enjoy cheese!
Cabot Cheese is a co-operative of farm families that has been in the biz since 1919. In other words, they know their stuff. They are also a Certified B Corporation, which further validates their attention to environmental and social impacts for their consumers, customers, employees and the farm families who own Cabot. I love supporting companies who take sustainability into consideration with their practices, and I know many of you do, too.
optional swaps & serving suggestions
Like I mentioned before, you can definitely swap out any pasta noodle/shape that you prefer or have on hand. I think it would also work great with whole grain pasta, if you are able to find whole grain shells (since that is my preferred shape for this recipe)!
I think you could even make it with chickpea pasta or another gluten-free option if you need to make that modification. Also, sub gluten-free breadcrumbs if needed.
For the cheese, the Cabot Cheese Mac & Cheese shredded cheese flavor was amazing. Other options that I think would work great: Seriously Sharp Rustic Cut (or regular) Shredded Cheddar Cheese, 5-Cheese Italian Shredded Cheese, or New York Extra Sharp Cheddar Cheese. Truly, you can’t go wrong.
In addition, if you want to up the protein, feel free to add something like grilled chicken. We added shredded rotisserie chicken which was a super easy & delicious addition. It would also be tasty with shrimp, or even salmon!
Cook up any and all veggies to go with it. I personally love roasted cauliflower or roasted broccoli with mac & cheese, but roasted Brussels sprouts would be another great addition. Click here for my recipe for roasted vegetables.
what if I don’t have a smoker?
If you don’t have a smoker grill, no problem! You can finish this mac & cheese off by cooking it in the oven OR on a regular grill on low heat for the same amount of time, or until the top is browned and crispy.
Smoked Mac and Cheese
- 16 oz pasta shells or pasta of choice
- 4 cups Cabot Cheese Shredded Mac and Cheese divided
- 2 tbsp butter or ghee
- 1/2 cup cream cheese whipped
- 1/2 cup milk
- 1 tbsp minced garlic
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 1/8 tsp cayenne pepper optional
- 1/2 cup breadcrumbs for topping
- 2 jalapenos sliced, for topping
- Preheat smoker to 250 degrees Fahrenheit. (Or regular grill on low-medium heat, or oven at 250 degrees F).
- Cook pasta for 8-10 minutes or according to package instructions. Drain when done.
- Transfer cooked pasta noodles to a large bowl. Add milk, butter, 2 cups of Cabot Cheese shredded cheese, whipped cream cheese, minced garlic, salt & pepper to taste & cayenne pepper (if using). Stir well until all ingredients are incorporated.
- Transfer cheesy pasta mixture to cast iron skillet. Sprinkle the following on top in layers: 1 cup of shredded cheese, 1/4 cup breadcrumbs, then repeat. If adding jalapenos, finish by placing jalapeno slices on top.
- Place cast iron skillet on smoker for 1 hour or until top is browned and crispy. Check at 30-40 minutes and adjust time as needed. (If cooking in the oven, I'd recommend turning it to broil for a few minutes at the end!)
- Enjoy hot! Serve along with veggies and/or protein (i.e. cooked chicken, etc.) if desired. Store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3-4 days.
I can’t wait to hear what you think of this Smoked Mac & Cheese and see how you decide to serve it up! Be sure to tag me @wellnessforthewin, as well as @cabotcheese on Instagram so we can see! Also, share the love by pinning this recipe on Pinterest!
Thanks so much, and enjoy!