Easy, creamy and oh so flavourful, this Blue Cheese Mac & Cheese is delicious on its own or perfect as a side to your favourite grilled or smoked meals.
This recipe was made on a pellet smoker, but it could easy be made in the oven or on a grill in indirect heat.
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Cheers! James & Elaine
Blue Cheese Mac & Cheese
- Olive oil
- Kosher salt
- 2 cups elbow macaroni
- 1 ½ cups milk
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 3½ ounces blue cheese such as Roquefort, crumbled
- 3½ ounces of Provolone cheese grated (substitute Gruyere or Fontina)
- 2½ ounces smoked Habenaro cheese grated (substitute smoked Cheddar or smoked Gouda)
- ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- ⅓ cup panko bread crumbs
- 2 tablespoons fresh thyme leaves chopped
- 4 ounces thick-sliced bacon
- Preheat the pellet smoker to 375°F (or oven or grill – indirect heat)
- Drizzle oil into a large pot of boiling salted water. Add the macaroni and cook according to the directions on the package, 6 to 8 minutes. Drain well.
- While the pasta cooks, heat the milk in a small saucepan, but don’t boil it. Melt the butter in a medium pot and add the flour. Cook over low heat for 2 minutes, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon. Now grab a whisk, and while whisking, add the hot milk (a ladle at a time) cooking for 20-30 seconds between ladles, until all the milk is incorporated, and mixture is smooth and thickened. Remove from the heat, add the cheeses, ½ teaspoon salt and the pepper. Mix until cheese has mostly melted then add the cooked macaroni and stir well. Pour into a lightly oiled skillet or individual size baking dishes.
- Sprinkle the panko bread crumbs and thyme over the top of the pasta. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, or until the sauce is bubbly and the macaroni is lightly browned on the top.
- Place a baking rack on a sheet pan and arrange the bacon in 1 layer on the baking rack. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes, until the bacon is crisp. Remove the pan from the smoker. Transfer the bacon to a plate lined with paper towels and crumble when it is cool enough to handle. Add the bacon to the cheese mixture with the macaroni prior to baking.