Mac and cheese is a beloved classic dish that is enjoyed by many. This classic and creamy side dish can be elevated to the next level with smoky flavor and deliciousness. This easy to follow Traeger mac and cheese recipe will give you a delicious, smoky flavor that can’t be beat.
From selecting the perfect cheese to adding additional ingredients for added flavor, this recipe will make sure there’s something for everyone.
How to smoke mac and cheese on Traeger grill
Smoking mac and cheese on a Traeger smoker is a great way to elevate the classic comfort food. The smoky flavor gives the mac and cheese a whole new dimension of deliciousness.
To get started, prepare the macaroni according to package instructions. Once the macaroni is cooked and drained, it is time to cook the sauce for the macaroni.
In a large pan, combine, butter, milk, flour, and cheese. Stir until cheeses are melted. Mixed in the cooked macaroni and add salt and pepper.
Transfer the mac and cheese into an aluminum pan. Preheat smoker to 225°F.
Place the mac and cheese in the smoker and let it cook for an hour. The cheese should be bubbly at this point.
Best wood to use for smoking
To ensure that your mac and cheese has the best flavor, you need to choose the right type of wood for smoking. While there are many options available, hickory, mesquite, and oak are some of the best options for smoking mac and cheese.
Hickory is a strong, hardwood that is good for achieving a smoky flavor. Mesquite is another hardwood with a strong flavor that works great for smoking. Oak is milder than hickory or mesquite and will still give you a smoky flavor without being overpowering.
All of these woods can be used to smoke mac and cheese but experiment with different combinations to find the flavor you like best.
What kind of pasta to use
While many different shapes and sizes of pasta can work well, there are some that stand out as being particularly suited to this dish. Macaroni, shells, and penne are all excellent choices, as their shape helps to hold the cheese and other ingredients together. Rigatoni is also an excellent choice for smoked mac and cheese, as its ridges help to trap the cheese and other ingredients, allowing for maximum flavor.
When it comes to choosing the right type of pasta for your smoked mac and cheese, you should think about how the shape of the pasta will affect the way the dish comes together. If you’re looking for something different, try using spiral-shaped rotini or bow ties for a unique twist.
What cheese to use
Smoked mac and cheese is a delicious and comforting dish that many of us love. The key to making a perfect smoked mac and cheese is finding the right cheese! Ideally, you want to use a cheese that melts well and has a strong, smoky flavor.
Popular cheeses to use for smoked mac and cheese are cheddar, gouda, gruyere, and mozzarella. Cheddar has a sharp flavor and is an excellent melting cheese which makes it a great choice. Gouda has a mild, smoky flavor that pairs perfectly with the smokiness of the dish. Gruyere has a nutty flavor and also melts well. Mozzarella is mild in flavor but adds creaminess and texture.
You can experiment with a mixture of cheeses for a unique taste. We will be using a combination of cheddar, monterey jack, parmesan, and cream cheese for this recipe.
How to know when it is done
To test if the mac and cheese is ready, start by poking a fork into the center of the dish. If the fork easily slides into the macaroni, the mac and cheese is finished cooking.
You will also be able to tell that it is done cooking when the top of the mac and cheese is lightly browned and bubbling. The cheese should be melted and stretchy.
If you notice that the macaroni is still hard or chewy, you will need to keep cooking it for a few minutes longer.
What to serve with this recipe
To balance the smoky and creamy flavors, choose side dishes that are light and fresh. A green salad with a light vinaigrette is a great choice to start off the meal.
If you’re looking for something more substantial, grilled vegetables, such as zucchini, peppers and asparagus are a great way to add flavor and texture.
For a more substantial side dish, roasted potatoes, sweet potatoes or buttered corn on the cob are all excellent options. If you’re looking for something more indulgent, serve the smoked mac and cheese with crunchy bacon or fried onions.
What to do with leftovers
If you happen to have some leftover smoked mac and cheese, don’t worry – there are plenty of delicious ways to use it up! Here are some creative ideas for what to do with your extra mac and cheese.
First, you can turn it into a quick casserole by mixing it with other ingredients like crumbled bacon, diced tomatoes, and shredded cheese. For an easy breakfast option, try adding some eggs and baking it in the oven for a tasty quiche.
Or, if you’re looking for a lighter meal, mix your smoked mac and cheese with diced vegetables, cooked chicken, and a tangy vinaigrette for a flavorful salad. You can even use your leftover mac and cheese to make tasty appetizers like crispy fried balls or mini sliders.
Traeger Mac and Cheese
Enjoy the ultimate comfort food with this easy and delicious Traeger Mac and Cheese recipe. Perfect for a weeknight meal or special occasion.
- 1 lbs Macaroni (cooked)
- 5 tbsp Butter
- 3 tbsp Flour
- 3 cups Whole Milk
- 2 cups Cheddar Cheese
- 2 cups Monterey Jack Cheese
- 1 cup Parmesan Cheese (grated)
- 10 ounces Cream Cheese
- 1 tsp Salt
- 1 tsp Ground Black Pepper
Preheat your smoker to 225°F using your favorite wood/wood pellets.
In a medium heated pan, add in butter and let it melt.
Add in flour into the pan and continue to stir.
Next slowly pour in the milk and let it boil. Once it is boiling, reduce the heat until the sauce is thick.
Add in cheddar, monterey jack, parmesan, and cream cheese. Stir until cheeses have melted.
Add the cooked macaroni and season the sauce with salt and pepper.
Transfer the mac and cheese into an aluminum foil pan.
Place the pan in the smoker and let it cook for 1 hour.
*You can top the mac and cheese with some breadcrumbs.