I have a very important, life-altering question.

Easy Beer Mac and Cheese I howsweeteats.com

Is there anything better than macaroni and cheese? I mean… really?


I don’t think so either.

Sure, we can all make the argument for chocolate or bacon or broccoli (um, who are you and what are you doing on this website?), but in the end we know that mac and cheese is in a league of it’s own.

It’s a weapon, really.

Easy Beer Mac and Cheese I howsweeteats.com

You can get whatever it is that you want with the perfect dish of cheesy noodles. Except maybe like five million dollars, which I reallllly need because I have a lot of shoes to buy and a lot of bacon to fry. And thanks to the invention of the internet I can do both at once. Winning.

Easy Beer Mac and Cheese I howsweeteats.com

Remember the night that I made this beer mac and cheese and served it with BBQ portobello sliders and couldn’t stop talking about it for four days because it was an ohhh so good meal and everyone within close proximity just wanted me to shut my trap? No… you probably don’t. Because I only subjected my real life friends and family to such misery and not my invisible internet friends. I seriously have no idea how I waited so long to tell you about this but for some reason I found things like cookies and cupcakes and even breakfast to be more important. Oh, and I kind of forgot about it because I have sooo much on my mind, like wondering when the heck I’m going to get to see Crazy Stupid Love (waiting is getting ridiculous) and really – I mean REALLY – are Ari and Mrs. Ari going to get back together (?!?) because they only have like, three more weeks. I can’t even take this.

Easy Beer Mac and Cheese I howsweeteats.com

But in the meantime… have you ever had beer cheese soup? It’s only one of the most delicious bowls of comfort you will ever taste and is always an essential part of my Octoberfest feast, which lasts much longer than just October. This pasta is like beer cheese soup… WITH CARBS. And crunch.

Hello heaven.


So yes. I’m fully convinced that a good bowl of mac and cheese can score you an engagement ring or maybe even just a free movie ticket or something. If anything, it makes the day that your credit card statement appears in the mail about a billion times better. Betcha Judy Blume never told you that.

Easy Beer Mac and Cheese I howsweeteats.com

Easy Beer Mac and Cheese

[inspired by my cousin, who mentioned beer mac on vacation last month]

serves 4-6

2 1/2 cups uncooked whole wheat elbow noodles

2 tablespoons butter

2 tablespoons flour

8 ounces milk

8 ounces beer (I used an amber beer – it was what I had on hand)

8 ounces freshly grated cheddar cheese

4 ounces freshly grated parmesan cheese

1/4 teaspoon smoked paprika

pinch of black pepper

pinch of nutmeg

1/2 cup panko bread crumbs

10 large basil leaves, chopped for garnish

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.

Prepare water for pasta and boil according to directions, shaving 1-2 minutes off of cooking time since pasta will continue to cook in the oven.

Heat a saucepan over medium high heat and add butter. Once melted and sizzling, whisk in flour to create a roux and cook until bubbly and golden in color, about 2 minutes. Add milk and beer into saucepan whisking constantly, then add cheeses and stir until melted. Turn heat down to medium and continue to stir, cooking for 5-6 minutes while mixture thickens. It will most likely NOT thicken like regular mac and cheese because of the beer, but you want it to thicken a little bit. Stir in pepper, paprika and nutmeg.

Add noodles (once cooked and drained) to a casserole dish, then pour cheese over top, mixing gently to combine. Top with panko bread crumbs and an additional sprinkle of cheese if desired. Bake for 25-30 minutes or until bubbly and golden on top.

Remove from oven and let cool for 5 minutes, then top with fresh basil.

Easy Beer Mac and Cheese I howsweeteats.com

There is only one way this can get better: bacon.

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356 Responses to “Easy Beer Mac and Cheese.”

  1. #
    Ashlea — October 6, 2013 @ 5:56 pm

    I just made this tonight and it was amazing! I used Sam Adams pumpkin ale because I am obsessed with all things pumpkin right now. I will absolutely make this again!


  2. #
    Suzanne — October 13, 2013 @ 9:44 pm

    Made this for the second time tonight and it was just as amazing as the first. We like our food spicy so I used cayenne pepper instead of paprika and it was incredible!


  3. #
    Sarah M. — October 27, 2013 @ 5:43 pm

    Well, I’ll be making this soon!

    One thought.. d’ya think I could prep it all and put it away in the fridge for a day or so before baking?


  4. #
    Stacy — December 12, 2013 @ 12:13 am
  5. #
    Kayley — October 7, 2014 @ 1:20 pm

    Just stumbled on this and totally want to try! I’m wondering if there is a way to convert it to a crockpot recipe? Sounds so yummy! Love your blog!


  6. #
    Veronique — November 20, 2014 @ 8:05 pm

    Hey ! Just made this recipe and it was awesome ! I added extra cheese on top as you suggested, and it made it even better :)


  7. #
    Teri-Ann — January 31, 2015 @ 8:47 am

    I cannot tell you how much I love Pinterest right now! Found your site via a search for breakfasts (Hello, Sweet Corn Cake Eggs Benedict with Avocado Hollandaise!!) and then I found this. Oh my actual gosh – we have just had this for dinner & I am already considering it for dinner again tomorrow! Sooooooooooooo good! And here was me thinking nothing could beat my Dad’s mac & cheese but, you know what, I think you just might have! Thank you so much :-D


  8. #
    Liz Allen — April 10, 2015 @ 1:12 am

    This looks amazing! I’m going to wilt some spinach into the cheese sauce before pouring it on the noodles so I can pretend it’s a vegetable.


  9. #
    Hannah — August 19, 2015 @ 5:24 pm

    Made this for a fantasy football draft party, and it was a hit! Used Sam Adam’s Oktoberfest and smoked cheddar (instead of regular cheddar), and the flavor was incredible. Next time I make it, I’ll alter just one thing- I like my mac & cheese dripping with sauce, so I’ll double the cheese sauce. Made it the night before the party, and it still turned out well!- baked for only 20min the night before and finished baking it the next day right before serving


  10. #
    Molly Hall — August 20, 2015 @ 3:39 pm

    My husband and I both agree that this is the best mac n cheese ever!!!!!!


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