Garlic, Bacon, and Beer Macaroni and Cheese |

Garlic, Bacon, and Beer Macaroni and Cheese

Garlic, Bacon, and Beer Macaroni and Cheese. Try it once, and you will be hooked.

Course Main Course, Side Dish
Cuisine entertaining, football food, party food
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 38 minutes
Total Time 48 minutes
Servings 6
Author Erica


  • 6 strips bacon cooked and crumbled, divided
  • 4 T unsalted butter divided
  • 3 T all-purpose flour
  • 2 large cloves garlic minced
  • 1-1/2 t fresh thyme leaves divided
  • 2 c milk
  • 3/4 c stout beer such as Guinness
  • 1 t kosher salt
  • pinch fresh cracked pepper
  • 2 c shredded sharp cheddar cheese
  • 1/2 c sharp cheddar cheese spread See Notes
  • 8 oz elbow macaroni
  • 1/2 c panko breadcrumbs
  • garnish: fresh thyme leaves and couple pinches barbecue seasoning such as Chef Prudhomme's or my Grilling Rub for Chicken


  1. Heat oven to 350F. Bring a large pot of water to a boil.
  2. In a medium saucepan, heat 3 T butter with the flour over medium heat, whisking until bubbly. Cook 2 minutes. Add the garlic and 1 t thyme, and cook an additional minute. Slowly whisk in the the milk and beer. Heat, stirring constantly, a couple minutes until quite warm but not boiling. Reduce heat to medium-low, add both cheeses, salt, and pepper, and cook, whisking, until smooth. Remove from the heat. Stir in half the bacon.
  3. Cook the macaroni to al dente according to package directions in salted water. Drain and add to the cheese sauce. Transfer to a 2-qt baking dish.
  4. In a small saucepan, melt the remaining 1 tablespoon butter. Add the panko, remaining 1/2 t thyme, and remaining bacon. sprinkle over the macaroni. Bake at 350F for 20-25 minutes until bubbly. Serve garnished with fresh thyme leaves and a pinch of barbecue seasoning. Yield: 6-8 servings.

Recipe Notes

By sharp cheddar cheese spread, I'm talking about the pub-type spreadable cheese, found in the dairy aisle, that comes in a tub. I have tried Wispride, Merkts, and Kaukauna brands, and they all work for this recipe.