Smoked Cheddar Macaroni & Cheese

by Erin

Thanksgiving usually comes with a turkey, but what do you pair with it on the side? I suggest you this smoked cheddar mac and cheese to your menu!

Smoked Cheddar Macaroni & Cheese #recipe

I know we haven’t celebrated Halloween yet but I’ve already started sharing Thanksgiving recipes so may as well keep the ball rolling. This week I’ve teamed up with some other bloggers to share holiday side dishes. Those that I am sharing also pair with a smoked turkey, poblano bacon gravy, and cranberry sweet tea sangria that I have posted thus far. How do you feel about a smoked cheddar macaroni and cheese?

Smoked Cheddar Macaroni & Cheese #holidaysidedishes

I use the base for this macaroni recipe for nearly all the mac and cheese recipes on this blog, because it’s creamy, flavorful and crusty on top. This time I added smoked cheddar cheese, white cheddar cheese, a little Parmesan, and cream cheese (the reason it;s so damn creamy). Do you have a favorite Thanksgiving side dish?

Check out all the fabulous holiday side dishes:

Smoked Cheddar Macaroni & Cheese #thespiffycookie

One year ago: Honeymoon in New Orleans

Two years ago: Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Buckeyes

Four years ago: Harvest Cobb Salad

Five years ago: Pumpkin Spice Greek Yogurt Mousse

Six years ago: Chocolate Pumpkin Pancakes

Seven years ago: Halloween Brownie Roll Out Cookie Sandwiches


Serves 6 as side or 4 as entree


8 oz. favorite pasta shape

2-1/2 cups whole milk, warmed

5 Tbsp unsalted butter

1/4 cup all-purpose flour

1/4 tsp ground mustard

1/4 tsp smoked paprika

Salt and pepper, to taste

6 oz. smoked cheddar cheese, grated

2 oz. sharp white cheddar cheese, grated

2 oz. Parmesan cheese, grated

2 oz. cream cheese, cubed

2 Tbsp Panko bread crumbs


  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Grease an 11×7-inch (about 2 quarts) casserole dish and set aside.
  2. Cook pasta according to package directions until just barely al-dente (about 1 minute less than recommended cook time). Drain and set aside.
  3. Meanwhile, in a large saute pan over medium heat add butter and melt until frothy. Add flour and whisk until smooth. Continue cooking until it begins to bubble and turn golden, about 2-3 minutes. Slowly pour in milk, whisking vigorously, until all the milk is incorporated and mixture is smooth (will clump but keep whisking).
  4. Continue to cook over medium heat, whisking regularly, until sauce has thickened slightly, about 8-10 minutes. Remove from heat and whisk in mustard, paprika, and salt and pepper. Slowly add cheeses (except a 1/2 cup mixture), a handful at a time, whisking until melted before adding more. Stir in pasta until evenly coated.
  5. Pour into the prepared dish. Sprinkle with reserved cheese and breadcrumbs over top. Bake for 15-20 minutes or until filling is bubbling, then broil for 1-2 minutes or until breadcrumbs are golden brown. Remove from heat and allow to cool for 10 minutes before serving.

Source: Adapted from my Rosemary Mac & Cheese.

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Wendy Klik October 28, 2019 - 11:33 am

Great idea using smoked cheddar. I’ll bet it tasted fabulous.

spiffycookie October 28, 2019 - 3:04 pm

We certainly enjoyed it ;-). I love trying out different cheese for mac and cheese.

Susan October 28, 2019 - 7:55 am

This one sounds like a real winner. I would be fine with this for my main for Thanksgiving. I don’t cook anything like a feast for holidays any more, for lots of reasons. Serve this with a nice green salad and you have a great meal, which is plenty festive.

spiffycookie October 28, 2019 - 8:39 am

I agree, that does sound like a good meal! I could eat this mac and cheese anytime of year.


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