Ale Mac 'n Cheese

Side Dishes

Ale Mac 'n Cheese

This football season, celebrate in true tailgating fashion with a beer-inspired mac 'n cheese that puts the hops in your meal and not just your red plastic cup. And bonus, this is a vegetarian pasta recipe, so you'll have options for the meat-free eaters at your party.


12 servings

Total Time

1 hour

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Test Kitchen Tip

This mac ‘n cheese reheats well on the grill. Prepare it in a disposable foil pan according to recipe instructions. Then reheat, covered, on the grill until warmed through.


Pulse bread, 2 Tbsp. butter, and parsley in a food processor until coarse crumbs form; season with salt and black pepper.

Heat broiler to high with rack 6 inches from element. Coat a 9×13-inch baking dish with nonstick spray.

Cook macaroni in a large pot of boiling salted water according to package directions. Drain macaroni and transfer to a bowl; wipe out pot.

Melt remaining 4 Tbsp. butter in same pot over medium-high heat. Add flour, 1 tsp. salt, 1/2 tsp. black pepper, and cayenne; cook, whisking constantly, until golden and fragrant, 12 minutes.

Gradually, whisk in milk and beer; bring to a boil, whisking constantly, then reduce heat to medium and cook sauce until thick, 5 minutes.

Off heat, whisk in Cheddar, American cheese, and Dijon.

Stir in macaroni, return pot to stove top over medium-low heat, and cook until steaming, 5 minutes.

Transfer mac ‘n cheese to prepared dish, sprinkle with bread crumbs, and broil until golden brown and crisp, 34 minutes. Let mac ‘n cheese rest 5 minutes before serving.

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