This smoked mac and cheese recipe is the ultimate side dish you need to be serving at your next gathering!

It’s full of warm, rich, creamy cheese that has the perfect hint of smoke flavor in each bite. 

Be sure to give this recipe a try for the ultimate smoky flavor upgrade to a classic dish! It’s easy to make and it will feed a crowd.

Ingredients you will need

Noodles: Elbow macaroni noodles 

Cheese Sauce: Velveeta cheese, smoked gouda, mozzarella, mild cheddar or sharp cheddar cheese, whole milk or heavy cream, unsalted butter, all-purpose flour

Seasonings: Sweet Preacher rub, garlic powder, onion powder, black pepper, salt and hot sauce

smoked Mac and cheese ingredients
Photos from this recipe are from Brittany Scott (Instagram: @the_salted_bite)

How to make Smoked Mac and Cheese

Preheat your smoker to 250° F using cherry wood which is a mild wood that will add sweet smoky flavor. I used a pellet grill for this cook since it’s an easier method of cooking since it provides a more consistent temperature like an oven. 

Bring a large pot of water water to a boil, then add some salt and boil the noodles for 6 minutes until al dente. Strain the cooked pasta then run them under cold water to stop the cooking process. 

For the cheesy sauce, make the roux in a pot or large skillet by melting one stick of butter over medium heat. Slowly pour in and whisk 4 tbsp of flour and let it cook for about a minute until golden brown.

roux for smoked mac and cheese

Next, add 2 cups of whole milk, hot sauce, the seasonings and 16 oz of cubed velveeta cheese. Cook it over medium low heat and stir every minute until creamy then remove from heat. 

cheesy sauce for Mac and cheese

Add the cooked macaroni noodles to a ceramic dish, large cast iron skillet or a disposable aluminum pan. Add in 1 tbsp of BBQ rub, gouda cheese, mozzarella cheese, cheddar cheese and whole milk then mix within the noodles.

I typically like to buy blocks of cheese and shred it myself because it’s cheaper and more fresh. For the sake of time and convenience, you can purchase pre-shredded cheese from the store instead.

Pour the melted creamy cheese sauce in the pan.

Mix all of the ingredients together in the dish until everything is fully combined.

Lightly sprinkle more BBQ rub and add more shredded cheese on top of the Mac and cheese. 

Place the mac and cheese on the preheated smoker then let it cook for one hour of indirect heat. 

Once the cheese has melted and turns golden brown on top, remove it from the smoker. You can place it under the broiler for a couple of minutes if you want to crispy up the cheese on top. 

Serve the smoked macaroni up hot and enjoy! 

Variations that can be made

You can add different types of cheeses such as cream cheese, Colby Jack cheese, Monterey Jack, parmesan cheese or pepper jack cheese. The possibilities are endless, you just need to choose a cheese that you like.

Some people like to add a topping for a little extra crunch. Personally, I am not a huge fan of it which is why my recipe doesn’t have it. But, if you like that – add some panko bread crumbs or potato chips on top.

If you want to take this mac n cheese recipe to the next level, add some crumbled bacon in with the macaroni prior to smoking it. Bacon mac and cheese is the ultimate comfort food.

Another great option is to make a Buffalo Chicken Mac and Cheese. This version of Mac and cheese is so good and it is its own main dish. Smoky, cheesy, and a little kick thanks to the buffalo sauce. 

Smoked buffalo Mac and cheese

What to serve with the smoked mac and cheese?

Some of my favorite things to serve smoked Mac and cheese with are pulled pork sandwiches, smoked brisket or BBQ Ribs

Smoked Mac and cheese is the perfect side dish to cook up during the holidays. You can serve it with some smoked turkey legs or it goes great with my Cherry Bourbon Glazed Ham.

Looking for other side dishes to serve?

Be sure to check out some of my other favorite sides to serve up at your BBQ or holiday gathering. 

Bacon Balsamic Brussels Sprouts – Bacon makes everything better, and that includes brussels sprouts! These delicious vegetables are served with crispy bacon, gooey dates topped with a balsamic glaze reduction for the best bite around.

Bacon Wrapped Hot Honey Carrots – These are the perfect side for your holiday gathering. Smoky, crispy bacon glazed with a hot honey for the perfect sweet heat bite.

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Smoked mac and cheese

Smoked Mac and Cheese

5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star

5 from 7 reviews

Smoked Mac and cheese is the perfect side dish and your next barbecue. It’s filled with rich, creamy cheese and has a perfect hint of smoke in each and every bite!

  • Total Time: 1 hour 15 minutes
  • Yield: 24 servings 1x


  • 2 tbsp Sweet Preacher BBQ Rub
  • 16 oz elbow noodles 
  • 16 oz Velveeta cheese
  • 1 cup shredded Gouda cheese
  • 1 cup shredded Mozzarella cheese
  • 1 cup shredded Cheddar cheese 
  • 3 cups whole milk 
  • ½ cup unsalted butter
  • 4 tbsp flour
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tbsp hot sauce


  1. Boil the macaroni  noodles for 6 minutes until al dente then strain and run under cold water.
  2. Make the Roux: melt one stick of butter and slowly whisk in 4 tbsp of flour and let it cook for 1 minute. 
  3. Add in 1.5 cups whole milk, hot sauce, seasonings and Velveeta cheese. Cook down over medium low heat until creamy then remove from heat. 
  4. In a foil pan, add noodles, BBQ rub, Gouda cheese, mozzarella cheese, cheddar cheese, 1.5 cups whole milk and mix with the noodles.
  5. Add the melted creamy cheese to the noodles and mix thoroughly. Sprinkle on more BBQ rub and top with more shredded cheese.
  6. Place on the smoker at 250° F indirect of the heat for 1 hour.
  7. Once the cheese on top is melted, serve hot and enjoy!
  • Author: Nick Nesgoda
  • Prep Time: 15 min
  • Cook Time: 60 min


  1. Followed this recipe step by step for our Father’s Day lunch and it was UNREAL! Hands down the best Mac n Cheese I have ever made.

    I added a little bit of bread crumbs on top for the final 40 minutes of the cook to make it my own a little bit 😉

    Absolutely recommend this recipe!

    • Phenomenonal recipe. Was told I could serve this at a restaurant from my wife, and she hates almost everything I do!

  2. Absolutely the best Mac n Cheese! My family went crazy over it. The smoked flavor from the rub and the smoker took this to another level. It’s the perfect flavor combination with the luxurious creamy cheese and sauce mixed with a pop of BBQ. The cheese pulls with every bite are insane and I love the texture! It’s thick without being too heavy. Absolute PERFECTION!

  3. Not me coming back here for the 5th time in the last 3 months to make the greatest Mac n Cheese recipe!

    Sooooo good!!

  4. We had these for Thanksgiving dinner and they were amazing! The flavor was excellent and it was so creamy and cheesy! Definitely will be making this again!

  5. Phenomenonal recipe. Was told I could serve this at a restaurant from my wife, and she hates almost everything I do!

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