Made with a rich Guinness cheese sauce, beer mac and cheese is the most decadent macaroni and cheese recipe ever. Cheesy, creamy, deliciousness, you will absolutely love this easy adult mac and cheese. Perfect for dinner any night of the year or as a St. Patrick’s Day meal.
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I know I say this a lot, but this beer cheese mac and cheese might just be the best thing I’ve eaten lately. And yes, I felt the exact same way about this French onion chicken and still do. This is the best quick, cheesy carb fix I’ve had lately.
I mean, helloooo. Beer cheese. We’ve made this beer cheese at least 3 times since we made it for our Philly cheesesteak sliders. My husband once even made me a breakfast hash with scrambled eggs, peppers, onions, and potatoes and covered the whole mess in beer cheese.
That man just gets me. To the point where he’s not only making me breakfast because I am so not a morning person but he’s actually covering said breakfast in beer cheese. Best life advice I can give: marry someone who not only makes you breakfast but makes you breakfast covered in beer cheese. Because beer cheese.
Ingredients for Beer Cheese Mac and Cheese
The ingredients list for this macaroni and cheese recipe is pretty short and basic. You won’t find any milk or cream as the base of the sauce is beer.
- Beer- Any beer you have on hand will work in this. For a bit more body and depth I used Guinness for this mac and cheese, but I’ve also done beer cheese with lighter beers as well.
- Cheese- There’s a mix of cheese in this recipe. Go for a blend of cheddars and mild cheeses with Parmesan for the salty background.
- Garlic – Fresh garlic cloves give this the best flavor. Press them through a garlic press so they melt into the beer cheese.
- Olive oil or butter– Either will work just fine in this recipe.
- Pasta– You need a small pasta like elbow macaroni or this cellentani pasta, which is spiral shaped so it has lots of twists for the cheese to cling to.
- Breadcrumbs– optional but you can sprinkle some on top for a little bit of a crust
How to Make Beer Mac and Cheese
This beer cheese mac and cheese is very quick and easy to make. Start by boiling water in a pasta pot and cook the noodles according to directions on box. In a large cast iron skillet, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add garlic to the pan and cook until it is fragrant. Then pour the beer into the pan and let it cook down for 2-3 minutes. Keep stirring while it cooks so the garlic doesn’t burn. Slowly add in all the cheese. Let the cheese melt completely and stir to mix it before you add more. Drain the pasta and add the noodles to pan, mixing in as added. Then sprinkle some additional cheddar and parm cheese on top of noodles. Add a dusting of bread crumbs if you’d like. Then set oven to broil and broil for approximately 1 minute or until it is starting to crisp up.
Do I need to use Guinness in this beer cheese mac and cheese?
Nope! You can use any beer you like. I used Guinness in this for 2 reasons. I was trying to doing something for St. Patrick’s Day and also I wanted the heavier bodied beer as a background for this in the cold weather. That said, you can absolutely make this with any beer you have on hand including lighter beers instead of heavier lagers like I do for this beer cheese queso. If you want more tips on beer cheese, check out this post on how to make basic beer cheese.
Tips and Tricks for Making Beer Mac and Cheese
This skillet mac and cheese recipe is incredibly easy to make. However here are some pointers to make sure it turns out perfectly each time.
- You don’t have to use elbow macaroni but do pick a noodle that will stand up to the cheese sauce. Other good noodle choices are ziti, penne, farfelle.
- Pressed garlic is essential to this. Finely minced garlic just does not dissolve into the cheese sauce the way the pressed garlic does.
- Make sure you stir consistently while you add the cheese. It will help the cheese melt smoothly.
- Let the beer cook down before you add the cheese. If the beer doesn’t cook down first, the sauce will be too thin.
Other Recipes You might Like
Then you cook up the pasta, add it to the pan with the beer cheese and then top it with more cheese. Yep more cheese. Because cheese. Perfect thing to eat this weekend.
Looking for other cheesy recipes? Try these:
- Instant Pot Mac and Cheese
- Cheesy Chicken Ziti Skillet
- Pumpkin Mac and Cheese with Pancetta and Peas
- Cheesy Buffalo Chicken Dip
- Three Cheese Skillet Ziti
- Chipotle Pumpkin Cheese Dip
- Caramelized Onion Cheese Dip
- Beer cheese stuffed burgers
Easy beer cheese macaroni and cheese makes a delicious meal or side dish.
- 1 pound noodles
- 1/4 cup panko bread crumbs
For the beer cheese
- 2 cups beer*
- 2.5 cups cheddar cheese
- 2.5 cups Mexican cheese blend
- ½ cup Parm cheese
- 8 garlic cloves crushed
- 4 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- Boil water and cook noodles according to directions on box.
- In a large cast iron skillet, heat olive oil over medium heat.
- Add garlic and cook for about 1 – 2 minutes until it is fragrant
- Add 2 cups of beer, stir, and cook down for 2 – 3 minutes
- Slowly add in all cheese, mix in entirely before adding more
- Drain pasta and add noodles to pan, mixing in as added.
- Sprinkle some additional cheddar and parm cheese on top of noodles. Add dusting of bread crumbs.
- Set oven to broil and broil for approximately 1 minute or until it is starting to crisp up.
* We used Guinness this time but have made beer cheese with other beers as well. Use whatever you like.
- Category: dinner
- Cuisine: American
- Serving Size: 6-8 servings