Smoked Gouda Mac & Cheese is the perfect BBQ side dish or entree and is easy to make! Tons of smokey flavor with some southern favorites make this one of the best mac and cheese dishes around! Great as a side dish or as a main course!
Everyone knows a good batch of mac & cheese can be the perfect side dish. This hearty southern-style smoked gouda mac and cheese recipe is a great BBQ accompaniment – or a meal unto itself. It definitely has enough of a bite to stand on it’s own as a main course too. The smoked gouda really adds a full flavor that makes this one of the most satisfying meals on my menu.
This isn’t your everyday mac and cheese. We’re making this straight from scratch into a pure southern delicacy. And not just one southern favorite. This recipe is a double-dose of down south favorites. This next-level mac and cheese meets hearty collard greens in bacon to give you a complete bite. Pair it with our favorite St. Louis Style BBQ Ribs, shown above.
Ultimate Smoked Gouda Mac and Cheese 101
- I get my Smoked Gouda cheese from Costco. I can usually get a very large block for about $7 there.
- The first step in this recipe is rendering fat from the bacon to cook the collards. A pro tip – start with a cold pan. The slow warm-up helps render the fat. In fact, what I do is stick the pan in the freezer for 15 minutes, place it on then non-lit stove, place the bacon in the pan, then turn the pan up to a medium heat. This will keep you bacon fat from sizzling away and keeps it for your collards.
- Be patient and allow your collards to cook until the stems are tender. This isn’t like spinach where it’s ready as soon as the leaves wilt.
- Allow the pan to sit for a couple of minutes after adding the macaroni to the pan to allow everything to thicken up just a little more.
Why I love Smoked Gouda Mac and Cheese
The first time I ever had Smoked Gouda Mac and Cheese, I was on a date with my wife, Kim. We tried out a place not far from our new home that had rave reviews, Food Glorious Food. FGF is one of those places that rotates it’s menu often. It’s also pricey enough we only go every so often, so there are often a ton of new things to try there. As good as that restaurant is – and dang it’s good – nothing is as food as their Smoked Gouda Mac and Cheese. I loved it so much I had to go home and attempt to recreate. Now, it’s a hit among both my family and our friends.
- 4 strips bacon
- 1 lb collard green (shredded)
- 3 tbsp flour
- 3 cups milk
- salt and pepper (to taste)
- 1 tsp paprika
- 1 box macaroni (elbows)
- 8 oz smoked gouda cheese
- 1 cup chicken stock
- Render fat from bacon. Start with a cold pan, add bacon and slowly bring it to tempature.
- Remove bacon from fat after it begins to brown.
- Add collard greens to same pain and stir into bacon grease.
- Cook collards until the leaves begin to wilt
- Once collards have softened, add chicken stock to pan and cook until stems are tender. This typically takes about 30 minutes.
- Once collards have cooked, stir in flour and cook for two minutes.
- Gradually add milk, stiring as you go.
- Simmer milk mixture for about four minutes until it begins to thicken.
- Add crumbled bacon back to pan, along with gouda cheese, broken into small pieces. Stir both into the pan and cook for another 5 minutes.
- Stir in cooked macaroni.
- Remove from heat and let sit for 5 minutes before serving.
- Category: Main Course, Side Dish
- Cuisine: American, Southern
- Calories: 541