7 Mac and Cheese Side Dishes for BBQ Meals

"These 7 tasty mac and cheese side dishes will add a creamy twist to your favorite BBQ meals!"

Macaroni and cheese makes a perfect BBQ side dish with its creamy richness and diverse flavor variations, offering a comforting and indulgent complement to the smoky notes of grilled meats.

1. Classic Baked Macaroni and Cheese

Classic Baked Macaroni and Cheese

Elbow macaroni enveloped in a velvety cheese sauce, baked to golden perfection. It's the ultimate comfort food that pairs seamlessly with any meaty barbecue dish, providing a creamy and satisfying contrast.

Ingredients:

  • 8 oz elbow macaroni
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon mustard powder
  • 2 1/2 cups whole milk
  • 2 cups sharp cheddar cheese, shredded

Instructions:

  1. Cook the macaroni according to package instructions; drain and set aside.
  2. In a saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat.
  3. Stir in the flour, salt, pepper, and mustard powder to create a roux.
  4. Gradually whisk in the milk until the mixture thickens.
  5. Add the shredded cheddar cheese, stirring until melted and smooth.
  6. Combine the cheese sauce with the cooked macaroni.
  7. Transfer the mixture to a baking dish and bake at 350°F (177°C) for 25-30 minutes or until golden and bubbly.
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2. Bacon and Jalapeño Macaroni and Cheese

Bacon and Jalapeño Macaroni and Cheese - BBQ Side Dish

Crispy bacon bits and spicy jalapeños join forces with creamy macaroni and cheese for a dish that balances smokiness, heat, and creaminess, creating a delightful side for your BBQ spread.

Ingredients:

  • 8 oz elbow macaroni
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon mustard powder
  • 2 1/2 cups whole milk
  • 2 cups sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
  • 1/2 cup cooked bacon, crumbled
  • 2 jalapeños, seeds removed and finely chopped

Instructions:

  1. Preheat your oven to 350°F (177°C).
  2. Cook the macaroni according to package instructions; drain and set aside.
  3. In a saucepan over medium heat, melt the butter.
  4. Stir in the flour, salt, pepper, and mustard powder to create a roux.
  5. Gradually whisk in the milk until the mixture thickens.
  6. Add the shredded cheddar cheese, stirring until melted and smooth.
  7. Stir in the crumbled bacon and chopped jalapeños into the cheese and macaroni mixture.
  8. Transfer the mixture to a baking dish and bake for 25-30 minutes or until golden and bubbly.
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3. Buffalo Chicken Macaroni and Cheese

Buffalo Chicken Macaroni and Cheese

Tender shredded chicken coated in tangy buffalo sauce, combined with cheesy macaroni, creates a zesty and indulgent side dish that's sure to be a hit at your barbecue gathering.

Ingredients:

  • 8 oz elbow macaroni
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon mustard powder
  • 2 1/2 cups whole milk
  • 2 cups sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
  • 2 cups cooked chicken, shredded
  • 1/2 cup buffalo sauce

Instructions:

  1. Preheat your oven to 350°F (177°C).
  2. Cook the macaroni according to package instructions; drain and set aside.
  3. In a saucepan over medium heat, melt the butter.
  4. Stir in the flour, salt, pepper, and mustard powder to create a roux.
  5. Gradually whisk in the milk until the mixture thickens.
  6. Add the shredded cheddar cheese, stirring until melted and smooth.
  7. Toss the shredded chicken in buffalo sauce.
  8. Stir the buffalo chicken into the cheese and macaroni mixture.
  9. Transfer the mixture to a baking dish and bake for 25-30 minutes or until golden and bubbly.
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4. Truffle and Mushroom Macaroni and Cheese

Truffle and Mushroom Macaroni and Cheese

Earthy mushrooms sautéed to perfection, combined with truffle-infused cheese sauce, elevate this side dish to gourmet status, offering a sophisticated twist to accompany your BBQ delights.

Ingredients:

  • 8 oz elbow macaroni
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon mustard powder
  • 2 1/2 cups whole milk
  • 2 cups Gruyère cheese, shredded
  • 1 cup cremini mushrooms, sliced
  • 2 tablespoons truffle oil

Instructions:

  1. Preheat your oven to 350°F (177°C).
  2. Cook the macaroni according to package instructions; drain and set aside.
  3. In a saucepan over medium heat, melt the butter.
  4. Stir in the flour, salt, pepper, and mustard powder to create a roux.
  5. Gradually whisk in the milk until the mixture thickens.
  6. Add the shredded Gruyère cheese, stirring until melted and smooth.
  7. In a skillet, sauté the sliced mushrooms in truffle oil until golden.
  8. Stir the sautéed mushrooms into the cheese and macaroni mixture.
  9. Transfer the mixture to a baking dish and bake for 25-30 minutes or until golden and bubbly.
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5. Broccoli and Cheddar Macaroni and Cheese

Broccoli and Cheddar Macaroni and Cheese

Vibrant broccoli florets mingle with creamy cheddar macaroni, creating a harmonious balance between cheesy richness and the crisp, verdant flavor of broccoli, making it a delightful side for grilled fare.

Ingredients:

  • 8 oz elbow macaroni
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon mustard powder
  • 2 1/2 cups whole milk
  • 2 cups sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
  • 1 cup broccoli florets, blanched

Instructions:

  1. Preheat your oven to 350°F (177°C).
  2. Cook the macaroni according to package instructions; drain and set aside.
  3. In a saucepan over medium heat, melt the butter.
  4. Stir in the flour, salt, pepper, and mustard powder to create a roux.
  5. Gradually whisk in the milk until the mixture thickens.
  6. Add the shredded cheddar cheese, stirring until melted and smooth.
  7. Stir the blanched broccoli florets into the cheese and macaroni mixture.
  8. Transfer the mixture to a baking dish and bake for 25-30 minutes or until golden and bubbly.
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6. Lobster Macaroni and Cheese

Lobster Macaroni and Cheese

Succulent lobster meat folded into a creamy macaroni and cheese mixture provides a luxurious and savory addition to your BBQ spread, bringing a taste of coastal elegance to the backyard.

Ingredients:

  • 8 oz elbow macaroni
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon mustard powder
  • 2 1/2 cups whole milk
  • 2 cups Gruyère cheese, shredded
  • 1 1/2 cups cooked lobster meat, chopped

Instructions:

  1. Preheat your oven to 350°F (177°C).
  2. Cook the macaroni according to package instructions; drain and set aside.
  3. In a saucepan over medium heat, melt the butter.
  4. Stir in the flour, salt, pepper, and mustard powder to create a roux.
  5. Gradually whisk in the milk until the mixture thickens.
  6. Add the shredded Gruyère cheese, stirring until melted and smooth.
  7. Gently fold the chopped lobster meat into the cheese and macaroni mixture.
  8. Transfer the mixture to a baking dish and bake for 25-30 minutes or until golden and bubbly.
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7. Spinach and Feta Macaroni and Cheese

Spinach and Feta Macaroni and Cheese

Sautéed spinach and tangy feta cheese join forces with macaroni, creating a light yet flavorful side dish that beautifully complements the bold and smoky flavors of your barbecue.

Ingredients:

  • 8 oz elbow macaroni
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon mustard powder
  • 2 1/2 cups whole milk
  • 1 1/2 cups feta cheese, crumbled
  • 2 cups fresh spinach, chopped

Instructions:

  1. Preheat your oven to 350°F (177°C).
  2. Cook the macaroni according to package instructions; drain and set aside.
  3. In a saucepan over medium heat, melt the butter.
  4. Stir in the flour, salt, pepper, and mustard powder to create a roux.
  5. Gradually whisk in the milk until the mixture thickens.
  6. Stir the crumbled feta into the mixture.
  7. Sauté the chopped spinach until wilted and add it to the cheese and macaroni mixture.
  8. Transfer the mixture to a baking dish and bake for 25-30 minutes or until golden and bubbly.
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Macaroni and Cheese Alternatives

Need more side dish ideas? We recommend trying a tasty garlic bread or delicious baked beans side with your next BBQ grilling feast.