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posted May 29, 2023

Grilled Mac and Cheese

This grilled mac and cheese is a delicious BBQ side that is cooked on the grill for ease and convenience. It’s a family favorite that serves as an entree or side dish that the whole family will absolutely love.

Grilled mac and cheese on a wooden serving spoon with text overlay - Grilled Mac and Cheese.

Can You Bake Mac and Cheese on the Grill?

You can most definitely bake mac and cheese on the grill! The key to making the mac and cheese completely amazing is the use of a 12-inch cast iron skillet. I cooked this recipe on my charcoal grill with great results. You can use any grill you have on your patio, just ensure that your grill temp is maintained.

If you’re not comfortable cooking this mac and cheese on the grill, you can follow the same instructions and make the sauce on your stovetop and finish baking it in your oven if you prefer. Both will result in ooey-gooey, delicious mac and cheese.

Roux in a cast iron skillet.

Grilled Mac and Cheese

Let’s talk a bit more about this grilled mac and cheese for a moment, shall we? This is the most epic, creamy, dreamy, cheesy mac and cheese of your life, but it’s cooked on your grill! Need to feed the kids a tasty meal for dinner? This mac and cheese delivers. Want to bring an incredible side dish to your neighborhood BBQ? Grilled mac and cheese is a winner!

The ultimate cookout side dish has received a real glow-up with this mac. The combo of the higher temps of the grill and the cast iron skillet it’s cooked in gives you these perfect crispy-chewy-cheesy edges that are absolutely drool-worthy. Mac and cheese is a must-have BBQ side, and this can be cooked right alongside your BBQ for even more ease.

Shredded cheese on the top of mac and cheese.

How to Grill Mac and Cheese

Now that we’ve established how amazing this mac and cheese is, let’s get into the process of making it! For a more detailed recipe card with ingredient amounts and instructions, scroll to the bottom of this post.

  1. Preheat. Fire up your favorite grill and preheat it to 425 degrees F. Cook the macaroni while you allow the grill to preheat.
  2. Cook macaroni. Cook the macaroni noodles in a large pot of boiling water according to the directions on the box. I like to cook mine to al dente so they don’t get mushy. Drain the water.
  3. Make the sauce. Place your cast-iron skillet on the preheated grill and make a roux with butter and flour. Add in milk, heaving whipping cream, salt, pepper, and red pepper flakes. Remove the skillet from the grill and lower the temperature to 325 degrees F.
  4. Add the cheese! Stir in the three cheeses into the sauce (be sure to reserve 1/2 cup of each cheese to add to the top before serving). Whisk until the cheese is melted. You should have a delicious cheese sauce now in your skillet.
  5. Add sauce to the noodles. Add the noodles to the cheese sauce the noodles in the skillet. Stir to combine then top with the reserved cheese.
  6. Grill. Place the mac and cheese on the grill (now running at 325 degrees F). Bake for 20 minutes or until the cheese melts.
  7. Enjoy. Allow the grilled mac and cheese to cool slightly before serving.

Mac and cheese on the grill.

Tips for Grilling Mac and Cheese

Here are some tips for grilling this mac and cheese.

  • Cast iron is truly your best friend. It is the perfect vessel for prepping the sauce and finishing the mac and cheese all on the grill. It holds heat forever, so your mac and cheese will stay warm throughout your whole meal.
  • Skip a step. If your grill doesn’t change temperature easily from 425 to 325 degrees F, you may want to complete the first step of making the sauce on your stovetop. Then transfer your pan to the 325-degree grill to finish cooking and catch all of that yummy grill flavor.
  • Get crazy with flavors. This is the perfect base mac and cheese as-is. However, it is also delicious with additions like diced green chiles, crumbled bacon, diced ham, or even butter-poached lobster.

Grilled mac and cheese being stirred.Grilled mac and cheese in a cast iron skillet.

More Mac and Cheese Recipes

The tasty goodness doesn’t have to stop here! Check out these other amazing mac and cheese recipes from Hey Grill Hey below!

Grilled Mac and Cheese Recipe

This recipe was created for you, backyard griller! Here at Hey Grill Hey, we’re in the business of helping you make better BBQ, feed the people you love, and become a backyard BBQ hero. Over at the Hey Grill Hey Store, we have sauces, rubs, and more to save you time and energy when you’re busy at the grill. Check it out today!

Grilled mac and cheese on a wooden serving spoon.

Grilled Mac and Cheese

Susie Bulloch
This grilled mac and cheese is a delicious BBQ side that is cooked on the grill for ease and convenience. It's a family favorite that serves as an entree or side dish that the whole family will absolutely love.
Prep Time : 15 mins
Cook Time : 45 mins
Total Time : 1 hr
Servings : 6 people
Calories : 934kcal

Video

Ingredients
 

  • 4 quarts water
  • 1 pound cavatappi macaroni
  • 1 Tablespoon salt

Cheese Sauce

  • 6 Tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 4 Tablespoons butter
  • 3 cups milk
  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon cracked black pepper
  • ¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 2 cups medium cheddar cheese (shredded)
  • 1 cup gouda cheese (shredded)
  • 1 cup mozzarella (shredded)

Instructions

  • Preheat grill. Preheat your grill to 425 degrees F.
  • Cook the macaroni. In a large pot bring 4 quarts of water to a boil over high heat. Add 1 Tablespoon salt and the macaroni noodles to the water and stir to prevent the noodles from sticking. Cook according to package directions, then drain.
  • Make the roux. Set a 12-inch cast iron skillet on the grill and allow to preheat for 4-5 minutes. Add 4 Tablespoons butter to the cast iron. Add in the 6 Tablespoons flour, whisk to thoroughly combine, and cook over medium heat for 5-6 minutes or until the flour has begun to brown.
  • Finish making the cheese sauce. Add in the milk and heavy whipping cream to the roux, and return to a boil. Stir in the salt, cracked black pepper, and red pepper flakes. Remove the skillet from the grill and reduce the heat on the grill to 325 degrees F (shut down the airflow on a charcoal grill, or turn down the heat on a pellet or gas grill).
  • Add the cheese to the sauce. Reserve 1/2 cup of each of the mozzarella and cheddar cheeses. Stir the rest of the mozzarella, gouda, and cheddar cheese into the sauce, and whisk until the cheese is melted.
  • Combine noodles and sauce. After draining the cooked noodles, add them to the cheese sauce and stir to combine. Top with the remaining jack, cheddar, and mozzarella cheese.
  • Grill the mac and cheese. Place the mac and cheese on the grill for 20 minutes or until the sides are bubbling and the cheese is melted and starting to brown.
  • Serve immediately. Remove from heat, serve immediately, and enjoy!

Nutrition

Calories: 934kcal | Carbohydrates: 71g | Protein: 39g | Fat: 55g | Saturated Fat: 33g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 14g | Trans Fat: 0.3g | Cholesterol: 177mg | Sodium: 2391mg | Potassium: 497mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 10g | Vitamin A: 1766IU | Vitamin C: 0.2mg | Calcium: 854mg | Iron: 2mg
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