What happens when you combine family favourite mac’n cheese with smoke and add the left-field flavour of whiskey? Family favourite mac’n cheese gets a new gourmet look as the whiskey adds an intriguing flavour to this ultimate comfort food dish. I can’t get enough of it!

Smokey Macaconi Cheese with Whiskey

Here’s how to make a bacony, whiskey-infused, creamy macaroni cheese with a crunchy crust. Don’t expect to have leftovers of this one! I really like how this recipe uses fat collected from the bacon you cook to infuse extra flavour through the sauce.  The addition of mustard and whiskey turns it into a gourmet treat.

Author of the WILD: Adventure Cookbook, Sarah Glover works with the Traeger Grills Australia team to devise different cooking methods for your barbecue. You can use whatever barbecue you have at home, but a Traeger will make the job easier.

I don’t have a Traeger Grill, so I cooked mine in the oven without a problem.  It wasn’t as smokey, but the whiskey flavour shone. I made it recently for a family feast and served it with my favourite roast pork with crackling.  This is a must-try recipe with the ultimate hack for perfect crackling.


  • This is a generous recipe and will easily feed six people as the main dish.  Serve it as an accompaniment to a meat dish with fresh, light vegetables or salad.
  • Small macaroni works well for this dish, but you can use any type of small pasta if that’s all you have.
  • Good quality bacon will make all the difference to the flavours.
  • Cheese hack – substitute with a pre-grated cheese melt mix, but don’t miss the parmesan.
  • Make your own breadcrumbs from those leftover ends of specialty loaves.  They taste so much better!


Twice cooked macaroni cheese and bacon with whisky
Spoonful of Twice cooked smokey macaroni cheese with whiskey
Yield: 10

Smokey Macaroni Cheese With Whiskey

Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour

What happens when you combine family favourite mac’n cheese with smoke and add the left-field flavour of whiskey? Find out with this Smokey Macaroni Cheese with Whiskey recipe using at Traeger Grill from chef Sarah Glover.


  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 500 g dried macaroni
  • 400 g bacon, diced
  • 2 tablespoons salted butter
  • 1/4 cup plain flour
  • 1/2 cup of your favourite whisky
  • 1 cup chicken stock
  • 1 tablespoon hot English mustard
  • 2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 cups thick cream
  • 1 1/4 cups grated tasty cheddar
  • 1/2 cup gruyere, grated
  • 2/3 cup parmesan, grated


  • 1 cup dried breadcrumbs
  • 1/4 cup salted butter, melted
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1 cup cheddar, grated


  1. Twice cooked smokey macaroni cheese with whiskey with beef brisketBring a large saucepan of water to a boil over high heat. Add salt, then the macaroni. Cook according to packet instructions until just tender or al dente. Drain the macaroni and set it aside.
  1. Set up the Traeger Grill with apple wood pellets, then preheat the grill to 180°C.
  2. Put a deep cast-iron frying pan or skillet on the grill and fry the bacon for 4 to 5 minutes, until it is golden. Set it aside in a bowl, but leave two tablespoons of bacon fat in the pan. Add butter and melt it with the bacon fat, then keep whisking in the flour until everything is combined.
  3. Next, add the whisky, mustard, chicken stock, and Worcestershire sauce and whisk to combine. The sauce should be smooth, so try to avoid it being too hot while the sauce is forming. Then bring the mixture to a simmer, occasionally whisking to scrape off any bits stuck to the base of the pan. The sauce will start to thicken. Next, stir in the cream and return to a simmer. Add all the cheese and keep stirring until melted, and you have a thick cheesy sauce. Finally, add the macaroni while stirring to combine. Then you can transfer it to a fireproof baking dish.
  4. Make the topping by combining the breadcrumbs, melted butter and bacon in a bowl, then season with salt and pepper. Scatter the mixture over the macaroni cheese and top with the grated cheddar. Cook in the Traeger for 30 minutes or until the top is golden brown.



  • Traeger Grill
  • Applewood pellets
  • Cast-iron frying pan

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Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:


Amount Per Serving: Calories: 754Total Fat: 52gSaturated Fat: 28gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 21gCholesterol: 151mgSodium: 1462mgCarbohydrates: 31gFiber: 2gSugar: 3gProtein: 30g
Sarah Glover and her Traegar grill

More comfort food recipes

If you like mac and cheese, you’ll love these other easy but full-flavoured dishes.

Smokey Macaroni and Cheese with Whiskey