If you’re looking for the ultimate comfort food, look no further than this delicious brisket mac and cheese recipe. Combining tender leftover brisket with creamy and cheesy macaroni, this recipe is the perfect way to use up leftover meat while indulging in a rich and hearty meal.
Brisket mac and cheese is a classic dish that’s popular in Southern cuisine, and for good reason. The tender and juicy brisket pairs perfectly with the creamy and cheesy macaroni, creating a flavor explosion that’s sure to please your taste buds. This dish is perfect for a cozy night in or as a show-stopping addition to any gathering.
Using a combination of shredded cheeses, including cheddar, and parmesan, this mac and cheese recipe is guaranteed to satisfy your cravings for a cheesy and savory meal. The addition of leftover brisket not only adds extra flavor but also makes the dish heartier and more filling.
Whether you’re a mac and cheese lover or a brisket fanatic, this recipe is sure to become a favorite. So grab your apron and get ready to indulge in the ultimate comfort food – brisket mac and cheese!
Smoking Brisket For Mac and Cheese
This recipe is a great way to use leftover bbq brisket, but first, you’ll need to actually make the brisket! Making smoked brisket is a labor of love, but the end result is worth it.
If you’ve never smoked a brisket before, head to our Smoke Brisket Recipe for an in-depth explanation of how to smoke brisket on a pellet smoker.
- Trim fat and silver skin
- Season brisket and place it on the smoker at 225ºF
- When the thickest part reaches 202ºF remove it from the smoker
- Let it rest in foil for 30 minutes.
- Slice against the grain and serve.
How To Make Brisket Mac n Cheese
Boil the Noodles
Bring salted water to a boil in a large pot and cook macaroni noodles according to package instructions. Drain and set aside. Boiling the noodles in salted water helps to season them as they cook, and it also helps to keep them from sticking together. Once the noodles are cooked, drain them thoroughly in a colander to remove any excess water.
Make The Sauce
In a medium saucepan, melt 1/2 cup of butter over medium heat. Whisk in 1/4 cup of flour until smooth paste forms. The flour and butter should be combined until they form a smooth, even mixture called a “roux” with no lumps. This step is crucial because it helps to ensure that the sauce will be smooth, resulting in a creamy mac n cheese rather than lumpy or grainy.
Slowly whisk in 2 cups of milk, stirring constantly. As you whisk in the milk, continuously stir to prevent the roux from clumping. Once the milk is fully incorporated, and the mixture has come to a boil, reduce the heat to low to prevent the sauce from scorching.
Add Shredded Cheese
Stir in 2 cups of shredded cheddar cheese until it is fully melted and the sauce is smooth. The cheese should be added gradually until it is fully melted and evenly distributed throughout the sauce. If the cheese is added too quickly or not stirred in well, it can cause the sauce to become clumpy or grainy.
Add Leftover Brisket
Stir in 1/2 pound of chopped leftover brisket into the cheese sauce until it is fully coated and evenly distributed. This is the star of your leftover brisket recipe!
Add Cooked Noodles
Add the cooked noodles to the cheese and brisket sauce and stir until they are coated. The noodles should be fully coated in the sauce, with no dry spots or clumps.
Transfer to Baking Dish
Transfer the leftover brisket mac and cheese to a lightly greased 9×13-inch baking dish or large skillet. The baking dish should be greased lightly with cooking spray or butter to prevent the mac and cheese from sticking.
Make Crunchy Topping
Mix 1/4 cup of melted butter, 1/2 cup of panko bread crumbs, and a pinch of salt in a small bowl. Sprinkle this mixture over the top of the brisket macaroni and cheese. The breadcrumb mixture adds a crispy, crunchy topping to the mac and cheese and helps seal the heat and moisture as it cooks.
Bake Your Mac And Cheese
Preheat the oven to 375°F. Place the baking dish in the oven and bake for 25-30 minutes or until the cheese is melted and bubbly and the bread crumb topping is golden brown. Let the mac and cheese cool for a few minutes before serving. Enjoy!
What To Serve With Brisket Mac and Cheese
Brisket mac and cheese is a hearty and satisfying dish that can be served on its own, or paired with other delicious sides and beverages to make a complete meal. Here are some serving suggestions to help you create the perfect meal with brisket mac and cheese:
A side salad made with fresh greens, sliced cucumber, cherry tomatoes, and a light vinaigrette can help to balance the richness of the mac and cheese. You could also serve some roasted vegetables such as carrots, Brussels sprouts, or smoked sweet potatoes.
Alternatively, some garlic bread or cornbread could complement the flavors of the dish nicely.
Pair brisket mac and cheese with a full-bodied red wine such as a Cabernet Sauvignon or a Zinfandel. If you prefer beer, try pairing it with a stout or porter. If you’re not into alcohol, sparkling water or lemonade would be a great choice.
Some additional toppings can elevate the flavors of brisket mac and cheese. Consider adding some crispy bacon bits, chopped scallions, or sliced jalapenos. A dollop of sour cream or your favorite barbecue sauce or some shredded cheddar cheese could also add a nice finishing touch.
Serve brisket mac and cheese in a large baking dish, or in individual ramekins for an elegant touch. Top it with some breadcrumbs or grated cheese and bake it until golden brown. You could also garnish the dish with some fresh herbs such as parsley or chives for a pop of color.
Variations of Brisket Mac and Cheese
There are many ways to customize this recipe to suit different tastes or dietary restrictions. Here are some ideas to help you create your own unique version of brisket mac and cheese:
Spicy Brisket Mac and Cheese
For a bit of heat, try adding some diced jalapeños, red pepper flakes, or cayenne pepper to the cheese sauce. You can also use spicy cheese like pepper jack cheese or add hot sauce to the breadcrumbs.
Smoky Brisket Mac and Cheese
If you’re missing the smoky flavor from the smoker, try adding some liquid smoke to the cheese sauce or using smoked paprika in the breadcrumb mixture. Sharp cheddar cheese would be a good option for smoky homemade mac and cheese.
BBQ Brisket Mac and Cheese
To give your mac and cheese a barbecue twist, mix in some BBQ sauce or use smoked cheddar cheese. You can also top the mac and cheese with some chopped brisket that has been tossed in BBQ sauce.
Gluten-Free Brisket Mac and Cheese
For a gluten-free option, use gluten-free pasta and flour in the cheese sauce. You can also skip the breadcrumbs or use a gluten-free breadcrumb substitute.
Vegan Brisket Mac and Cheese
If you’re looking for a plant-based option, you can use vegan butter and milk, as well as a vegan cheese substitute. For the brisket, you can use seitan, tofu, or a plant-based meat substitute.
Best Beer To Pair With Brisket Mac and Cheese
This creamy, cheesy masterpiece deserves a beer companion that can match its rich and bold flavors. Let’s explore the top beer pairings that will make your mac and cheese experience even more mouthwatering.
Porter, with its dark and robust character, is like a cozy fireplace for your Brisket Mac and Cheese. The roasted malt and coffee notes in porter enhance the smoky richness of the brisket and add depth to the creamy cheese sauce. The beer’s full-bodied nature complements the hearty flavors of the dish, making every bite feel like a warm, comforting hug. This pairing is as bold and satisfying as a fireside feast.
IPA (India Pale Ale)
IPA, the hoppy explorer of the beer world, is ready to bring a zesty twist to your mac and cheese adventure. Its bold hoppy flavors and citrusy notes cut through the richness of the cheese sauce and add an exciting contrast that will have your taste buds doing a happy dance. This pairing is like a flavor adventure, where each bite of mac and cheese is met with a burst of hoppy excitement. The IPA’s refreshing bitterness and fruity zing elevate the overall experience, making your meal even more satisfying.
Wheat beer, with its light and slightly fruity character, is like a breath of fresh air for your Brisket Mac and Cheese. The beer’s gentle sweetness complements the creamy cheese sauce and the smoky brisket, creating a delightful harmony of flavors. The effervescence of wheat beer cleanses your palate, making every bite of mac and cheese feel like a refreshing taste adventure. This pairing is as easy-breezy as a sunny picnic and as tasty as a family feast.
More Leftover Brisket Recipes
If you have leftover brisket, don’t let it go to waste! Here are some of our favorite recipes that use leftover brisket as a star ingredient.
- Smoked Mac and Cheese Recipe
- Brisket Quesadilla Recipe
- Brisket Hash Recipe
- Brisket Grilled Cheese Recipe
- Brisket Fries Recipe
Brisket Mac and Cheese
- Large Pot
- Baking Dish or Large Skillet
- 12 oz elbow macaroni cooked and drained
- 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
- 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 2 cups whole milk
- 2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
- 1 cup leftover brisket, chopped
- 1/4 cup unsalted butter, melted
- 1/2 cup panko bread crumbs
- Pinch of salt
- Preheat oven to 350°F.
- Bring salted water to a boil in a large pot and cook macaroni noodles according to package instructions. Drain and set aside.
- In a medium saucepan, melt 1/2 cup of butter over medium heat. Whisk in 1/4 cup of flour until smooth paste forms. Slowly whisk in 2 cups of milk, stirring constantly. Bring the mixture to a boil and reduce the heat to low. Stir in 2 cups of shredded cheddar cheese until it is fully melted and the sauce is smooth
- Stir in 1 cup of chopped leftover brisket into the cheese sauce until it is fully coated and evenly distributed.
- Add the cooked noodles to the cheese sauce and stir until they are coated.
- Transfer the mac and cheese to a lightly greased 9×13-inch baking dish.
- Mix 1/4 cup of melted butter, 1/2 cup of panko bread crumbs, and a pinch of salt in a small bowl. Sprinkle this mixture over the top of the mac and cheese.
- Bake the mac and cheese in the preheated oven for 25-30 minutes or until the cheese is melted and bubbly and the bread crumb topping is golden brown.
Brisket Mac and Cheese FAQs
What is brisket mac and cheese?
Brisket mac and cheese is a dish that combines tender brisket with creamy mac and cheese, creating a savory and indulgent meal that is perfect for any occasion.
How do I make brisket mac and cheese?
To make brisket mac and cheese, you will need to first cook the macaroni noodles and make the cheese sauce. Once the cheese sauce is ready, add in chopped leftover brisket and stir until combined. Transfer the mixture to a baking dish, top with a breadcrumb mixture, and bake in the oven until golden brown and bubbly.
What type of brisket should I use?
You can use any type of brisket for this recipe, whether it’s leftover from a barbecue, smoked brisket, or even store-bought. Just make sure to chop it into small pieces before adding it to the mac and cheese.
Can I make brisket mac and cheese ahead of time?
Yes, you can make brisket mac and cheese ahead of time and store it in the refrigerator for up to three days. When ready to serve, reheat in the oven or microwave until heated through.
Can I freeze brisket mac and cheese?
Yes, you can freeze brisket mac and cheese. Just make sure to store it in an airtight container or freezer bag and label it with the date. It will keep in the freezer for up to three months.
Can I make this recipe vegan?
Yes, you can make this recipe vegan by using dairy-free cheese and butter and substituting the brisket with a vegan protein such as tempeh or tofu.
What spices can I add to the mac and cheese?
You can add a variety of spices to the mac and cheese to customize the flavor. Some options include smoked paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, or cayenne pepper.
Can I use a different type of pasta?
Yes, you can use a different type of pasta for this recipe, such as penne or elbow macaroni. Just make sure to adjust the cooking time according to the instructions on the package.
How can I make the mac and cheese creamier?
To make the mac and cheese creamier, you can substitute some cheddar cheese for cream cheese or a splash of heavy cream to the sauce.