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Beer Mac and Cheese

  • Author: Jessie
  • Prep Time: 10 min
  • Cook Time: 20 mins
  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: Serves 4-6 1x


Easy beer mac and cheese, ready in 30 minutes.



  • 3/4 lb. pasta (I like to use cavatappi)
  • 3 Tbsp. butter
  • 2 green onions, chopped (optional: chop 1 additional green onion for garnish)
  • 3 Tbsp. flour
  • 2/3 cup beer of your choice (see recipe notes).
  • 1 and 1/3 cups milk (I used skim)
  • 2.5 cups shredded white cheddar cheese
  • salt and pepper to taste


  1. Cook pasta in very salty water until al dente. When pasta is cooked, drain and set aside.
  2. Return pasta pot to stove over medium heat.
  3. Add butter to pot and heat until melted.
  4. Add green onions to butter and sauté, stirring occasionally, for 1 minute until onions have softened.
  5. Whisk flour into the butter to form a roux. Cook for 30 seconds to 1 minute until roux is bubbling and has slightly darkened.
  6. Slowly add beer to roux, whisking constantly to work out any lumps.
  7. Slowly whisk milk into sauce, whisking constantly to work out any lumps.
  8. Cook sauce, whisking frequently, until mixture has thickened and is barely simmering, about 6-8 minutes.
  9. Remove sauce from heat. Add cheddar cheese and stir until melted.
  10. Add salt and pepper to taste.
  11. Add cooked pasta to sauce and toss to coat.
  12. Top mac and cheese with additional green onions (optional) and serve immediately.


I used a Pale Ale in this recipe, but it’s also good with pilsners, IPAs, or even Guinness. You can use any beer you like in this recipe, but keep in mind that the beer flavor does come through quite a bit, so the darker/heavier the beer, the heavier your mac and cheese will be. General rule of thumb: Use a beer you like to drink.

Feel free to mix up the cheeses in this recipe. You can use sharp cheddar, gruyere, or a mix of your favorite cheeses – just make sure that the total amount of shredded cheese is 2.5 cups as indicated in the recipe for best results. See Mac and Cheese 101 for suggestions on cheese substitutions.

Add bacon, grilled chicken, sausage, or your favorite veggies to this recipe to make it a little heartier. For specific customization ideas, see Mac and Cheese 101.

This post was recently updated to include new photos – don’t worry if it looks a little bit different!


  • Calories: 484