Food / Main Dishes / Vegetarian

Beer and Mushroom Mac and Cheese

Beer and Mushroom Mac and Cheese

The other day the hubs and I were all like, “Hey. We haven’t made mac and cheese in a while.” Sad truth. And then we were all like, “Well hey, let’s rectify this!” So we did. And this was born. And it was beautiful.

Our usual go-to mac was always the Bacon Jalapeño Mac and Cheese, but now that I’m a pesky pescetarian, we opted to try something new; something new with mushrooms and beer and it was magical.

You’ll notice that I start with a roux in order to make my cheese sauce. Some people don’t believe in this step anymore; call me old fashioned, but I do. It always makes the best. Cheese sauce. Ever. And who doesn’t want the best cheese sauce ever? Who wants a cheese sauce that just cuts it? Who wants to dig into an okay looking mac and cheese and say, “This looks wonderfully mediocre!”

Okay, I might be exaggerating. I’m sure some people out there have their preferences and their own way of doing things. Mine, however, stands by a roux. Thicken that shit so it sticks to my ribs, bro.

Beer and Mushroom Mac and Cheese


FOR THE MUSHROOMS1 tablespoon of butter

  • 1 cup of cremini mushrooms sliced
  • 1/4 cup of beer at room temperature
  • Kosher salt and ground black pepper to taste.

FOR THE SAUCE2 tablespoons of butter

  • 2 tablespoons of flour
  • 1 cup of milk
  • 1/2 cup of beer room temp
  • 8 oz of smoked gouda shredded
  • 8 oz of muenster shredded
  • kosher salt and ground black pepper to taste

PASTAShells, macaroni, or rotini work best.


    • Heat 1 tablespoon of butter in a stove-top friendly dutch oven or large saucepan over medium-low heat.
    • Once the butter is melted, add the sliced mushrooms and the 1/4 cup of beer.
    • Simmer for approx. 8 minutes, or until all of the butter and beer has been absorbed by the mushrooms.
    • Season with a bit of kosher salt and ground black pepper.
    • Transfer to a bowl and set aside.
    • Prepare the pasta noodles as per the instructions on the packaging.
    • In the same vessel you cooked the mushrooms in, melt 2 tablespoons of butter.
    • Gradually whisk in 2 tablespoons of flour. Continue to whisk until a thick roux forms.
    • While whisking, add the milk.
    • Bring the heat up a bit so the milk comes to a boil, and whisk until the roux has dissolved into the milk, thickening the sauce.
    • While whisking, slowly add 1/2 cup of beer.
    • Allow to simmer until the sauce thickens again.
    • Add the shredded cheeses and stir until the cheese melts.
    • If the sauce is too thick, you can gradually add more milk as you whisk until you reach a desired consistency.
    • Season with kosher salt and ground black pepper to taste.
    • Transfer the mushrooms to the cheese sauce and stir.
    • Drain the pasta once it's done. Don't rinse.
    • Carefully dump the pasta into the cheese sauce and stir to coat.
    • For a slightly crispy top, place the mac and cheese under a broiler (on high) for a few minutes. Time varies since all ovens are different, so keep the oven light on and keep a very close eye on it.


    Beer must be at room temperature. Cold beer may break the sauce.
    Beer and Mushroom Mac and Cheese | Killing Thyme


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    • michelle_
      January 28, 2016 at 11:18 pm

      What a flavorful spin on mac and cheese, so unique but robust flavors!

    • Megan @ A Dash of Megnut
      January 28, 2016 at 1:53 pm

      Mmmm this looks so creamy and good! Love that you used beer and mushrooms in there!

    • Tracy | Baking Mischief
      January 27, 2016 at 5:25 pm

      I’m so curious to try this. I love cooking with beer, but I’ve never put it in my mac and cheese. It sounds like it would be a delightful addition!

    • Cindy (Vegetarian Mamma)
      January 27, 2016 at 12:09 pm

      WOw, this sounds amazing. Just pairing the mac and cheese with mushrooms has got me hungry! I love the sound of this comfort food!

    • Manal Obieda
      January 27, 2016 at 12:00 pm

      I too believe that roux makes the best cheese sauce, creamy and delicious…lovely recipe..

        January 27, 2016 at 12:01 pm

        Thanks, Manal! I definitely believe it plays a huge part in giving the sauce it’s silkiness. I don’t think I will ever stray from the roux :)

    • Allison
      January 27, 2016 at 11:45 am

      I see a lot of Mac and Cheese recipes floating around the internet, but this is by far the most unique! Lovely photo!

    • Steph @ Steph in Thyme
      January 21, 2016 at 10:28 pm

      One of the best mac and cheese recipes I’ve come across. Can’t go wrong with beer and mushrooms!!

        January 27, 2016 at 11:59 am

        Thanks so much, Steph! Beer and mushrooms pair so well together – I just couldn’t resist adding creamy cheese to the mix, haha. And the shells create little bowls of cheesy bliss.

        …Now I want to make this all over again.

    • Shihoko
      January 19, 2016 at 10:59 am

      I am old fashioned too and make same way as you do, one thing though I did not know is to use beer! What does beer make difference?

        January 19, 2016 at 11:15 am

        Hi Shihoko!
        I’m glad I’m not the only old fashioned one still around :)

        The use of beer just adds a nice and light hint of beer flavor, and since beer and cheese can pair so well together, it’s a super delicious combo for a mac and cheese. It adds a certain earthiness, but it definitely isn’t necessary if beer isn’t your thing. I love cooking with beer myself, so I experiment with it a lot.

    • Beer and Mushroom Mac and Cheese - Yum Goggle
      January 18, 2016 at 8:35 pm

      […] GET THE RECIPE […]

    • Emma @ Supper in the Suburbs
      January 18, 2016 at 4:44 pm

      Who are these people who don’t make a roux?! They are doing it all wrong!!! But hey…I’ve never made mac and cheese with beer before so clearly I can’t judge. Fab recipe! My OH is a veggie and I’m often looking for ways to jazz up our favourite comfort food – he will LOVE this! thanks for sharing :D

        January 19, 2016 at 12:05 pm

        Right?? I recently read a mac and cheese recipe that, in so many words, said it was completely unnecessary and I was like YOU LIE! Haha.

        I really hope you both love this recipe! Thanks for stopping by :)

    • Mark, CompassandFork
      January 18, 2016 at 4:33 pm

      I like this take on mac and cheese. Smoky gouda, beer, and cremini mushrooms, very imaginative. So hearty and perfect for winter.

        January 19, 2016 at 2:37 pm

        Thanks, Mark! It’s definitely right up there in terms of comfort food. It’s nice to indulge once in a while! Thanks for coming by :)

    • Lauren @ A Nerd Cooks
      January 17, 2016 at 3:28 pm

      I am right there with you: roux or bust. This mac and cheese looks and sounds so good!! I just ran the idea by my husband, and he is all about it, too. What kind of beer do you like to use?

        January 19, 2016 at 2:39 pm

        Thanks, Lauren! I’m glad I’m not alone in the world of le roux.

        I used a belgian-style triple but you can use anything from a lager to a pilsner to a cream ale! Anything goes :)

        I hope you both love it!


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