Barbecue Mac and Cheese Recipe

Two Southern favorites meet in this 20-minute recipe you'll make on repeat. Undercook the pasta by 1 minute. It will continue to cook in the creamy sauce while the crumb topping toasts under the broiler.

Barbecue Mac and Cheese
Photo: Hector Sanchez; Styling: Heather Chadduck Hillegas
Hands On Time:
20 mins
Total Time:
20 mins
6 to 8 servings


  • 1/4 cup plus 1 1/2 tsp. kosher salt, divided

  • 1 qt. milk

  • 6 tablespoons butter, cut into pieces

  • 6 tablespoons all-purpose flour

  • 1 pound pasta (such as penne, cavatappi, or rotini)

  • 1 (8-oz.) package shredded extra-sharp Cheddar cheese

  • 1 (8-oz.) package shredded Gouda cheese

  • 1 teaspoon hot sauce (such as Tabasco)

  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

  • 1 pound pulled pork barbecue (without sauce)

  • 1 1/2 cups crumbled cornbread

  • 2 teaspoons olive oil

  • 1/2 cup chopped green onions

  • 1/2 cup bottled barbecue sauce


  1. Preheat broiler with oven rack 8 to 9 inches from heat.

  2. Bring 1/4 cup salt and 4 qt. water to a boil in a large covered Dutch oven over high heat.

  3. Meanwhile, microwave milk in a microwave-safe 1-qt. glass measuring cup covered with plastic wrap at HIGH 3 minutes. While milk is heating, melt butter in a 12-inch cast-iron skillet over medium heat. Reduce heat to medium-low; add flour, and cook, whisking constantly, 2 minutes. Gradually whisk in hot milk. Increase heat to medium-high, and bring to a low boil, whisking often.

  4. Add pasta to boiling water, and cook 8 minutes.

  5. Meanwhile, continue to cook sauce, whisking often, 6 minutes. Remove from heat; whisk in cheeses, hot sauce, 1 1/2 tsp. salt, and 1/2 tsp. pepper. Cover.

  6. Stir together cornbread and olive oil.

  7. Drain pasta, and fold into cheese sauce. Stir in pulled pork barbecue. Sprinkle with cornbread mixture; sprinkle green onions over cornbread mixture.

  8. Broil 1 to 2 minutes or until breadcrumbs are golden brown. Drizzle with barbecue sauce. Serve immediately.

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