Stove Top Beer And Bacon Mac And Cheese

I’m not a beer snob. To be honest, the term has always rubbed against the grain.

I’m a beer fan, a beer lover, a girl fascinated by beer, but I’m not a snob.

I spent years on the fringes of the music industry in LA, and the beer snobs I meet now echo those same phrases I heard then. And so do my responses.

If you loved The Killers when we saw them play free shows at The Spaceland, you should still love them when they win Grammys.

Good music, is good music. Regardless of how many, or how few, other people like it.

If you loved Rogue Dead Guy Ale when no one carried it, you should still love it when it has mass distribution.

Good beer, is good beer. Regardless of how many, or how few, other people like it.

At a beer event a few months ago I asked the rep from North Coast Brewing why he hadn’t brought any Scrimshaw, “The Beer Snobs would eat me alive if I poured that!” And then whispered to me that it was what he drank more than anything else.

Stop doing that.

Good beer is good beer. Don’t be afraid to drink what you like, even if everyone else likes it too.

In celebration of good beer, I give you my favorite one pot, quick and easy, make this for Thanksgiving, you will never make it from a box again, Mac & Cheese. Hope you still love it even when everyone else does too.

Stove Top Beer And Bacon Mac And Cheese


  • 2 cups elbow macaroni
  • 4 strips of bacon, cut in half
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1 egg
  • 2/3 cup beer (pale ale, blonde, bock, and Hef work well, an IPA will give you a very strong beer flavor)
  • 1 1/2 cups cheddar cheese (fresh grated, pre-shreaded has additives that prevents it from melting properly)
  • 2 tbs butter
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 1/4 tsp smoked paprika
  • pinch cayenne pepper
  • salt to taste


  • In a large pot of boiling water, add the noodles and cook until just before done. Don't over-cook the noodles or this will end up mushy.
  • Drain the pasta, return the pot to the stove and cook the bacon until crispy, remove from pot and allow to cool.
  • Drain off bacon grease and return drained noodles to the pot.
  • In a separate bowl, add the beer, egg and sour cream, beat until well combined.
  • Add the butter and the beer mixture to the noodles and return to medium heat. Stir until the butter has melted.
  • About 1/4 a cup at a time, add the cheese. Stir until cheese has melted before adding more.
  • Add the spices and chopped bacon, stir.
  • Makes 4 entre sized portions.

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61 Responses to Stove Top Beer And Bacon Mac And Cheese

  1. Diane, A Broad October 9, 2012 at 3:03 am #

    I can’t agree more. I liked Arrogant Bastard back when the name was still a shocker, and I still do, damn it!

    • Jackie October 9, 2012 at 1:53 pm #

      Me too! I love Stone and I am very glad that they are so widely distributed because it makes it easy for me to recommend to every one AND the world needs good beer spread far and wide ;)

  2. addie | culicurious October 9, 2012 at 4:38 am #

    fantastic looking recipe – I luv mac n cheese! and I agree with you about the snobbery. If you like it, like it! :)

  3. claire @ the realistic nutritionist October 9, 2012 at 7:44 am #

    NOM NOM. mac n cheese is the way to my heart!! are you trying to woe me Jackie? ;)

  4. Erin @ The Spiffy Cookie October 9, 2012 at 8:31 am #

    Stove top is my favorite mac and cheese before it is so much creamier!

  5. amy @ fearless homemaker October 9, 2012 at 11:31 am #

    This sounds wonderful! And I couldn’t agree more with your thoughts on ‘beer snobs’, ‘music snobs,’ etc. Living in Music City USA, there are tons of people who are proud to call themselves music snobs + that just never sits well with me. Like you said, if you loved a musician when no one knew him, why are you suddenly too cool for him when he wins a Grammy? good is good, period!

  6. Eileen October 9, 2012 at 12:16 pm #

    I agree 100%–good beer is good beer. I just wish some of them were more widely distributed–Bell’s, I’m looking at you! This mac and cheese sounds so rich and comforting. :)

  7. Katie @ Blonde Ambition October 9, 2012 at 1:11 pm #

    An interesting discussion I have often with people is those who “don’t understand” craft beer. My truck driver uncle swears by his Bud and Coors – as he puts it, he just wants a cold beer that he can gulp down easily and that goes with anything, you know?

    I of course don’t agree with him at all, but the man is 6’5″ and drives a motorcycle, so he’s not the kind of person you verbally disagree with :P

    Anywho, this sounds great! I love that you used sour cream. I’ve gotta try beer mac & cheese soon!

    • Jackie October 9, 2012 at 1:50 pm #

      I’ve had that macro discussion too. I had one person explain it to me like this: “If it has too much flavor it forces me to think. I just want a really cold beer flavored water that has alcohol in it.” So, if that’s what they want, I’m glad they found it! To each his own. It’s not for me, but It has a place and hundreds of thousands of Americans have jobs because of our huge macro breweries and for that I will always be grateful.

  8. Cassie October 9, 2012 at 1:40 pm #

    Seriously, simply amazing. Why can’t we be neighbors?! And I am with you on your beer snob sentiments. Let’s just all love everyone and everything! :)

    • Jackie October 9, 2012 at 1:51 pm #

      I don’t think I would be able to fit into my skinny jeans if we where neighbors! Plus, when are we going to be in the same town so we can get together for a drink already :)

  9. David October 9, 2012 at 2:05 pm #

    I love the beer snob comments. The Mac n Cheese looks awesome. As far as Stone, my family and I drove down from Fresno for Pour it Black. The Dark Side was yummy.

  10. ahu October 9, 2012 at 6:14 pm #

    just stumbled upon your blog and love it. this recipe looks delicious!

    • Jackie October 9, 2012 at 6:23 pm #

      Thank you so much, glad you stopped by my blog ;)

  11. Jen @ Savory Simple October 10, 2012 at 5:10 am #

    I hate snobbery! People always assume I’m a food snob and then I order deep fried oreos at the fair and they’re like “I thought you were a FOOD PERSON” and I’m like “have you tried these?”

    If you like something, you like it. And that makes it good! End of story.

    This mac and cheese sounds over the top delicious.

  12. Stephanie October 10, 2012 at 10:54 am #

    I suddenly find myself wishing I had the ingredients to make this. (I am woefully out of any beer that isn’t Pumpkin beer or Rogue Dead Guy Ale, all bacon and most cheese. I need to go grocery shopping but attempting to stretch until I really need to.)

    This looks AMAZING and will definitely be made as soon as I have the ingredients. Maybe even for Friendsgiving. (Like Thanksgiving, but with friends!)

  13. Leo October 10, 2012 at 4:17 pm #

    Really enjoyed this. The wife made, and I’m pretty sure it fixed out latest argument!

    • Jackie October 16, 2012 at 10:19 am #

      Dinner & beer with a side of couples therapy. Pretty much sums up what I do.

  14. Rachel (teacher-chef) October 10, 2012 at 5:53 pm #

    I really wish that Mac N Cheese was weight loss food… this is the reason that I have trouble loosing weight, because these things tempt me too much!!!

  15. Julia October 11, 2012 at 4:09 pm #

    I loved the Killers then, and I love them now.
    And, I won’t be waiting til thanksgiving to make this. This weekend? Possibly!

  16. Jeff October 13, 2012 at 4:56 am #

    The recipe looks great! Would you mind clarifying does the beer, egg and sour cream mixture also have the butter in it? If not at what point do you add it if it is added at a different time?

    Thanks for the blog. I really enjoy reading it!


    • Jackie October 13, 2012 at 7:23 am #

      You add the butter to the noodles when you add the beer mixture.

  17. Howard K. October 14, 2012 at 9:33 pm #

    Thanks for this! I made it and it was awesome! I will make it for the holidays for sure.

    • Jackie October 16, 2012 at 10:18 am #

      Oh good! So glad you liked it :)

  18. Carrie @ Bakeaholic Mama October 15, 2012 at 2:37 am #

    Wow this looks amazing! My husband will go nuts for it. Must try!

  19. Mrs. Emilia October 30, 2012 at 6:51 pm #

    This is great! Much better than I was even hoping. Thanks!

  20. Maggie October 31, 2012 at 4:39 pm #

    Oh my! I am so happy that I stumbled upon your blog! My husband just loves beer and this will be such a fun way for us to spend time together! I can see us enjoying beer and making your recipes together.

    • Jackie October 31, 2012 at 9:44 pm #

      That’s awesome! So glad you like my blog :)

  21. Amber November 1, 2012 at 2:03 pm #

    This was VERY good. Used my favorite IPA (for the time being lol), Lakefront IPA. Nice and hoppy but not bitter on the palate.

    Took this to a friends house for dinner and everybody wanted MORE! I used the Dreamfields pasta (low digestible carbs), greek yogurt, and turkey bacon to make it a tad healthier. Also threw in a little blue cheese for some stank.

    LOVE <3 …and will be making again!

    • Jackie November 1, 2012 at 2:21 pm #

      I love a little blue cheese stank ;)

  22. Skipper November 2, 2012 at 7:12 pm #

    The no-fat sour cream suggestion cracked me up! What with bacon, cheese, and beer, it’d be like getting sweet&lo in your coffee with a side of cheesecake. Seriously, if no-fat sour cream was an option, I’d rather take a short walk after dinner. We made this with Anchorage Brewing’s Love Buzz Saison (good luck finding it outside Alaska). If you can get any of Gabe Fletcher’s brews, do not hesitate. They’re all triple fermented, and I’ve cooked with several of them. Really like your site, keep up the inspiring work.

  23. Jason S. December 1, 2012 at 8:23 am #

    Hello Jackie,

    I stumbled upon your blog last night during a sleepless night and I can’t stop reading! There is so much creativity and inspiration to be found here and you truly are amazing for doing what you do. I work at a brewery in the Southern California area and also homebrew and have been starting to slowly finding ways to use my plethora of craft and home beer stocking up in my fridge, besides giving it away to all my friends and family. This is exactly what myself and my girlfriend have been looking for. We now have an amazing place to get inspiration to find new ways to exploit our love of beer and food!

    Thank you Jackie, keep up the amazing work.

    All for beer and beer for all,
    Jason S.

    • Jackie December 2, 2012 at 8:21 am #

      Thank you so much Jason, so nice of you to take the time to say that.

  24. Julie Brehm December 23, 2012 at 5:11 pm #

    Made this tonight and it was a huge hit! My college kids loved it and we will definitely make again. Next time I will try a little stronger beer and a sharp cheddar.

    • Jackie December 23, 2012 at 5:29 pm #

      YAY! An IPA will give you a stronger beer flavor, but some find it to be overwhelming, so I don’t call for it.

  25. A farmer in the dell January 17, 2013 at 7:34 pm #

    Im feeling under the weather and this Mac and cheese is just what the doctor ordered!

  26. Brad May 1, 2013 at 12:09 pm #

    Jackie, your blog rocks.
    I made the avocado risotto a couple of weeks ago and i’m going to try the chicken sliders and mac n cheese this weekend. My only question is in refernce to the cheese. Any specific recommendations (sharpness)? What do you think about gruyere?

    • Jackie May 1, 2013 at 1:47 pm #

      Thank you Brad! I think it really depends on preference. If you use a really high IBU IPA, I’d stick with a more mild white cheddar, but if you use a mild witbier then you can use a sharper cheese.

  27. cd July 22, 2013 at 6:17 pm #

    I love that Sam Adams commercial when those beer snob hipsters are raving about the beer they’ve tasted and find out it’s Sam Adams.

  28. FRAN August 18, 2013 at 1:03 pm #

    This sounds really good. Was wondering if non alcoholic beer would work in it as well as regular beer??

    • Jackie August 18, 2013 at 1:14 pm #

      Yes, that should work fine. The majority of the alcohol in the beer will cook off, but if you are worried at all, using an NA beer should be fine.

  29. Erin October 30, 2013 at 7:37 am #

    I made this last night and used Leinenkugle’s Oktoberfest beer…it was AMAZING! Served it with a Caesar salad and my fiancé loved it! I will definitely be trying more of your recipes! Thanks so much! :)

    • Jackie October 30, 2013 at 9:36 am #

      Great! So glad you liked it :)

  30. bestpolicygirl January 23, 2014 at 3:29 pm #

    Wow! I stumbled across your blog searching for a bacon mac and cheese recipe to use up some leftover bacon. (Don’t judge, its a long story) This looks fantastic, thank you! I’m definitely going to make this for dinner tonight with a nice wheat beer I have on hand. My hubby and I love craft beers and good food, so cooking with good beer just makes sense. Had I known of your blog sooner I’d be doing it a lot more often. YUM! I have never encountered a beer snob like you describe and I hope I never do. As my husband and I often laughing quote to one another, good “beer is good…and stuff” ;) Wide distribution means the micro-brewers get more income (win) to continue experimenting making more nifty beers (win) and I can find yummy beer to enjoy in many of the places we travel on business (win). What’s not to love about that?

  31. BillyJoeUSC July 2, 2014 at 4:05 pm #

    i made this tonight. very, very good. my family’s mac and cheese recipe is a baked version, but i just had to make this. i, didn’t get by the beer store for a nice craft beer for this one though. all i had was a new castle bombshell. i’ve never had this beer before and was worried about cooking with it, but i must say, with this commercial beer, the mac and cheese was still amazing. i look forward to making this again with the added flavor of a good craft beer. thanks so much for sharing your amazing recipes with us. i love to cook and whenever i can i like to add beer. this website is an inspiration. thanks!!!!

  32. Samantha July 23, 2014 at 7:00 pm #

    This is super delicious! I made it with an alt-style beer and used pepper bacon :-) it didn’t thicken like I wanted, so I just used a little wondra and it wad great. Thanks Jackie!

  33. Bob M August 19, 2014 at 6:06 pm #

    I’m carb sensitive, but when I get a Mac & cheese craving, this gas become my go to recipe. I’ve done it a half dozen times, but tonight’s was the winner.
    I used quinoa elbows, Sam Adams Irish Red and an extra sharp Wisconsin cheddar. The great fun of this recipe, like most of Jackie’s, is playing with your beer pantry. The final touch of spices is perfect, so don’t forget them!

    Thanks, Jackie, for another great addition to my recipe repertoire!

    • Jackie August 19, 2014 at 6:47 pm #

      Thank you so much Bob!


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