Beer Cheese Mac & Cheese with Pretzel Breadcrumb Topping
This mac and cheese recipe uses a beer cheese dip for the base, and to top it all off you'll add a toasty pretzel breadcrumb topping!
- 3 tablespoon butter
- 3 tablespoon flour
- 2.5 cup milk/cream** use cream for a richer sauce, or a combination of milk and cream
- 4 cups shredded cheddar cheese old/sharp, or your favorite cheese
- ½ cup beer preferably lager
- 1 teaspoon grainy mustard
- 1 teaspoon yellow mustard
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 3 cups macaroni noodles measured uncooked
For the Topping
- 2 handfuls*** salted pretzels crushed
- 1 tablespoon butter melted
- a pinch cayenne
- a pinch parsley
Cook noodles in salted water one minute less than package directions and set aside. Preheat your oven to 350°F.
Grate the cheddar cheese and set aside. Begin to melt 3 tablespoon of butter in a saucepan on medium heat, careful not to let it burn.
Add flour and whisk until combined. Cook 1 minute, whisking occasionally.
Add beer, whisking continuously as you pour, eliminating any lumps from the flour mixture. Slowly pour in milk/cream, whisking as you pour.
Cook over medium heat, whisking often, for several minutes, until mixture has thickened and is gently bubbling. Stir in mustards, garlic powder, salt, (and cayenne and parsley if using). Turn the heat off and stir well, letting the remaining heat in the pan melt the cheese. This will take a few minutes — be patient! Once the cheese is completely melted into the sauce, pour the sauce into the pot with the noodles, stir well.Pour the sauce/macaroni mixture into a 2.5 quart baking dish.
For the topping
Place the pretzels in a large Ziploc bag, and crush into breadcrumb-sized pieces using a hard, blunt object.*
Melt 1 tablespoon of butter and combine with pretzel breadcrumbs. Pour it on top of the macaroni mixture and try to spread evenly.
Once the pretzel mixture is placed on top of the macaroni, bake in a preheated oven for 10-15 minutes, careful not to let the top burn. Cover with tin foil if it's cooking too quickly. Serve hot and enjoy!
*Don't use anything sharp or it will pierce the bag.
**I like to use half milk and half cream for a great result. It's okay to just use milk, but be prepared for a slightly less creamy (but still delicious) macaroni and cheese recipe.
***Use more or less pretzels depending on how dense you want the topping to be