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Mission BBQ Mac and Cheese Recipe

Mission BBQ mac and cheese blends the classic comfort of creamy, hearty macaroni and cheese with a signature twist that turns this dish into the perfect comfort food.

Whether you’re seeking a comforting meal for a family dinner or a delicious recipe to share at a potluck, this dish is sure to satisfy your cravings.

Its rich flavor and satisfying texture have made it a beloved staple on the menu of Mission BBQ restaurants, and now you can recreate this culinary delight at home.

When you think of mac and cheese, you typically imagine a simple dish, but Mission BBQ’s version definitely has a few special touches.

How to Make Mission BBQ Mac and Cheese

mission-bbq-mac-and-cheese-recipe

Creating Mission BBQ’s famous mac and cheese is a gratifying experience that brings a smoky twist to this classic comfort food.

This recipe is designed to deliver a mouthwatering dish with a mix of creamy cheese sauce and a hint of spice, baked to perfection.

Ingredients List

  • 1 pound elbow macaroni
  • Water (for boiling pasta)
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • 3 cups whole milk
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 6-8 oz Velveeta cheese, cut into cubes
  • 2 cups sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
  • 1 cup smoked gouda cheese, shredded
  • 1/2 cup pepper jack cheese, shredded
  • 2 teaspoons paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • Salt, to taste
  • Pepper, to taste
  • 1/2 cup BBQ sauce (optional for additional smoky flavor)
  • Additional shredded cheese for topping

Step-by-step process

Step 1:

Preheat your oven to 350°F (175°C). Grease a 9×13-inch baking dish with butter or non-stick spray.

Step 2:

Cook the elbow macaroni in a large pot of boiling salted water until just al dente. Drain well and set aside.

Step 3:

In the same pot, melt 4 tablespoons of butter over medium heat. Whisk in the flour and cook for about one minute, stirring continuously, to create a roux.

Step 4:

Gradually add the whole milk and heavy cream, stirring continuously, until the mixture is smooth and starts to thicken.

Step 5:

Stir in the Velveeta cheese, sharp cheddar cheese, smoked gouda, and pepper jack, mixing until fully melted.

Step 6:

Season the cheese sauce with paprika, cayenne pepper, salt, and pepper. For an extra smoky flavor, you may add BBQ sauce to your cheese mixture.

Step 7:

Add the cooked macaroni to the sauce, stirring until the pasta is evenly coated.

Step 8:

Transfer the macaroni and cheese mixture to the prepared baking dish. Sprinkle additional cheese on top for a richer cheese crust.

Step 9:

Bake in the preheated oven for about 25–30 minutes or until bubbly and golden brown on top.

Mission BBQ Mac and Cheese Side Dishes

When you prepare Mission BBQ’s decadent mac and cheese, choosing the right side dishes enhances the overall dining experience.

Your sides should complement the rich and creamy texture of the mac and cheese while introducing variety in taste and texture.

Green Salad

A vibrant green salad serves as a crisp and fresh counterpart to the creamy cheese dish.

You can toss mixed greens with a light vinaigrette to add a tangy note that cuts through the richness.

Consider including cherry tomatoes and cucumbers for extra crunch.

Cheese Waffle Cones

For an inventive twist, consider offering Cheese Waffle Cones filled with fresh vegetables or a bean salad.

These add an unexpected element of fun and flavor.

Prepare the cheese waffle cones with additional cheese to ensure they’re flavorful.

Cheese Pizza

Pairing mac and cheese with Cheese Pizza might seem like a cheese overload, but it’s actually a crowd-pleaser.

The key is to opt for a thin crust to maintain balance.

Add vegetables or lean protein toppings to provide variety.

Table of Suggested Side Flavors and Additions:

Side Dish Suggested Flavor or Addition
Green Salad Light vinaigrette with a citrus note
Cheese Waffle Cones Additional cheese with salsa
Cheese Pizza Veggie toppings for a lighter complement

It’s advisable to prepare your cheese in advance for both the mac and cheese and the side dishes to ensure consistency in flavor and to save time during meal preparation.

Ingredients Substitutes

Sharp Cheddar Cheese

If you’re unable to find sharp cheddar, a good alternative is medium cheddar cheese.

It has a milder flavor but melts well, ensuring a creamy texture.

Shredded Cheddar Cheese

Colby cheese is an excellent substitute for shredded cheddar cheese.

It’s similarly mild and melts easily, making your mac & cheese smooth.

Pepper Jack Cheese

For those who prefer less spice, consider using monterey jack.

It provides a similar texture without the heat, blending well into the cheese mixture.

Velveeta Cheese

If Velveeta isn’t your choice, American cheese can be used.

It melts into a similar consistency, keeping your mac & cheese velvety.

Cayenne Pepper

To reduce spice without sacrificing flavor, try a pinch of paprika.

You’ll maintain a smoky note with less heat.

Smoked Gouda Cheese

For a subtler smoke taste, smoked cheddar can replace smoked gouda.

It offers a more familiar flavor while still contributing to the overall smokiness of the dish.

BBQ Sauce

If you want to switch up the BBQ sauce, a hickory-smoked BBQ sauce can offer a different dimension of smokiness while still complementing the cheese varieties.

Cheese Selection

In any cheese mixture, feel free to experiment with other cheese varieties such as fontina, asiago, or gorgonzola for a unique twist on the classic Mission BBQ mac and cheese.

Remember, the key is to find a balance between flavor and meltability to maintain the integrity of the dish.

How to Store Mission BBQ Mac and Cheese

Refrigerating Leftover BBQ Mac & Cheese

When refrigerating your leftover BBQ Mac & Cheese, regardless of whether it is Bacon Mac & Cheese or BBQ Chicken Mac & Cheese, an airtight container is crucial to maintain freshness.

Allow the dish to cool slightly before transferring it to the container to prevent condensation.

Label the container with the date so you can remember how long it’s been stored.

Fridge storage time: Usually stays good for 3-5 days.

Freezing Extra BBQ Mac & Cheese

For a longer storage solution, freezing is an option.

First, let your macaroni & cheese cool completely.

Once cooled, portion it into serving sizes and place it in airtight freezer-safe containers or bags.

This method is especially handy if you’ve made a large batch in a slow cooker and want to save it for later.

Freezer storage time: Can last up to 2 months.

Reheating Stored BBQ Mac & Cheese

When you’re ready to enjoy your stored Mac & Cheese, reheating it properly will preserve its creamy texture.

If it’s been stored in the fridge, reheat it in the microwave or oven.

Covered by a damp paper towel in the microwave will help retain moisture.

In the oven, place it in an oven-safe dish, add a splash of milk, and cover it with foil.

Heat at 350°F for 20-25 minutes.

If frozen, thaw it in the fridge overnight before reheating.

Tip: Sprinkle extra cheese on top before reheating for added richness.

Common Mistakes to Avoid

Overheating the Cheese

When making Mission BBQ mac and cheese, ensure you melt the cheese on medium heat.

Exceeding this temperature can cause the cheese to separate and become oily, compromising the creamy texture.

Rushing the Cooking Process

Allow 1-2 minutes for the cheese to gradually melt into the sauce.

Hastening this step can lead to an unevenly cooked sauce where some parts might be overcooked while others are undercooked.

Skimping on Black Pepper

Do not overlook the black pepper; it’s essential for balancing the flavors.

Use freshly ground pepper for the best taste and incorporate it properly to avoid a bland outcome.

Using Barbecue Sauce with Cheese

Avoid mixing barbecue sauce with the cheese initially.

To maintain the authentic taste of the dish, add any barbecue component separately and not to the cheese mixture.

Choosing the Wrong Cheese

For a classic Mission BBQ mac and cheese, select common cheeses such as a blend of sharp cheddar.

Avoid flavorful cheeses like blue cheese, which can overpower the dish.

Not Preparing Cheese Properly

Before adding, cut the cheese into bite-sized pieces to ensure even melting.

Do not add large chunks, as they will not incorporate well into the sauce.

Misjudging Cheese Quantity

Measure out cups of shredded cheese accurately; too little will result in a dry mac and cheese, while too much can make it overly gooey.

Ignoring Cheese Options

Experiment with different cheese options or blends to find your preferred taste, but avoid cheeses that don’t melt well or alter the mac and cheese’s intended flavor profile.

mission-bbq-mac-and-cheese-recipe

Mission BBQ Mac and Cheese Recipe

Mission BBQ mac and cheese blends the classic comfort of creamy, hearty macaroni and cheese with a signature twist that turns this dish into the perfect comfort food
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Servings 4
Ingredients
  
  • 1 pound Elbow macaroni
  • Water (for boiling pasta)
  • 1/3 cup All-purpose flour
  • 3 cups Whole milk
  • 1 cup Heavy cream
  • 6-8 oz Velveeta cheese, cut into cubes
  • 2 cups Sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
  • 1 cup Smoked gouda cheese, shredded
  • 1/2 cup Pepper jack cheese, shredded
  • 2 tsp Paprika
  • 1/2 tsp Cayenne pepper
  • Salt, to taste
  • Pepper, to taste
  • 1/2 cup BBQ sauce (optional for additional smoky flavor)
Instructions
 
  • Preheat your oven to 350°F (175°C).
    Grease a 9×13-inch baking dish with butter or non-stick spray.
  • Cook the elbow macaroni in a large pot of boiling salted water until just al dente. Drain well and set aside.
  • In the same pot, melt 4 tablespoons of butter over medium heat.
    Whisk in the flour and cook for about one minute, stirring continuously, to create a roux.
  • Gradually add the whole milk and heavy cream, stirring continuously, until the mixture is smooth and starts to thicken.
  • Stir in the Velveeta cheese, sharp cheddar cheese, smoked gouda, and pepper jack, mixing until fully melted.
  • Season the cheese sauce with paprika, cayenne pepper, salt, and pepper. For an extra smoky flavor, you may add BBQ sauce to your cheese mixture.
  • Add the cooked macaroni to the sauce, stirring until the pasta is evenly coated.
  • Transfer the macaroni and cheese mixture to the prepared baking dish.
    Sprinkle additional cheese on top for a richer cheese crust.
  • Bake in the preheated oven for about 25–30 minutes, or until bubbly and golden brown on top.

mission bbq mac and cheese recipe pin sml

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