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Mac Attack Series | BBQ Mac & Cheese

February 26, 2018 , In: Eat, Recipes , With: No Comments

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Alright, I’ve gotta know, which did you like better? The “Not-so Basic” mac from week 1? Or last week’s “Quick Stovetop” Mac? Let me know, leave it in the comments below! For this week’s addition to the Mac Attack Series, combining mac and cheese with something it normally plays second fiddle to, BBQ!

“One of the things that I love about New York is that it’s one of the only places where you could have an entire restaurant dedicated to macaroni and cheese.”

-Savannah Guthrie

Well, NYC isn’t the only Home to a dedicated mac and cheese spot. But, this quote took me back to when I would visit my mom in Brooklyn, NY and we went to this spot called The Elbow Room. (Hehe get it?)

The Elbow Room shares a building with Morgan’s BBQ, and though they have a vegan mac and cheese on their menu… the restaurant’s proximity to a BBQ joint is what inspired this BBQ mac and cheese. I mean, how can anyone resist the smell of a smoker? … The food kind… not cancer-stick-stinky kind!


A Match Made in Southern BBQ Heaven

Though I don’t quite have the accent to prove it, I’ve lived south of the Mason-Dixon Line my whole life. And southerners are known for their BBQ and comfort filled sides! I know there are people out there who need to have their food separated on their plates. But if I was like that, I wouldn’t have come up with half of the recipes I’ve got! This is one of those recipes!

Mac and cheese is a classic side at any BBQ joint you find. And one of my favorite flavors is the mac that’s just a little too close to the BBQ, and gets sauced! The rich flavor getting cut with a sweet and smoky sauce is a delicious combination! For this version, we’re going to lean a little basic, mac dressed up with sauce, caramelized onions and a little bacon*. For this mac, use your favorite BBQ sauce. I tend to lean toward something sweet, with some heat, and hickory flavored.

*NOTE: For this recipe, I use tempeh bacon. If you’re not vegetarian/vegan, swap in the real thing!

Up next, a Mitch Hedberg quote inspires a “Grown-Up” spin on mac and cheese, with some veggies and wine! Mac and Cheese and WINE? Yeah, you heard me. Gather up your friends, because this one is the going to be the centerpiece of a delicious night in! Are you having fun yet with all these spins on mac and cheese?

Mac Attack Series | BBQ Mac & Cheese

Mac Attack Series | BBQ Mac & Cheese


    For Caramelized Onions:
  • 1/2 Medium Yellow Onion, sliced
  • 1 TBS Earth Balance
  • Splash of Soy Sauce
  • 2 tsp sugar
  • Pepper, to taste


    For "Caramelized" Onions:
  1. In a skillet over medium-low heat, add onions and pepper.
  2. Add a splash of water and cook until water evaporates.
  3. Add in soy sauce and sugar, stir to combine.
  4. Melt in Earth Balance until bubbly.
  5. Transfer and divide into 2 small bowls and set aside.
    Make Your Mac:
  1. Prepare your favorite "basic" mac and cheese recipe according to the instructions.
    Because Everyone Loves Bacon:
  1. Slice all of the tempeh bacon in half lengthwise and then across cut into small squares. In a medium skillet, heat canola oil. Add in tempeh bacon pieces and cook 3-4 minutes until crispy. Remove from pan and divide 2 equal portions.
    To Assemble:
  1. Stir in 1/2 of the tempeh bacon pieces, 1/2 caramelized onions and 1 TBSP BBQ Sauce to the mac and cheese, mix well. To serve spoon mac and cheese into bowls (or mason jars as seen) adding in a light layer of BBQ sauce, as well as a light sprinkle of tempeh bacon pieces and caramelized onions. Top the bowls with remaining tempeh bacon and caramelized onions.
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Kaiti J

Welcome to Garnished with Gratitude! I'm so glad you're here. I'm Kaiti, a fan of healthy-ish ways, lists/plans, and I'm a total goofball. I'm here to create a space that provides resources to live your best life! From food and exercise to visualization and inspiration, this site is for you.

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