Take your Cast-Iron Mac n Cheese to a whole new level by cooking it on the grill over your campfire.
Cast Iron Mac n Cheese
While we think it’s a North American dish called mac n cheese, mostly due to a brand name version in a box, the United Kingdom also claims this dish calling it simply, macaroni cheese. This dish was born while camping. I had pre planned to make it, ensuring I had all the ingredients packed like old bay spice, cheddar cheese and smoked gouda cheese.
First try and it it came together nicely so I’ve been making this combination regularly both at home and camping.
While not everyone will enjoy toasted breadcrumbs on their mac n cheese, that is totally fine. Leave them off! We enjoy the light crunch they offer against the creamy, rich mac n cheese.
To save time you can toast your breadcrumbs at home before you leave for camping. Store in a plastic zip up baggie. Do this with your cheese.
Cast-Iron mac n cheese doesn’t get the broiler treatment to crisp up the top while camping, however toasting the breadcrumbs first offers the crispy bits we sometimes crave.
Use a pan over the fire to toast the bread crumbs before adding on top for extra texture. Once you make this version of mac n cheese, you will want it every time you go camping, it’s really that
Mac n Cheese Leftovers
When we make this for a crowd there are not leftovers. When we make it just for our family there are leftovers. And this is sometimes the best part.
We butter up a pie iron, add a good block of cold mac n cheese and cook over a fire. It becomes crunch on the outside and remains soft and gooey on the inside. Total drool worthy moment.
- Toast breadcrumbs in advance
- Use whole milk and let warm up first
- Any combination of cheese works, grate in advance
- Use butter, not margarine
Other Camping Recipes we love and recommend!
- Baked Beans. Great for a crowd or as a side to meals.
- Campfire Baked Brie. This could be my dinner every night.
- Sausage Tin Foil Dinner. I grew up camping and eat this meal. It’s one of my favourites.
If you made this recipe tag Wanda Baker on Instagram and hashtag it #bakersbeans or #wandabaker
- 1/2 cup bread crumbs toasted
- 450-500 gram box macaroni
- 3-4 tbsp butter
- 3-4 tbsp flour
- 3 cups whole homogenized milk
- 1/2 tsp old bay spice
- 2 cups medium cheddar shredded
- 1.5 cups smoked Gouda cheese shredded
- butter to grease pan
- salt and pepper
- Take your milk out of the cooler or trailer fridge to let warm up on the table.
- Cook your pasta 1-2 minutes less than what it says on the box. Strain, put back in pot, add a little butter, mix and set aside to cool.
- Melt butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Once it’s melted, add your flour to the butter and start whisking. Let the flour cook out for at least 3 minutes.
- Slowly whisk in one cup of milk. Once thickened add in the remaining 2 cups. Keep your heat down as you do not want it to boil but instead come to a light simmer. Once thickened slowly add in handfuls of the cheese, stirring (not whisking) after each addition until all the cheese is melted in. Mix in a pinch of salt, pepper and old bay seasoning. Turn the heat off.
- Using your fingers (like our mother's before us) take some butter and rub it all over the bottom and insides of the cast iron pan.
- Add cooked macaroni to cast iron pan.
- Pour in your cheese sauce and stir to combine.
- Top with bread crumbs. I grated a little extra Gouda on top.
- Cover with tin foil and place right on campfire grate or barbecue over low flame or indirect heat.
- Let cook for 20-30 minutes until bubbling. It should form a nice brown (not burnt) crust on the bottom. Everyone fights over these bits!