Shredded Beef Macaroni and Cheese is a delicious fusion dish that combines the fantastic flavors of shredded beef with the classic comfort food of macaroni and cheese. This recipe is not only easy to prepare, but it also offers a unique and satisfying culinary experience. It is perfect for any occasion, from a casual dinner to a formal gathering, and it is sure to impress your guests. For a “Lazy Birria” recipe to use in this recipe, check out my Slow Cooker Shredded Beef Tacos recipe.
Ingredients & Substitutions (Please read!)
Shredded Beef: If you don’t want to make your own shredded beef, you can find it precooked at some supermarkets. I recommend something like this, Hormel Beef Roast Au Jus. This is not as flavorful as the homemade, but you can always add more seasoning. You can also purchase Birria meat, which may be packaged as a stew or shredded. Try the tender meat in my Shredded Beef Sliders, too!
Pasta: I used elbow macaroni for this dish. However, you could certainly use your favorite kind of pasta. For best results, look for pasta that will hold onto the sauce well, like penne, shells, and farfalle.
Cheese: Two kinds of cheese are added to this mac and cheese recipe–white cheddar cheese and Monterey Jack. Freshly grated works best. Feel free to play around with different kinds of cheese.
I highly recommend making your own Shredded Beef, which is also known as Lazy Man’s Birria.
How to Get Creamy Homemade Mac and Cheese
One tip is to avoid the common mistake of reheating the pan to melt the cheese. Instead, let the hot ingredients in the pan do the job for you. This will ensure that your cheese is melted to perfection, giving you a smooth and creamy pasta dish that is sure to impress. Additionally, overheating the cheese can lead to a grainy texture, so it’s important to stir it in at the right temperature. Once the cheese is incorporated, pour the mixture over cooked noodles and serve hot.
Is Shredded Beef Mac and Cheese Spicy?
This recipe does have a slight kick to it, but it is not overly hot. If you are not looking for any heat, leave out the jalapeno peppers and cayenne pepper.
Storing & Reheating Leftover Macaroni and Cheese
To ensure your Shredded Beef Macaroni and Cheese stays fresh:
- Store Shredded Beef Macaroni and Cheese in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 3-4 days.
- Reheat in the oven by preheating to 350°F and baking for 15-20 minutes or until heated through.
- Reheat on the stovetop by adding to a pot and heating over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until heated through.
Shredded Beef Macaroni and Cheese
- 16 ounces elbow macaroni, cooked al dente and drained
- ½ cup (1 stick / 113 g) unsalted butter
- ½ cup (62.5 g) all-purpose flour
- 3 cups whole milk, warmed
- 2 ½ teaspoons kosher salt
- ½ teaspoon ground mustard
- ¼ teaspoon garlic powder
- ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper optional
- 1 cup (113 g) white cheddar cheese, freshly grated
- ½ cup (56.5 g) Monterey Jack cheese, freshly grated
- ½ large white onion, finely diced
- 1 medium jalapeno, seeded and finely diced
- ¼ cup finely chopped cilantro, for garnish
- 2 cups shredded beef*, warmed
- ¾ cup shredded beef juice, warmed (this is the juice that is with the meat when you make it)
- In a saucepan over medium heat, melt the butter.
- Add the flour and whisk constantly for 1-2 minutes (or until the mixture turns light brown).
- Remove from heat and gradually pour in the warm milk, whisking constantly.
- Return the pan to the heat, and whisk for another 3-5 minutes or until thickened.
- Add the salt, garlic powder, ground mustard, and cayenne pepper and stir to combine. Remove from heat.
- To avoid lumps, slowly add the cheese, stirring constantly as it melts.
- Pour the cheese sauce over the top of the cooked elbow macaroni. Stir to combine.
- Place the warmed shredded beef meat on the macaroni and cheese and then pour the warmed juice over the meat. Add onion, jalapeno, and cilantro.You can serve it like this (with the meat on top) or combine all ingredients so they are fully incorporated.
Did you make this recipe?
You can tag me at @iamhomesteader.
My family killed it! My daughter said it tasted better than she expected. I have grown adult children. I like to cook dinner for them once a week so we can all visit, so I need a hearty meal to satisfy them all. This was just that! I served with steamed broccoli. I was very meticulous about following recipe exactly. I even made your enchilada sauce as well. 10/10 would recommend!
So glad you all liked it, Sarah!!