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Beer Bratwurst Macaroni and Cheese

This super flavorful beer bratwurst macaroni and cheese is packed full of stringy cheese, beer, bratwurst and sprinkled with a crunchy pretzel topping.

Are you ready for some football? If you answered “Yes! I love football!” all I have to say to you is “That’s great. I’m really just here for the food.”

Because I have an early February birthday (it’s 6th if you’re wondering…there is still time send gifts) the Super Bowl occasionally falls on my birthday. Sigh. This never happened when I was a kid but then they switched the week of the Super Bowl. I really have no idea when this happened I just know that all of a sudden I had to start competing with football for a little birthday attention. The first birthday I really remember this happening was the SB where (I think?) the Pats and the Eagles were playing. I poured myself a large goblet sized glass of white Zinfandel, drank it all while laying on the recliner and fell asleep. I do remember waking up at one point and seeing a group of people standing around me holding a football shaped cake signing happy birthday to my totally inebriated self.

Oh early 20’s Brandy. You were one classy pink wine from a box kind of lady.

Luckily this year I can go back to only caring about 1 thing on Super Bowl Sunday – food. This week I already shared a tasty slow cooker beef chorizo taco chili and spicy peanut butter chicken wings so naturally today I’m coming at you with mac and cheese.

It’s a week of food that would definitely make an appearance if I ever threw a football themed party. So naturally that means if you’re throwing a party you should make all. the. food.

While I love this mac and cheese recipe for football season it’s also great for Octoberfest. It’s packed full of cheese and beer flavor and then topped with buttery crushed pretzels.

It’s a super cheesy party in your mouth.

Beer Bratwurst Macaroni and Cheese

This super flavorful beer bratwurst macaroni and cheese is packed full of stringy cheese, beer, bratwurst and sprinkled with a crunchy pretzel topping.

Yield: 4-6 servings

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 55 minutes

Total Time: 70 minutes


  • 6 bratwursts
  • 1 (12 ounce) bottle of brown beer, divided
  • 1 pound elbow pasta
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1/4 cup all purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon ground mustard powder
  • Pinch kosher salt and ground pepper
  • 2-3/4 cup whole milk
  • 3 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese, divided
  • 2 cups shredded pepper jack cheese
  • 2 cups crushed pretzels
  • 4 tablespoons butter, melted


Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In a medium sized skillet set over medium heat add bratwursts and 1/2 cup water.

In a measuring cup add 3/4 cup beer and set aside. Pour the remaining of the beer in the skillet with the bratwurst.

Let the bratwurst simmer (adding more water if needed) until they are firm. Once they are cooked let the water cook down and then brown slightly in the pan. You can add a little oil to the dish if you want to really crisp up the skin but it's not necessary.

Once the bratwursts are fully cooked remove from the pan and set aside. When they are cool to the touch cut in half lengthwise and then in 1/2 inch chunks.

Add a large pot full of water over high heat and bring to a boil. Salt the water once boiling and add in the pasta. Cook until al dente, drain and set aside.

In a large oven safe skillet (I used my 10 inch cast iron skillet) set over medium high heat add butter. Cook until melted and stir in garlic and saute until just fragrant.

Whisk in flour, mustard powder, kosher salt and black pepper. Cook the flour until it's melted into the butter.

Slowly pour (while whisking) the milk and reserved 3/4 cup beer into the flour mixture. Whisk together until smooth, bring to a boil and cook until thick.

Remove from the heat and stir in 2 cups sharp cheddar cheese and pepper jack cheese. Once fully melted stir in pasta and bratwurst and smooth out the top. Sprinkle with remaining 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese.

In a small bowl mix together crushed pretzels and melted butter.

Top the mac and cheese with pretzels and add to the oven for 25 minutes until the top is browned and the sides are bubbly.

Serve immediately.

Note: To cut down on cooking time you can always use leftover cooked bratwursts or make them the day before since they will get warm when stirred into the pasta and in the oven.

More Mac and Cheese Recipes

Pulled Pork Mac & Cheese {Piggy Mac} – This pulled pork mac and cheese is packed full of sharp cheddar cheese and lots of slow cooker pulled pork. For added flavored I drizzled the top with even more BBQ sauce.

Five Cheese Mac & Cheese – This five cheese mac and cheese if full of cheesy flavor. It’s perfect served as a main course or a delicious side dish.

Gorgonzola Bacon Mac & Cheese – This gorgonzola bacon mac and cheese is packed full of crunchy bacon, melty cheddar cheese and sharp gorgonzola cheese. This is one grown up mac and cheese!

Poblano Mac & Cheese – This flavor packed poblano macaroni and cheese recipe is packed full of roasted poblano peppers, lots of cheese and just a hint of zesty lime.