Pulled Pork Mac and Cheese

Last updated: July 9th, 2024

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This easy BBQ pulled pork mac and cheese is made with a creamy 4-ingredient cheese sauce for ultimate decadence.

A batch of bbq pulled pork mac and cheese.

Pulled pork and mac and cheese are a match made in heaven. This classic barbecue combo deserves to be enjoyed more often than a few times a year at summer cookout – which is why we’re sharing our easy recipe for pulled pork mac and cheese with you this winter! 

This creamy, saucy, and decadent mac and cheese is loaded with savory BBQ pulled pork, cheddar cheese, and a hint of paprika. It’s everything you want to dig into on a cold winter night – equal parts warm, cozy, and comforting. 

But you can also enjoy this hearty dish all year long, whether you make it for a weeknight family dinner, holiday party, or summer cookout! No matter what the occasion, you can be confident this mac and cheese will be a hit every single time.

Pulled pork mac and cheese in a baking dish.

BBQ Pulled Pork Mac And Cheese Ingredients

Turning mac and cheese into BBQ pulled pork mac and cheese is really easy! It only requires two extra ingredients, and I bet you can guess what they are 🙂 

Here’s what you’ll need to make this recipe: 

  • Cavatappi pasta
  • Whole milk
  • Extra sharp white cheddar cheese
  • Pulled pork
  • BBQ sauce
  • Paprika
  • Salt

While you can technically use any kind of pasta for mac and cheese, we love how cavatappi holds onto the creamy cheese and saucy pulled pork. If you can’t find cavatappi (sometimes called cellentani), some good alternatives would be macaroni, fusilli, or penne. 

We also recommend making your own pulled pork at home for this mac n cheese recipe! It’s super easy and can be done in a slow cooker over the course of about 8 hours. We like to set it before going to bed, and wake up to the smell of freshly cooked pork in the morning (mmm). 

If you’re interested in trying this, check out our slow cooker pulled pork recipe here. We always prefer making food from scratch whenever possible, since it tastes so much fresher and allows us to customize the flavors to our tastes. However, you can always use store-bought pulled pork to simplify this recipe. 

Two bowls of bbq pulled pork mac and cheese.

How To Make Pulled Pork Mac And Cheese

If you’ve ever made mac and cheese from scratch, you’ll notice that this recipe is very similar – just with the addition of pulled pork and BBQ sauce, of course! Here’s a full breakdown of how to make this delicious comfort food dinner:

  1. First, preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Next, boil the pasta per the package directions in a large pot of salted water.
  3. While the pasta is cooking, make the cheese sauce by heating milk over medium-low heat in a small saucepan until it’s steaming. Once the milk is hot, stir in the cheese in batches until it’s all melted. Make sure to stir constantly to help the cheese melt! Once the cheese is fully incorporated, stir in the paprika and salt, and lower the heat to keep the sauce warm until the pasta is ready.
  4. Then, drain the cooked pasta and combine it with the cheese sauce, pulled pork, and BBQ sauce right in the large pasta pot. 
  5. Transfer the mac and cheese to a large baking dish and cover with aluminum foil. 
  6. Bake for 10 minutes, then uncover and bake for an additional 5 minutes. This provides a light crisp on the top layer of noodles and pork for additional texture.
  7. Finally, serve the mac n cheese topped with an extra drizzle of BBQ sauce.

All in all, you really only have to prepare a simple 4-ingredient cheese sauce to make this barbecue pulled pork mac and cheese. The rest is just letting the pasta boil, mixing the ingredients together, and baking! 

Super easy, and so delicious – the best combination.

Storing And Reheating Leftovers

Since this recipe makes about 4 servings, it’s a great dinner for two with some leftovers to enjoy the next day! (Trust us, you’ll be wanting more of this mac n cheese immediately after you finish the first two servings). Store the leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days.

We love making this mac and cheese in our glass OXO baking dish since it comes with a lid. It’s perfect for easy storage since you won’t have to transfer leftovers to a separate container. And it gives you an excuse to put off washing at least one of the dishes until later in the week!

To reheat, microwave individual portions for about 2 minutes, stirring halfway through. Or, reheat a larger batch of leftovers in the oven at 350 degrees F, covered, for about 20 minutes. 

A baking dish of bbq pulled pork mac and cheese.

Why You’ll Love This BBQ Pulled Pork Mac And Cheese

If you love pulled pork, this BBQ pulled pork mac and cheese will definitely be one of your new favorite recipes! You can easily make it for a family dinner, or for a large crowd at a party or potluck by scaling the recipe up. It’s cheesy, savory, warm, and comforting – the perfect dinner for a cozy winter night in, or an irresistible side dish for your next family cookout!

No matter the occasion, you (and whoever is lucky enough to share with you) will absolutely love our BBQ pulled pork mac and cheese recipe. And when you do, remember to come back and let us know what you think by rating, commenting, and sharing below!


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A batch of bbq pulled pork mac and cheese.

Pulled Pork Mac and Cheese

Nicole & Alex
This easy BBQ pulled pork mac and cheese is made with a creamy 4-ingredient cheese sauce for ultimate decadence.
5 from 2 votes
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 27 minutes
Total Time 32 minutes
Course Dinner, Main, Main Course
Cuisine American
Servings 4 servings
Calories 575 kcal

Ingredients
 
 

  • ½ pound cavatappi
  • ½ cup whole milk
  • 8 ounces extra sharp white cheddar cheese shredded
  • ¼ teaspoon paprika
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ½ pound slow cooker pulled pork
  • ¼ cup barbecue sauce plus extra for topping

Instructions
 

  • First, preheat the oven to 350 degrees F and bring a large pot of salted water to a boil on the stove.
  • Next, boil the pasta until al dente, about 10 to 12 minutes.
  • In the meantime, make the cheese sauce. In a small saucepan, heat the milk over medium-low until it's lightly steaming, about 2 to 3 minutes. Then, stir in the cheese in batches until it's completely melted, about 5 to 7 minutes. Make sure to stir constantly to help the cheese melt and prevent clumping.
    Once the cheese is fully incorporated, stir in the paprika and salt. Lower heat to keep warm until the pasta is ready.
  • Next, drain the cooked pasta and return it to the pot (remove from heat). Add the cheese sauce, pulled pork, and barbecue sauce and stir to combine. Then, transfer the mac and cheese to a large baking dish and cover with aluminum foil.
  • Bake for 10 minutes, then remove the foil and bake for another 5 minutes to lightly crisp the top.
  • Serve hot, topped with an additional drizzle of BBQ sauce.

Notes

Cavatappi vs. other pasta types: You can technically use any kind of short pasta noodle for mac and cheese, but we love the way cavatappi holds onto the creamy cheese sauce and saucy pulled pork in this dish. If you can’t find it at the store, some good alternatives would be macaroni, fusilli, or penne.
Pulled pork: We highly recommend making your own pulled pork at home for this recipe – it’s so easy and all you need is a slow cooker! Try our recipe here and set some aside for this mac and cheese. Enjoy the rest on sandwiches, in tacos, or on pizza, or freeze it for later.
Storing leftovers: Store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days. We love making mac and cheese in our glass OXO baking dish since it comes with a lid (perfect for easy storage since you won’t have to transfer leftovers to a separate container).
Reheating leftovers: To reheat, microwave individual portions for about 2 minutes, stirring halfway through. Or, reheat a larger batch of leftovers in the oven at 350 degrees F, covered, for about 20 minutes.

Nutrition

Calories: 575kcalCarbohydrates: 53gProtein: 37gFat: 23gSaturated Fat: 12gPolyunsaturated Fat: 2gMonounsaturated Fat: 6gTrans Fat: 0.3gCholesterol: 99mgSodium: 751mgPotassium: 505mgFiber: 2gSugar: 9gVitamin A: 667IUVitamin C: 1mgCalcium: 461mgIron: 2mg
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Keyword barbecue sauce, cavatappi, cheddar cheese, comfort food, cookout, milk, paprika, pulled pork, salt
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5 from 2 votes (2 ratings without comment)

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