What Meat Goes with Macaroni and Cheese? (10 Best Meats)

When you’re not sure what type of meat goes with mac and cheese, it can feel like you’re stuck in a rut.

But don’t worry, I’m here to help!

I’ve rounded up 10 of the best kinds of meat to pair with your next mac and cheese dish.

So, whether you’re looking for a classic combo or something a little out of the box, read on for my top picks.

See Also: What Salad Goes With Mac and Cheese? 11 Best Salads

What Meat Goes with Macaroni and Cheese

What Meat Goes with Macaroni and Cheese?

The best kinds of meat to pair with macaroni and cheese are ones that are high in fat content, such as bacon, sausage, or ground beef. These meats will help to balance out the richness of the cheese and make the dish more filling.

Looking for more ideas?

Check out these 10 types of meat that go well with macaroni and cheese:

1. Bacon

bacon mac and cheese

Why not try the American classic of macaroni and cheese with bacon?

The salty, savory flavor of bacon pairs perfectly with the creamy, cheesy goodness of mac and cheese.

Here are three ways to make this work:

  • Add some chopped up bacon into your mac and cheese recipe for an extra boost of flavor.
  • Top your mac and cheese with some crispy bacon bits for a delicious crunch.
  • Make a bacon-wrapped mac and cheese bite by wrapping a piece of bacon around a ball of mac and cheese, then frying or baking it until crispy.

2. Sausage

Creamy Smoked Sausage Mac and Cheese
Source: southernbite.com

There are tons of different sausages out there, so finding the right one can be tricky.

I recommend a mild or sweet sausage for this dish.

Andouille and chorizo are too spicy, while kielbasa is too smokey.

A sweet Italian sausage will complement the creaminess of the cheese sauce perfectly.

Here are three ways to make this work:

  • Sausage and Macaroni Casserole: This dish is easy to throw together and only requires a few ingredients. Simply brown the sausage, mix it with cooked macaroni and cheese, and bake until hot and bubbly. Top with some bread crumbs for extra crunch.
  • Sausage Macaroni Skillet: This one-pot meal is perfect for busy weeknights. Cook the sausage over medium heat until browned, then add in the macaroni, cheese sauce, and some milk. Bring to a simmer and cook until the pasta is tender.
  • Sausage and Macaroni Soup: This hearty soup will warm you up on a cold day. Start by cooking the sausage in a large pot, then add in some chopped veggies, chicken broth, and cooked macaroni. Stir in some milk and grated cheese at the end.
See also  10 Best Breads for Meatball Subs (10 Kinds of Bread To Try)

3. Ground beef

mac and cheese with Ground beef
Source: realhousemoms.com

Ground beef is one of the most popular ingredients in my home.

It’s versatile, flavorful, and easy to cook with.

And it just so happens to be one of the best meats to pair with macaroni and cheese.

There are countless ways to incorporate ground beef into your mac and cheese, but here are three of my favorites:

  • Add it to the pasta as it cooks: This is a great way to infuse flavor into the pasta itself. Simply add the ground beef to the pot along with the macaroni noodles and let them cook together.
  • Mix it into the sauce: Another easy way to incorporate ground beef into your mac and cheese is to mix it into the sauce before you add the noodles. This ensures that each bite is packed with flavor.
  • Top it off: Finally, you can always top your mac and cheese with cooked ground beef. This is a great option if you want to keep things simple or if you’re short on time. Plus, it’s a great way to add a little extra protein to your meal.

4. Ham

Macaroni and Cheese with Ham

Ham has a salty, savory flavor that pairs well with the creamy, rich taste of macaroni and cheese.

There are many ways to incorporate ham into your macaroni and cheese dish to add more flavor.

Here are three ideas:

  • Add diced ham to your macaroni and cheese for a heartier dish.
  • Use ham as a topping for your macaroni and cheese. This is especially good if you like a crispy top on your mac and cheese.
  • Make a ham and macaroni and cheese casserole by layering ham, macaroni and cheese, and bread crumbs in a baking dish.

5. Pulled pork

Macaroni and Cheese with Pulled pork

I’m sure you’ve tried pulled pork at some point – it’s everywhere these days.

See Also: What Salad Goes With Pulled Pork? 13 Best Salads

And for good reason – it’s delicious!

But have you ever tried it in mac and cheese?

See also  What Cheese Goes with BBQ Sauce? (9 Amazing Cheeses)

It might sound strange, but trust me, it works.

Here are three ways to make pulled pork mac and cheese:

  • Add some pulled pork to your favorite mac and cheese recipe. It’ll add a nice smoky flavor to the dish.
  • Make a white cheddar sauce and mix in some pulled pork. Serve this over elbow macaroni for a twist on the classic dish.
  • For a really indulgent treat, mix pulled pork with macaroni and cheese, then bake it until it’s nice and bubbly. Serve this with a side of coleslaw for a complete meal.

6. Chicken

Macaroni and Cheese with Chicken

Chicken is a lean protein that is packed with nutrients, making it a great choice for those looking to lead a healthier lifestyle.

It is also incredibly versatile and can be used in a variety of dishes.

One of my personal favorite ways to enjoy chicken is by pairing it with macaroni and cheese.

This dish is comfort food at its finest, and adding chicken to it gives it an extra boost of protein.

There are a few different ways you can incorporate chicken into your mac and cheese:

  • One option is to cook the chicken separately and then add it into the pasta once it has been mixed with the sauce.
  • Another option is to cook the chicken directly in the sauce, so that the flavors have a chance to meld together.
  • And lastly, you could shred or chop up cooked chicken and mix it in with the pasta before adding the sauce.

7. Turkey

Macaroni and Cheese with Turkey

Turkey reminds me of chicken, but it’s a little bit more flavorful.

It pairs well with macaroni and cheese because the cheese will help offset the dryness of the turkey.

Here are three ways to make this work:

  • Use a white cheddar cheese sauce with your macaroni and top it with thinly sliced turkey breast.
  • Mix diced turkey into your macaroni and cheese before baking it.
  • Top your macaroni and cheese with some crispy fried turkey bits.

8. Salmon

Macaroni and Cheese with Salmon

Why not try something truly unique and pair salmon with your mac and cheese?

The creamy sauce and cheesy flavors will perfectly complement the fatty, oily goodness of the fish.

Here are three ways to make this work:

  • For a truly decadent dish, try using smoked salmon in your mac and cheese. The smokiness will add another layer of flavor to an already delicious meal.
  • If you want something a little lighter, try using poached salmon in your macaroni and cheese. The delicate flavor of the fish will be a nice contrast to the rich sauce and cheesy pasta.
  • If you’re feeling adventurous, try making a salmon-based sauce for your mac and cheese. This may sound daunting, but it’s actually quite easy – just blend some cooked salmon with some milk or cream, and use that as your base sauce. You can then add in whatever other flavors you like (cheese, of course, is a must!).
See also  10 Cheeses That Go Best with Cold Roast Beef Sandwiches

9. Shrimp

Macaroni and Cheese with Shrimp

Shrimp is easy to work with, not too expensive, and goes well with a variety of flavors.

It also cooks quickly, so it’s a great option for weeknight dinners.

Here are three ways to make shrimp mac and cheese even better:

  • Add some spice with Cajun seasoning or red pepper flakes.
  • Mix in some chopped vegetables like bell peppers, broccoli, or spinach.
  • Top with bread crumbs or crushed crackers for extra crunch.

10. Lobster

Macaroni and Cheese with Lobster

If you’re feeling fancy, then why not add some lobster to your mac and cheese?

See Also: What Salad Goes With Lobster? 15 Best Salads

Lobster goes exceptionally well with cheesy pasta dishes, and adds a touch of luxury.

Here are three ways to make it work:

  • Add some cooked lobster meat to your finished mac and cheese.
  • Use a lobster bisque as the base for your sauce.
  • Top your mac and cheese with some crispy fried lobster pieces.


What Side Meat Goes with Mac and Cheese?

The best side meats to go with mac and cheese are ham, bacon, and sausage. They all have a strong flavor that can stand up to the cheesy goodness of the macaroni and they also add a bit of saltiness to the dish.

What Meat Goes with Lobster Mac and Cheese?

When serving lobster mac and cheese as a main dish, it is best to pair it with a simple protein, such as grilled chicken or shrimp. The lobster and cheese are already very rich, so you don’t want to overwhelm your guests with an overly complicated or heavy meal.

what type of meat goes with mac and cheese

What Meat Goes with Macaroni and Cheese? (10 Best Meats)

I always make sure that my macaroni and cheese is extra creamy and cheesy, but sometimes I like to add some extra protein to the dish by throwing in some meat.
So, what meat goes with macaroni and cheese?
Here are my top 10 picks!
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 5 minutes
Total Time 10 minutes
Course Main Course, Meat
Cuisine American
Servings 4 people
Calories 371 kcal


  • Bacon
  • Sausage
  • Ground beef
  • Ham
  • Pulled pork
  • Chicken
  • Turkey
  • Salmon
  • Shrimp
  • Lobster


  • Pick any of these kinds of meat to pair with your macaroni and cheese recipe.
  • Prepare the rest of your meal.
  • Enjoy in no time!
Keyword What Meat Goes with Macaroni and Cheese