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Timber 2 Table - Smoked Crawfish and Bacon Mac and Cheese

Save some tails from your next crawfish boil for this creamy mac and cheese that everyone will love

Smoked Crawfish and Bacon Mac and Cheese

30 Min

Prep Time

60 Min

Cook Time





The 2024 crawfish season started rough. Last summer saw extreme drought and heat hit Louisiana, the source of the vast majority of U.S.-produced crawfish. Crawfish ponds and natural swamps dwindled, the ground turned rock hard, and many feared an entire crop failure for this spring’s crawfish supply.

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With crawfish prices moderating, it’s time for a boil.

Early prices reflected the scarcity, with crawfish going for two to three times the normal cost for early-season mudbugs. Luckily, the crawfish have made a comeback and prices are coming down to near normal, keeping the summer crawfish boil tradition alive and well.

If you host or attend a boil, save about a pound of tail meat and use them for this mac and cheese recipe. It’s creamy, cheesy, gooey, and oh so good when packed with spicy crawfish and smoky bacon. Even better, we finished it on our Myron Mixon pellet smoker for extra wood-fired flavor.

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This mac and cheese is chock-full of spicy crawfish tails and smoky bacon.

The recipe uses four types of cheese: sharp cheddar, Gruyere, cream cheese, and Parmesan. I go with Gruyere because it melts better than just about any other cheese out there and has a rich, nutty flavor.

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Use Gruyere for extra creaminess and flavor if you can find it at your local market.

If you can’t find it at your local market, go with shredded provolone or Gouda instead.

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You can’t go wrong with a recipe containing four types of cheese.

Start by boiling 1 pound of pasta in salted water until it is just soft. Don’t overcook the macaroni, as it will continue to cook on the grill after mixing with the cheese sauce. Cook the bacon until crisp, then reserve.

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Crisp the bacon and reserve it for later in the recipe.

While the noodles boil, melt the butter in a large pot. When it starts to bubble, add the garlic and cook for 2-3 minutes. Stir in the flour and continue cooking another 3-4 minutes or until the flour starts to take on a light blond color.

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Stir the flour into the butter and garlic to form a roux.

Slowly pour in the milk and half-and-half and stir well. Bring the mixture to a boil until it starts to thicken. Add 2 cups of cheddar cheese, 2 cups of Gruyere, and the 4 ounces of cream cheese, cut into small chunks. Slowly stir until the cheese melts into the sauce. Return the noodles to the pan and mix.

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Make the cheese sauce, then add the cooked macaroni.

Add the Cajun seasoning, dry mustard, salt, and pepper. Fold in the cooked crawfish tails and bacon.

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Gently fold in the bacon and crawfish tails.

Turn the pasta and sauce out into a 13-by-9-inch aluminum grill pan. Top evenly with the remaining cup of shredded cheddar and the grated Parmesan cheese.

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Turn the macaroni out into an aluminum pan, then top with Parmesan and remaining cheddar cheese.

Place the pan on a grill or smoker preheated to 325 degrees. Cook, uncovered, for 30-40 minutes or until the top is golden brown.

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Grill until the top is golden brown and the sauce is hot and bubbly.

Serve as a main dish or as a hearty side.


1 pound peeled Louisiana crawfish tails

1 pound elbow macaroni

8 ounces bacon, diced

½ stick butter

3 cloves garlic, minced

3 tablespoons flour

2 ½ cups whole milk

2 cups half-and-half

3 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese, divided

2 cups shredded Gruyere cheese

4 ounces cream cheese

4 ounces grated Parmesan cheese

1 teaspoon Cajun seasoning

1 teaspoon dry mustard

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon black pepper

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