On St. Patrick’s Day, everything's better with a little Guinness… including Mac and Cheese! Ever since I first visited Ireland, Irish culture has influenced my cooking style and even my design aesthetic. I have been incorporating Irish foods and traditions into my menus ever since—it makes me feel more connected to my Irish roots. That trip to Ireland even inspired my charming ceramicware and signature kitchen collection!

If you know me, you know I love a good mac and cheese. My Guinness Mac and Cheese recipe is a nod to my Irish heritage and my go-to recipe when St. Patrick’s Day rolls around. In addition to that delicious Guinness flavor, this recipe is loaded with Irish cheddar cheese. The rich, dark, Guinness stout and the bright, tangy cheddar give this cheesy treat a complexity of flavor that takes mac and cheese to a whole new level! If you feel like going all out, my Capital Grille-inspired Lobster Mac and Cheese recipe is another fantastic choice.

Did you know? Interesting Guinness Facts 

The official color of Guinness isn’t black, it’s actually ruby red! This color comes from the roasted barley that is used to make the beer. Most barley is malted when making beer, but not Guinness! 

In 1759 Arthur Guinness signed a whopping 9,000 year lease on the property in Dublin city that houses the Guinness brewery, putting down an initial payment of 100 pounds. The Guinness brand and brewery have since become beloved Irish institutions, and the same long-standing lease is still honored today! 

The country that drinks the most Guinness is actually England. The Irish come in at a close second, with Nigeria and the U.S. in 3rd and 4th place.

The famous Guinness Book of World Records was started in 1954 by the head of the Guinness company at the time. He commissioned a reference book of hard-to-prove facts to settle pub disputes—it was a dispute between him and some hunting buddies that prompted the book’s creation! 

The first edition of the book was given for free to bars to settle fights amongst the customers.

What’s so special about Irish cheddar?

Irish cheddar is a light and flavorful cheddar cheese that is made from Irish milk. It is white because there is no orange coloring added to the cheese. I love its sharp and tangy flavor—Irish cheddar is special because it’s made with simple, high quality, natural ingredients. You can find both aged and fresh varieties, but if you like more tang, try an aged cheddar.

Guinness Mac and Cheese Recipe with Irish Cheddar Cheese

Guinness Mac and Cheese Recipe with Irish Cheddar Cheese

Everything’s better with a little Guinness, including mac and cheese. My Guinness Mac and Cheese recipe is the ultimate comfort food and believe me when I say that it’s also one of the most highly anticipated foods at my house on St. Patrick’s Day each year!


  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 3/4 cup breadcrumbs
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh Italian parsley
Mac and Cheese Ingredients
  • 2¼ teaspoons salt, divided
  • 1 pound elbow macaroni
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • ⅔ cup Guinness stout
  • 1 ½ cups whole milk
  • ½ cup half and half
  • A few grinds of black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 3 ounces cream cheese, cut into pieces
  • 3 ¾ cups grated Irish cheddar cheese


  1. Begin by making the topping: In a medium skillet, melt 1 tablespoon of butter. Add the minced garlic and cook, stirring constantly, for 30 seconds. Do not brown the garlic! Add the breadcrumbs and cook on low heat until the crumbs turn a golden brown. Next, add the Italian parsley. That’s it—transfer the topping from the skillet into a bowl and set aside.
  2. Bring a pot of water to a boil. When the water is boiling, add 2 teaspoons of salt. Cook the elbow macaroni until it’s al dente. Remove one cup of the pasta water* and set it aside (you’ll need this later when you’re making the sauce). Drain and rinse the pasta, then set it aside while you prepare the sauce.
  3. In a large saucepan over medium heat, melt 2 tablespoons of butter. Once the butter is melted, whisk in the flour. Whisk for one minute to create a roux for the sauce. Continue to whisk as you slowly add the Guinness, followed by the milk, half and half, remaining ¼ teaspoon salt, black pepper, and Dijon mustard.
  4. Bring to a simmer and cook, whisking now and then, until the sauce thickens. This will take about 2 minutes.
  5. Add the cream cheese and 2½ cups of the grated cheese. Stir the mixture in one direction until the cheeses are incorporated. Stirring in one direction will help keep the sauce smooth and avoid having unincorporated lumps of cheese.
  6. Add the cooked pasta followed by the remaining 1¼ cups grated cheese. Stir gently in one direction until the remaining cheese is melted and the pasta is heated through. Since the mac and cheese does not go in the oven, it is essential that the pasta gets reheated in the sauce. If the sauce seems too thick, drizzle in a little bit of the reserved pasta water*.
  7. Place the hot mac and cheese in a serving bowl and sprinkle on the topping. It’s time to dig in!


* Why reserved pasta water and not another liquid? The salty, starchy water not only adds flavor, but it helps glue the pasta and sauce together. Using the reserved pasta water instead of milk (or anything else) will also help thicken the sauce naturally. Delicious!

Did you make this recipe?
Tag @blameitonbiscotti on instagram and hashtag it # MacandCheese
February 23, 2023 — Mary DiSomma