Kimchi Mac and Cheese: A perfect baked, cheesy macaroni and cheese with bacon and spicy kimchi from Modern Comfort Cooking! |
Easy Eats

Kimchi Mac and Cheese

One of my favorite things about being a food blogger over the last decade isn’t the food, believe it or not. It’s getting to meet people that you’ve maybe known on the Internet for years, but never met IRL (In real life) as they say.

Last week I got to go to a cookbook launch party for one of my longtime blogger friends, Lauren Grier, who writes Climbing Grier Mountain. It’s a beautiful site and Lauren’s recipes are always wacky delicious.

Her new cookbook, MODERN COMFORT COOKING, is everything you think it would be from that title. It has the kind of recipes that make you want to close your doors and do nothing but cook. I love the flavor combos she introduces in the book: Thai Chicken & Rice Casserole, Korean Pulled Pork Lasagna, Bahn Mi Breakfast Tacos… these are recipes I need.

But, out of all of them, the Kimchi Mac and Cheese called to me and had to be made the very next day. So that’s what I did! You can make it too.

You can also win one of two SIGNED copies of Modern Comfort Cooking at the end of this post!

Serves 6.
Prep Time
Cook Time
Total Time

Just a moment please...


Kimchi Mac and Cheese

A perfect baked, cheesy macaroni and cheese with bacon and spicy kimchi.


5 slices bacon, baked
1/2 pound elbow macaroni
5 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
2 1/4 cups whole milk
2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon ground pepper
2/3 cup chopped kimchi
3/4 cup panko breadcrumbs
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
Print Recipe  


  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. On a baking sheet lined with foil or parchment paper, bake bacon until crispy, 12-15 minutes. Remove bacon and let it drain a few paper towels. Roughly chop.
  2. Cook pasta according to package. Drain and set aside.
  3. In a large pot, melt 4 tablespoons of the unsalted butter and whisk in flour over medium-high heat. Cook for a few minutes until the mixture turns a light tan color, then gradually add milk and whisk until sauce thickens, maybe five minutes.
  4. Add cheddar cheese and whisk until smooth. Then add salt, pepper, bacon, kimchi, and cooked macaroni. Stir together well.
  5. Melt remaining butter and stir together with breadcrumbs and cayenne pepper.
  6. Transfer macaroni mixture to a 13×9-inch baking dish and top with buttered panko. Bake mixture until golden brown, 10-15 minutes. Serve while hot.
Recipe from Modern Comfort Cooking.

Kimchi Mac and Cheese

Kimchi is one of my favorite things in the world. I eat it straight out of the jar. Grab a pretty spicy one for this mac and cheese. The slightly sour, spiciness really balances well with the creamy cheese.

Kimchi Mac and Cheese

The stuff.

For a topper on this baked mac and cheese, toss together some melted butter, panko bread crumbs, and cayenne pepper. Easy!

Kimchi Mac and Cheese


The basics of this recipe will be familiar to you if you’ve ever made homemade mac and cheese. Make a roux with butter and flour and then whisk in whole milk. Then add the cheese, crumbled bacon, and diced kimchi. The recipe called for 2/3 cup of kimchi but I upped it to a cup because I can’t help myself.

Kimchi Mac and Cheese

Lots of goodness.

Then stir in the cooked macaroni and you’re ready to go.

Lauren’s recipe says to bake it so that’s what I did, but personally I thought the mac and cheese was very delicious just out of the pot and would save you a baking step. You can eat it RIGHT NOW though if you want.

Kimchi Mac and Cheese

Pretty good like this!

To bake it though, transfer it to a baking dish and top it with the panko topping. It will only need about 15 minutes in a 400 degree oven.

Kimchi Mac and Cheese

Ready to bake.

It has absolutely everything I want in a mac and cheese. Crispy toppings (plus crispy bacon), spicy kimchi, and super creamy sauce. It says it serves six, but at my house it served like three.

Kimchi Mac and Cheese: A perfect baked, cheesy macaroni and cheese with bacon and spicy kimchi from Modern Comfort Cooking! |

Modern Comfort Cooking Giveaway!

I’m giving away two copies of Modern Comfort Cooking signed by Lauren! Open to US readers only for shipping purposes! Just use the below widget to enter or leave a comment on this post!

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16 comments on “Kimchi Mac and Cheese

  1. I’ve been known to add grilled onions, crumbled cooked ground meat, and add caraway seeds to the topping — it’s like a burger/patty melt sandwich.

  2. This is going to sound so retro, but I’ve always loved adding canned tuna, chopped tomatoes, and peas to mac and cheese! I started doing it when my son was a toddler, and I wanted to make the mac and cheese more of a one-pot-meal. Now I’m thinking about adding kimchi too!

  3. I like to top mine with crushed potato chips (instead of bread crumbs) and add in anything either smoked or spicy!

  4. Always up for adding different things to mac and cheese. But kimchi?! Hmmm… I guess it’s tied with bacon, so can’t be THAT bad :)

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