top of page

Blue Kuna's Smokey Detroit-Style Macaroni and Cheese Recipe

This smokey mac and cheese recipe is guaranteed to be a crowd-pleaser, featuring a luxuriously creamy sauce and a delightful cheesy crunch.

blog banner with tasty looking pot of macaroni and cheese

You Asked, He Delivered: The Ultimate Mac and Cheese Recipe!

For years, our inbox has been flooded with requests – "When are you sharing your smokey macaroni and cheese recipe?!" Well, after much gentle nagging (okay, maybe a lot of gentle nagging), Chef Kuna has finally caved! This isn't your average boxed mac and cheese, folks. This recipe boasts a luxuriously creamy sauce, a symphony of melted cheeses, a smokey kick, and the option for a delightful homemade breadcrumb topping. Get ready for a mac and cheese experience that will leave you weak in the knees (and maybe reaching for seconds...we won't judge).

Blue Kuna's Smokey Detroit-Style Macaroni and Cheese Recipe

Yields: 4-6 servings


  • 2 cups elbow macaroni

  • 16 oz sharp cheddar cheese shredded

  • 1 can (10.5 oz) cheddar cheese soup

  • 8 oz Gruyere cheese, freshly grated (about 1 cup)

  • ½ stick of butter

  • ¼ cup all-purpose flour

  • 3 cups of heavy whipping cream

  • 2 tsp granulated garlic

  • 1 tsp granulated onion

  • 3 tsp smoked spanish paprika

  • ½ tsp white pepper

  • Salt and cracked black pepper (to taste)

  • 4 slices of dried bread, broken into pieces (optional)


  1. Fill a large pot with water and bring it to a boil for the macaroni. While that heats up, grab another pot and melt your butter over medium heat.

  2. Whisk in the flour to the melted butter and cook until it thickens slightly (about a minute). This is our roux, the base for our creamy sauce.

  3. Slowly whisk in the heavy whipping cream, bringing it to a simmer. Be patient and keep whisking to avoid lumps.

  4. Add both the shredded cheddar and grated Gruyere cheese, except for a small handful reserved for topping. Stir constantly until everything is melted and smooth.

  5. Add the granulated garlic, onion, smoked paprika, and white pepper. Season with salt and cracked black pepper to your taste.

  6. By now, your macaroni should be cooked according to package instructions. Drain it and set it aside.

  7. Reduce the heat on the cheese sauce and slowly add the cooked macaroni to the sauce. Gently stir it in until everything is evenly coated with the cheese sauce.

  8. Add the can of cheddar cheese soup, along with the remaining shredded sharp cheddar cheese. Continue stirring until everything is incorporated and heated through.

pot of macaroni cooking, whisk in a pot, adding cheese to the pot, adding spices


Immediately portion your mac and cheese into serving bowls.

Top with the reserved grated Gruyere cheese for an extra cheesy finish.

Bonus Crunch (Homestyle Version):

For an extra bit of texture, we can whip up some quick and easy breadcrumbs. In a separate pan, melt a ½ stick of butter and toss in the broken bread pieces. Let them soak for about 15 minutes, then fry them over medium heat until golden brown and crispy. Sprinkle these homemade breadcrumbs over your mac and cheese for a delightful contrast!

macaroni and cheese recipe steps in shorter form to save for reference
Blue Kuna's Smokey Detroit-Style Macaroni and Cheese

How was your mac?

  • 0%It was perfect, thank you!

  • 0%It was okay.

  • 0%The directions weren't clear


bottom of page