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Kimchi Mac and Cheese

This gooey macaroni cheese is spicy and tangy thanks to kimchi. It's rich, comforting and easy to make - perfect for family dinners!
Prep Time15 minutes
Cook Time4 hours
Total Time4 hours 15 minutes
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American, korean
Keyword: korean mac and cheese, macaroni cheese
Servings: 4 people
Calories: 731kcal
Author: Jovita | Yummy Addiction


For the topping:

  • 10 oz (280g) kimchi , drained and cut into 1/2 inch (1 cm) pieces
  • 3 slices bacon
  • 1/2 tbsp gochugaru , (korean red chilli powder), or regular chilli powder
  • 1 small clove garlic
  • 1/2 cup (60g) fresh breadcrumbs

For the cheese sauce:

  • 2 tbsp (30g) butter
  • 2 tbsp (20g) all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup whole milk , plus extra if needed
  • 1 cup grated cheddar cheese
  • 1 pinch chilli powder
  • 1 pinch salt
  • 1 small clove garlic , minced

For the macaroni:

  • 11.5 oz (320g) whole-wheat elbow macaroni
  • 2 tbsp kimchi
  • 2 chives , finely sliced


For the topping:

  • Preheat the oven to 200°F (100°C). Arrange the kimchi pieces in one layer on a baking sheet. Put in the oven leave for 4-6 hours, or until dried out and crispy. Alternatively, you can do that in a dehydrator, if you have one.
  • Fry the bacon in a large skillet over medium heat until crisp. Transfer to a blender along with the dried kimchi, gochugaru or chili powder, and garlic. Pulse until all the ingredients are finely chopped.
  • Return the skillet to the heat, add the breadcrumbs and toast, stirring, for 4–5 minutes until the breadcrumbs are completely dry. Mix with the other topping ingredients and set aside.

For the cheese sauce:

  • Melt the butter in a skillet over medium heat. Add the flour and whisk together until you get a smooth paste (roux). Continue to cook, stirring, for 1-2 minutes. Then gradually add the milk, stirring constantly with a whisk, so it doesn’t become lumpy.
  • Stir in the grated cheddar and add the remaining ingredients. Cook for 2–3 minutes more, stirring, until all the cheese is melted. If the sauce is too thick to your liking, add a little more milk to thin it out.

For the macaroni:

  • Meanwhile, bring a pot of salted water to a boil, add the elbow macaroni, and cook according to the package instructions until al dente. Drain and return to the pot. Mix in the cheese sauce, kimchi, and chives. Serve topped with a handful of the crispy topping.


Adapted from “K-Food: Korean Home Cooking and Street Food” by Da-Hae West and Gareth West.


Serving: 1g | Calories: 731kcal | Carbohydrates: 90.7g | Protein: 28.9g | Fat: 31g | Cholesterol: 67.9mg | Sodium: 942.5mg | Sugar: 7.8g