Korean Macaroni and Cheese with Beef, Kimchi, Cheddar

Korean Macaroni and Cheese with Beef, Kimchi, Cheddar

Korean Macaroni and Cheese with Beef, Kimchi, Cheddar

One stellar food pairing is kimchi plus cheddar. So when it came time to create a macaroni and cheese dish for Food Network’s Comfort Food Feast event, I immediately thought of kimchi. Funky tangy kimchi partners with sharp creamy cheddar, ground sirloin, and gochugaru, a Korean red chili powder that is definitely spicy – but also has a balanced fruitiness, slight smokiness and depth of flavor from the sun-dried red peppers. The resulting fusion dish is an irresistible grown-up full-flavored mac and cheese.

Korean Macaroni and Cheese with Beef, Kimchi, Cheddar

Beef & Kimchi Mac ‘n Cheese Recipe

Korean Macaroni and Cheese with Beef, Kimchi, Cheddar


  • 1 lb. macaroni – cooked and drained well
  • 1 lb. ground sirloin – browned, drained, seasoned with salt and pepper
  • 1 T. olive oil
  • 3 garlic cloves – minced
  • 14 oz. cabbage kimchi, including juice – chopped
  • 2 T. mirin (high quality)
  • 1 T. gochugaru (Korean red chili powder)
  • 2 T. flour
  • 2 c. milk – warmed
  • 2 c. sharp cheddar
  • salt to taste

Korean Macaroni and Cheese with Beef, Kimchi, Cheddar


In a large saute pan over medium heat, briefly saute garlic in oil then add kimchi and cook until tender, about 5 minutes. Add mirin and gochugaru – stir to cook another couple of minutes. Sprinkle flour over the kimchi mixture, stir to cook the flour. Slowly add milk, stirring, and bring to a simmer. Cook for another 5 minutes. Add beef then fold in cheese (reserve some cheese to sprinkle over the top). When cheese is melted, add macaroni and stir to coat. Add salt to taste.

Transfer macaroni mixture to a lightly-greased baking dish, top with the reserved cheese and bake at 400° until the cheese has melted and the mixture is bubbly, about 15 -20 minutes.


  • gochugaru
  • chives
  • sesame seeds

Sprinkle garnishes over the top.

Korean Macaroni and Cheese with Beef, Kimchi, Cheddar

Other Fabulous Kimchi & Cheddar Pairings

Kimchi & Cheddar Omelette

Kimchi & Cheddar Omelette (recipe here).

bulgogi panino ~ kimchi, cheddar, ssamjang mayo

Bulgogi Panino with Kimchi, Cheddar, Ssamjang Mayo (recipe here).

 Food Network


Macaroni and Cheese

comfort food feast - food network

Comfort Food Feast is a season long franchise where Food Network editors team up with bloggers to share recipes about everyone’s favorite comfort foods. Be sure to check out our Pinterest Board with over 250,000 followers called Let’s Pull Up A Chair!

Korean Macaroni and Cheese with Beef, Kimchi, Cheddar

And if my Macaroni and Cheese with Beef, Kimchi, Cheddar got you in the mood for all things cheesy, you might enjoy taking a peek at other mac n cheese recipes from some fabulous bloggers below…

The Heritage Cook: Gluten-Free Cream Cheesy Risotto
The Mom 100: One Skillet Carroty Macaroni and Cheese
Daisy at Home: Squasheroni and Cheese
Creative Culinary: Smoked Gouda with Bacon Macaroni and Cheese
The Cultural Dish: New England (Lobster) Mac n’ Cheese
The Wimpy Vegetarian: Curried Cauliflower and Greens Mac ’n Cheese
Napa Farmhouse 1885: Cauliflower and Veggie “Mac” & Cheese
Red or Green: Mac & Cheese with Ham and Jalapenos
Swing Eats: Super Creamy Crab Mac-N-Cheese with Scallions (gluten-free)
Taste with the Eyes: Korean “Mac and Cheese” with Beef, Kimchi, Cheddar
Weelicious: Rice Cooker Mac and Cheese
FN Dish: Food Network Chefs’ Takes on the Gooiest Mac and Cheese Ever

13 thoughts on “Korean Macaroni and Cheese with Beef, Kimchi, Cheddar”

  1. Mac’n’cheese is not really on most Down Under menus and usually ‘knock it back’ as not healthy enough! Trust you to make it so interesting with kimchi [which I love], chilli powder and mirin: a totally different flavour story! Thanks: shall try this 🙂 !

  2. thank you, thank you, thank you for sharing this creation. i am going to type to you what i said on the pin of this recipe… i am left speechless with fork in hand. insert “i am not worthy” emoticon here.


    1. Hi Priscilla – thank you.
      Regarding the Pinterest Board, I am merely a contributor and do not have any management capabilities. Perhaps you can contact Food Network?

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