Melt-in-your-mouth Southern mac and cheese recipe

Welcome, dear friends, to my Southern Macaroni and Cheese Recipe. This dish is the embodiment of soul food and southern hospitality all rolled into one warm and savory meal. It’s everything you could ever want in a baked macaroni cheese- ooey-gooey cheesy, creamy and indulgent. I consider this dish to be the ultimate comfort food. It has been my family’s go-to recipe for years, passed down from generation to generation as a beloved family treasure.

In the South, we take our macaroni and cheese seriously because it is not just a side dish or a bit part on your plate, it’s the star of the show. The richness of butter and milk combined with tangy cheddar cheese makes it an irresistible treat for all mac and cheese lovers out there. Whether you need a quick meal or something to whip up for a family gathering, this Southern-style baked mac will surely do the trick.

I know you might think making baked macaroni can be time-consuming but stick with me, my dear friend. With these simple instructions, you’ll be able to make a deliciously cheesy macaroni that will knock your socks off. So put your apron on because it’s about to get cheesy!

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

Southern Macaroni and Cheese
Southern Macaroni and Cheese

My darlings, listen up! I’ve got a mouthwatering dish that will take you to southern heaven: Southern Macaroni and Cheese Recipe. Whether you’re serving dinner for family, impressing your dinner guests, or craving some cheesy comfort food, this recipe is a must-try.

First off, let’s start with the cheese. This recipe calls for five cheeses: sharp cheddar, extra sharp cheddar, colby cheese, sour cream, and eggs. These cheeses blend together into a melty concoction of cheesy goodness that will make your heart sing.

But wait, there’s more! This recipe also calls for heavy cream and milk to make it extra creamy and velvety rich. And who can forget about the noodles? We’re using elbow macaroni uncooked for maximum flavor and texture.

But beyond the tantalizing ingredients, this recipe is the ultimate soul food baked macaroni cheese – true southern style with a crispy golden-brown crust on top. The amalgamation of flavor and texture is simply irresistible.

Trust me my dear ones; you’ll love this Southern Macaroni and Cheese Recipe because it’s not just food baked macaroni cheese; it’s your ultimate comfort food that hugs your taste buds tighter than your favourite hoodie on a cold day.

Ingredient List

 Creamy, gooey and irresistible!
Creamy, gooey and irresistible!

To make this Southern Macaroni and Cheese Recipe, you will need the following ingredients:

For the macaroni and cheese:

  • 3 cups elbow macaroni, uncooked
  • 8 ounces (2 cups) sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
  • 8 ounces (2 cups) colby cheese, shredded
  • 4 ounces (1 cup) extra sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
  • 4 ounces (1 cup) Monterey Jack cheese, shredded
  • 4 ounces (1 cup) mozzarella cheese, shredded

For the sauce:

  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 3 cups milk
  • 2 cups half-and-half
  • 1 can (12 ounces) evaporated milk
  • 1/3 cup sour cream
  • 3 large eggs, beaten
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper

For the topping:

  • 8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted
  • 2 cups panko bread crumbs

All of these ingredients can easily be found at your local grocery store. Just be sure to check that you have everything you need before starting with the recipe!

The Recipe How-To

 The ultimate comfort food, Southern-style.
The ultimate comfort food, Southern-style.

Now that you have gathered all your ingredients, let’s get started on making this delicious Southern Baked Macaroni and Cheese. Follow these simple steps to achieve a rich and creamy macaroni cheese that will leave everyone talking for days.

Step 1: Preheat the Oven and Prepare the Macaroni

Preheat your oven to 350°F (180°C). Then, cook 16 ounces (450g) of uncooked elbow macaroni in salted boiling water until tender. Once ready, drain the water off and set aside for later use.

Step 2: Make the Roux

Melt 8 tablespoons (115g) of unsalted butter in a large heavy saucepan over medium heat. Once melted, add 6 tablespoons of all-purpose flour to form a roux. Stir continuously for about 2 minutes, or until the roux turns slightly golden in color.

Step 3: Add Milk and Cream

Gradually add 3 cups (720ml) of milk, whisking continuously to help dissolve the roux. Then add 1 cup (240ml) of heavy cream and stir gently until everything is well combined.

Step 4: Add Cheese

Slowly sprinkle in 4 cups (450g) of shredded cheddar cheese while stirring constantly to ensure that it melts properly. Mix well until all clumps have dissolved, then add 1 cup (115g) of shredded colby jack cheese.

Step 5: Seasoning and Eggs

Next, season with 1 teaspoon kosher salt, ½ teaspoon black pepper, and a pinch of cayenne pepper. Beat in 3 eggs and mix thoroughly.

Step 6: Bake the Macaroni Cheese

Add cooked elbow macaroni into a baking dish and stir in your cheese sauce until fully mixed. Sprinkle the top of the macaroni cheese mixture with 1 cup (115g) of extra shredded sharp cheddar cheese. Bake uncovered for about 25-30 minutes or until it becomes bubbly and golden brown on top.

Once you’re done baking, remove the Southern Baked Macaroni and Cheese from the oven and leave it to cool before serving. Enjoy your Ultimate Comfort Food dish that will keep you craving for more!

Substitutions and Variations

 Get your cheese on with this mouthwatering mac n' cheese.
Get your cheese on with this mouthwatering mac n’ cheese.

My darlings, we all have our own unique tastes and preferences. So, if you want to switch things up a bit for this Southern macaroni and cheese recipe, I’ve got a few variations for you to try.

Firstly, if you don’t have cheddar cheese on hand or if it’s not your preference, feel free to substitute it with any cheese of your liking. Colby jack or pepper jack work great as substitutes, and adding goat cheese or feta can give this dish an extra tangy kick.

For my vegan friends out there, you can still satisfy your cravings with some plant-based substitutions. You can use vegan butter instead of regular butter, almond milk instead of dairy milk and nutritional yeast instead of the cheddar cheese. Trust me, with these substitutions, you won’t even miss the dairy.

If you’re feeling adventurous and want to add some extra depth to your mac and cheese recipe, try adding some old bay seasoning, diced jalapenos or caramelized onions into the mix. For those who love more meat in their meals, you can add smoked bacon bits or shredded chicken for that extra protein punch.

Lastly, instead of baking it in one large dish why not try baking it in individual ramekins/tops of small mason jars? It’ll leave for an added flair during serving.

Remember my loves, cooking is not just science but art as well – don’t be afraid to experiment and make your own variation of Southern baked mac and cheese that suits your taste buds.

Serving and Pairing

 Straight from my Southern kitchen to yours.
Straight from my Southern kitchen to yours.

Serving southern-style baked macaroni and cheese is an indulging experience that demands your full attention. This recipe is an excellent side dish for a barbecue party, family gatherings, or any event where you want to share your love for soul food.

Serve it hot from the baking dish straight to your table. The comforting aroma and the sight of melted cheddar cheese complementing the creamy elbow macaroni will make your mouth water in anticipation.

Pair this southern-style baked macaroni and cheese with hearty meats like fried chicken or smoked brisket to create a harmonious balance of flavors. You can also serve it with a light salad made with greens, apples, pecans, and lemon dressing to add texture and acidity to the dish.

For beverages, choose a full-bodied red wine like Merlot or Cabernet Sauvignon that can stand up to the richness of this ultimate comfort food. If you prefer non-alcoholic drinks, sweet tea, or lemonade will do the trick.

The versatility of this recipe makes it easy to customize according to your personal preference. Add extra black pepper or cayenne pepper for spicier flavors or use whole-grain elbow macaroni for a healthier twist. With a little creativity, you can turn this Southern Baked Macaroni and Cheese into your signature soulful masterpiece.

Make-Ahead, Storing and Reheating

 A family favorite that hits all the right notes.
A family favorite that hits all the right notes.

Now, let’s talk about how to make the most out of your scrumptious Southern Baked Macaroni and Cheese. This divine dish is perfect for making ahead, where it can be stored in the fridge for up to two days until ready to bake.

To make-ahead: Prepare the recipe as directed, but bake for only 15-20 minutes. Let cool to room temperature and place in an airtight container. Store it in the refrigerator until ready to serve. Before serving, allow the mac and cheese to sit at room temperature for 30 minutes, then bake according to directions.

To store: If you are planning on storing leftover Southern Baked Macaroni and Cheese, be aware that it will dry out in the fridge. To combat this issue, cover the dish tightly with foil or plastic wrap before placing it in the refrigerator. For optimal texture and flavor, consume within three days.

To reheat: When it comes time to reheat your leftovers, there are several methods you can use. If you want to crisp up the top layer once again, preheat your oven to 350°F and bake for 10-15 minutes, or until heated through. Alternatively, if you’re short on time, you can reheat portions in the microwave. Place a serving size in a microwave-safe container, cover with a damp paper towel, and microwave on high for 60-90 seconds.

Remember that reheating may change the texture of the macaroni and cheese slightly, but as long as you take care not overcook it, you’ll enjoy a delicious meal that’s just as enjoyable as when it was freshly baked. Now sit back and savor every bite of this cheesy masterpiece!

Tips for Perfect Results

 Perfect for potlucks, cookouts and weeknight dinners.
Perfect for potlucks, cookouts and weeknight dinners.

As a chef specializing in southern-style cuisine, I can assure you that the perfect Southern Baked Macaroni and Cheese is an art form. Although everyone has their own spin on this soulful dish, there are a few tricks to ensure your Southern mac and cheese is the best it can be. Here are some tips that will help you achieve cheesy perfection every time.

1. Use Extra Sharp Cheddar Cheese

Extra sharp cheddar cheese is the secret weapon for tasty mac & cheese. It has a stronger flavor than regular cheddar, which makes it ideal for this recipe.

2. Grate Your Own Cheese

Grating your own cheese makes all the difference here as it melts creamier than pre-shredded varieties due to lack of added ingredients to reduce clumping.

3. Use Heavy Cream and Butter

For ultra-creamy texture and intense flavor, use heavy cream along with butter in your macaroni and cheese recipe.

4. Use Kosher Salt

Add a generous pinch of kosher salt to your macaroni water before boiling it for maximum flavor.

5. Cook Pasta Al Dente

It’s important not to overcook the pasta as it will turn mushy when combined with the creamy cheese sauce. Cook it al dente instead!

6. Evaporated Milk & Eggs

Using evaporated milk and eggs will give your macaroni and cheese casserole a soft, custardy texture instead of being dry or having a grainy consistency.

7. Black Pepper Sprinkle

Adding black pepper to your dish will give it a warm, slightly spicy flavor that is perfectly balanced with the creaminess of the cheddar cheese.

8. Mix Up The Cheeses

Mixing up five different types of cheeses in your mac & cheese – sharp cheddar, Colby, pepper jack, mozzarella, and Parmesan – gives you an unforgettable cheesy result!

In conclusion, Southern Baked Macaroni and Cheese is a versatile dish loved by many, including myself. By following these tips for perfect results, you’ll create an ultimate comfort food that will wow your taste buds every time.

Bottom Line


As a chef specializing in southern-style cuisine, I can attest that there’s nothing quite as satisfying and comforting as a good Southern Macaroni and Cheese Recipe. The perfect blend of noodles, cheese, and spices will make you want to come back for seconds (or even thirds). With this recipe, you’re sure to impress your guests and give them a taste of the soulful goodness that is Southern cuisine.

So why not awaken your senses and whip up some Southern-style mac and cheese today? This recipe will not only become a crowd-pleaser but also an absolute favorite of yours at home. Whether it’s for dinner with family or special occasions with friends, this dish is sure to impress every time.

With the right ingredients and following the steps given in this article, you can create your own version of the ultimate comfort food. So preheat your oven, gather your ingredients, and let’s get started on making the best Southern Macaroni and Cheese recipe!

Southern Macaroni and Cheese

Southern Macaroni and Cheese Recipe

This recipe came from a little lady from the south named Paula. This dish has spoiled my family so much that they no longer prefer the box macaroni and cheese. It's definitely a keeper in our home. I hope you enjoy it as much as we do.
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Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 45 mins
Course Side Dish
Cuisine Southern American
Calories 353.4 kcal


  • 4 cups cooked elbow macaroni
  • 2 cups cheddar cheese
  • 3 eggs (beaten)
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 4 tablespoons butter (sliced)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper


  • Drain macaroni.
  • While hot add 1 1/2 cup cheese.
  • In a separate container mix all other ingredients.
  • Pour macaroni and cheese in a casserole dish.
  • Pour all remaining ingredients over mac and cheese; give a good stir.
  • Top with cheddar cheese to your liking.
  • Bake for about 30 to 40 minutes in a 350° oven.
  • Enjoy!

Add Your Own Notes


Serving: 135gCalories: 353.4kcalCarbohydrates: 24.2gProtein: 15gFat: 21.8gSaturated Fat: 12.9gCholesterol: 134.8mgSodium: 411.2mgFiber: 1.3gSugar: 0.7g
Keyword < 60 Mins, Cheese, Kid-Friendly, Oven
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