Mouth-Watering Mac & Cheese Recipe to Satisfy Your Cravings

Attention all foodies and fans of Southern cuisine! Are you in the mood for rich, creamy, and soul-satisfying food? If so, then get ready to treat yourself to the ultimate comfort food: Southern Macaroni & Cheese Recipe!

This baked macaroni cheese recipe is perfect for anyone who loves Southern-style soul food. With its blend of extra-sharp cheddar cheese, milk, and elbow macaroni noodles, this deliciously indulgent recipe is sure to satisfy your cravings and leave you feeling warm and cozy inside.

But don’t just take my word for it. Southern-style mac and cheese has been a staple in the South for generations – passed down from one generation to the next. You may have tried many different variations before, but trust me when I say that this recipe is unique in every way.

I guarantee that every bite of our southern baked macaroni will leave you feeling full of joy and happiness – not to mention craving more.

So step back in time with this old-fashioned recipe inspired by Grandma’s cooking. Get out your apron and grab a mixing spoon because we’re going to take you through each step in creating this iconic dish. Let’s get started!

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

Southern Macaroni & Cheese
Southern Macaroni & Cheese

Do you crave the ultimate comfort food? Look no further than this Southern-Style Macaroni & Cheese recipe!

This soul food baked macaroni and cheese recipe combines the perfect amount of cheese, creamy texture, and southern-style flavor to create an unforgettable dish. The mix of extra-sharp cheddar cheese, Colby cheese, and heavy cream instills each bite with a rich, indulgent taste that will leave you craving more.

In just a few easy steps, you can whip up a dish that will leave you feeling like you’re savoring a home-cooked meal from your grandma’s kitchen. This recipe is versatile enough for any occasion, whether it’s Thanksgiving dinner or simply your weeknight comfort meal. With 5 different types of cheeses and the perfect seasoning mix of cayenne pepper and black pepper, every bite is full of cheesy goodness.

Not only is this mac and cheese recipe easy to make, but it also delivers all-around satisfaction to you and your loved ones. And if that wasn’t enough to convince you, this recipe includes substitutions and variations to cater to any dietary needs such as crispy bacon or even a vegan take on the classic dish.

Don’t miss out on experiencing this ultimate comfort food at its finest. Trust me when I say; once you try this Southern-Style Baked Macaroni & Cheese Recipe, it will become your go-to soul food recipe for years to come!

Ingredient List

 Creamy, dreamy, and oh-so cheesy, this dish is an absolute crowd pleaser!
Creamy, dreamy, and oh-so cheesy, this dish is an absolute crowd pleaser!

Here is a list of bold important information phrase you will need for this Southern Macaroni & Cheese Recipe. You can find most of these ingredients at your local grocery store:


  • 3 cups elbow macaroni, uncooked (1 pound)
  • ½ cup unsalted butter (1 stick), melted
  • ½ cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper
  • 3 cups whole milk (or a mix of whole milk and half-and-half)
  • 1 cup evaporated milk
  • 16 ounces extra-sharp cheddar cheese, shredded (4 cups)
  • 1 cup colby cheese, shredded
  • 1 cup shredded cheese blend (Monterey Jack, Mozzarella, Cheddar, Queso Quesadilla, Asadero)
  • 1 egg
  • 3 cups total of cheese ingredients
    • 4 cups extra-sharp cheddar cheese, shredded (16 ounces)
    • 1 cup colby cheese, shredded
    • 1 cup shredded cheese blend (Monterey Jack, Mozzarella, Cheddar, Queso Quesadilla, Asadero)
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter or margarine
  • ½ cup all-purpose flour
  • ½ tsp kosher salt
  • ¼ tsp black pepper
  • 3 cups milk
    • 2 cups whole milk
    • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 8 ounces extra-sharp cheddar cheese, grated (about 2 cups)
  • 8 ounces sharp cheddar cheese, grated (about 2 cups)
  • 8 ounces Velveeta cheese, cubed

Note: You can use elbow macaroni or shells/cavatappi for the pasta in this recipe.

The Recipe How-To

 Get ready to dig in to the ultimate comfort food with this Southern-style mac and cheese.
Get ready to dig in to the ultimate comfort food with this Southern-style mac and cheese.

Now that we have our southern macaroni and cheese ingredients ready, it’s time to start cooking! Follow these step-by-step instructions to create the ultimate comfort food.

Step 1: Cook the Macaroni

Preheat your oven to 350°F. In a large pot of boiling salted water, cook 16 ounces of elbow macaroni until tender but still firm, which takes around 7-8 minutes. Drain the macaroni and put it back into the pot.

Step 2: Create the Cheese Sauce

To create the cheese sauce, melt 1 stick of unsalted butter in a separate medium-sized pot over low heat. Once melted, add in 3 tablespoons of all-purpose flour and stir constantly for 2 minutes. Gradually pour in 3 cups of whole milk, whisking constantly to avoid lumps. Add in 1 cup of evaporated milk and continue stirring.

You’re going to start out with a roux, which is just a mixture of butter and flour – this will give your mac and cheese sauce its texture all while helping it thicken. Now slowly start adding in various cheeses.

Step 3: Add Various Cheeses

Add in 8 ounces shredded extra sharp cheddar, 1 cup shredded sharp cheddar, and 1 cup shredded colby cheese – mix until everything is melted together completely. Add in half-and-half as needed until you get the consistency you want.

If you like your mac & cheese not very cheesy, you can reduce the amount of sharp cheddar or colby cheese in this recipe.

Step 4: Time to Bake the Southern Mac & Cheese!

Pour the cheese sauce over the cooked macaroni and stir until well-coated. In a well-greased baking dish (a 9″ x 13″ dish works well), pour the mac and cheese mixture in. Smooth it out so everything is even.

In a separate small mixing bowl, mix together 1/2 cup of fresh breadcrumbs with 3 tablespoons of melted butter, then top your macaroni with this mixture.

Bake your southern baked macaroni and cheese for 25-30 minutes or until golden brown and crispy on top. When done, let it cool for a few minutes before serving.

Don’t worry if it doesn’t come out perfect the first time; perfecting southern-style cooking like this requires practice!

Substitutions and Variations

 Homemade mac and cheese has never tasted so good!
Homemade mac and cheese has never tasted so good!

As much as we love classic southern baked macaroni and cheese, sometimes it’s fun to mix things up and try new variations. Here are some ideas for substitutions and variations that can take your macaroni and cheese game to the next level.

1. Add Bacon: Everything is better with bacon, right? Cook up some crispy bacon and crumble it over the top of your baked macaroni and cheese for an extra layer of flavor.

2. Use Velveeta: If you want a super creamy texture, replace some of the shredded cheddar cheese with Velveeta. This classic American cheese is perfect for melting into a smooth sauce.

3. Go Fancy: Want to serve an elevated version of this classic dish? Add some fancy ingredients like truffle oil or lobster meat. Your guests will be impressed.

4. Make it Healthy: Mac and cheese may not be the first thing that comes to mind when you think of healthy food, but there are ways to make it a bit more nutritious. Try substituting regular pasta with whole wheat pasta or adding some veggies like spinach or broccoli.

5. Veganize it: If you’re vegan, don’t worry; you can still enjoy this beloved comfort food! Replace dairy products with plant-based options such as vegan butter, almond milk, nutritional yeast, and vegan shredded ‘cheese.’ The result is a delicious, hearty meal that satisfies cravings without the guilt.

6. Get Creative with Shapes: Though elbow macaroni is traditional for Southern style mac and cheese recipe but there are other pasta shapes that will work great too. Experiment with different types of pasta including cavatappi, shells, or fusilli to add variety to your dish.

Whatever variation you choose, southern-style macaroni and cheese will always be everyone’s favorite comfort food.

Serving and Pairing

 The perfect combination of gooey, melted cheese and al dente macaroni will make your taste buds dance.
The perfect combination of gooey, melted cheese and al dente macaroni will make your taste buds dance.

Y’all ready for a soulful experience? Gather ’round the table because it’s time to dig into this mouthwatering southern-style macaroni and cheese recipe. This cheesy and creamy dish is the ultimate comfort food, and it pairs perfectly with many classic comfort food sides that will have your taste buds dancing Dixie.

One of the best sides to pair with this dish is crispy fried chicken. Whether it’s homemade or from your favorite fast-food restaurant, the combination of savory chicken and creamy macaroni and cheese will leave you feeling like you’ve just won the lottery. Add some collard greens and cornbread on the side, and you’ve got yourself a real southern feast.

If you’re looking for a vegetarian option to pair with this macaroni and cheese, consider serving it with some roasted vegetables. Roasted carrots or brussels sprouts complement the richness of the cheesy goodness without overpowering any flavors. You can also try serving it alongside a fresh green salad topped with cherry tomatoes, cucumbers, and tangy vinaigrette for a perfect balance.

If you want to kick up the heat, serve this dish alongside some hot sauce or jalapenos for an extra spicy pop. And for those fancy occasions, pair this beloved dish with a full-bodied Cabernet Sauvignon or Pinot Noir to highlight its rich flavors.

No matter how you choose to serve it, this baked macaroni and cheese recipe will wow your taste buds every time. So what are y’all waiting for? Grab a fork, pile it high on your plate, and dive into some true southern soul food heaven!

Make-Ahead, Storing and Reheating

 Say goodbye to boring boxed mac and cheese and hello to this homemade, Southern version.
Say goodbye to boring boxed mac and cheese and hello to this homemade, Southern version.

As a busy chef, I know the value of being able to make dishes ahead of time. That’s why I’m excited to share that this Southern Macaroni and Cheese Recipe can be made ahead of time and is easily stored!

Make-ahead: This recipe is ideal for making ahead of time because it takes only 15 minutes to prepare and assemble. All you have to do is follow the recipe instructions until your mac and cheese is ready for the oven. Once you’ve got everything assembled, cover it and place it in the refrigerator for up to 24 hours. Just be sure to leave the final baking process for when you’re ready to serve!

Storing: If you’ve got leftovers after dinner, place the leftover baked macaroni cheese in an airtight container and keep it in the fridge for up to 4 days. Although reheating can sometimes damage the texture or flavor of recipes, this mac and cheese reheats quite well. I find that reheating this macaroni cheese recipe actually enhances its flavor! Here’s how:

Reheating: Preheat your oven or toaster oven before placing your refrigerated baked macaroni cheese inside. Bake it at 350°F, uncovered, for about 30-40 minutes, or until warmed through. Alternatively, you can reheat on low heat on a skillet by adding a splash of milk and stirring occasionally.

So, no need to worry about wasting any leftovers or throwing anything away with this recipe. By having make-ahead options and easy storage abilities, this Southern-style macaroni cheese recipe ensures that each bite will be as fresh as it was when first served!

Tips for Perfect Results

 This luxurious mac and cheese is the ultimate side dish for any meal.
This luxurious mac and cheese is the ultimate side dish for any meal.

Hot bubbling Southern-style macaroni and cheese is the epitome of comfort food. There’s nothing better than gooey, melted cheese mixed with elbow macaroni and baked until golden brown. But with so many variations on this dish, it can be tricky to know how to achieve the perfect result every time. Don’t worry; I’ve been perfecting my recipe for years, and I have some tips to ensure that you create a delicious, cheesy masterpiece. Here are some of my top tips for getting the perfect Southern Macaroni & Cheese:

1. Use high-quality ingredients: The taste of your macaroni and cheese will only be as good as the ingredients you put into it. Invest in quality extra-sharp cheddar cheese, margarine, and evaporated milk to use for this recipe.

2. Precook pasta al dente: Cook the pasta until it’s firm but still has a bit of bite or toothsomeness when you chew it. This helps prevent overcooking when baking.

3. Oven temperature matters: Preheat your oven to 350°F, which is hot enough to make sure everything cooks evenly without drying out your dish.

4. Add extra flavor: African-American folks cook by seasoning well until our tongue tells us we’ve got enough salt in whatever dish we are preparing— add salt and black pepper, Tabasco sauce or cayenne pepper if you want a little heat.

5. Knowledge of baking times: Avoid undercooked pasta by baking your dish for at least 30 minutes or until golden brown on top.

6. Use a mixture of cheeses: A blend of cheddar and Colby Jack cheese adds depth and flavor to this classic recipe while keeping it authentic as southern Mac & Cheese usually made with a combination of cheeses.

7. Let it sit for few minutes after baking: Allow your macaroni and cheese to cool off for about 5 minutes before serving. Otherwise, it may be too runny to handle.

8. Reheating: Be cautious when reheating leftover macaroni and cheese as it tends to dry out in the fridge. If reheating in the microwave, add 1 tablespoon of milk for every cup of leftover mac & cheese. Then cover with plastic wrap and heat on medium power for 1-2 minutes per cup.

By following these straightforward tips, you can create a soul-satisfying Southern-style macaroni and cheese recipe that will have your family and friends asking for seconds (and thirds!).

Bottom Line

: In conclusion, my mouth is watering just thinking about this Southern Macaroni & Cheese Recipe. The combination of extra-sharp cheddar cheese, evaporated milk, and elbow macaroni creates the ultimate comfort food that will satisfy your soul. This recipe is easy to follow with step-by-step instructions and has so many variations that you can choose based on your preferences.

Whether you’re looking for an old-fashioned Southern baked macaroni and cheese recipe or you want to add a fancy twist with some crispy bacon, this recipe has everything you need to make those taste buds dance. Plus, if you’re vegan or gluten-free, there are substitutions available for the cheese and pasta options.

In the end, this Southern Macaroni & Cheese Recipe is a classic dish that has been enjoyed by families for generations. By bringing these flavors into your home, you’ll be experiencing the true essence of soul food baked into every bite. So preheat that oven, grab those ingredients, and get ready for a delicious treat that will leave everyone asking for seconds. Trust me, once you taste it, you’ll never go back!

Southern Macaroni & Cheese

Southern Macaroni & Cheese Recipe

This is a family recipe that can be used everyday or on any special occassion. Simple & inexpensive to make!
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Prep Time 20 mins
Cook Time 30 mins
Calories 378.6 kcal


  • 8 ounces cooked macaroni
  • 1 1/2 cups extra-sharp cheddar cheese (shredded)
  • 1 (6 ounce) can evaporated milk
  • 1/2 cup margarine
  • 1 egg
  • 1 pinch salt
  • 1 pinch sugar


  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  • Drain water off macaroni.
  • Add margarine & 1 cup of cheese; Mix.
  • Add can milk & egg; Mix.
  • Add sugar & salt; Mix.
  • Empty ingredients into casserole dish, and top with remaining cheese.
  • Cook for 30 minutes.
  • Serve hot & enjoy!

Add Your Own Notes


Serving: 126gCalories: 378.6kcalCarbohydrates: 15.3gProtein: 13.6gFat: 29.4gSaturated Fat: 11.2gCholesterol: 78.1mgSodium: 450.1mgFiber: 0.7gSugar: 0.5g
Keyword < 60 Mins, Cheese, High In..., Inexpensive, Weeknight
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