Southern Style Mac N Cheese: Comfort Food at its Best

Welcome to my Southern Style Mac N Cheese recipe article. If you’re a fan of soul food and cheesy goodness, you’ve come to the right place. In this article, I will share with you my delicious and easy-to-follow recipe for baked macaroni cheese that is perfect for any occasion.

Growing up in the south, mac and cheese were my go-to comfort food, especially on cold winter days. I have always loved the creamy texture of macaroni combined with the sharpness of cheddar cheese. With this southern-style recipe, I have added a few extra ingredients to create a unique flavor that will take your taste buds on an unforgettable journey.

This mac n cheese is the perfect side dish for BBQs or family gatherings, but it is also hearty enough to be served as a main course. Whether you are hosting a party or looking for a comforting meal during the fall season, this southern-style mac n cheese recipe is sure to become your new favorite.

So get ready to preheat your oven and grab your apron because it’s time to bring some southern charm to your kitchen with this scrumptious baked macaroni cheese recipe.

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

Southern Style Mac N Cheese
Southern Style Mac N Cheese

Listen up, y’all! If you’re a fan of soul food or just some good ol’ comfort food, then you’ll absolutely fall head over heels for this southern-style mac n cheese recipe. I’m telling you, this dish is the real deal – it’s creamy, cheesy, and downright delicious.

What makes this recipe so special? First of all, we’re using a blend of sharp cheddar cheese and Monterey Jack for an extra kick of flavor. And if that’s not enough cheese for you (because let’s face it, there’s no such thing as too much cheese), we’re also adding low-fat sour cream, low-fat cottage cheese, and even heavy whipping cream. Trust me when I say that this mac n cheese is not for the faint of heart.

But don’t worry about the calorie count – we’ve got you covered with some lower-fat options. The recipe uses low-fat cheddar cheese, sour cream, and cottage cheese to maintain that rich and tangy flavor without overloading on calories.

And let’s not forget the elbow macaroni – the quintessential shape for any mac n cheese connoisseur. We’re baking it to perfection in a buttered baking dish with just the right amount of seasoning (hint: salt and pepper) for that perfect southern-style taste.

So if you’re looking for something to satisfy your cravings or impress your guests at your next BBQ or potluck dinner, then look no further. This baked mac n cheese recipe has got everything you need to make a dish that will have everyone coming back for seconds – and thirds (because who can resist?).

Ingredient List

 Crispy bacon and creamy mac n cheese, yes please!
Crispy bacon and creamy mac n cheese, yes please!

Before making a Southern baked macaroni and cheese recipe, ensure that you have all the necessary ingredients in stock. Below is a comprehensive list of everything you will need for this soul food baked macaroni and cheese recipe.

Dry Ingredients:

  • 1 pound elbow macaroni
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper

Wet Ingredients:

  • 3 cups whole milk
  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 1 can (12 oz) evaporated milk
  • 2 large eggs, beaten
  • 2 tsp minced garlic
  • 2 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup low-fat sour cream
  • 1/2 cup low-fat cottage cheese

Cheese Ingredients:

  • 16 oz sharp cheddar cheese, grated
  • 8 oz extra sharp cheddar cheese, grated
  • 4 oz Monterey Jack cheese, grated

In total, these ingredients produce an incredible southern-style mac and cheese dish!

The Recipe How-To

 Comfort food at its finest: Southern-style mac n cheese.
Comfort food at its finest: Southern-style mac n cheese.

Now that we have gathered all the ingredients and prepared our kitchen, it’s time to start cooking. In this section, I’ll guide you through the step-by-step process of making this Southern Style Mac N Cheese Recipe. You don’t need to be a culinary expert to make this dish. Just follow my instructions carefully and you’ll have a soul-satisfying dish in no time.

Step 1: Cook the macaroni

The first step in making this recipe is to cook the macaroni. Take a large pot of water and bring it to a boil over high heat. Once the water starts boiling, add kosher salt to taste. Now, add 1 pound of elbow macaroni to the boiling water and cook for about 8-10 minutes or until tender but still firm to the bite. While the macaroni is cooking, preheat your oven to 350 degrees.

Step 2: Prepare the cheese sauce mixture

Now let’s make the cheese sauce mixture that will give our dish its delicious flavor. Take a large bowl and whisk together 1 ½ cups whole milk, 1 cup of heavy whipping cream, and 1 can (12oz) of evaporated milk until well combined. Then add 2 tsp of onion powder, 2 tbsp of all-purpose flour, salt, and pepper according to your taste. Mix well until everything is combined.

Step 3: Add cheese

The real star of this dish is cheese! Add 8 oz of shredded extra sharp cheddar cheese, 8 oz of shredded Monterey Jack cheese, and 4 oz of shredded low-fat cheddar cheese into the mixture made in step two. Stir well until all of the cheese is melted and sauce has thickened slightly.

Step 4: Combine Pasta and Sauce

Once your macaroni is cooked, drain it and add it to the bowl with cheese sauce. Stir well, so that the macaroni is evenly coated with the sauce mixture. Now, butter your baking dish and pour this mixture into it.

Step 5: Bake and Enjoy

Bake the Southern Style Mac N Cheese on the middle rack of your preheated oven for 25-30 minutes or until golden brown and bubbly. Take it out of the oven and let it cool for a few minutes before serving. This dish will be a hit with your family and friends, enjoy!

Substitutions and Variations

 A bowlful of heaven: Southern-style mac n cheese.
A bowlful of heaven: Southern-style mac n cheese.

I usually stick to the recipe as it gives me the best result, but sometimes I mix it up just to keep things interesting. Here are a few substitutions and variations that you can use if you want to try something new.

– Milk: You can use different types of milk like skim or almond milk instead of whole milk. However, the texture and taste may differ.

– Cheese: While sharp cheddar is a popular choice, you can experiment with other types like Monterey Jack, Colby, or Gouda.

– Low-fat ingredients: If you’re watching your calorie intake, you can use low-fat sour cream, cottage cheese or cheddar cheese. However, note that the texture of the dish might be different.

– Mix-ins: You can add in some crumbled bacon, sautéed onions, garlic powder or cayenne pepper for an extra kick.

These are just a few ideas to get you started. Don’t be afraid to try out new ingredients or flavor combinations until you find something that suits your taste buds. With this Southern style mac n cheese recipe, the possibilities are endless!

Serving and Pairing

 The cheesier, the better - Southern-style mac n cheese perfection.
The cheesier, the better – Southern-style mac n cheese perfection.

Once you have finished preparing your Southern Style Mac N Cheese, it’s time to serve it up and enjoy its delicious, soul-warming flavors. This dish can be served as a standalone side or even as a main dish.

Pairing suggestions include crispy fried chicken or garlic roasted green beans for some added texture and flavor contrasts. A light and crisp garden salad with a tangy vinaigrette will balance out the creaminess of the mac and cheese perfectly. If you want to keep it simple, try pairing it with baked ham or sautéed shrimp.

To add some more southern flair to your meal, pair your mac and cheese with a cold glass of sweet tea or freshly squeezed lemonade. If you prefer alcoholic beverages with your meal, a cold beer or fruity cocktail will complement the dish nicely.

Remember to serve your mac and cheese hot, straight from the oven, so that the flavors are at their best. Leftovers can be reheated in the oven or microwave, but for best results, always store them in the fridge in an airtight container for up to three days.

Overall, Southern Style Mac N Cheese is a soulful dish that will satisfy every cheese-lover’s cravings. Serve it up with some delicious sides and beverages and watch as it becomes the star of your next family gathering or dinner party.

Make-Ahead, Storing and Reheating

 Indulge in the ultimate comfort food with this Southern classic.
Indulge in the ultimate comfort food with this Southern classic.

Sometimes it’s nice to be able to prepare Southern Style Mac N Cheese ahead of time, this allows you to free up your time for other preparations or to indulge in quality time with your loved ones. Thankfully, this recipe is ideal for make-ahead purposes. All you need is to prepare the dish as instructed, cover tightly and refrigerate. You can then put it into the oven when ready to bake.

To warm-up leftovers of this soul food baked macaroni, place in a preheated oven at 350 degrees for 10-15 minutes or until heated through. However, if the baked macaroni has been refrigerated for some time it may tend to become a little dry during reheating. In this case, add a splash of milk and stir gently before re-heating. Avoid microwaving leftovers as it can alter the texture and flavor of the dish.

Storing leftovers of Southern Style Mac N Cheese is also a breeze. Simply transfer the leftover macaroni cheese into an airtight container before storing it in your fridge. It should last for up to 3 days without any changes in taste and texture.

In summary, Southern Style Mac N Cheese recipe is great for make-ahead meals and storing leftovers. So you don’t have to worry about rushing around at mealtime or wasting any leftovers.

Tips for Perfect Results

 The crispy topping on this mac n cheese is everything.
The crispy topping on this mac n cheese is everything.

To ensure your Southern Style Mac N Cheese is the ultimate comfort food that the soul craves, here are some tips to help you achieve perfect results every time.

First and foremost, be sure to season your mac and cheese well with salt and pepper. This may seem like a no-brainer, but it is easy to underestimate the amount of seasoning required. Remember that macaroni cheese absorbs flavors, so don’t hold back on salt or pepper.

Secondly, don’t skimp on quality ingredients. Use low-fat sour cream, low-fat cheddar cheese, and low-fat cottage cheese to get the cheesy goodness without packing too much fat. Add in Monterey Jack for an extra layer of flavor. Opt for a sharp cheddar as opposed to mild or medium to ensure your mac and cheese has a robust taste.

Thirdly, this recipe requires a generous amount of milk and cream mixture, which makes the dish creamy and delicious. However, it’s important not to boil or scald the mixture as it will make it curdle. If possible, heat the dairy over medium-low heat instead of high heat.

Fourthly, be careful not to overcook your pasta since it will continue cooking when baked with other ingredients in the oven. Cook until al dente before combining with the cheesy mixture for baking in the oven.

Finally, it’s crucial to preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit before using it for this recipe. Bake your Southern Style Mac N Cheese in a buttered baking dish covered with foil?for about 30 minutes while checking periodically after 20 minutes.

By following these simple tips, you’ll have perfectly baked, delicious Southern Style Mac N Cheese that’ll leave everyone coming back for seconds, maybe even thirds!


As a chef specializing in Southern cuisine, I know that cooking can be tricky sometimes, especially when it comes to baking. That’s why I’ve put together a useful FAQ section for my Southern Style Mac n Cheese recipe to help answer some of the common questions and concerns that may come up while preparing and cooking this dish – so you can feel confident in creating the ultimate Southern soul food experience in your very own kitchen!

How do you make Paula Deen’s macaroni and cheese?

Let’s start by heating up the oven to a nice and toasty 350 degrees. While that’s getting heated up, we’ll get our macaroni prepped. Boil the macaroni just until it’s al dente, as instructed on the package.

Next up, we’ll create a creamy and flavorful mixture. Blend together the melted or softened butter, half and half, eggs, sour cream, and a sprinkle of salt, pepper, and cayenne to really give it a kick.

After the macaroni is boiled to perfection, go ahead and drain it in a colander. Once that’s done, return the macaroni back to the warm pot it was boiled in. This will be our mixing bowl!

Pour the creamy and delectable mixture on top of the macaroni and give it a good stir. We want to make sure that each noodle is coated in that rich and velvety sauce.

Why is mac and cheese Southern?

The history of Southern Baked Mac and Cheese can be traced back to Chef Hemings, who drew inspiration from his travels in Europe with Jefferson, where he was introduced to pasta with cheese. Hemings went on to create a delectable dish known as the “pie made of macaroni,” which quickly became a favorite among the affluent in the South.

Why is sour cream used in mac and cheese?

When preparing mac and cheese, substituting milk with sour cream can greatly enhance the flavor and texture of the dish. The versatility of sour cream allows you to easily tailor the creaminess and cheesiness to your personal preferences by adjusting the amount added.

Why put eggs in mac and cheese?

To achieve a smoother and creamier texture in the Mac and Cheese, I recommend adding an egg to the recipe. I have experimented with variations of this dish, and the egg does make a noticeable difference. To do this, first beat one egg in a medium-sized bowl. Then, slowly drizzle 2-3 tablespoons of the thickened milk mixture into the bowl, while continuously whisking to warm up the egg.

Bottom Line

In conclusion, this Southern-style Mac N Cheese recipe is perfect for satisfying your craving for some soul food. With the perfect blend of creamy, cheesy goodness and a touch of spice from the pepper and salt, this baked macaroni cheese recipe is sure to satisfy. By following my detailed instructions, tips, and recommendations, you’ll be well on your way to creating the most delicious Southern-style mac n cheese you’ve ever tasted.

So next time you’re looking for something filling and comforting, whip up a batch of this cheesy goodness. Whether as a side dish or main course, I guarantee that this Southern-style mac n cheese will leave you and your loved ones feeling warm and satisfied. So go ahead and give this recipe a try – trust me, it’ll be worth it!

Southern Style Mac N Cheese

Southern Style Mac N Cheese Recipe

Macaroni and Cheese southern style
No ratings yet
Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 30 mins
Course Side Dish
Cuisine American
Calories 181.6 kcal


  • 1 1/4 cups whole wheat elbow macaroni, dry
  • 1 cup low fat cottage cheese, small curd
  • 1 cup low-fat cheddar cheese
  • 1 cup low-fat sour cream
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 pinch salt
  • 1 pinch pepper
  • 10 fat-free saltine crackers, crushed


  • Boil noodles as per directions on package. (prep time inludes cooking noodles).
  • Mix cottage cheese, cheddar cheese, sour cream, and egg.
  • Add Cooked noodles, salt and pepper to taste.
  • Place in oven safe casserole dish, sprinkle with cracker crumbs.
  • bake @ 350° F for 30 minute.

Add Your Own Notes


Serving: 101gCalories: 181.6kcalCarbohydrates: 20.1gProtein: 12.1gFat: 6.1gSaturated Fat: 3.5gCholesterol: 43.5mgSodium: 282.7mgFiber: 1.5gSugar: 0.3g
Keyword < 60 Mins, Cheese
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