Southern baked macaroni and cheese is the ultimate comfort food! It’s rich, savory, and super cheesy. Enjoy it for holidays and special occasions. Serve it as a main dish or side. Add this baked mac and cheese to your recipe arsenal!
- 2 1/2 cups (10 oz) elbow macaroni, uncooked*
- 2 eggs, lightly beaten
- 1 (12-oz) can evaporated milk
- 1/2 cup whole milk
- 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
- 3/4 teaspoon sea salt, or as desired
- 1/4 teaspoon ground white pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon dry ground mustard
- 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, cut into tiny pieces
- 1/2 cup sour cream
- 1/2 pound Velveeta, cut into small cubes
- 4 oz Colby Jack cheese, shredded (1 1/2 cups)
- 4 oz Monterey Jack cheese, shredded (1 1/2 cups)
- 4 oz sharp cheddar cheese, shredded (1 1/2 cups)
- 4 oz mild cheddar cheese (or American cheese), shredded
FOR CREAMIER (SAUCIER) MAC AND CHEESE: Use only 2 cups (8 oz) elbow macaroni, uncooked.
- In heavily-salted water (it should taste like the ocean), boil pasta al dente according to package directions. Do not overcook! Drain well.
- Shred the blocks of cheese.
- Adjust oven rack to the center position. Preheat oven to 350°F.
- Butter the sides and bottoms of two square 8 x 8-inch baking pans, or a pair of cast-iron gratin dishes, a mix/match of both, or one 9 x 13-inch baker.
- Transfer cooked and drained elbow macaroni to a large batter bowl. Set aside.
- In a separate bowl, whisk together eggs, evaporated milk, and whole milk, sugar, salt, white pepper, black pepper, dry mustard and smoked paprika.
- Pour wet mixture over the macaroni. Briefly mix with a spatula or spoon to combine. Add butter, sour cream, cubed Velveeta, Colby Jack, Monterey Jack, and sharp cheddar. Fold and mix to incorporate.
- Transfer mac and cheese mixture to prepared baking pan(s). Sprinkle mild cheddar cheese (or American cheese) over the top.
- Bake 40-45 minutes, or until the casserole is bubbly with a lightly-golden crust. Don’t over-bake this dish. The cheese mixture can become dry and the noodles mushy.
- Let mac and cheese cool for 10 minutes before serving. Enjoy this dish while it’s warm and creamy!
- This prevents the pasta in the finished dish from being limp. The noodles will continue to cook in the oven.
- CRUNCHY TOPPING FOR MAC AND CHEESE: This southern baked mac and cheese recipe has a beautiful golden crust that doesn’t need a crumb topping to make it better. But if you prefer a hearty crunch, sprinkle with lightly-crushed potato chips or corn chips just before serving.
- Once completely cooled, cover the dish tightly with plastic wrap. Immediately refrigerate the cheesy casserole. It will stay fresh in the fridge for up to 3 days.
- CAN MAC AND CHEESE STAY OUT OVERNIGHT? No. It will develop bacteria. It will not be safe to eat.
- CAN YOU FREEZE MAC AND CHEESE? This is not recommended. The textures and flavors will not hold up well when frozen.
- MORE INFO ABOUT THIS SOUTHERN RECIPE: Further tips are included in the body of the post, along with helpful step-by-step recipe images.
- Prep Time: 10 Minutes
- Cook Time: 40 Minutes
- Category: Dinner
- Method: Oven
- Cuisine: African American
Keywords: Baked Mac and Cheese, Southern Baked Mac and Cheese, Macaroni and Cheese