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Southern Baked Macaroni & Cheese

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In this post I am sharing my version of Southern Baked Macaroni & Cheese.

Southern baked macaroni and cheese is one of the most important sides at every Southern holiday meal. Creamy, Cheesy, Delicious! I love macaroni and cheese. I love the different southern recipes and have tried most all of them.

This is one of those dishes that most people have their own version. I hope you’ll give this one a try, I’m sure you’ll love it too. It’s got a secret ingredient. Well I guess it’s not much of a secret since you can buy it anywhere, but might be a bit different.

I think all baked macaroni and cheeses need a couple of key elements – creaminess and cheesiness. This will give you just that.

I came across the “secret” part one holiday preparing this dish and instead of making a cheese sauce decided to try something. It turned out great!

My holiday macaroni and cheese has been called “legendary” and for good reason, it’s the best that I have ever put in my mouth.

I’m telling you anyone who’s had this mac and cheese raves about it. I don’t even have to put butter in it. Shocking, I know, I know. Trust me though, it’s so good. This recipe is for the large size casserole.

Southern Baked Macaroni & Cheese

Southern Macaroni & Cheese casserole in a white baking dish garnished with scallions

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • Elbow Macaroni Noodles
  • Two 10 3/4 ounce cans Campbell’s Condensed Cheddar Cheese Soup
  • Heavy Cream
  • 2 Large Eggs
  • Whole Milk or Two Cans of Evaporated Milk
  • 1 1/2 pounds of Extra Sharp Cheddar Cheese, grated
  • 8 ounces Colby Cheese, grated
  • 4 ounces Seriously Sharp White Cheddar, such as Cabot
  • 4 ounces Smoked Cheddar Cheese, grated
  • Salt & Pepper to taste
  • Salt for boiling pasta

Best Baked Mac and Cheese

The best Baked Macaroni and Cheese Casserole

First, I’m going to give you a time saving tip: Grate all of the cheeses the day before. Put in a large zip lock back and mix them all together.

For heavens sake, don’t be afraid to use ALL of the cheese. Good macaroni and cheese has lots of cheese and you can tell the ones that don’t.

Fill a large stock pot with water and add salt. Bring to a boil and add pasta. Boil on medium high heat, stirring occasionally for 10 minutes.

While the pasta cooks, preheat your oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.

mac and cheese with egg

In a large mixing bowl beat two eggs together with whole milk or evaporated milk (I like it both ways) then add the salt and pepper and half of the grated cheese.

There are some who would say that the evaporated milk adds extra richness. I’ll let you decide.

You’ll reserve the rest of the grated cheese for layering and covering the casserole.

Preparing the best baked Macaroni

Soul Food Smokey Mac & Cheese

Cheese combined with egg and milk
Combine the cheese with the milk and egg mixture.
 
When the noodles are done, drain well in a colander to remove all water. 

Homemade Baked Macaroni and Cheese Recipe

Making a creamy cheese sauce in a pot
Return the pot that you cooked the pasta in to the burner (turn off the burner) and add the canned cheddar cheese soup. Stir in the heavy cream and whisk to combine. 
combining elbow macaroni pasta with cheese sauce

Add the drained macaroni pasta to the creamy cheese sauce and stir to combine.

Combine cheesy pasta with cheese, milk and egg slurry

Transfer the cheesy macaroni to the mixing bowl with the cheese and milk mixture then stir to combine.

Layering ingredients for Southern Macaroni & Cheese Recipe
Be sure to use the appropriate size baking dish or you’ll end up with cheese melting all in your oven.
 
Layer half of the macaroni and cheese mixture in the bottom of your baking dish then layer on some of the grated cheddar.
 
Repeat with the remaining macaroni and cheese mixture and cover the top well with remaining grated cheese.
Do not overfill your casserole dish! You will regret it if you do cause you’ll have a big ole mess in your oven. Nobody wants that.

Old Fashioned Macaroni and Cheese

Baking macaroni and cheese
Bake in the preheated until macaroni and cheese is bubbly browned on top.
This may be the most important step of all. Remove the macaroni casserole from oven and let stand thirty to forty five minutes before serving so it can set up.
Serving mac and cheese
Enjoy! You’ll be going back for more and leftovers are great too! Leftover portions re-heat well in the microwave.

Creamy Custard Style Mac and Cheese

Stove Top Variation Recipe:
For quick stove top macaroni and cheese just cook macaroni and use the cheddar cheese soup and heavy cream with a dash of salt and pepper. It’s great for weeknight meals.
 
See it at :
 
Plate with Southern Macaroni and Cheese served with baked ham and cornbread dressing

Southern Baked Macaroni & Cheese

Yield: 1 Macaroni and Cheese Casserole

Southern Baked Macaroni & Cheese

Southern Macaroni & Cheese casserole in a white baking dish garnished with scallions

The ultimate Southern side dish - baked macaroni and cheese

Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 20 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 lb Macaroni Noodles
  • Two 10 3/4 oz. cans Campbell's Condensed Cheddar Cheese Soup
  • 1 1/4 c Heavy Cream
  • 2 Large Eggs
  • 1 1/2 c Whole Milk OR 2 Cans of Evaporated Milk
  • 1 1/2 lb Extra Sharp Cheddar Cheese, grated
  • 8 oz Colby Cheese, grated
  • 4 oz Seriously Sharp White Cheddar, such as Cabot
  • 4 oz Smoked Cheddar Cheese, grated
  • Salt & Pepper to taste
  • Salt for boiling pasta

Instructions

  1. Fill a large stock pot with water and add salt. Bring to a boil then add the pasta.
  2. Boil on medium high heat, stirring occasionally for 10 minutes.
  3. Preheat your oven to 375°F.
  4. In a large mixing bowl beat two eggs together with milk.
  5. Add salt and pepper and half of the grated cheese.
  6. When the noodles are done, drain well in a colander to remove all water.
  7. In the pot you cooked the pasta, return to the burner (turn off the burner) and add the canned cheddar cheese soup. Stir in heavy cream.
  8. Return the drained noodles back to the pot and mix well to combine with the cheese sauce mixture.
  9. Pour the grated cheese and milk mixture into the pot and combine.
  10. Spray a large casserole dish with cooking spray then add half of the macaroni and cheese mixture.
  11. Layer on some of the grated cheddar.
  12. Add the remaining macaroni and cheese mixture and cover well with remaining grated cheddar. Do not overfill your casserole dish!
  13. Bake 45 minutes until macaroni and cheese is bubbly browned on top.
  14. Remove from oven and let stand at least 15 minutes before serving so it can set up.

Nutrition Information:

Yield:

12

Serving Size:

1

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 653Total Fat: 46gSaturated Fat: 27gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 15gCholesterol: 166mgSodium: 941mgCarbohydrates: 29gFiber: 1gSugar: 3gProtein: 31g
Southern Macaroni & Cheese - Pinterest

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Garima Pal

Monday 6th of February 2017

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Miz Helen

Monday 21st of November 2016

Thanks so much for linking up with Full Plate Thursday! We will have an early Thanksgiving Edition on 11-22 -16, hope to see you there!Wishing you a bountiful Thanksgiving!Miz Helen