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Southern Baked Mac and Cheese

This Southern Baked Mac and Cheese is creamy, cheesy and perfectly seasoned. It satisfied all cravings for soul food! Serve as a side dish for any celebration or holiday feast.
Prep Time20 mins
Cook Time30 mins
Total Time50 mins
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: American
Keyword: southern baked mac and cheese, southern mac and cheese
Servings: 10 servings
Calories: 467kcal
Author: TipBuzz


  • 1 pound elbow macaroni 3 cups dry or 8 cups cooked, regular or whole wheat pasta
  • 24 oz evaporated milk 3 cups, or use fresh milk
  • 3/4 cup half and half or heavy cream
  • 2 eggs lightly beaten
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder or onion powder (or a mix)
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika or smoked paprika
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper optional
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt or to taste
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper freshly ground
  • 8 oz cheddar cheese grated (2 cups)
  • 8 oz Monterey Jack cheese grated (2 cups), or Havarti
  • 4-8 oz Colby cheese grated (2 cups), or Velveeta


  • 8 oz sharp cheddar cheese or smoked cheddar (see note), grated (2 cups)


  • Preheat the oven to 350°F. Grease a 9x13-inch rectangular baking pan with butter and set aside.
  • Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the macaroni and cook according to the package directions.
  • In a medium bowl, whisk together the milk, half and half, eggs and seasonings. Then stir in the grated cheeses.
  • Drain the macaroni and add to the prepared pan. Pour the milk-cheese mixture on top and stir to distribute evenly.
  • Sprinkle the topping cheese evenly across the surface.
  • Bake for 30-35 minutes, or until the top is golden and bubbly. (If it's looking pale for any reason, raise the heat to 375°F for the final 15 minutes.)
  • Remove from the oven. Cool in the pan for at least 15 minutes before serving.


  • Cheeses: Grate the cheeses yourself, as pre-shredded doesn't melt as well. Note: some orange cheeses contain food dyes, but others use the natural coloring annatto, so check the label if you're concerned.
  • Lighter Options: You can substitute whole wheat macaroni, skim evaporated milk and reduced fat cheeses. Note that the result will still be tasty although less creamy.
  • Make Ahead: You can make mac and cheese up to 3 days ahead of time and reheat for 20 minutes in the oven. It also freezes for up to 3 months if wrapped tightly with foil plus plastic wrap to prevent freezer burn.


Serving: 6oz | Calories: 467kcal | Carbohydrates: 44g | Protein: 32g | Fat: 17g | Saturated Fat: 10g | Cholesterol: 83mg | Sodium: 685mg | Potassium: 429mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 9g | Vitamin A: 852IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 666mg | Iron: 1mg