Southern Baked Mac and Cheese

Craving the ultimate comfort food experience? Look no further than this Southern Baked Mac and Cheese recipe. Dive into a world of creamy indulgence, where tender elbow macaroni meets a luscious blend of Cheddar, Monterey Jack, and Velveeta cheeses, all baked to golden perfection. Whether it’s a potluck, a family gathering, or simply a day when only cheesy goodness will suffice, this dish is sure to steal the show.



  • 1 pound elbow macaroni
  • 2 cups (8 ounces) shredded Cheddar cheese
  • 2 cups (8 ounces) shredded Monterey Jack cheese
  • 1 package (16 oz.) Velveeta Original Loaf, cut into chunks
  • 1-¼ cup milk
  • 2 large eggs
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • ½ cup (1 stick) butter


  1. Preheat and Prep: Start by preheating your oven to 375°F. Grease a 9×13-inch baking dish with cooking spray and set it aside, ready for the cheesy masterpiece.
  2. Cook the Macaroni: Cook the elbow macaroni according to the package instructions until it’s just al dente. Once done, drain the cooked macaroni and rinse it under cold water to halt the cooking process. Let it drain thoroughly to avoid excess moisture.
  3. Create the Cheese Sauce: In a medium saucepan, combine the chunks of Velveeta cheese and milk. Heat the mixture over medium-low heat, stirring frequently, until the cheese melts and becomes smooth. Remove the saucepan from the heat and set it aside momentarily.
  4. Prepare the Egg Mixture: In a small bowl, whisk together the eggs until they’re well beaten. Gradually add a scoop of the warm cheese sauce to the beaten eggs, whisking continuously to temper them. Once tempered, reintroduce the egg mixture back into the remaining cheese sauce in the saucepan, whisking until fully combined.
  5. Layer and Season: Begin layering half of the cooked macaroni evenly into the prepared baking dish. Season with salt and pepper to enhance the flavors. Scatter thin slices of butter evenly over the macaroni layer. Sprinkle half of the shredded Cheddar and Monterey Jack cheeses over the macaroni, then pour half of the cheese sauce over the cheese layer.
  6. Repeat the Layers: Repeat the layering process with the remaining macaroni, salt, pepper, butter, shredded cheeses, and cheese sauce, ensuring even distribution of each component.
  7. Bake to Perfection: Bake the mac and cheese, uncovered, in the preheated oven for 30-35 minutes, or until it’s delightfully bubbly and the top is kissed with a light golden brown hue.
  8. Serve and Enjoy: Allow the baked mac and cheese to cool for a few minutes before serving. Then, savor each spoonful of creamy, cheesy goodness that this irresistible dish offers.

Nutritional Information:

  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cooking Time: 1 hour
  • Total Time: 1 hour 15 minutes
  • Servings: 10


Serving Tips:

  1. Garnish with Fresh Herbs: Sprinkle chopped parsley, chives, or green onions over the baked mac and cheese just before serving for a pop of color and freshness.
  2. Customize with Toppings: Enhance the flavor and texture by adding crispy bacon bits, breadcrumbs, or even a drizzle of hot sauce for those who like a spicy kick.
  3. Pair with Side Dishes: Serve alongside a crisp green salad, roasted vegetables, or garlic bread to create a well-rounded meal that satisfies all taste preferences.
  4. Individual Portions: For a stylish presentation, consider serving the mac and cheese in individual ramekins or mini skillets, perfect for dinner parties or gatherings.
  5. Keep it Warm: To ensure that the mac and cheese stays warm during serving, place the baking dish on a trivet or hot pad to retain heat.

Storage Tips:

  1. Refrigerate Properly: Store any leftover mac and cheese in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3-4 days.
  2. Reheat with Care: Reheat individual portions in the microwave or reheat larger portions in the oven at a low temperature to prevent drying out the dish.
  3. Freeze for Future Enjoyment: If you have more leftovers than you can consume in a few days, portion them into freezer-safe containers and freeze for up to 2-3 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator before reheating.
  4. Refresh Before Serving: Before reheating, you may need to add a splash of milk to the mac and cheese to restore its creamy texture, as it can thicken during storage.
  5. Enjoy Responsibly: While mac and cheese is delicious as leftovers, it’s best enjoyed fresh from the oven. So, if possible, try to consume it within a day or two for the best taste and texture.

By following these serving and storage tips, you can ensure that your Southern Baked Mac and Cheese remains delicious and enjoyable, whether you’re serving it for a family dinner or savoring it as leftovers for days to come.



  1. Add Protein: Incorporate cooked diced ham, crumbled bacon, or shredded rotisserie chicken into the mac and cheese for added protein and flavor.
  2. Vegetarian Option: Create a vegetarian version by adding sautéed vegetables such as bell peppers, onions, mushrooms, or spinach to the cheese sauce before baking.
  3. Spice it Up: For a kick of heat, mix in diced jalapeños or a pinch of cayenne pepper to the cheese sauce, or top the baked mac and cheese with sliced jalapeños for a spicy twist.
  4. Herb Infusion: Infuse the cheese sauce with fresh or dried herbs like thyme, rosemary, or basil for an aromatic touch.
  5. Different Cheese Blend: Experiment with different cheese combinations such as Gruyère, fontina, or pepper jack to customize the flavor profile of your mac and cheese.
  6. Crunchy Toppings: Top the baked mac and cheese with a layer of crispy breadcrumbs mixed with melted butter for added texture and a golden finish.
  7. Lobster Mac and Cheese: Elevate your dish by adding chunks of cooked lobster meat to the mac and cheese for a luxurious twist on the classic recipe.
  8. Buffalo Chicken Mac and Cheese: Toss shredded cooked chicken in buffalo sauce and layer it between the macaroni and cheese sauce for a zesty and satisfying variation.
  9. Truffle Mac and Cheese: Drizzle truffle oil over the mac and cheese before baking or sprinkle with shaved truffles for a decadent and gourmet touch.
  10. Broccoli and Cheese: Mix steamed broccoli florets into the mac and cheese before baking for a comforting and nutritious variation.

These creative variations allow you to customize your Southern Baked Mac and Cheese to suit your taste preferences and dietary needs, ensuring endless possibilities for delicious meals every time you make it.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) :

  1. Can I use different types of pasta for this recipe? Yes, you can experiment with different pasta shapes such as shells, penne, or rigatoni, but keep in mind that cooking times may vary.
  2. Is it possible to make this dish ahead of time? Absolutely! You can assemble the mac and cheese ahead of time, cover it tightly with plastic wrap or aluminum foil, and refrigerate it until you’re ready to bake it. Just remember to adjust the baking time accordingly if you’re starting with a chilled dish.
  3. Can I freeze leftovers of Southern Baked Mac and Cheese? Yes, you can freeze leftovers in an airtight container for up to 2-3 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator before reheating.
  4. What can I substitute for Velveeta cheese? If you prefer to avoid Velveeta, you can substitute it with additional Cheddar and Monterey Jack cheese, or any other melting cheese of your choice.
  5. How do I prevent the top of the mac and cheese from drying out while baking? To prevent the top from drying out, you can cover the baking dish with aluminum foil for the first half of the baking time, then remove it for the remaining time to allow the top to brown.
  6. Can I make this recipe gluten-free? Yes, simply use gluten-free elbow macaroni or your favorite gluten-free pasta alternative, and ensure that all other ingredients are certified gluten-free.
  7. What can I serve alongside Southern Baked Mac and Cheese? This dish pairs well with a variety of side dishes such as green salads, roasted vegetables, garlic bread, or even grilled meats for a heartier meal.

With its tantalizing blend of cheeses and perfectly baked macaroni, this Southern Baked Mac and Cheese recipe is a guaranteed crowd-pleaser. Whether you’re hosting a gathering or simply treating yourself to a cozy night in, this dish promises to deliver pure comfort and satisfaction with every bite. So, gather your ingredients, preheat your oven, and get ready to indulge in a symphony of flavors that will leave everyone craving seconds!