How to Make Southern Baked Mac and Cheese

Alicia Santos

Mac, Tutorials

Are you craving a comforting and cheesy dish that will transport you to the heart of the South? Look no further than Southern Baked Mac and Cheese.

This classic dish combines rich, creamy cheese sauce with al dente macaroni, baked to perfection with a golden, crispy topping. In this tutorial, we will guide you through the steps of making this mouthwatering dish.


  • 16 ounces elbow macaroni
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 4 cups whole milk
  • 2 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese
  • 1 cup shredded Monterey Jack cheese
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Paprika for garnish (optional)


Step 1: Cook the Macaroni

In a large pot, bring salted water to a boil. Add the elbow macaroni and cook until al dente according to the package instructions. Drain and set aside.

Step 2: Prepare the Cheese Sauce

In a separate saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the flour and whisk constantly for about two minutes until well combined and bubbly.

Add the milk gradually while continuing to whisk until smooth. Cook for about five minutes, stirring constantly until the mixture thickens.

Remove the saucepan from heat and add the shredded cheddar cheese, Monterey Jack cheese, and grated Parmesan cheese. Stir until the cheeses have melted and the sauce is smooth. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Step 3: Combine the Macaroni and Cheese Sauce

Preheat your oven to 350°F (175°C). Grease a baking dish with butter or cooking spray.

Combine the cooked macaroni with the cheese sauce, making sure all the macaroni is coated evenly. Transfer the mixture to the greased baking dish.

Step 4: Bake and Serve

Sprinkle paprika over the top for added flavor and a pop of color (optional).

Bake in the preheated oven for about 25-30 minutes or until golden and bubbly on top.

Remove from the oven and let it cool for a few minutes before serving. The Southern Baked Mac and Cheese is best enjoyed while still warm and gooey!

This recipe serves about 8-10 people, making it perfect for family gatherings or potluck dinners. Serve it as a side dish alongside fried chicken or BBQ ribs for an authentic Southern feast.

Note: Feel free to experiment with different types of cheese or add your favorite seasonings to customize this Southern Baked Mac and Cheese recipe to your taste. Enjoy!

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