This is the best southern mac and cheese recipe you’ll ever find! If you’ve never had homemade mac and cheese before, don’t assume it tastes anything like the packaged Kraft mac and cheese. This mac and cheese is full of so much flavor, and loads of cheese! I am convinced this is the BEST mac and cheese recipe!

Growing up, believe it or not, mac and cheese was something that I never liked. I’ve never really had any homemade kind. It was always some sort of packaged and maybe just not made right. It wasn’t until I went to a restaurant in Kansas City, and tried mac and cheese. Oh my goodness did I fall in love! I was so determined to try out different recipes and figure out the right combination. About two years later here is the recipe! It is absolutely delicious, your family will love it, especially kids (you can thank me later)!

Whats inside the mac and cheese?

What’s inside this mac and cheese? Lots of cheese! In fact, 4 different types of cheeses are used in this recipe with heavy cream, and of course macaroni! This is the best mac and cheese you’ll ever have! It is so cheesy, yet so easy to make, and most importantly so delicious you’ll want seconds!

Ingredients for Southern Style Mac and Cheese –

  • Elbow macaroni
  • Heavy Whipping cream
  • Milk
  • Butter
  • Processed Velveeta cheese
  • Gruyere Cheese
  • Sharp Cheddar Cheese ( use the block of cheese, I do not recommend using pre-grated cheese for this recipe)
  • Black Pepper
  • nutmeg
  • White Sharp Cheddar Cheese

Mac and cheese topping

  • butter
  • garlic clove
  • plain panko bread crumbs
  • 1/4 tsp salt

How to make Mac and cheese

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Position rack to the third level
  2. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Salt the water generously (about 1 tbsp). Add the elbow macaroni, and boil just a minute shy of the recommended time (al dente).
  3. In a small saucepan, combine the cream, milk, and butter. Heat until the butter is melted.
  4. Pour over the cooked macaroni, and add cubed Velveeta, grated gruyere, grated sharp cheddar, pepper. Combine
  5. Pour the pasta into a 9×13 baking dish, or into a cast-iron skillet.
  6. Top the pasta with grated extra white sharp cheddar cheese.
  7. Bake for about 20-25 minutes or until the cheese is melted.

Crispy Topping

  1. In a small saucepan combine butter, a small garlic glove (optional if you do not love garlic), bread crumbs, and salt. Cook until the butter is melted and the topping is lightly brown. About 3-5 minutes.
  2. Add crispy topping to the mac and cheese.

What type of pasta should you use?

I like to buy the elbow macaroni for this recipe. However, really you can use any kind that you have on hand. I’ve had mac and cheese with all sorts of different types of pasta, and it really isn’t about the pasta, it all comes down to the cheese sauce!

Can I use different cheeses??

You most certainly can! However, if I can recommend using one cheese in particular, it would be the gruyere cheese. This cheese is a little on the pricer side, however, the cheese makes the difference. You won’t regret it!

The cheese that is listed in this recipe is the cheese that makes this amazing recipe. I strongly believe they create the perfect balance of flavor, and play a big role in the texture of this recipe.

What can you serve mac and cheese with?

Oh my! Absolutely anything. You name it. It goes well with so many different meats, and I would definitely serve it with vegetables or a salad just to balance out the load of cheese, and cream in this recipe!

Can I freeze mac, and cheese?

You definitely can freeze mac and cheese. Would I recommend it? I would not, simply because the diary does not do well being frozen. I do not think it comes close to freshly baked mac, and cheese. If it’s your only option go for it, and see how it works with you personally.


A few suggestions to perfection –

1. Do not use pre-shredded cheese for this recipe. Buy block cheese, and shred on your own. Pre-shredded cheese is coated and will not melt the way it should. For best results grade blocked cheese.

2. Cook the pasta slightly less than usual. The pasta will be baking in the oven, therefore will finish cooking.

3. You can use other cheese for this recipe, however, I find that gruyere, cheddar cheese, Velveeta, and sharp white cheddar is a perfect combination for mac, and cheese!

4. Try baking your mac and cheese in a cast iron pan. It makes this recipe taste oh so much better!


Mac and Cheese

Prep Time 1 hour 15 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Servings 10
This is the best southern mac and cheese recipe you'll ever find! If you've never had homemade mac and cheese before, don't assume it tastes anything like the packaged Kraft mac and cheese. This mac and cheese is full of so much flavor, and loads of cheese! I am convinced this is the BEST mac and cheese recipe!

Equipment

  • Cheese Grater

Ingredients

Mac and Cheese

  • 1 tbsp salt
  • 2 1/2 cups uncooked elbow macaroni
  • 1 1/2 cups heavy whipping cream
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 6 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 6 oz Velveeta Cheese (cut into small cubes)
  • 1 1/2 cups gruyere cheese (grated)
  • 1 cup sharp cheddar cheese (grated)
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • 2-3 pinches nutmeg
  • 1 cup white sharp cheddar cheese

Crispy Topping

  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 1 small garlic clove freshly minced (optional)
  • 3 cups plain panko bread crumbs
  • 1 pinch salt (optional)

Instructions 

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees (I always place my racks on the third level from top)
  • Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Salt the water generously (about 1 tbsp). Add the elbow macaroni, and boil just a minute shy of the recommended time (al dente).
  • In a small sauce pan, combine the cream, milk and butter. Heat until the butter is melted.
  • Pour over the cooked macaroni, and add cubed velveeta, grated gruyere, grated sharp cheddar, pepper. Combine,
  • Pour the pasta into a 9×13 baking dish, or into a cast iron skillet. Top the pasta with grated extra white sharp cheddar cheese.
  • Bake for about 20-25 minutes or until the cheese is melted. Cool for 5-10 minutes.

Crispy Topping

  • In a small saucepan combine butter, a small garlic glove (optional if you do not love garlic), bread crumbs, and salt.
  • Cook until the butter is melted and the topping is lightly brown.
  • Add crispy topping to the mac and cheese.
  • Serve mac and cheese with topping, pass it around the table, and enjoy!

Notes

1. Do not use pre-shredded cheese for this recipe. Buy block cheese, and shred on your own. Pre-shredded cheese is coated and will not melt the way it should. For best results grade blocked cheese.
2. Cook the pasta slightly less than usual. The pasta will be baking in the oven, therefore will finish cooking.
3. You can use other cheese for this recipe, however, I find that gruyere, cheddar cheese, Velveeta, and sharp white cheddar is a perfect combination for mac, and cheese!
4. Try baking your mac and cheese in a cast iron pan. It makes this recipe taste oh so much better!
Cost: $10 – $15
Course: Appetizer, Main Course
Cuisine: American, southern, southernstyle
Keyword: cheese, macandcheese, macaroni, macaroniandcheese, macncheese, southernfood

Did you make this recipe?

Lovely. Now let me know how you liked it. Tag @willowscookbook on Instagram

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