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Delicious Southern Creamy Baked Mac and Cheese

This creamy baked mac and cheese recipe is delicious and will warm your heart. Mac and cheese is the ultimate southern comfort food and makes for the perfect side dish. This dish is creamy, perfectly seasoned, cheesy and has the perfect burnt crisp around the edges!

My husband’s family roots are in Georgia, while he was raised in South Carolina. Mac and cheese for my southern boy requires a roux based cheese sauce. I know that there are several different recipes for homemade mac and cheese out there, and a roux is not necessarily easy, but it makes for the best, creamy cheese sauce. I promise it is worth the effort!

There is nothing quite like southern creamy baked mac and cheese. It pairs perfectly as a side for holiday meals, like Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Years, but my absolute favorite time to make this mac and cheese is when making BBQ!

Ingredients

What Noodles for Creamy Baked Mac and Cheese?

For this recipe, use either small or medium sized elbow noodles for this recipe. For proper texture, please don’t use anything larger. There really is no other noodle alternative for true southern comfort mac and cheese.

You will boil a large pot of salted water on medium high-heat and cook the noodles al dente according to the package instructions.

For the Cheese Sauce

Start with a Roux

I do make a roux for the cheese sauce and trust me, it is worth it. You will need equal amounts of butter and flour. I use 1/2 cup of each. You are going for a blonde roux here, so it will only take a few minutes to cook. Always make sure you have all cheese sauce ingredients measured and ready before you start the roux. Roux’s are so easy to burn, so you must constantly stir and NEVER walk away from a roux.

Blonde roux for the cheese sauce.
Blonde roux for the cheese sauce.

What Cheese to Use?

I’ll use two different types of cheese in this recipe; sharp cheddar cheese and Colby jack cheese. I do recommend using both of these cheese varieties as they add their own taste and texture to this dish.

Milk

I use whole milk for this recipe. It will be stirred in with the roux after it has finished cooking with a bulk of the cheese. If you are going for lower calorie, you can use low fat milk, but for great taste, I recommend using whole milk. This is not really a healthy side anyway, so I go for decadent flavor.

Seasonings

For seasoning your southern creamy baked mac and cheese, you will need seasoned salt, ground black pepper, Kinder’s The Blend seasoning, and Paprika.

Shredded Cheddar and Colby Jack Cheese along with seasonings and bread crumbs.
Shredded Cheddar and Colby Jack Cheese along with seasonings and bread crumbs.

Bread Crumbs

To give the top of the creamy baked mac and cheese a great flavor and slight crisp, I do top my mac and cheese with some bread crumbs.

Eggs

You will need 3 eggs for this recipe. Eggs help to hold the creamy baked mac and cheese casserole together. I do beat the eggs prior to adding into the mixture prior to baking.

How to make the Southern Creamy Baked Mac and Cheese

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.
  • Grease a 9×13 baking dish with butter.
  • Add the elbow noodles to the boiling water and cook until al dente according to the package instructions. Drain and stir in a splash of olive oil to prevent the noodles from sticking. Put aside and keep warm.
  • In the meantime, make the cheese sauce:
    • In a medium sized sauce pan, melt the butter. Then, once fully melted, whisk in the flour. Whisk constantly and do not leave the roux, as it is easy to burn. Cook for about 5 minutes, until you have reached the desired color for a golden blonde roux.
    • Slowly stir the milk into the cheese sauce. Season with seasoned salt, ground black pepper and Kinder’s The Blend seasoning to taste.
    • Next, separate the shredded cheese into 3 even piles. Add 1/3 of the cheese to the roux. Leave the other piles of cheese, as you will need them to layer the casserole to bake.
    • Allow the cheese sauce to warm for 3-5 minutes. It should be thickened.
Finished cheese sauce.
Finished cheese sauce.
  • Stir the completed cheese sauce into the noodles and add in the eggs. Mix gently but thoroughly.
Mixing together the beaten eggs, cheese sauce and noodles.
Mixing together the beaten eggs, cheese sauce and noodles.
  • Add 1/2 of the mixture to the bottom of the 9×13 pan. Layer with one of the remaining piles of cheese. Pour the rest of the noodle mixture into the pan. Top with the remaining cheese. Sprinkle evenly with paprika and bread crumbs.
Southern Creamy Baked Mac and Cheese ready to bake.
Southern Creamy Baked Mac and Cheese ready to bake.
  • Bake in the oven for 20-25 minutes until the cheese is bubbly on top. The edges will be browned. The mac and cheese should still jiggle when you take it out of the oven. Be sure not to over-bake the mac and cheese or it will loose its creaminess!
Creamy Baked Mac and Cheese right out of the oven!
Creamy Baked Mac and Cheese right out of the oven!
  • Allow the creamy baked mac and cheese to cool for 5-10 minutes. Then, serve and enjoy!
Bowl of creamy baked mac and cheese, ready to enjoy!
Bowl of creamy baked mac and cheese, ready to enjoy!

Serve it Up!

Southern Creamy Baked Mac and Cheese is a great side dish to serve with your favorite southern comfort meal.

My absolute favorite pairing for mac and cheese is BBQ. Make your favorite BBQ chicken, pork, brisket or sausage, along with this great recipe for Amazing Apple Cabbage Coleslaw, and you will have one delicious and balanced meal!

In the south, you have to eat Collards (for dollars) and Black Eyed Peas on New Years for good luck in the coming year! I make this southern creamy baked mac and cheese to pair with smoked pork ribs along with the traditional southern favorites for New Years meal every year.

Other Great Recipes to Check Out

Amazing Baked Feta Pasta with Italian Sausage

Best-Ever Fluffy, Flavorful Garlic and Herb Mashed Potatoes

Easy Stromboli Recipe

Delicious Southern Creamy Baked Mac and Cheese
Yield: 8 servings

Delicious Southern Creamy Baked Mac and Cheese

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes

This creamy baked mac and cheese recipe is delicious and will warm your heart. Mac and cheese is the ultimate southern comfort food and makes for the perfect side dish. This dish is creamy, perfectly seasoned, cheesy and has the perfect burnt crisp around the edges!

Ingredients

  • 1- 16 ounce package of elbow noodles, small or medium in size
  • ½ cup of butter (1/2 stick) and a little more to grease the pan!
  • ½ Flour
  • Seasoned salt
  • Ground black pepper
  • Paprika
  • Kinder’s The Blend Seasoning
  • 2- 8 oz blocks of sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
  • 1- 8 oz block Colby jack cheese, shredded
  • 3 eggs, slightly beaten
  • 3 cups milk
  • ¼ cup of bread crumbs

Instructions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.

Grease a 9x13 baking dish with butter.

Add the elbow noodles to the boiling water and cook until al dente according to the package instructions. Drain and stir in a splash of olive oil to prevent the noodles from sticking. Put aside and keep warm.

In the meantime, make the cheese sauce:

  • In a medium sized sauce pan, melt the butter. Then, once fully melted, whisk in the flour. Whisk constantly and do not leave the roux, as it is easy to burn. Cook for about 5 minutes, until you have reached the desired color for a golden blonde roux.
  • Slowly stir the milk into the cheese sauce. Season with seasoned salt, ground black pepper and Kinder's The Blend seasoning to taste.
  • Next, separate the shredded cheese into 3 even piles. Add 1/3 of the cheese to the roux and milk. Leave the other piles of cheese, as you will need them to layer the casserole to bake.
  • Allow the cheese sauce to warm for 3-5 minutes. It should be thickened.
  • Stir the completed cheese sauce into the noodles and add in the eggs. Mix gently but thoroughly.

    Add 1/2 of the mixture to the bottom of the 9x13 pan. Layer with one of the remaining piles of cheese. Pour the rest of the noodle mixture into the pan. Top with the remaining cheese. Sprinkle evenly with paprika and bread crumbs.

    Bake in the oven for 20-25 minutes until the cheese is bubbly on top. The edges will be browned. The mac and cheese should still jiggle when you take it out of the oven. Be sure not to over-bake the mac and cheese or it will loose its creaminess!

    Allow the creamy baked mac and cheese to cool for 5-10 minutes. Then, serve and enjoy!

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