Creamy baked southern-style macaroni and cheese, a cheesy baked casserole and soul food classic.
I’ve lived in St. Louis for some time now, and as I’ve said before, it’s very “southern” here in terms of cooking. One of our favorite soul food restaurants had the best mac and cheese, and that would be Sweetie Pie’s. Miss Robie’s recipe is easily found on the web and the local paper has published a paired down recipe for the home cook.
I’m pretty sure the location we went to in The Grove neighborhood has closed and I don’t understand all the drama surrounding the closing. It was the subject of a reality TV show at one point. I just know we went often and always, always had her macaroni and cheese.
What is southern macaroni and cheese?
It’s basically a custard-style baked macaroni and cheese with eggs and evaporated milk. This version uses three kinds of cheese and butter and a little sour cream. It bakes up creamy but firm, hearty and filling and absolutely delicious.
How to make this soul food classic
It’s really easy, here’s how:
- Cook and drain elbow macaroni and place in baking dish or pan.
- Make the custard mixture by whisking together milk, evaporated milk and eggs and some seasoning, pour mixture over macaroni.
- Add the butter, sour cream and three cheeses and stir to combine well.
- Top with more grated cheese and bake until bubbly and top is browned.
Recipe Notes and Tips
- People swear by Velveeta in this recipe, do not use a substitute. Miss Robie herself uses only Velveeta.
- While pre-packaged shredded cheese works fine, grating your own is the better option. It just melts better.
- It’s going to be oily on top after baking, that’s how it is with real cheeses and butter. If you think it’s excessive, blot some up with a paper towel while it rests. I do sometimes.
- Reheats are great, just pop in the microwave.
- This is filling and hearty enough to serve as the main dish but most often it is a side dish. It’s unbelievably good alongside collard greens and fried chicken!
Delicious soulful macaroni and cheese, doesn’t get any better than this. A real treat and labor of love for Sunday supper and the holiday table. Trust me on this one! Kelly
Try these collard greens in the Instant Pot for some more traditional soul food.
Southern Baked Macaroni and Cheese
- 8 to 10 ounces elbow macaroni
- ½ cup whole milk
- 1 (12-ounce) can evaporated milk
- 2 eggs, lightly beaten
- 1½ teaspoons white pepper
- 1½ teaspoons granulated sugar
- ½ teaspoon salt or to taste
- ½ cup (1 stick) butter, cut into small pieces
- 2 tablespoons sour cream
- ½ pound Velveeta, cut into small chunks
- 8 ounces shredded Colby-Jack cheese or 4 ounces Colby and 4 ounces Monterey Jack
- 4 ounces shredded sharp cheddar cheese
- 1 cup shredded mild cheddar cheese
- Preheat oven to 350º. Bring large pot of water to boil and then salt generously. Cook macaroni just shy of package directions, al dente. Drain well and place in 9" by 13" baking dish or pan.
- In same pasta pot, whisk together whole milk, evaporated milk, eggs, salt, pepper and sugar until combined. Pour mixture over cooked macaroni in pan.
- Add butter, sour cream, Velveeta, Colby-Jack and sharp cheddar cheeses. Stir to combine well and top evenly with shredded mild cheddar.
- Bake for 35 to 40 minutes until bubbly and lightly browned on top. Let rest 10 minutes or so before serving. Enjoy!
*Inspired by Sweetie Pie’s, St. Louis and adapted from STL Post-Dispatch.