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Southern Baked Macaroni and Cheese

Creamy baked southern-style macaroni and cheese, a cheesy baked casserole and soul food classic.

Southern baked macaroni and cheese close up of piece in baking dish.

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.

Overhead of baked mac and cheese in casserole dish.

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.

Baking dish with serving spoon in mac and cheese.

How to make this soul food classic

Four photo process collage.

It’s really easy, here’s how:

  1. Cook and drain elbow macaroni and place in baking dish or pan.
  2. Make the custard mixture by whisking together milk, evaporated milk and eggs and some seasoning, pour mixture over macaroni.
  3. Add the butter, sour cream and three cheeses and stir to combine well.
  4. Top with more grated cheese and bake until bubbly and top is browned.

Finished baked dish with browned top.

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!

Serving of mac and cheese on white plate with casserole in background.

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🍴🐦

Serving of baked macaroni and cheese on spoon pulling out of baking dish.

Try these collard greens in the Instant Pot for some more traditional soul food.

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Southern Baked Macaroni and Cheese

Classic southern-style baked macaroni and cheese with egg-milk custard and lots of cheese, soul food heaven!
4.67 from 170 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: American
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 40 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour
Servings: 10 servings
Calories: 471kcal
Author: Kelly Wildenhaus | the hungry bluebird

Ingredients

  • 8 to 10 ounces elbow macaroni
  • ½ cup whole milk
  • 1 (12-ounce) can evaporated milk
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten
  • teaspoons white pepper
  • 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

Instructions

  • 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!

Recipe Notes

  • 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!

Nutrition

Calories: 471kcal Carbohydrates: 26g Protein: 22g Fat: 31g Saturated Fat: 19g Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g Monounsaturated Fat: 8g Trans Fat: 1g Cholesterol: 124mg Sodium: 889mg Potassium: 315mg Fiber: 1g Sugar: 7g Vitamin A: 1122IU Vitamin C: 1mg Calcium: 565mg Iron: 1mg
Keyword: baked macaroni and cheese, southern style macaroni and cheese
Did you make this recipe? Please comment, rate it and share! And mention me on Instagram @thehungrybluebird or tag #thehungrybluebird so I can see!

*Inspired by Sweetie Pie’s, St. Louis and adapted from STL Post-Dispatch.

Recipe Rating




Libby

Tuesday 21st of June 2022

I doubled the recipe to make an extra casserole to share with another family. I split one stick of butter between the two casseroles but it still came out rich and gooey and delicious. A little bit goes a long way, so I recommend several veggies to offset the richness! Easy to assemble once you have the ingredients.

Brianna

Sunday 19th of June 2022

Literally ate this for 6 days in a row with my family and we didn’t get tired of it, so delicious it’s one of the best southern baked Macaroni and cheese I’ve ever had!!

Emily

Friday 3rd of June 2022

Everyone loves my Mac and cheese the most because of this recipe.

Cassidy

Thursday 26th of May 2022

Hello I see that the recipe says you add the cheese, sour cream, and butter after you make the custard mixture. Do you need to heat up the custard mixture and melt any of the cheese? Or do you just put the unmelted cheese in the pan and stir it really well before popping it into the oven?

Joy

Thursday 26th of May 2022

I consider myself a mac and cheese snob and have been looking for this kind of mac and cheese everywhere. Most soul food restaurants serve this stringy, wet/loose, mac that looks like it wasnt even baked. This recipe makes the mac firm yet cheesy inside, gives me the black pieces on top which I LOVE, and is simply perfect. I have never made it with sour cream and egg so I was hesitant about it but my husband and family agree this was the best mac I've ever made. Thank you for this recipe!