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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!
4.88 from 540 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

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
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.

4.88 from 540 votes (458 ratings without comment)
Recipe Rating




Veronica Leal

Sunday 2nd of June 2024

Best mac n cheese recipe i’ve made! Sticking with this recipe for the rest of my days! thank u for sharing, very thankful!

Tina Smith

Monday 27th of May 2024

I have always been known for making the best macaroni and cheese. This new recipe took it to an even higher level.Thank You fir the wonderful recipe.

Liz

Sunday 12th of May 2024

This is the BEST....the BEST macaroni I have ever eaten...my son and grandson will only eat this macaroni...and they are so picky!

Kristen Wilson

Friday 12th of April 2024

Wow, this will be the only mac and cheese recipe I make from now on. I was making dinner for my twin stepsons birthday. I was looking up ideas of sides to go along with bbq ribs that I was serving and came across your recipe. My 13 year old daughter who turns her nose up at all mac and cheese besides the blue box was devouring this. We all agreed that it was the best we've ever had.

The only two things I had to change was I was out of milk and used light cream in place of it, and I misread where it said to use white pepper and used black pepper. Other than those two differences I followed the recipe to a T. Shredding the cheeses definitely makes a big difference over using pre-shredded.

Thank you so much for this winning recipe!!

Kelly Wildenhaus

Tuesday 16th of April 2024

Thanks for the kind words, Kristen. Yep, shredding your own cheese is always a good call!

Denise

Sunday 11th of February 2024

I’ve made this twice. The first time was for Thanksgiving. I cut the amount of butter in half and everybody said it was the best macaroni and cheese they ever had. I also used smoked Gouda for most of the cheddar. It was a major hit. I just made it again using the original recipe with the full amount of butter, and it is way too much butter. Great recipe, just halve the butter.