Old fashioned baked macaroni and cheese is a creamy luscious blend of six kinds of cheese, milk, and eggs baked to gooey, bubbly golden brown perfection. This classic side dish is a family staple and perfect for every occasion.
Want another cheesy recipe? Try our Cheesy Pan Seared Chicken next.
Old Fashioned Baked Mac and Cheese
Baked macaroni and cheese is the comfort food that everyone loves so it’s no surprise that it’s a family favorite in my household. It tastes like a southern grandmother made it but I may shake the table with some of my inclusions.
This wouldn’t be a southern classic without some Velveeta and eggs. This combination ensures you get the gooiest, creamiest, old fashioned baked macaroni and cheese. So stop searching for the best mac and cheese recipe because this is it! Now grab a plate and get ready for the ultimate cheese pull!
Why You’ll Love This Baked Macaroni and Cheese Recipe
- Easy to Make! Put down the Kraft box because it’s so simple to make homemade baked macaroni and cheese. There’s no roux or bechamel necessary so this recipe is made without flour or any complicated steps.
- Customizable! Everyone has their own way of making macaroni and cheese. This recipe is my own but can be tweaked to match your family’s taste buds. I even provide some suggestions!
- Perfect for Any Occasion! This crowd-pleasing dish is always a good choice. Serve it as a side during the holidays, at the family cookout, or on a casual Wednesday night.
Old Fashioned Baked Macaroni and Cheese Ingredients
- Elbow Macaroni: I keep it classic with elbow macaroni but cavatappi, with all its ridges, would be perfect for the cheese to cling to.
- Milk: I used a combination of whole milk and evaporated milk.
- Sour Cream: Keep it creamy with this inclusion.
- Eggs: Lightly beat the eggs.
- Unsalted Butter: The cheeses contain enough sodium so I use unsalted butter.
- Cheese: I use equal parts cubed Velveeta cheese and shredded Colby jack cheese, sharp cheddar cheese, and mild Cheddar cheese. I use a little less of the smoked gouda and gruyere.
- Seasoning: With all of the cheeses, this casserole dish is super flavorful so I keep it simple with seasoning salt and black pepper.
How to Make Old Fashioned Baked Macaroni and Cheese
Preheat the oven to 375°F. Bring a large pot of water to a boil and salt generously. Add in your elbow macaroni and cook until just al dente.
Shred all of your cheeses and set aside. Freeze for 30 min to harden before shredding. Do not place it back in fridge while you wait, you want it to begin to melt when adding to your noodles.
Combine Eggs, Seasoning & Milk
In a separate bowl whisk together your eggs, seasonings, 1 cup of evaporated milk, and one cup of whole milk.
Drain Pasta, Add Butter & Sour Cream
Drain your noodles and add them to a large bowl or pot. Mix in your butter and sour cream to coat the noodles.
Build Cheese Sauce
Begin to add some of your shredded cheese and mix, making sure not to break your noodles. Slowly, add your milk and egg mixture and mix some more. Slowly alternate adding in more cheese and more milk.
Bake & Serve
Once combined well, add your macaroni to a large baking dish and top with your remaining cheeses. Preferably sharp cheddar on top.
Cover with foil and place in the oven for 25 minutes. Remove foil and bake for an additional 10-15 minutes or until bubbly and browned to your liking.
Remove from oven and let rest for 15 minutes before cutting into.
- Cream Cheese: This can replace sour cream or be used with it. Both provide a slightly tangy flavor and creamy texture.
- Bread Crumbs: For a crispy finish, sprinkle some breadcrumbs over the top of unbaked mac and cheese. Panko breadcrumbs or crumbled ritz crackers would be delicious.
- Add-Ins: For added texture and flavor, consider throwing something extra in the mix. I suggest bacon bits, lump crab meat, or jalapenos.
- Spicy: Want to kick the heat up a notch? Try adding cayenne pepper, crushed red pepper flakes, mustard, or hot sauce.
- More Cheese: Want to switch up the cheese blend? Try parmesan or pepper jack cheese.
Tips for the Best Old Fashioned Baked Macaroni and Cheese
- Undercook the pasta because it will continue to cook in the oven.
- Use room temperature milk for easier mixing.
- Do not use pre-shredded cheese. Hand-grate fresh blocks of cheese. It takes more effort but it’s worth it. Freshly grated cheese melts so much better.
- Continuously stir as you combine all of the ingredients with the milk or the mixture could curdle.
What to Serve with Old Fashioned Baked Macaroni and Cheese
The only way this could possibly be better is if you pair it with a delicious main dish. Here are my top suggestions:
- Fish: Baked mac and cheese would pair perfectly with crispy fried catfish.
- Chicken: Making this for a casual weeknight dinner? Enjoy it with some baked chicken.
- Turkey: For a super rich meal, pair this with Smothered Turkey Wings.
- Other Sides: I love mac and cheese with some protein but this would make a delicious meatless meal. Try eating it with collard greens and sweet potatoes for the ultimate vegetarian soul food plate.
Can Macaroni and Cheese be made ahead of time?
Absolutely! Prepare the macaroni and cheese just before the oven step. Cover it with aluminum foil and place it in the fridge until one hour before baking. If you end up cooking it from frozen, cook it for an extra 30 minutes.
Storing & Reheating Leftovers
Store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 7 days. For longer storage, place it in the freezer for up to 3 months.
When you want to reheat old fashioned baked macaroni and cheese, warm it up in the microwave for about 1.5 minutes.
Why add egg to macaroni and cheese?
Eggs enrich the flavor and texture of old-fashioned baked macaroni and cheese. It also makes a delicious custard that holds the casserole together.
Should you cover macaroni and cheese when baking in the oven?
It’s not a necessary step but I like to keep my mac and cheese moist while it bakes so I cover it with aluminum foil for the first 25 minutes. Then I remove it so the top of the mac and cheese can develop a nice crust before I take it out of the oven.
How do I make baked macaroni and cheese not dry?
Coat macaroni and cheese with an even layer of shredded cheese or bread crumbs in order to prevent it from drying out.
I hope you enjoy making this Southern Baked Mac n Cheese recipe!
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More Recipes To Try!
Old Fashioned Baked Macaroni and Cheese
- 24 oz Elbow Macaroni
- 1½ cups Whole Milk
- 1 can Evaporated Milk
- ¼ cup Sour Cream
- 3 Eggs lightly beaten
- 1 stick Unsalted Butter
- 8 oz Velveeta Cheese cubed
- 8 oz Colby Jack Cheese
- 8 oz Sharp Cheddar
- 8 oz Mild Cheddar
- 6 oz Smoked Gouda
- 4 oz Gruyere
- 2 tbsp Seasoning Salt
- 1½ tsp Black Pepper
- Preheat the oven to 375°F. Bring large pot of water to a boil and salt generously. Add in your elbow macaroni and cook until just al dente.
- Shred all of your cheeses and set aside. Freeze for 30 min to harden before shredding. Do not place it back in fridge while you wait, you want it to begin to melt when adding to your noodles.
- In a separate bowl whisk together your eggs, seasonings, and 1 cup of your evaporated milk and one cup of your whole milk.
- Drain your noodles and add them to a large bowl or pot. Mix in your butter and sour cream to coat the noodles.
- Begin to add some of your shredded cheeses and mix, making sure not to break your noodles. Slowly, add your milk and egg mixture and mix some more. Slowly alternate adding in more cheese and more milk.
- Once combined well, add your macaroni to a large baking dish and top with your remaining cheeses. Preferably sharp cheddar on top.
- Cover with foil and place in oven for 25 minutes. Remove foil and bake for an additional 10-15 minutes or until bubbly and browned to your liking.
- Remove from oven and let rest for 15 minutes before cutting into.