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One staple that is on my families holiday table is a baked southern macaroni and cheese casserole. It’s so good that it doesn’t feel like the holidays without it.
There is something so comforting about this baked macaroni and cheese recipe. This casserole uses simple ingredients like elbow macaroni noodles, sharp cheddar cheese, milk, and eggs. Baked in the oven, it makes enough to feed a large crowd at your next holiday gathering.
Every holiday I make this recipe for my family. And every holiday this is the first side dish to be completely devoured. It is THAT good!
Southern Macaroni and Cheese Just like at a Restaurant
Visit any restaurant in the south and you may be surprised to find baked macaroni and cheese as a “vegetable” option or side dish. It is no secret we love macaroni and cheese in the south.
In the south we tend to do baked macaroni and cheese a little differently by using eggs. The use of eggs makes the southern macaroni and cheese bake into a casserole. It is firmer and holds its shape unlike traditional stovetop macaroni and cheese that is creamier.
Baked macaroni and cheese is often served alongside other traditional southern dishes like cornbread, creamed corn, green beans, etc. This is by far my favorite way to enjoy macaroni and cheese.
Baked Macaroni & Cheese Casserole: A Southern Family Tradition
The tradition of having this recipe served at our family table during the holidays began with my grandmother. We have reserved this recipe to only making it during a family get together. This isn’t something that we make year round which is what makes it extra special.
Although grandmother’s recipe will always be the best, I’ve since taken the family recipe and added my own unique tweaks to it.
Save Time: Make this recipe the day before your celebration
What I love about this recipe is that you can easily make it ahead of time. If you have a lot of dishes to cook the next day like on Thanksgiving for example, save some time by assembling this southern macaroni and cheese casserole the day before. That way all you have to do is pop it into the oven to finish baking the day of your big celebration.
Need to bring something to a party?
This recipe also travels really well. I love glass baking dishes with lids just for occasions such as this. After baking this recipe, just pop the lid onto your baking dish and it’s ready to be taken to your next party.
Southern Macaroni and Cheese Casserole
- 4 cups dry elbow macaroni
- 2 lbs Shredded Sharp Cheddar Cheese halved
- 1/2 cup unsalted Butter
- 4 TBSP all-purpose flour
- 2 cups whole milk
- 6 eggs
- 1/2 cup milk
- 1/2 tsp salt
- Cook elbow macaroni according to package directions. Drain into a colander and rinse with cold water to stop the cooking process.
- While the elbow macaroni is draining prepare the cheese sauce in the original pot that you cooked the macaroni in. First melt the butter on low-medium heat. Then, whisk in the flour and let cook for approximately 3 mins.
- Stir in 2 cups of milk. Continue stirring on low-medium heat until mixture begins to thicken.
- Then add half of the sharp cheddar cheese (1 lb.). Continually stir until all the cheese has melted and formed a velvety cheese sauce.
- Add the drained elbow macaroni noodles to the prepared cheese sauce.
- Stir to coat completely and remove from heat.
- In a separate bowl whisk together 6 eggs, 1/2 cup milk, and salt.
- Once combined, stir the egg mixture into the macaroni and cheese. Stir well until everything is combined.
- Pour half of the macaroni and cheese mixture into a glass 13"x9" casserole dish.
- Sprinkle half of the remaining 1 lb. of shredded sharp cheddar cheese onto the first layer of macaroni in the casserole dish.
- Add the rest of the macaroni and cheese mixture to the casserole dish and top with the remaining shredded sharp cheddar cheese.
- Bake in a preheated oven at 350°F for 45-60 minutes or until the middle is firm and not runny when you insert a knife.
- Serve warm. Refrigerate leftovers.
Does your family have a traditional dish that you only make during the holidays?
What size is the casserole dish for this recipe?
Sorry about not including this in the recipe, I think I used a 9×13″ glass casserole dish. Definitely a larger dish because this recipe is made to feed a crowd!
I am drooling. I just love mac and cheese and this looks incredible.
We love mac and cheese! They’re a hit when we have company as well.
My youngest son loves mac and cheese. I will have to have him make this.
This looks so good. I’m definitely saving this to make later. My kids really love mac and cheese.
An interesting take on Mac n Cheese, and sounds like something worth trying.
My mom used to make a macaroni and cheese casserole that looked a lot like yours. I think she had some breadcrumbs on top too. It was always a huge hit at get-togethers. I’ll have to make this for her and see what she thinks.
This sounds like heaven. Macaroni cheese is one of my favourite dishes. I’d love to try making it myself.
Macaroni is such a universal dish that everyone enjoys and I love your southern take. Love to try it out for sure.
This is making me hungry! I really love to try this awesome recipe! It look so good!
I love a good bowl of Mac n cheese. I’ll have to make a batch of this Mac n cheese when I make ribs.
Mac ‘n cheese is my young son’s favorite meal. I must make this at my next holiday celebration. Thanks for sharing this with us.
That looks like a great macaroni and cheese casserole, I’ll have to give it a try!
This sounds like a very rich and flavorful mac and cheese. We love a good baked mac in our house!
Mac and cheese is one of my son’s favorites. I would like to try your recipe sometime. He’d be delighted!
Yum! Haven’t made macaroni and cheese in a while, will try your recipe then! thanks you!!!