This recipe for the perfect Southern Style Baked Macaroni and Cheese has been in the works for a while.
For years I’ve been trying to figure out that exact combination of those basic macaroni and cheese ingredients to make a baked macaroni and cheese recipe that came out creamy enough for me, but still in that Southern Macaroni Pie Style for my classic-loving husband.
People: I have done it.
Creamy but not saturated like a pan mac and cheese, this recipe is, in my humble opinion, the perfect macaroni and cheese.
You can change the cheeses, you can change the milk. You will, I know you will.
And that’s okay. But I cannot be held responsible for how it turns out unless you use my exact recipe. More extra sharp cheese, or substituting any lower fat cheddar, regular gruyere, etc will make the sauce gritty. Using all Medium or Mild Cheddar will make it more gooey and bland. Substitute gouda or fontina and you’ll get more of a pan-style sauce.
You’ve been warned ( but if that’s what you are looking for, go for it! )
- 16 ounces macaroni
- ⅓ cup butter
- ⅓ cup flour
- ½ tsp white pepper
- ½ tsp salt
- ⅛ tsp cayenne pepper
- 3½ cups 2% milk
- 8 ounces medium cheddar cheese, shredded
- 8 ounces extra sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
- Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
- Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the macaroni, cook for 8 - 9 minutes. Strain and set aside.
- In a heavy-bottomed large pot over medium heat, melt the butter.
- Sprinkle the flour, white pepper, salt, and cayenne pepper over the melted butter, whisking until smooth.
- Stir in the milk ½ cup at a time ( feel free to eyeball it ), only adding the next half cup once the previous one has been incorporated entirely.
- Add all of the medium cheddar cheese and half of the extra sharp cheddar cheese, stir into the milk/flour sauce until melted. Stir in the macaroni.
- Pour into a 2 quart baking dish. Top with the remaining extra sharp cheddar cheese.
- Bake at 375 F for 30 minutes.