Southern Cheddar Mac and Cheese is everything you want in a mac and cheese. All the carbs, cheesy, saucy, southern goodness you could want!
Ok, listen. Here is the thing. Mac and cheese is one of my favorite foods. I'm not ashamed of it. When the craving hits, I satisfy it. But I also don't eat this every day - or even once a week. So when I want some mac and cheese, I get some mac and cheese. 🙂
Also, I have been holding out on posting a mac and cheese recipe for a long time, and for good reasons. I have a running list of recipes that will be included in my cookbook someday and this was one of them.
I should also mention, the cookbook recipes will not be blog recipes. Just FYI 😉
But alas, I gave in. For lots of reasons - none of which matter now, because Thanksgiving is soon and of course, you need another side dish idea and recipe. 😉
So you're welcome.
Plus let's be honest. This is a perfect recipe 360 days out of the year. So there you go!
- Half and Half
- Whole Milk
- Mild Cheddar
- Mustard Powder
How to Make
Here is the thing. I am actually incredibly picky about my mac. I DO NOT repeat, DO NOT like baked mac and cheese.
GET OUT OF HERE!
I need creamy. I need cheesy. I need SAUCY! That comes out of a pot - on the stove - not out of the oven.
It is simple. No baking is required. No crunchy bread or crumby topping is needed. Just pure cheesy saucy southern goodness.
PS (If baked bread crumbly mac is your thing - go for it! It just isn't mine. We can agree to disagree 😉
This is how my mom made it for us growing up and how it should be done.
- First step: make a roux. Equal parts butter and flour, cooked until the flour taste has been cooked out.
- Second: Then slowly add in the half and half and milk while getting an arm workout of the year by whisking like your life depends on it. This is the foundation of the thick creamy cheesy sauce that you will want to swim in. As you whisk, the milk mixture will become warm and thick - the perfect scenario to melt some cheese in.
- Third: Add in your cheese and spices. Melt slowly. Add in your cooked noodles. Stir to combine and eat immediately.
Have I made you hungry yet?
No one will be able to turn down Southern Cheddar Mac and Cheese. So whenever the craving to creamy and saucy and oh-so-cheesy carb craving hits - this will be your go-to recipe!
Frequently Asked Questions
This is best eaten hot and fresh and right away. Once it sits for a while, the noodle will continue to absorb the liquid, making the cheese sauce not as creamy and saucy as before. If this happens, you can thin it out by stirring some milk into it and bring it back to life. You can also do this over the stove to warm back up as well.
I love to use a variety of cheese sometimes if I am feeling like switching things up. Any cheese that melts well will work for this recipe. Cheeses such as white cheddar, mild cheddar, gruyere, gouda, cream cheese, goat cheese, or monetary jack. Mozzarella works as well but will give you some "stringy pull" to your sauce. Try any combo of your favorites above for a twist on a traditional mac and cheese recipe!
No. It is best to grate your own cheese for this. Using a pre -shredded cheese will result in a clumpy and textured sauce - not smooth and creamy - because of the binding coating agents, they use to make sure the shredded cheese doesn't stick together in the bag. Take the extra 5 minutes and shred your own. It is worth it!
Personally, I think bowtie noodles are the best noodles for anything. However, cavatappi, shells, penne, macaroni, and radiatori are some of the other favs I like to use. Anything with an opening, holes, and a shape that holds the sauce. So that every bite you take, the noodle is holding a little bit of the lovely cheesy goodness.
Want More Cheesy Recipes? Here you go!
- Sous Vide Vanilla Bean Cheesecake
- Strawberry Pretzel Jello Salad
- Come to the Table: Cheesey Pepper Pasta
- Goat Cheese Stuffed Dates Wrapped in Bacon
- Spinach and Artichoke Puff Pastry Swirls
- Broccoli Casserole Made without Velveeta
- Come to the Table: How to Make a Charcuterie Board
- Broccoli & Cheddar Risotto