Why is this the best southern macaroni and cheese you ask? Well, because it is loaded with cheesy goodness and pops with soooooo much flavor in every bite! Southern macaroni and cheese get its “southern charm” because of the butter and seasoning flavors intertwined throughout the dish. Let’s face it- southern macaroni and cheese is not going to be diet-friendly, but it’s definitely delicious and worth every single bite! Everything in moderation right? Besides, this southern macaroni and cheese is a show-stopper every time it shows up on the dinner table or even cookouts!
Short backstory behind the infamous southern macaroni and cheese: every thanksgiving we have this one aunt that brings some banging mac & cheese to dinner. I mean, it’s so good that you automatically know that’s the first thing you gotta pile on your plate because it’s gone in a matter of minutes! This is the one dish that you don’t have the opportunity to go back for seconds.
So one Thanksgiving I got smart and mosied my way into the kitchen to watch her make it. The ingredient that set-it-off was the butter! She was not shy with it, using a whole stick. Not only is there quite a bit of butter, but she uses 3 different types of cheese to give it a distinct and delicious cheesy flavor.
The staple cheese though- is Velveeta. No matter how much we love to hate Velveeta cheese, it is an awesome ingredient to have on hand; it melts well and can be used in so many different recipes. Then she added a few staple seasonings, and wah-lah, southern macaroni and cheese is born!
It’s much more simple to make than you may know, but a few important things about it:
Do not skimp on the butter! It really makes or breaks this one
You must use Velveeta cheese, it adds to the creaminess of it all
Seasoning is of the utmost importance, or it will taste super bland
Not sure why- but I feel like layering the pasta, cheeses, & butter makes it so much better!
Trust me on this one!
- 1 pound Elbow pasta, par-boiled
- 8 ounces Velveeta cheese, cubed
- 16 ounces Sharp cheddar cheese, shredded, reserve half to sprinkle on top
- 8 ounces Gouda cheese, shredded
- 1 stick Butter, cut into 1/2 tablespoon slats
- 2 cups Milk
Seasoning (to taste)
- 1 tablespoon Onion powder
- 1 tablespoon Garlic powder
- 1 tablespoon Seasoning salt
- 1/4 teaspoon Nutmeg
- 1/2 teaspoon Black pepper
- 1 teaspoon Paprika
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Begin layering pasta, cheeses, and butter, reserving half of the cheddar cheese for the topping.
- Add milk and seasoning and mix thoroughly.
- Cover with aluminum foil and bake for 20-25 minutes.
- Remove from oven, stir, and add additional shredded cheese, place back in oven and bake 5-10 minutes until nice golden crust is achieved.
Any type of shredded cheese can be used in place of cheddar and gouda.
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