A classic Southern Baked Macaroni and Cheese recipe from the wonderful new cookbook The Up South Cookbook: Chasing Dixie in a Brooklyn Kitchen
There are definitely a few recipes that are quintessential to a Southerner’s Sunday menu, and a southern baked macaroni and cheese recipe is one of them. I haven’t tried several varieties of mac n cheese beyond my mom’s. Let’s just say I feel she makes a mean one, and I have definitely gotten used to splurging my carb calories on a big portion during a Sunday or holiday meal.
When I received the new cookbook The Up South Cookbook written by Nicole Taylor, I was immediately drawn to the southern macaroni and cheese recipe. I definitely knew I wanted to include this book in my #BlackGirlMagic Cookbook series (more on that here). It seemed like pure comfort food in a cookbook that knows its way around the Southern kitchen. Nicole really has a way of adding her Brooklyn modern flair to traditional recipes that shaped her Georgia culinary history. If there was another mac n cheese I would be open to trying, it would certainly be one from Nicole.
This baked macaroni and cheese is quite delightful and made with cheeses like sharp cheddar, manchego and gruyere that really give it a lovely depth of flavor. I also loved that no velvetta showed up in this recipe. No need for fake cheese in Southern Macaroni and Cheese making. There is a hint of spice with smoked paprika that added a great note as well. This is also a very easy macaroni recipe that many beginner cooks can try. I halved the recipe since it was just for me and the hubby, and I baked it a bit longer only because I wanted to brown the top a little more. My husband really enjoyed this southern macaroni dish and ate it everyday until it was all gone. I can’t wait to try more recipes from Nicole’s soulful book.
- 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided
- ½ cup heavy cream
- 2 cups half-and-half
- ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
- ¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes
- ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
- ¼ teaspoon ground mustard
- 2 teaspoons all-purpose flour
- 3½ cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese (about 1 pound)
- 1 cup shredded manchego cheese (about ¼ pound)
- 1 cup shredded Gruyere cheese (about ¼ pound)
- 8 cups water
- 1½ teaspoons coarse salt
- 1 pound elbow macaroni
- 2 large eggs, beaten
- 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
- Preheat oven to 350. Prepare a 9x13-inch baking dish with 2 tablespoons butter.
- In a heavy saucepan, whisk in cream, half-and-half and 4 tablespoons butter over medium-low heat. Add black pepper, red pepper flakes, nutmeg, and mustard, and whisk in flour. Cook the mixture about 2 minutes, until there are no more flour lumps. The mixture should not be bubbling. If so, reduce heat.
- Whisk in the cheddar, manchego, and Gruyere. Keep cheese sauce on low heat until ready for the baking dish.
- Using a stockpot or Dutch oven, bring 8 cups of water to a boil. Sprinkle in salt. Put in the pasta and cook for about 8 minutes. The macaroni should not be mushy. Drain and transfer to prepared baking dish.
- Mix the eggs well into the pasta. Next, pour cheese sauce over macaroni and stir well. Sprinkle paprika on top of macaroni and cheese.
- Bake for 40 minutes, until you have a golden crust.
- Let cool for 10 minutes before serving.