Southern Mac and Cheese

Southern Mac and Cheese

Southern-style mac and cheese is a popular dish in the southern region of the United States. It is a creamy and rich casserole made with macaroni noodles, a cheesy sauce, and often baked until golden and bubbly.

The cheese sauce used in southern-style mac and cheese typically includes a combination of cheddar and other cheeses such as Colby, Jack, or Gouda. The sauce is made by melting butter in a saucepan and whisking in flour to make a roux, which is then slowly whisked with milk and the shredded cheese until it thickens into a smooth and creamy sauce. The cooked macaroni noodles are then stirred into the cheese sauce and the mixture is transferred to a baking dish. Some recipes call for adding breadcrumbs, bacon bits, or other toppings to the dish before baking.

Southern-style mac and cheese is a comforting and satisfying dish that is often served as a side dish at barbecues, potlucks, and holiday dinners. It is also a popular comfort food and a staple at many southern restaurants. Many families have their own unique recipe for mac and cheese that has been passed down for generations.

SERVINGS: 4

PREPARATION TIME: 30 minutes

INGREDIENTS:

  • 8 oz. elbow macaroni
  • 4 tbsp. unsalted butter
  • 4 tbsp. all-purpose flour
  • 3 cups whole milk
  • 2 cups grated cheddar cheese
  • 1 tsp. dry mustard
  • 1 tsp. garlic powder
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1 cup panko breadcrumbs
  • 2 tbsp. grated Parmesan cheese

STEP-BY-STEP INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. Cook macaroni according to package instructions until al dente. Drain and set aside.
  2. In a separate saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat. Whisk in the flour and cook for 2 minutes.
  3. Gradually pour in the milk while whisking continuously to avoid lumps. Cook the mixture, stirring occasionally, until it thickens, about 5 minutes.
  4. Remove from heat and stir in the cheddar cheese, dry mustard, garlic powder, salt, and pepper until the cheese has melted.
  5. Add the cooked macaroni to the cheese sauce and stir to combine.
  6. Transfer the mixture to a 9×13 inch baking dish. Sprinkle the panko breadcrumbs and Parmesan cheese on top.
  7. Bake in a preheated 375°F oven for 15-20 minutes, or until the top is golden brown and crispy.
  8. Remove from oven and let cool for 5 minutes before serving.

SERVING SUGGESTIONS OR ADDITIONAL TIPS:

  • For a crispier top, you can broil the mac and cheese for 2-3 minutes after baking.
  • To add some extra flavor, you can stir in cooked bacon, diced jalapenos, or diced green onions before baking.

Serve with a green salad or garlic bread for a complete meal.

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