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.
PREPARATION TIME: 30 minutes
- 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
- Cook macaroni according to package instructions until al dente. Drain and set aside.
- In a separate saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat. Whisk in the flour and cook for 2 minutes.
- Gradually pour in the milk while whisking continuously to avoid lumps. Cook the mixture, stirring occasionally, until it thickens, about 5 minutes.
- Remove from heat and stir in the cheddar cheese, dry mustard, garlic powder, salt, and pepper until the cheese has melted.
- Add the cooked macaroni to the cheese sauce and stir to combine.
- Transfer the mixture to a 9×13 inch baking dish. Sprinkle the panko breadcrumbs and Parmesan cheese on top.
- Bake in a preheated 375°F oven for 15-20 minutes, or until the top is golden brown and crispy.
- 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.