This Southern mac and cheese is a baked macaroni dish made with two types of cheese, eggs, milk and seasonings. It’s super easy to make and can easily be doubled or tripled to feed a larger crowd!

You can never go wrong with a piping hot pan of homemade macaroni and cheese. Some of our favorite recipes include slow cooker mac and cheese, buffalo chicken mac and cheese, and this Southern style version.

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A spoon serving up a portion of Southern mac and cheese.

There are so many different ways to make mac and cheese, but this Southern mac and cheese is one of my all time favorites. There’s no need to take the extra time to make a cheese sauce, simply toss everything together, bake it in the oven, then watch the rave reviews pour in!

How do you make Southern mac and cheese?

The key to this Southern mac and cheese is the cheese mixture. Unlike some recipes, there is no need to cook up a sauce on the stove. Simply mix together milk, cream, eggs, shredded cheese and seasoning. Combine this cheese mixture with boiled macaroni and put it all in a baking dish. Sprinkle a little cheddar on top as a finishing touch.  After a trip through the oven, the cheese and milk turn into a creamy and delicious sauce while the noodles soak up all the flavor. The mac and cheese is ready to serve with a little chopped parsley sprinkled on top.

A bowl of milk, cream, two types of shredded cheese and seasonings.

Tips for Southern mac and cheese

  • Always use freshly shredded cheese, avoid bagged pre-shredded cheese which can have anti-caking agents and may not melt as well as freshly shredded cheese.
  • For the creamiest mac and cheese, buy a block of American cheese from your deli counter.
  • Use whole milk for the best flavor and texture.
  • You can assemble the mac and cheese up to 4 hours before you plan to bake it. Simply mix together the cheese mixture and the macaroni and refrigerate it until it’s ready to go into the oven.
  • Feel free to use any small pasta shape that you like such as small shells, rotini, or fusilli.
  • Make sure to let the pasta sit for at least 10 minutes before you serve it. This allows the mac and cheese to reach the perfect consistency and temperature.

Macaroni tossed with eggs, milk and cheese.

What can I add to mac and cheese?

Mac and cheese works well with so many flavors. Feel free to add ingredients such ass cooked bacon, jalapeno slices, cooked diced chicken, hot sauce, tomatoes, peas, cooked ground beef, crumbled and cooked sausage, spinach or even crispy breadcrumbs on top.

A dish full of macaroni topped with shredded cheese.

What are the best cheeses for mac and cheese?

Mac and cheese must have a good flavor and be creamy. I like cheddar cheese for that classic mac and cheese flavor, and I add deli American cheese for that silky creaminess. If you want to add other flavors, you can mix in other cheeses that melt well such as smoked cheddar, Gouda, Monterey Jack or fontina.

Southern mac and cheese topped with melted cheddar and parsley.


Mac and cheese is great as a side dish or a main course. I often serve it as a side dish with one of the following protein options.

This Southern Mac and Cheese bakes up creamy and delicious. It tastes so good, no one will believe how easy it is to make!

5 from 17 votes

Southern Mac and Cheese

AuthorSara Welch
A spoon serving up a portion of Southern mac and cheese.
This Southern mac and cheese is a baked macaroni dish made with two types of cheese, eggs, milk and seasonings. It's super easy to make and can easily be doubled or tripled to feed a larger crowd!
Prep Time20 minutes
Cook Time45 minutes
Total Time1 hour 5 minutes
Course Main
Cuisine American
Serves 8


  • 16 ounces macaroni noodles cooked in salted water for 1 minute less than package calls for
  • 1 1/2 cups milk
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 2 eggs lightly beaten
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon onion powder
  • 4 cups shredded cheddar cheese divided use
  • 8 ounce block American cheese shredded
  • cooking spray
  • 1 tablespoon parsley chopped


  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Coat a 2 or 3 quart baking dish with cooking spray.
  • Place the milk, heavy cream, eggs, salt, pepper, garlic powder, onion powder, 3 cups shredded cheddar cheese and the American cheese in a large bowl. Stir to combine.
  • Add the cooked noodles to the bowl and toss to coat the noodles evenly with the milk mixture.
  • Pour the noodle mixture into the prepared dish.
  • Cover the dish with foil. Bake for 25 minutes. Uncover the dish and sprinkle the remaining cup of cheese over the top. Bake for an additional 20 minutes.
  • Let cool for 10 minutes so that the pasta can set. Sprinkle with parsley, then serve.


Calories: 609kcal | Carbohydrates: 47g | Protein: 30g | Fat: 30g | Saturated Fat: 22g | Cholesterol: 154mg | Sodium: 760mg | Potassium: 306mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 5g | Vitamin A: 1228IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 783mg | Iron: 2mg

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Recipe Rating


  1. 5 stars
    When you could regularly get cheese ends at the deli; they were very inexpensive. I would load up and then just put them all together thru the food processor, what an interesting mix, and different every time. Then I’d packed up the shredded cheese and freeze for when I wanted to cook with cheese. My friends and family always raved about my mac and cheese and what unique flavor it always had. The mixed cheeses made for great sauces, and any cheese dishes. Check your market to see if they sell cheese ends, you can usually identify what is what and even hand pick your favorite cheeses. I was also able to get deli meat ends, lots of things to do with these, too.
    have fun. Holly

  2. Finally, we can have people over for Canada Day (July 1st) and I am trying a Southern mac and cheese for a change.
    We do not have American cheese in Canada , I do think it is the same as our cheese slices though ( we call it “plastic cheese) Do you have a suggestion as what I can substitute it for.

    Thank you and Happy July 4th

  3. 5 stars
    Delicious! I change something every time I cook this dish. My favorite recipe for macaroni and cheese so far!!!

  4. 5 stars
    After pizza, macaroni and cheese is my literal favorite thing in this world. I have never made it “southern style” but I will try this! Looks so much easier than making the cheese sauce.

  5. 5 stars
    I loved all the cheesy goodness in this recipe; easily this is a new family favorite recipe in our home! My kids devoured it instantly!