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This Easy Southern Style Baked Mac and Cheese is THE best any night of the week, any occasion, mac and cheese. The secret to this simple, easy, and delicious cheesy mac is a couple of eggs, lots of cheese, and a touch of spice. Every bite is layered with southern flavor, creamy pasta, and cheese. It’s the creamiest bowl of baked mac and cheese that’s fancy enough for the weekend, but easy enough to make any night of the week. And most importantly, it’s so delicious…especially with an extra sprinkling of basil on top.

Easy Southern Style Baked Mac and Cheese | halfbakedharvest.com

I’m not sure there’s much that tops homemade mac and cheese. I mean, it’s just so easy and delicious. It’s definitely a staple dish around here. I’ve been talking for weeks about how inspired I am by vintage recipes. And while this recipe isn’t technically “vintage”.  It feels like something my mom or grandma could 100% get behind.

The other thing about this mac and cheese? It reminds me of the Stouffer’s mac and cheese I used to eat all the time when I was a kid. I was an oddball child that didn’t love junk food, passed on potato chips, and stuck to only Reese’s peanut butter cups and Malley’s chocolate bars. I ate carrots with ranch as a snack and all-in-all was a somewhat “healthy” eater who loved my vegetables.

But I also LOVE, LOVE, LOVE my mac and cheese. I didn’t grow up on the Kraft Mac and Cheese, instead, my mom bought Stouffer’s frozen mac and cheese that you could pop in the microwave. I ate a lot of those after school throughout my third, fourth, and fifth grade years. What I loved about them was that the top was always a bit more baked with crusty edges, but they had the creamiest cheesy pasta underneath. This mac and cheese is exactly that…but better…because it’s homemade with more flavor and more cheese.

Easy Southern Style Baked Mac and Cheese | halfbakedharvest.com

This southern mac and cheese is easy, here are the details

When it comes to a southern-style mac and cheese, there are a couple of things that are different.

First up, it uses eggs to help bind everything together, which makes it even simpler.

I also like to add a touch a cajun seasoning to mine, which adds a nice little southern kick. This is optional, but we find it extra delicious.

And lastly, the process. It’s much simpler than you might ever imagine. Boil-off the pasta, while that’s happening, whisk together the milk, eggs, the tiniest amount of sour cream, and that cajun seasoning. Now add the pasta and the butter and toss it all to combine.

Easy Southern Style Baked Mac and Cheese | halfbakedharvest.com

Bake then broil.

This is key. Bake the mac and cheese for thirty or so minutes to melt that cheese, then switch the oven to broil. Let the cheese start to bubble up, but be sure to watch closely, the broiler cooks quickly.

As soon as you pull this out from under the broiler, add a bit of basil, serve, and ENJOY.

Easy Southern Style Baked Mac and Cheese | halfbakedharvest.com

Super easy, right?

But yet so very good. The pasta underneath stays soft and creamy, while the cheese on top turns crispy and just the slightest bit crunchy. Yes, the corners of the dish will form an insanely delicious, cheesy crust.

Creamy cheesy pasta underneath, crunchy cheddar on top, a little bit of spice, and fresh basil over it all…

Just. So. Darn. Good!

And guys, that’s pretty much it. Dinner in less than an hour, and something I feel like the whole family can really enjoy. Make this over the weekend for the Kentucky Derby, then make it for every other party that follows.

Easy Southern Style Baked Mac and Cheese | halfbakedharvest.com

Looking for other easy pasta bake recipes? Here are a few ideas: 

One Pot 30 Minute Creamy Tomato Basil Pasta Bake

One Pan Baked Cheesy Basil Pasta

Caprese Pesto Pasta Bake

Lastly, if you make this Easy Southern Style Baked Mac and Cheese be sure to leave a comment and/or give this recipe a rating! Above all, I love to hear from you guys and always do my best to respond to each and every comment. And of course, if you do make this recipe, don’t forget to tag me on Instagram! Looking through the photos of recipes you all have made is my favorite!

Easy Southern Style Baked Mac and Cheese

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 35 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes
Servings: 8
Calories Per Serving: 538 kcal

Nutritional information is only an estimate. The accuracy of the nutritional information for any recipe on this site is not guaranteed.

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Ingredients

Instructions

  • 1. Preheat the oven to 400° F.
    2. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Cook the pasta according to package directions until al dente. Drain.
    3. Meanwhile, in a large bowl whisk together the milk, eggs, sour cream, cajun seasoning, or 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1 teaspoon pepper. Add the pasta, butter, cheddar cheese, and 2 cups Colby Jack cheese. Pour the pasta into a 9x13 inch baking dish and cover with foil.
    4. Bake 25 minutes, then remove the foil and top with the remaining Colby Jack cheese. Return to the oven and bake another 10 minutes, until the cheese is melted. Switch the oven to broil and broil 2-3 minutes, until just a little crispy on top. WATCH CLOSELY.
    5. Serve the mac and cheese immediately with fresh herbs and black pepper. ENJOY ?
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Easy Southern Style Baked Mac and Cheese | halfbakedharvest.com

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Comments

  1. Hi! If I don’t want to use cajun seasoning (not sure all of my guests will enjoy!) what can I use instead? Thanks!

  2. 5 stars
    I made this today for my boyfriend’s and I’s thanksgiving feast for two and it turned out so good! My dad makes a southern style Mac and cheese for Thanksgiving every year, but since we moved from Arizona to Washington a few years ago – I haven’t been able to have it and was wanting a little piece of “home” this year. It tasted nearly identical to his which made me so so happy! Will definitely be making it again sometime! 🙂

    1. Hey Caitlin,
      Thank you so much for making this recipe, I love to hear that it was a winner! I hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving! xx

    1. Hi Raquel,
      Thank you so much for making this recipe, I love to hear that it was a winner! I hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving! xx

  3. I’m making this for a potluck but I am making it the night before. How should I reheat it? Can I use a crock pot to reheat and if so how long? Thanks in advance!

    1. Hey Samantha,
      I would bake up until baking, cover and pop in the fridge. Bake as directed when you are ready to serve. Please let me know if you have any other questions! xTieghan

  4. I just prepared a double batch of this recipe (it was such a hit at Friendsgiving last year!) so we could share some with friends this week and family at Thanksgiving next week. Would it be better to freeze it before baking to melt the cheese topping or should I complete the entire recipe then freeze? Thanks!

    1. Hey Lisa,
      so glad to hear this recipe was enjoyed last year! I would freeze before baking:) Please let me know if you have any other questions! xT

      1. Thinking about making this for a potluck. Could I make this ahead of time and then put in a crockpot to heat up and keep warm? Instead of baking it.

        1. Hey Mary,
          Sure, I bet that would work well for you! I hope you love this recipe, please let me know if you give it a try! xx

  5. This is delicious. A staple in our house for celebrations, get togethers and holidays. Everyone loves it.

    Is this freezer friendly? If yes, should I freeze before baking or after?

      1. Hi Brenda,
        You bet, that will work well for you! I hope you love this recipe, please let me know if you give it a try! xx

    1. Hey Angie,
      The eggs help to create a smooth, creamy sauce. Let me know if you have any other questions, I hope this recipe is delish! xT