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: 464 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

  • 1 pound short-cut pasta
  • 2 1/4 cups whole milk
  • 2 large eggs, beaten
  • 1/4 cup sour cream or plain greek yogurt
  • 2-3 teaspoons cajun seasoning (optional)
  • 2 tablespoons salted butter
  • 3 cups shredded cheddar cheese
  • 3 cups shredded Colby Jack cheese
  • fresh basil or parsley, for serving

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 🙂

Easy Southern Style Baked Mac and Cheese | halfbakedharvest.com

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Comments

  1. Hello! How could I use this as a make-ahead dinner if I can assemble now, but dinner isn’t for another 7 hours?

    1. Hey Terri,
      Just assemble up until the point of baking, keep covered in the fridge, and then bake when you are ready to serve. I hope you love the recipe, please let me know if you have any other questions! xTieghan

  2. 5 stars
    Elizabeth Anthony
    MAY 13, 2021
    5 stars Love this recipe, much easier than making a rue. I did use evaporated milk, as it’s all I had , and halved the recipe. Although I over baked, I got distracted, it came out great. This Mac was to clear cheese out of the frig so I used some good sliced Swiss I had (cut in really small dice, sharp cheddar and Parmesan. This is now my go to Mac and cheese recipe

    1. Hey Elizabeth,
      So so glad this recipe was enjoyed, thanks a lot for giving it a try!! xxTieghan

  3. 5 stars
    This is a keeper! I have been searching for the perfect baked Mac n cheese, and this is it! It’s so easy to make, and best of all, my husband loved it. I was supposed to make it on a Sunday, so I assembled it earlier that day, but plans changed, so we ended up cooking it the following evening. It was wonderful! I did let it sit out for about 20 minutes before putting it into the oven. I halved it. It also reheated so well.

    1. Hey Katie,
      Fantastic! Thanks a bunch for giving this recipe a try, I am so glad it was enjoyed! xTieghan

  4. 2 stars
    I was excited to try this recipe to satisfy my pregnancy carb cravings. I reduced it by half because it is just my hubby and I. although it was quick and easy I would not make it again. Even with Cajun seasoning I found it very bland. It was also very dry and not creamy at all.

    1. Hey Kirsten,
      So sorry you did not enjoy this recipe, please let me know if I can help in anyway! xTieghan

    2. Maybe you are looking for more of a stovetop Mac n cheese. Baked isn’t as creamy however, I thought this one was creamy for a baked Mac n cheese.

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