Origin Of This Best Macaroni and Cheese Recipe Ever
Like many, I used to have made mac n cheese using Velveeta and baked it in the oven or else made the all-in-one packaged box for the pot on the stovetop. With little time left in the day for making dinner, I though both were the best mac and cheese recipe. Sometimes, I’d get adventurous with Paprika by adding it to the cheese or looking for something else like adding another seasoning to the cheese sauce. I loved this mac and cheese but I also realized I was searching for something about it for a significant change.
Then, I became deeply involved in management in the food service industry. After a few years, I began to work for Morrisons.
Their delicious mac and cheese was one of the most popularly demanded side dishes in New Orleans. I learned of this dish while working as the number 3 Manager in a very popular 500-seat New Orleans Morrison’s cafeteria style restaurant. Most of the dishes there were made from well established scratch recipes. I’ve made this recipe slightly modified due to other foods experiences and has since remained unchanged from the 1980s.
It is absolutely a true delight to see faces light up when people loved this recipe for the melding of these natural flavors I learned from Morrisons. We haven’t bought packaged or frozen macaroni and cheese in decades. Hopefully you will have had the same pleasing experience with your family after you tried this recipe for Mac and Cheese .
Macaroni and 3 Cheese Gourmet Casserole
- 1 cup elbow macaroni uncooked
- 3 tbsp butter melted
- 1 large egg beaten
- ¼ cup half-and-half
- ¾ cup whole buttermilk or ¾ cup regular milk and 2 tbsp. sour cream
- ¼ tsp salt
- ½ tsp ground black pepper
- ⅛ tsp garlic powder or double amt. minced garlic
- ⅛ tsp cayenne red pepper
- 1½ cups cheddar cheese shredded or cutup small
- ½ cup longhorn cheese shredded or cutup; or Colby or Monterey Jack
- ¼ cup parmesan cheese grated or shredded; or Provolone Cheese
- ½ cup cheddar cheese shredded
Cook the macaroni in water first.1 cup elbow macaroni
Prepare a greased, square (9", 2½ qt. or similar) baking casserole dish.
When macaroni is nearly cooked, preheat oven to 375° F.
Mix together all the main ingredients (except macaroni) in a medium sized mixing bowl.
When the macaroni is done, drain in a strainer, run cold water over to cool a bit, shake to strain excess water, and then fold them into the bowl's mixture. Combine thoroughly to coat macaroni.
Pour the macaroni mixture into the baking dish. Sprinkle the toppings ingredients across the macaroni mixture. Cover the baking dish with lid or foil.½ cup cheddar cheese
Bake (covered) in center rack or a little higher for 30 minutes.
Remove cover and finish baking for 20 more minutes (or until browned on top).
Ingredients Best for Southern Baked Macaroni and Cheese
While the ingredients are listed in the baked macaroni and cheese recipe, this is to give more details on them when you make this mac and cheese. We do have a section for various ingredients changes you can make. And we have another section for what cheeses you can substitute or change out. If this is your first time making baked mac and cheese, you’re in for a treat as this happens to have a gourmet nature without the added work!
What we leave out of this best mac and cheese
This mac n cheese recipe is made without flour and, therefore, being flourless, it has no roux you have to make. Hurray! Also, while the focus of the cheese is the best, you don’t have to warm up any cream cheese because it doesn’t use it! If you’ve made homemade mac and cheese before from another recipe that had you make a cheese sauce, you’ll discover this leaves out those steps. It’s easier to make and less to watch over so, you might make this your go to mac and cheese dish.
When selecting what pasta to use when you cook macaroni, the classic for homemade mac n cheese is elbow macaroni.
Making it more Creamy
If you need to make this recipe more creamy than it already is, you can do something that chefs do in restaurants. You can retain some of the pasta water to add into the mixing bowl with the other ingredients. You can start with adding about 1/4 cup. Another thing to improve the creaminess has to do with the cheeses used. If you’ve substituted some, the chosen cheeses might not be naturally as creamy. Also, if you’re using packaged, already shredded cheeses, that is a little reduction for creaminess.
Best Variations for this Creamy Baked Mac and Cheese Recipe
Here are some things you can consider adding in to your macaroni and cheese to enhance it more. However, these are individual add-ons. So, that means you might not want to include several of these additions into one casserole.
- 1-1//2 cups ham, diced or cubed
- 2 tomatoes, diced
- 1-1/2 tomatoes, diced and 1/4 medium, sweet onion, diced
- 2 cups chopped broccoli
- 6 slices bacon, cooked and crumbled
Best Cheeses to Use to Make This Homemade Mac and Cheese
Over the decades, there have been many kinds of cheeses in baked mac and cheese I’ve ever been served and made. Here are the ones to consider as options. None of these have to be a smoked cheese and any level of sharp cheeses is based on your own preference.
- Cheddar cheese (sharpness based on your preferences)
- Colby cheese
- Longhorn cheese (this is a type of Colby)
- Monterey Jack cheese
- Colby-Jack cheese (is a combination of Colby and Monterey Jack)
- Parmesan cheese (often found to pair up with Cheddar)
- Gruyere cheese
- Havarti cheese (it’s mild so pair it with a stronger cheese)
- American cheese (it’s mild so pair it with a stronger cheese)
- Asiago cheese (use very sparingly, as it’s extremely strong)
- Velveeta (not a cheese type but is a process of cheeses that a lot of people like; it’s handy if you’re out of real cheese. Doesn’t pair well with any except Cheddar, American, or Parmesan)
What to Serve Best When You Make Mac and Cheese
It’s an excellent side dish for many main courses. But, this one is an excellent alternative to rice or potatoes when serving, for example, fish, chicken, or meatloaf as a main course. Here are a couple of those incredible main course recipes:
- Barbecue grilled chicken
- Easy Recipe for Salmon
- Southern Fried Fish
- Roasted Turkey in Oven Recipe
This home made mac and cheese may also be a good complementary side to add along with this recipe for sugar snap peas.
FAQ on this Easy Homemade Baked Mac and Cheese
How long is mac and cheese baked for?
A little under an hour, depending on the oven temperature. In this recipe, it’s baked for about 50 minutes total.
Is mac and cheese baked covered or uncovered?
Both. It’s baked a little more than halfway covered and then it’s finalized for about 20 minutes uncovered for cooking further and also for browning the top.
Can this be made ahead and baked the next day?
Yes but only if you leave out the milk and the half-and-half until ready to bake.
Can this recipe for my family be increased?
Definitely! Just use the <Recipe Resizer> and increase it to be 1-1/2 or double the volume. I’ve doubled the recipe and baked it in a larger casserole dish, like a 13×9.
Nutritional Values and Calories of Homemade Macaroni and Cheese
Mac and Cheese Calories
Here are the calories and nutritional values as linked from the homemade recipe.
History of Macaroni and Cheese
Both Italians and English enjoyed different variations of macaroni and cheese dishes in the 14th century. In America, it’s often considered as a “comfort” food. Here’s some Wikipedia info on Macaroni.
Conclusion: Make This Macaroni and Cheese
When you make this best baked mac and cheese and others see it come out of the oven, they will be in awe. It’s a good recipe of southern baked mac and cheese using buttermilk to experience. And the cheese combinations are the ultimate heart of this gourmet delicious mac. Plan ahead and have this baked mac n cheese recipe all the time!