best southern mac and cheese recipe

Southern Mac and Cheese Recipe (No Flour)

best southern mac and cheese recipe
Best southern mac and cheese recipe

Southern Mac and Cheese Recipe

Southern macaroni and cheese differs from other types in that it is custard-style: instead of being loose and runny, it holds its shape after being cut and served. Also, because a lot of the original colonists in the South were English, cheddar is the cheese of choice. This is my adaptation of the John Legend mac and cheese recipe as shared on Martha Stewart. Not only is my southern mac and cheese recipe easy because there is no roux, but it is also the perfect size for a small gathering. If you are looking for the perfect Thanksgiving, Christmas, or Sunday Dinner side for two to four people, try this recipe.

old fashioned southern mac and cheese recipe
Old fashioned southern mac and cheese recipe

Southern Mac and Cheese Recipe History

Although there are recipes for macaroni and cheese dating back to England in the 1700’s, Thomas Jefferson is credited with introducing the dish to the United States. After first encountering the dish while in Paris with his slave and chef James Hemings in the late 1700’s, he served “a pie called macaroni” at a formal dinner while president in 1802. In 1824 Mary Randolph, Thomas Jefferson’s daughter-in-law, included a recipe for macaroni and cheese in her 1824 cookbook The Virginia Housewife. By the mid to late 1880’s, recipes for macaroni and cheese were common in cookbooks both in the South and Great Plains.

Southern Mac and Cheese Recipe Ingredients

southern mac and cheese evaporated milk
Southern mac and cheese evaporated milk

My research suggested that traditional southern mac and cheese is usually a custard-style mac and cheese, so it holds its shape when baked. Cheddar also seems to be in almost every old fashioned southern mac and cheese recipe due to the amount of English settlers in the South: both macaroni and cheese and cheddar cheese can be traced back to England. Many classic southern mac and cheese recipes also include hoop cheese, an unaged farmers cheese that people in online forums say resembles unaged cheddar cheese or cottage cheese. So, I decided to combined extra sharp cheddar and mild cheddar in the hopes that they would work together to form a middle ground. A southern mac and cheese recipe with evaporated milk may seem odd, but it helps to hold the mac and cheese together. Since it is shelf-stable, it is a common ingredient in many Southern recipes. Although the original John Legend mac and cheese recipe from the Martha Stewart show called for adding garlic powder, onion powder, and pepper to the evaporated milk mixture, I did not; however, I may try adding spices next time.

caramelized onion southern macaroni and cheese
Caramelized onion southern macaroni and cheese

I have added caramelized onions to pasta dishes in the past, so I thought caramelized onion southern macaroni and cheese would be a good way to add a bit of extra flavor. Also, since I try to make recipes healthier if possible, I decided to use whole wheat elbows: not only does whole wheat pasta have more nutrients, but it is also less likely to overcook and become mushy.

Also, this no flour southern mac and cheese recipe is not only delicious but also easy. Since the mac and cheese is made without flour, there is no roux to accidentally burn and ruin your dish. If you are a beginner cook, a no roux mac and cheese recipe is easy and great for Thanksgiving or any other holiday. Additionally, since my southern style mac and cheese recipe makes an 8 x 8 dish and not an 8 x 13, it is perfect for small gatherings or for people who are watching their portion sizes.

baked southern mac and cheese recipe
Baked southern mac and cheese recipe

As you can see, this southern mac and cheese recipe is easy and delicious. Be sure to give it a try.

Southern Mac and Cheese Recipe:
Southern Mac and Cheese Recipe (No Flour)

Ingredients

  • 1 teaspoon oil
  • 1 8 oz block extra sharp cheddar cheese (225g)
  • 1 8 oz block mild (or medium) cheddar cheese (225g)
  • 1 12 oz can evaporated milk (354ml)
  • 1 large egg
  • *extra butter to grease 8 x 8 casserole dish
  • *optional: garlic powder, onion powder, pepper, as well as paprika to sprinkle on top

Instructions

  1. Bring water to a full boil, and boil pasta for 8-10 minutes
  2. *if grating cheese by hand, now is a good time to grate the cheese
  3. Drain pasta and set aside.
  4. Add butter and oil to a pan, and turn on heat to medium (3/6) for 1 minute, then...
  5. Add onion and saute for 5 minutes. After 5 minutes,...
  6. Turn off heat and add pasta. Stir to combine.
  7. *Preheat oven to 375 F
  8. Butter an 8 x 8 casserole dish
  9. Mix 1 can of evaporated milk with 1 large egg. Mix in extra spices if desired.
  10. Add 1/3 of pasta to dish, and then top with 1/3 of cheese. Pour 1/3 of evaporated milk and egg mixture over pasta and cheese.
  11. Repeat 2 more times. The final layer should be cheese, so reserve 1/3 to 1/2 of total cheese for top.
  12. *If you forget to pour in evaporated milk after each layer, pour it all in at the end: it will be fine.
  13. *If desired, sprinkle top with paprika before baking
  14. Bake at 375 F for 30-35 minutes.
  15. Let cool 10-15 minutes before serving.
http://parnellthechef.com/southern-mac-and-cheese-recipe-no-flour/

creamy southern mac and cheese
Creamy southern mac and cheese

Southern Mac and Cheese Recipe Video Tutorial:

Be sure to check out my video tutorial for southern mac and cheese:

Southern Mac and Cheese Recipe
Southern Mac and Cheese Recipe

Sources:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Macaroni_and_cheese

https://www.cheese.com/hoop-cheese/

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2 Comments

  1. Looks delicious and easy to make.

    My wife loves Mac and Cheese and I would like to surprise her with this.

    1. Author

      Thank you, it is! Like I said in the article and video, this southern mac and cheese recipe doesn’t require a roux, so it’s very easy: the hardest part if grating the cheese by hand, haha.

      If you make it, please let me know how it turns out: I’m sure that she will love it!

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