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Paula Deen’s Famous Southern Mac And Cheese Recipe

Food & Recipes, Blog

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Paula Deen Mac and Cheese, from the queen of southern cooking, checks all the boxes for unforgettable mac and cheese: custardy, cheesy, and delicious!

Paula Deen mac and cheese is everything you’d expect from a good mac and cheese recipe. Mac and cheese is, in my opinion, the most universal of all pasta recipes. Who doesn’t enjoy a bowl of tender pasta, cheesy macaroni and cheese that tastes like heaven on a plate? Paula Deen Mac and Cheese, the queen of southern cooking, does it better than anyone else.

This Paula Deen mac and cheese recipe is rich, cheesy, and yields a large 9X13 inch pan. Rather than a creamy mac and cheese, she makes an amazing custard-style dish. It has a firmer hold and travels much more smoothly. Ideal for a potluck, holiday table, or Sunday dinner!

What I Love About Paula Deen Mac and Cheese Recipe

This Paula Deen Mac and Cheese Recipe is everything you’d expect from this esteemed chef. Here is my shortlist of favorite things:

  • Loads of cheese
  • The 3 cheese blend brings tons of flavor
  • Makes plenty to feed the whole family


I love the simplicity of this recipe! Here are a few extra tips to make it the best it can be.

  • Pasta: Make sure you don’t overcook your pasta when making crock pot mac and cheese (another delicious custard-style dish) or baked mac and cheese casserole. The further you want it to cook, the more al dente it should be, or even a little less. On the long journey through the oven or slow cooker, overcooked pasta turns to mush!
  • Cooking pasta: Use proper pasta cooking techniques. Use a large pot with plenty of well-salted water!

Ingredient Notes

  • The cheese: I like how the macaroni and cheese sauce is made with a mix of American, cheddar, and cream cheese. You can, however, experiment with a variety of the best cheeses. A few things to think about are how they melt and how well they go with other cheeses.
  • Cream cheese: Cream cheese thickens the sauce without the use of flour in this mac and cheese. Try sour cream, creme fraiche, or mascarpone cheese if you want something a little different. These add a tangy note and make a one-of-a-kind homemade mac and cheese sauce!

Mac and cheese keeps best in an airtight container or a resealable plastic bag. Allow it to cool completely before covering it. Is it possible to freeze this? Paula Deen Mac and Cheese recipe freezes beautifully.

If you have leftovers or are doing make-ahead meal prep, make sure your mac and cheese is completely cool before putting it in well-sealed freezer containers. Assemble everything up to the point of baking your baked mac and cheese ahead of time. Allow everything to cool before putting it in the refrigerator. It should last a day or two.

Paula Deen Mac and Cheese Recipe


  • 2 cups elbow macaroni uncooked
  • 1/4 cup butter, cut into small cubes
  • 1 cup half and half
  • 4 large eggs beaten
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper optional
  • black pepper
  • 8 ounces cheddar cheese
  • 8 ounces American cheese
  • 4 ounces cream cheese softened


  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 9X13 inch baking dish with nonstick cooking spray; set aside.
  • Cook pasta in well-salted water, according to the package instructions, just until al dente.
  • Meanwhile, in a medium mixing bowl stir together all the rest of the ingredients, except the cheeses.
  • Drain the pasta. Return drained pasta immediately to the pot it was just cooked in. Fold in the cheddar, American, and cream cheese until evenly combined.
  • Pour the pasta and cheese mixture into the prepared 9X13 inch baking dish. Pour the whisked ingredients evenly over pasta.
  • Bake in the preheated oven until bubbly, 40-45 minutes. Let stand for 10 minutes prior to serving.


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