Paula Deen mac and cheese is everything a good mac and cheese recipe ought to be. Of all the pasta recipes in the world, I think the most universal is mac and cheese. Who doesn’t love a bowl of tender pasta, cheesy, heaven-on-a-plate macaroni and cheese? No one does it better than the queen of southern cookin’ Paula Deen.
This Paula Deen mac and cheese recipe is a super cheesy, rich, and makes a generous 9X13 inch pan. She makes an amazing custard-style dish rather than a creamy style mac and cheese. It sets firmer and travels much better. Perfect for your next potluck, holiday table or Sunday supper!
So let’s get started!
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: When you make crock pot mac and cheese (another yummy custard-style dish) or baked mac and cheese casserole, make sure that you don’t over boil your pasta. Al dente, or even just a little less, is all the further you want it to cook. Overcooked pasta becomes mush on the long trip through the oven or slow cooker!
Cooking pasta: Use proper pasta cooking techniques. Use a large pot with plenty of well-salted water!
The cheese: I love the blend of American, cheddar, and cream cheese to create the mac and cheese sauce. However, you can experiment with all kinds of different cheese. A few things to consider is how they melt and how the taste compliments the other cheeses.
Cream cheese: Making this mac and cheese with cream cheese helps thicken the sauce without flour. If you want a little different flavor, you can try sour cream, creme fraiche, or mascarpone cheese. These bring a bit tang and will make a unique homemade mac and cheese sauce!
Mac and Cheese Storing Tips
Mac and Cheese stores best in a well-sealed container or even a plastic resealable bag. Be sure to allow it to cool before covering.
Can You Freeze This?
I love freezing Paula Deen Mac and Cheese recipe. On the slim chance you have leftovers or if you’re doing make-ahead meal prep, make sure you completely cool your mac and cheese before putting it well-sealed freezer containers.
Baked Mac and Cheese Make Ahead Tips
To prep your baked mac and cheese ahead of time, assemble everything up to the bake point. Allow everything to cool and then store it in the fridge. It will hold for a day or two.
How Long Can You Keep This In The Fridge?
According to FDA recommendations, a cream-based dish like Paula Deen Mac and Cheese recipe will keep up to 3-4 days in the fridge.
Paula Deen mac and cheese recipe is fantastic, but of course, it can always be better. Check out these cooking and ingredient variations for ways to take your mac and cheese to the next level!
How Other Famous Celebrities Make Their Mac and Cheese?
Paula Deen isn’t alone in her quest for the perfect macaroni and cheese. Ree Drummond’s Pioneer Woman Mac And Cheese uses dry mustard to increase the depth of flavor, and Rachael Ray macaroni and cheese incorporates nutmeg, which is actually a traditional ingredient in this iconic dish!
What Other Ways Can I Cook This Recipe?
I’ve listed both crockpot and oven methods for this recipe. I like to use my Dutch oven to make a one pot mac and cheese since it can go from stovetop to oven.
You can certainly make instant pot mac and cheese by using the slow cooker function. Make sure your steam valve is open and you might even prop open the lid slightly to allow some moisture to escape as the lid on the instant pot fits much tighter than a traditional slow cooker.
You can make stovetop mac and cheese with this recipe by cooking for about an hour and half on low to medium heat. You need to stay close to it and stir often to keep the heat well distributed.
Can I Add Veggies?
Whenever you’re adding veggies, you must consider moisture. It’s best to precook veggies to decrease their moisture before incorporating them into your dish. Popular variations that use veggies as either part of the sauce or as the ‘pasta’ are butternut squash mac and cheese and cauliflower mac and cheese. They’re both fabulous twists on traditional mac and cheese!
What Other Cooking Techniques Can I Try For This Recipe?
Mac and cheese bites are a fun presentation. They can be made by cooking in individual bite-sized cupcake tins. Macaroni soup takes all the creamy goodness of mac and cheese into a thick, decadent soup. It’s like a mac and cheese and chicken soup mash-up of deliciousness!
My all-time favorite twist on tradition is fried mac and cheese. It’s a fantastic way to use up leftovers!
What Other Ingredients Can I Add?
Down home, Velveeta mac and cheese is a classic. You can add a few ounces of creamy Velveeta to your cheese blend in this recipe. If you really want to dress it up, consider lobster mac and cheese. The sweet taste of lobster compliments the creamy sauce beautifully.
Of course, you can never go wrong with a little spice! Add in a chopped pepper for jalapeno mac and cheese.
Paula Deen Mac and Cheese
- 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.
A well-loved dish like mac and cheese has many variations, showing just how much people love this simple, homemade dish! Paula Deen Mac and Cheese recipe is just one of many fantastic ways to make this family favorite. Here are a few more!
- 3 Cheese Mac And Cheese
- 5 Cheese Mac And Cheese
- Tuscan Chicken Mac And Cheese
- Southern Mac And Cheese
- Chili Mac
Paula Deen mac and cheese recipe has all the hallmarks of unforgettable mac and cheese. Your family will be asking for it again and again. I know you’re going to love the extra creamy, cheesy sauce and the versatility of the crockpot and oven preparations!
I can’t wait to hear how it goes for you! Be sure to leave a comment!