No comfort food’s quite as comforting as macaroni and cheese. And African-American macaroni and cheese are probably some of the best out there.
The history of baked macaroni and cheese traces back to an African-American chef trained in France. His indelible mark remains forever on the comfort food that took America by storm.
Here are some of the best macaroni and cheese recipes that we could find. We hope you enjoy it!
1. Southern Baked Mac and Cheese by Immaculate Bites
The best thing about the Southern Baked Mac and Cheese is that the layers of cheese make it gooey and delicious.
In fact, everything about this recipe is gooey and delicious. It’s hard to go wrong with cheese and noodles and then more cheese. The excellent carbs and dairy layers make this delectable with every single bite.
One of the best elements of this recipe is the creole seasoning and the three different types of cheese that you get to use. Nothing could be better than layers and layers of cheese.
The recipe calls for Colby-jack, mozzarella, and sharp cheddar cheese. But you can use all kinds of different cheeses. Pepper jack, Swiss, or Havarti are all good substitutes if you want to mix things up a little bit.
You don’t have to stick closely to the recipe if you’re feeling a little adventurous. Mixing up the cheese or adding a fourth kind will give this recipe your little twist. You can even toss in some meat or veggies if you want to make it unique.
You’re going to need some evaporated milk for this one, and make sure you don’t add it all at once. Following the recipe is the best way to get this one perfect every time.
2. Trashless Trashy Mac & Cheese by Yummly
We all go to Yummly occasionally for a recipe idea or two. The truth is, their name says it all: what could be better than finding a great recipe at a place called Yummly? And there’s nothing wrong with that.
This homemade macaroni and cheese recipe consists of dried macaroni, any cheese you feel like adding, and turmeric. There’s nothing wrong with this particular recipe. It’s delightful, it’s yummy, and it reminds you of all the comforts of home.
That’s right, turmeric. The classic, tasty spice adds a unique flavor that any other recipe cannot match. Turmeric has a unique taste that you can’t mimic any other spice. It’s one of the key elements that makes this dish so tasty.
You can make this all right in one pan with little to no effort. The best thing about this particular recipe is that you can use whatever leftover veggies or meat you have in the fridge to make it a little bit more.
My favorite thing to do with this recipe: add ham and broccoli. But you can use anything you want to spice this dish up and make it a little more interesting.
3. Millie Peartree’s Baked Mac & Cheese by Delish
There’s something extraordinary about using a recipe that has a name like Millie Peartree attached to it. Something about that name makes you feel like you’re making Grandma’s mac and cheese. And nothing is better than Grandma’s mac and cheese.
The best part of this particular southern-style macaroni and cheese recipe is the custard that you make to pour over it all. Whisking eggs and milk together gives the whole dish an extra creaminess that no other dish has.
The recipe calls for cheddar cheese and Colby-jack, but you can use anything you want. I like to add a little bit of gouda myself, but that’s just my preference.
Before you put the dish together, you’re going to want to make the pasta. Make sure that you don’t get it too mushy; it will get even mushier when you mix it with all the cheese and milk.
The next key element to this recipe is keeping everything layered. Layers make this dish the fine piece of art that it is.
When you throw this dish in the broiler to top it all off, you’re going to want to add just a touch more cheese for extra gooey goodness.
4. Sylvia’s Macaroni and Cheese by Key Ingredient
Sylvia’s Macaroni And Cheese is one of those timeless dishes full of classic ingredients, making it feel like the sort of thing you would eat with your mom on a Sunday afternoon.
With lots of butter, milk, and cheddar cheese, this dish is not for the faint of heart. Nor is it for the lactose intolerant. But it’s for just about everyone else, and it’s a guaranteed crowd-pleaser no matter what the occasion.
Make sure you cook your noodles beforehand, and remember not to get them too mushy. You want them to be al dente so that they turn to mush when you combine them with all the liquids and melting cheese.
When you put it all together, it’s going to resemble something more of a casserole than a macaroni and cheese dish. When you bake it, it’s going to get all bubbly and gooey. But that’s what you want.
The key ingredient to Sylvia’s Macaroni And Cheese is the thick, hearty cheddar cheese. It makes it gooey and cheesy, two qualities that every mac and cheese dish should have to be considered real mac and cheese.
And then there’s just a dash of sugar. It gives it a little bit of crispness that makes this dish stand out.
5. Southern-Style Soul Food Baked Macaroni and Cheese by Stay Snatched
If you’re looking for something tasty and gooey and cheesy to serve as a side or as the main attraction at your next dinner party, then you might consider this Southern-Style Soul Food Baked Macaroni and Cheese.
Nothing about this dish is healthy, so if you’re worried about calories, you should look elsewhere. But if you’re ready to have your taste buds enlightened and your sense opened to a whole new world of cheesy goodness, then look no further.
The key to this recipe is shredded cheese. You want to carefully, meticulously shred all of the cheese. And there’s a lot of cheese. But that’s what makes it so good. The best part is the Muenster cheese, which adds certain goodness that’s irreplaceable.
If you make any substitutions, make sure that you leave the muenster cheese alone. You’re going to want it in there.
Layering your ingredients will make this macaroni and cheese bake work much better than if you simply toss it all together. So layer it all the way!
If you’re worried about this dish being too creamy and want to make it a little more like a casserole, try adding an egg. It will bind everything together and make it the perfect holiday meal.
6. John Legend’s Macaroni and Cheese by John Legend
John Legend is known for more than just his smooth, sultry voice. His songwriting and his skills on the piano have made him a star, but it turns out that he’s also quite the cook. And his favorite dish just happens to be macaroni and cheese.
Nothing is quite as attractive as a man who can cook, and when a man can cook and sing? That’s almost too much.
Give John Legend’s recipe a try and see what makes it so good. Homemade macaroni and cheese is always a better option than making it from a box, and using John Legend’s recipe will convince you of this fact.
Evaporated milk is one of the key ingredients in this dish. And don’t forget oodles of shredded cheese that you need to layer in between the delightfully al dente elbow macaroni. Once it’s all put together, sprinkle a little paprika on top for some special spice.
The trick with this dish is to go in thirds. As you layer, layer a third of everything. Try not to clump anything together too much. The layers are going to make this dish work for you. You won’t regret the time it takes to put it all together.
7. Sweetie Pie’s Mac & Cheese by Just A Pinch
This is one of those recipes that you can’t make too often. Not because it’s a bad recipe, and not even because it’s that difficult. But you want to be careful about how much cheese and noodles you consume daily.
Sweetie Pie’s Mac & Cheese is not a recipe that you can make on a whim if you’re in the middle of a diet. But when you want to impress some friends, you can whip it up real fast and enjoy a delightfully cheesy experience.
There’s a wild combination of cheeses in this recipe, making it one of the more unique dishes that you can make. It has Colby and Monterey Jack, sharp cheddar, and Velveeta.
Velveeta is making a comeback in recipes like this one. The popular cheese block used to be a staple for anything creamy and cheesy. Now, people like to use different kinds of cheese to be fancy or sophisticated.
But Velveeta is arguably the thing that makes this dish so good. It’s hard to go wrong when you’ve got oodles of cheese and evaporated milk and butter all mixed with sour cream, pepper, and elbow macaroni.
There is something timeless about Sweetie Pie’s Mac & Cheese recipe. It transports you back to a simpler time when life was easy and there were no bills to pay.
It’s a great dish when you’re entertaining guests, and it’s just as good for when you need a quiet night at home and wants to make something special.
8. Soul Food Macaroni and Cheese Bake by Sweet Tea and Thyme
Everything about this meal is delightful. From the al dente pasta to the rich, creamy, gooey, cheesy sauce that you douse into the crispy crust that forms in the oven: it’s all cooked to perfection to create a marvelous experience of delightful flavors and aromas.
Soul Food Macaroni and Cheese Bake is the sort of recipe you’ve only dreamed about until now. It’s the sort of recipe that only Grandma knows how to make, and she probably doesn’t have the recipe written down anywhere.
She’s most likely been making this mac and cheese for longer than you’ve been alive, just like her mama did before her. And she probably has it all memorized, down to the very last step. So good luck finding a recipe card without her knowing.
There’s no shortage of cheese in this mac and cheese dish. It’s a dish for celebration, and you should go all out when you put it together. You want the cheese to be dripping off your fork when you plate it up. Don’t be ashamed if people think it’s too much cheese because they’re wrong.
The best part of this dish is that it’s made completely from scratch, just the way your granny made it. And just the way her granny made it. There’s nothing boxed or premade. It’s all prepared fresh, as is, with a whole lot of love.
9. Nikki’s Southern-Style Mac ‘n’ Cheese by Food & Wine
Macaroni and cheese are all about tradition and are largely associated with Black America’s long and storied culinary past. Southern-style mac and cheese is the ultimate definition of soul food, and nothing even comes close to being as good.
This specific mac and cheese recipe pays homage to those days long ago, when Black American families would gather together and appoint one person with the honor of bringing the macaroni and cheese.
You don’t get to decide that role for yourself. You have to be told if it’s you or if it falls to someone else. To take up the mantle without invitation is never a good idea.
The thing that sets this mac and cheese recipe apart from all other mac and cheese recipes is how it hearkens back to old styles of making mac and cheese.
When you cook the noodles, hold a little bit of the water in reserve to add it to the milk and cream mixture that gives this dish its character. And the heavy whipping cream that you’re going to use will set this one apart.
You can use any kind of macaroni noodle that you want, although standard elbow macaroni is recommended. Try not to get too creative: the original thing is the best.
10. Southern Baked Soul Food Style Macaroni and Cheese by Divas Can Cook
As implied by the name, divas can cook. Nothing stops them from making their own southern-style, soul food-based macaroni and cheese. It might just help them not be such a diva if they can put a batch of this goodness together.
This mac and cheese recipe is the sort that you want to share. It doesn’t make any sense to keep it to yourself when there’s so much about it that makes it delightful. Other people ought to share in the joy you feel when consuming this delicious, creamy mixture.
So don’t keep this one to yourself. Spread it around so that everyone can experience the pure love that comes from real soul food.
The standards of this recipe mimic the basic foundations of all other mac and cheese recipes. That’s not to say that it’s boring or that it is standard. But it makes the beginning process easy to get a grasp on if you’re not used to cooking.
What sets this mac and cheese recipe apart is the smoked cheddar cheese that you’re going to shred and put on top. There are no words to describe how wonderful this addition is and how much personality it brings to the table.
Add a little paprika as well, and you’re going to have the best dish at family dinner.
11. Black Mac and Cheese by Bunny Ears
We’ve already established that baked, southern-style macaroni and cheese is a dish unique to African-American history and culture. The macaroni and cheese that some people buy inboxes and make from packets are not the same as real macaroni and cheese.
This means that making real macaroni and cheese is something everyone should aspire to. There’s no reason to make mac and cheese from a box when there are so many great recipe options out there.
Macaroni and cheese ought to be in a casserole. That’s just the truth of the matter. And this take on southern-style baked macaroni and cheese puts it in a casserole, where it ought to be and stay.
The best thing about this recipe is adding all the spices you want. You can add salt, pepper, garlic, paprika, turmeric, a little cumin – if it sparks your fancy, you might as well give it a try. No one will complain about your mac and cheese having too much flavor.
And as far as the cheese goes, add as much as you want. Who’s going to notice if it has a little more cheese than what the recipe calls for? Seriously, nothing should stop you from trying different kinds of cheese in varying amounts.
12. Southern Baked Mac & Cheese by Chenée Lewis
Evaporated milk is supposedly the secret ingredient to old-fashioned mac and cheese, which means that any recipe that calls for evaporated milk is hearkening back to the oldest days of mac and cheese.
Not only that but adding an egg is another great way to pay homage to tradition and make your mac and cheese a little more like a casserole.
And if you want to make true southern-style mac and cheese, it needs to be more like a casserole. It can be creamy and gooey, but it must be a casserole.
Try this recipe out for a traditional take on a traditional recipe. It’s fairly standard, but it’s also delicious.
13. Southern Mac and Cheese by Butter Be Ready
Southern baked mac and cheese is simply the best way to eat mac and cheese. It doesn’t get any better than this.
It’s a famous side dish that goes well with most meat and vegetables. It can also be a meal in and of itself. Its versatility is part of what makes it so delightful.
This specific mac and cheese recipe is great for experimenting with different spices and cheeses. Don’t be afraid to go out on a limb. You might just stumble on something groundbreaking.
Easy African American Macaroni & Cheese Recipes, Final Thoughts
Macaroni and cheese made in true southern style have a few defining features: it must be baked, have lots of cheese, and be soulful. Putting together a batch of macaroni and cheese is like taking part in a little bit of history. It doesn’t get better than this.