Simple Southern Macaroni and Cheese Recipe

Simple Macaroni and Cheese
Simple Macaroni and Cheese. Diana Rattray
  • 38 mins
  • Prep: 5 mins,
  • Cook: 33 mins
  • Yield: 4 to 6 servings
Ratings (24)

Simple to prepare, and simply delicious, this family-pleasing macaroni and cheese is made with four ingredients plus salt and pepper. There's no sauce to make, so it takes very little time to put together and bake. I used a blend of Cheddar, American, and Colby cheeses in this super easy casserole.

Serve macaroni and cheese as a side dish with fried chicken, burgers or hot dogs, barbecue, or a holiday dinner. 

What You'll Need

  • 8 ounces elbow macaroni​ (uncooked, about 2 cups)
  • salt and pepper (about 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper)
  • 8 ounces cheddar cheese blend (or cheddar jack)
  • 4 tablespoons butter (cut into small pieces)
  • 1 1/4 cups light cream (or half-and-half)

How to Make It

  1. Heat the oven to 350 F. Butter a 2-quart baking dish.
  2. Bring a pot of salted water to a boil. Add the macaroni to the boiling water and cook following the package directions. Drain the macaroni thoroughly in a colander.
  3. Scoop about 2 cups of the drained macaroni into the prepared baking dish. Sprinkle the layer of macaroni with about 1/4 teaspoon of salt and 1/8 teaspoon of pepper, then top with about half of the shredded cheese.
  1. Layer the remaining macaroni on the cheese layer and sprinkle with another 1/4 teaspoon of salt and 1/8 teaspoon of pepper. Top with the remaining cheese and dot with the butter. Pour the cream over all and bake for about 25 minutes.

Tips and Variations

  • Cook 4 to 5 strips of bacon; drain well, crumble, and sprinkle over the first layer of macaroni along with half of the cheese.
  • Use shredded pepper jack cheese or taco-seasoned cheese instead of cheddar cheese or cheddar jack.
  • Instead of elbow macaroni, use mini penne or ditalini pasta.