How To Cook Soul Food Mac & Cheese

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Ben Tilley Modified: March 2, 2024
How To Cook Soul Food Mac & Cheese

Bring Soul to Your Dinner Table with this Amazing Mac & Cheese Recipe

Macaroni and cheese, a timeless classic that brings comfort and joy to our hearts. Whether you’re craving a warm, gooey dish on a chilly evening or want to impress your family and friends at a gathering, soul food mac and cheese is the answer. With its rich and creamy texture, it’s no wonder this dish has become a staple in American comfort food.

If you’re ready to take your mac and cheese game to the next level, follow this simple and mouthwatering recipe that will have everyone coming back for more.


  • 2 cups elbow macaroni
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups whole milk
  • 2 cups sharp cheddar cheese, grated
  • 1 cup colby jack cheese, grated
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper (optional for a hint of heat)
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 cup panko breadcrumbs
  • 2 tablespoons melted butter


  1. Preheat your oven to 350°F (175°C) and grease a 9×13-inch baking dish.
  2. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and cook the macaroni according to package instructions. Drain and set aside.
  3. In a separate saucepan, melt 4 tablespoons of butter over medium heat. Once melted, whisk in the flour to create a roux. Cook for 1-2 minutes, stirring constantly.
  4. Gradually pour in the milk, whisking continuously to avoid lumps. Cook the sauce until it thickens, about 5 minutes.
  5. Reduce the heat to low and add in the grated cheddar and colby jack cheeses, stirring until melted and smooth. Season with garlic powder, onion powder, paprika, cayenne pepper (if desired), salt, and black pepper.
  6. Add the cooked macaroni to the cheese sauce, stirring until well-coated.
  7. Transfer the mac and cheese to the prepared baking dish. In a small bowl, mix the panko breadcrumbs with the melted butter, then sprinkle evenly over the top.
  8. Bake for 25-30 minutes, or until the top is golden brown and the cheese is bubbling.
  9. Remove from the oven and let it cool for a few minutes before serving.

There you have it! A soulful mac and cheese dish that will leave your taste buds dancing. Feel free to customize this recipe with additions like crispy bacon, sautéed onions, or diced jalapeños for an extra kick. Serve it as a main course or as a delightful side dish alongside barbecued meats or fried chicken.

So, why wait? Treat yourself and your loved ones to a scrumptious bowl of homemade soul food mac and cheese. It’s the perfect way to bring warmth, comfort, and a touch of soul to your dinner table.

Share your thoughts and tips on making the perfect soul food mac & cheese in the Recipe Sharing forum.
How important is it to use the right type of cheese for Soul Food Mac & Cheese?
Using the right type of cheese is crucial for making delicious Soul Food Mac & Cheese. It is recommended to use a combination of cheeses like sharp cheddar, Monterey Jack, and a small amount of Velveeta. This combination will provide a flavorful and creamy texture to the dish.
Can I substitute or add additional ingredients to the traditional Soul Food Mac & Cheese recipe?
While the traditional recipe calls for certain ingredients, you can certainly add your own twist to it. However, be cautious about substitutions that may alter the taste and texture. Some popular additions include bacon, jalapenos, or even a sprinkle of breadcrumbs on top for a crispy crust.
How can I achieve a creamy texture in my Mac & Cheese without making it too runny?
To achieve a creamy texture without the dish becoming watery, it’s essential to prepare a thick cheese sauce. Make sure to cook the flour and butter roux thoroughly before adding milk. Gradually whisk in the milk and cheese, allowing it to thicken over low heat.
How can I make sure the pasta is perfectly cooked in my Mac & Cheese?
To ensure perfectly cooked pasta, it is recommended to slightly undercook it before adding it to the cheese sauce. This way, when the dish bakes in the oven, the pasta will finish cooking without becoming mushy. Keep in mind that the pasta will continue to absorb moisture, so avoid overcooking it initially.
Is it necessary to bake Soul Food Mac & Cheese?
Baking the mac and cheese is not mandatory, but it does help to create a delicious golden crust on top. The baking process also allows all the flavors to meld together. If you prefer a creamier version without baking, you can serve the mac and cheese straight from the stovetop after mixing in the cheese sauce.
How can I prevent my mac and cheese from becoming dry?
To prevent Mac & Cheese from drying out, be careful not to overcook it during baking. Covering the dish with foil for the majority of the baking time can help retain moisture. Additionally, avoid using too much pasta or not enough cheese sauce, as this can contribute to a dry consistency.
Can I prepare Soul Food Mac & Cheese ahead of time?
Yes, you can make Soul Food Mac & Cheese ahead of time. Prepare the dish as directed, but do not bake it. Cover tightly and refrigerate for up to 24 hours. When ready to serve, bake it in the oven, adding a few extra minutes to the baking time since the dish will be cold coming out of the fridge.

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