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southern baked macaroni and cheese


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Prep Time: 8 minutes

Cook Time: 35 minutes

Total: 43 minutes

Servings: 12


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Step 1

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (180 degrees C). Butter an 8x11 baking dish and set aside.

Step 2

Fill a large stockpot or dutch oven halfway with water, add in a large pinch of salt, and bring to a boil. Add in elbow macaroni and cook until just under al dente, according to package directions. Do not fully cook or overcook the macaroni pasta, it'll finish cooking through completely in the oven. Once just under al dente, drain the pasta.

Step 3

While the pasta boils, use a wooden spoon to mix the half and half, heavy cream, half of the cheddar cheese, half of the Colby jack cheese, all of the mozzarella cheese, all of the American cheese, and all of the cream cheese in a large mixing bowl.

Step 4

Add smoked paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, mustard powder, and some kosher salt and pepper, stirring well and tasting the mixture to ensure there is a good flavor. Do not add too much salt, since the cheese is pretty salty and will add its saltiness as it bakes. Once satisfied with the seasoning, mix the eggs in until well incorporated with a wooden spoon.

Step 5

Add the drained macaroni pasta and the milk-cheese-egg mixture into your prepared baking dish, stirring to make sure the cheese mixture is well distributed throughout the macaroni.

Step 6

Top the macaroni evenly with the rest of the cheddar cheese and colby jack cheese. Sprinkle the top with a little more smoked paprika, if desired.

Step 7

Bake the pan for 35 minutes or until the macaroni and cheese is bubbly and the cheese is nicely browned. Do not over-bake or the macaroni pasta will become mushy and the cheese mixture will become dry.

Step 8

Let the macaroni and cheese cool for about 10 minutes or until just cool enough to serve. Serve hot so the cheese is nice and creamy.

Step 9

Keep wrapped in the fridge for up to 4 days.

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