It’s officially baked mac and cheese season y’all! I don’t know about you, but the holiday season is one of my favorites because of the spirit and the FOOD. A consistent favorite dish in my household and most households is a delicious pan of baked mac and cheese. Just thinking about the gooey cheesy goodness makes my mouth water.
Baked mac and cheese is a staple side dish Black people take very seriously. I’m not exaggerating either. Before going to someone’s house for Thanksgiving or Christmas dinner this one important question is always asked; “who’s making the mac and cheese?” If you answer with the wrong name just know that person isn’t coming for dinner if at all. They might swing by to say hi to everyone though. So when I say we take mac and cheese seriously…I mean it!
I’ve been making this 4 cheese baked Mac and cheese dish for about 6-7 years now. It’s only been in the last 4 years that I’ve perfected it though. There’s a lot of trial and error on figuring out the right cheese portions, seasonings, bake times, etc. I knew I officially had it down when I made it for my family and they all approved. That’s basically the ultimate compliment a Black cook can get when people try their food. Now let’s go ahead and get to the important part; the recipe!
Baked Mac & Cheese
This three cheese baked mac and cheese is the perfect side dish for any holiday or get together throughout the year. It's full of flavor and deliciously cheesy!
- 16 oz. Elbow Macaroni
- 8-10 cups Water
- 1 tsp. Salt
- 2 cups Milk
- 12 oz. Evaporated Milk
- 8 Tbsp. Butter
- 16-20 oz. Mild or Sharp Cheddar Cheese
- 3 oz. Asiago Cheese
- 3 oz. Romano Cheese
- 2 Tbsp. Vegetable Oil
- 2 tsp. Onion Powder
- 2 tsp. Adobo
- 1.5 tsp. Paprika
- 1/2 tsp. Seasoned Salt
- 1/2 tsp. Black Pepper
- 1/2 tsp. Garlic Powder
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
If you are using blocks of cheese shred them and put them to the side.
In a large pot bring the water, vegetable oil, and sea salt to a boil.
In another pot add your milk, evaporated milk, butter, adobo, seasoned salt, onion powder, garlic powder, paprika, and black pepper. Heat over medium heat until the butter is melted and the milk is hot (stir frequently to avoid burning)
Once the pot of water is boiling pour the elbow macaroni in the pot and give a quick stir. Cook according to the instructions of the back for al dente. *You don't want the pasta to be mushy*
Drain the finished pasta and pour in the baking dish.
Now add one handful of each of the three cheeses, and half of the hot milk and butter mixture to the elbow macaroni in the baking dish and stir to allow the cheese to melt.
Pour the last half of the hot milk and butter mixture in the baking dish, add another handful of cheddar cheese, and the remaining asiago and romano cheeses. *Leave about 1.5-2 cups of mild cheddar cheese on the side (this will be the topping)
Now is the time to taste test the macaroni. If you want to add more seasoning do so now. (I recommend adding small doses of adobo or seasoned salt and black pepper to start if necessary)
Bake for 15 minutes covered with foil and bake for another 10-15 minutes uncovered or until the top starts to crust.
Let it rest for 5-10 minutes and now it's time to dig in!