The Ultimate Comfort Food: Mom’s Macaroni and Cheese

Welcome to my kitchen, where I’m going to share with you my mom’s favorite baked macaroni and cheese recipe. This recipe holds a special place in my heart, as it’s one of the dishes that my mom used to make for me when I was a child. It’s a staple side dish that was always present on our dinner table, and now it’s a tradition that I carry on in my own home.

This macaroni and cheese recipe is the perfect blend of southern-style homemade goodness and creamy velveeta cheese. The combination of sharp cheddar cheese, elbow macaroni, and a touch of mild chili powder creates a wonderful homemade flavor that is sure to please any cheese lover.

What makes this recipe so special is the fact that it’s kid-friendly and easy to make. Plus, it’s a budget-friendly meal that can be made ahead of time and stored in the fridge for a quick and easy dinner option. Trust me, once you try this macaroni and cheese recipe, it will become a favorite in your home as well.

So, let’s get started! Follow me as I take you through the easy steps of making my mom’s famous baked macaroni and cheese recipe.

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

Mom's Macaroni and Cheese
Mom’s Macaroni and Cheese

If you’re a fan of classic comfort food, then this Mom’s Macaroni and Cheese recipe is a must-try! This homemade macaroni cheese is the epitome of southern style cooking and is sure to satisfy any craving for creamy, cheesy goodness. But don’t just take my word for it; let me tell you why you’ll love this recipe as much as I do.

First and foremost, this mac and cheese recipe is incredibly easy to make. With just a few simple ingredients and some basic cooking skills, you can whip up a batch of this cheesy goodness in no time. It’s perfect for busy weeknights when you need a quick and satisfying meal that the whole family will love.

But what really sets this recipe apart is the combination of cheeses. The sharp cheddar cheese adds a tangy bite, while the velvety smooth Velveeta cheese creates a luscious, creamy texture. And when these two cheeses are combined with the macaroni noodles, it’s a match made in heaven.

Another reason why you’ll love this recipe is that it’s incredibly versatile. You can easily customize it to your liking by adding your favorite seasonings or toppings. Want to make it spicy? Just add some mild chili powder or diced tomatoes with green chilies. Prefer a meaty mac and cheese? Brown some lean ground beef and mix it in with the cheesy noodles.

And let’s not forget about the leftovers! This Mom’s Macaroni and Cheese recipe is just as delicious reheated the next day, making it the perfect make-ahead meal for busy weeknights or meal prep for the week ahead.

In conclusion, if you’re a fan of hearty, comforting meals that are easy to make and packed with flavor, then you’ll love this Mom’s Macaroni and Cheese recipe. It’s a classic southern staple that is sure to become a family favorite. So what are you waiting for? Get cooking and enjoy the wonderful homemade goodness of this mac and cheese recipe!

Ingredient List

 Creamy and cheesy: Mom's Macaroni and Cheese.
Creamy and cheesy: Mom’s Macaroni and Cheese.

Before we start cooking, let’s gather all the ingredients we need. To make Mom’s Macaroni and Cheese Recipe, you’ll need the following:


  • 16 oz uncooked elbow macaroni

Meat Sauce

  • 1 lb lean ground beef
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 (14.75 oz) can diced tomatoes
  • 1 (8 oz) can tomato sauce
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon mild chili powder

Cheese Sauce

  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 4 cups whole milk
  • 8 ounces sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
  • 1 (10.75 oz) can condensed cream of mushroom soup
  • 1 (16 oz) package Velveeta cheese, cut into cubes
  • 2 cups shredded cheddar cheese, divided


  • 1 cup breadcrumbs
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil

Most ingredients are likely already in your pantry, but you may need to get some of the fresh items. You can also make substitutions based on your dietary needs or preferences.

The Recipe How-To

Now that we have all our ingredients ready, it’s time to start cooking! Follow these easy steps and you’ll have a delicious Mom’s Macaroni and Cheese in no time.

Step 1: Cook the Macaroni

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the uncooked elbow macaroni and stir occasionally until the macaroni is cooked and tender, but still firm to the bite (al dente). This should take about 5-7 minutes. Drain the macaroni and set it aside.

Step 2: Make the Cheese Sauce

In a large saucepan, melt 2 tablespoons of butter over medium heat. Once melted, add 2 tablespoons of purpose flour and whisk until smooth. Keep whisking for 2-3 minutes until the mixture becomes bubbly and starts to turn golden. Gradually whisk in 4 cups of milk and continue stirring until the sauce starts to thicken, about 8-10 minutes.

Now, it’s time to add the star ingredient, the cheese! Reduce the heat to low and gradually stir in 8 ounces of sharp cheddar cheese and 8 ounces of Velveeta cheese. Keep stirring until the cheese is melted and the sauce is smooth. If the cheese sauce is too thick, add a little bit more milk until you get your desired consistency.

Step 3: Combine the Macaroni and Cheese Sauce

Preheat your oven to 375°F (190°C). In a large mixing bowl, combine the cooked and drained elbow macaroni and the cheese sauce. Mix well until the macaroni is evenly coated with the sauce. Transfer the mixture to a greased 9×13 inch baking dish.

Step 4: Add the Toppings

In a small bowl, combine 1 cup of breadcrumbs and 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Mix well until the breadcrumbs are evenly coated with the oil. Sprinkle the breadcrumb mixture evenly over the macaroni and cheese.

Step 5: Bake the Mac and Cheese

Place the baking dish in the preheated oven and bake for 25-30 minutes or until the macaroni and cheese is hot and bubbly and the breadcrumbs are golden brown.

Step 6: Serve and Enjoy!

Once the macaroni and cheese is baked, remove it from the oven and let it cool for a couple of minutes. Garnish with some fresh parsley or any other herbs of your choice. Serve hot and enjoy the wonderful homemade goodness of Mom’s Macaroni and Cheese.

Note: You can also make this dish ahead of time and store it in the fridge for a few days. When you’re ready to eat it, simply reheat it in the oven or microwave until it’s hot and bubbly again.

Substitutions and Variations

Macaroni and cheese is a versatile dish that can be customized to fit your personal taste preferences. Here are a few substitutions and variations that you can try:

– Cheese: While cheddar cheese is the classic choice for mac and cheese, you can experiment with other types of cheese to change up the flavor. Try using a mix of sharp cheddar and Gouda for a smoky taste, or use pepper jack for a spicy kick.

– Meat: If you’re not a fan of ground beef, you can use ground turkey or chicken instead. You can also leave out the meat altogether for a vegetarian version.

– Tomatoes: Some recipes call for diced tomatoes and tomato sauce, but if you don’t like the taste of tomatoes you can leave them out or substitute them with roasted red peppers or sun-dried tomatoes.

– Spice: If you like your mac and cheese with a bit of heat, add a pinch of cayenne pepper or red pepper flakes to the cheese sauce.

– Toppings: Breadcrumbs are a classic topping for baked mac and cheese, but you can also try topping it with crispy bacon, diced avocado, or chopped herbs like parsley or basil.

Don’t be afraid to get creative and make this recipe your own. The possibilities are endless!

Serving and Pairing

Mom’s Macaroni and Cheese recipe is a versatile dish that can be served as a main course or as a side dish. This creamy and cheesy mac and cheese pairs well with a variety of dishes and can be customized to suit your taste buds.

As a main course, you can serve it with a side salad or some roasted vegetables to balance out the richness of the dish. It is also a great comfort food option for a cozy night in or when you want to indulge in some delicious homemade goodness.

As a side dish, this mac and cheese recipe is a crowd-pleaser that can be served with a variety of proteins, such as grilled chicken, steak or roasted pork. It is also a perfect addition to any potluck or barbecue.

For a Southern-style twist, you can top the mac and cheese with some crispy bacon bits or some breadcrumbs for an extra crunch. You can also add some mild chili powder or diced tomatoes to give it a bit of a kick.

When it comes to pairing, a chilled white wine or a light beer complements the richness of the dish. If you prefer non-alcoholic options, a sweet iced tea or lemonade is perfect for refreshing your palate.

In summary, this mom’s macaroni and cheese recipe is a versatile and delicious dish that can be served as a main course or as a side dish. It pairs well with a variety of dishes and can be customized to suit your taste buds.

Make-Ahead, Storing and Reheating

Mom’s Macaroni and Cheese Recipe is perfect for make-ahead meals, and it can be stored and reheated easily. This recipe is ideal for those who want to save time in the kitchen and still have a delicious and comforting meal to serve.

To make ahead, prepare the macaroni and cheese according to the recipe instructions, but do not bake it. Once the dish is assembled, cover it tightly with plastic wrap or aluminum foil and refrigerate for up to 24 hours. When you’re ready to bake it, remove it from the fridge and let it sit at room temperature for 30 minutes before baking.

If you have leftover macaroni and cheese, it can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. To reheat, transfer the macaroni and cheese to an oven-safe dish and cover with foil. Bake in a preheated oven at 350°F for 15-20 minutes, or until heated through.

Another option for reheating is to use the microwave. Transfer the macaroni and cheese to a microwave-safe dish and cover with a microwave-safe lid or plastic wrap. Microwave on high for 1-2 minutes, stirring occasionally, until heated through.

To add a little extra crunch to the dish, sprinkle some bread crumbs over the top before reheating. This will give it a nice crispy texture that everyone will love.

Overall, this recipe is perfect for busy families who want to have a delicious and comforting meal on the table without having to spend too much time in the kitchen. With its make-ahead and reheating options, you’ll be able to enjoy this wonderful homemade macaroni and cheese whenever you want.

Tips for Perfect Results

Now that you have all the ingredients and instructions, let me give you some tips to ensure that your Mom’s Macaroni and Cheese turns out perfectly every time.

1. Use quality ingredients: The quality of your mac and cheese will depend on the quality of your ingredients. Use sharp cheddar cheese, unsalted butter, and fresh garlic and onion for the best flavor.

2. Don’t overcook the macaroni: Cook the macaroni until it’s al dente, which means it’s still slightly firm to the bite. Overcooked macaroni can make the dish mushy.

3. Add the cheese gradually: Add the cheese in small handfuls and stir until it’s fully melted before adding more. This will prevent clumps of cheese from forming and ensure a smooth and creamy sauce.

4. Season well: Don’t forget to season your mac and cheese with kosher salt, black pepper, and mild chili powder. These spices will add depth and flavor to the dish.

5. Customize to your taste: Feel free to add your own personal touch to the recipe. You can add diced tomatoes or tomato sauce for a tangy flavor, or lean ground beef for a heartier dish.

6. Top with breadcrumbs: For a crispy topping, sprinkle breadcrumbs over the mac and cheese before baking. It will give your dish a nice crunch.

7. Let it rest: Once you’ve baked the mac and cheese, let it rest for a few minutes before serving. This will allow the flavors to meld together and make it easier to serve.

By following these tips, you’ll be able to make a delicious and creamy Mom’s Macaroni and Cheese that everyone will love. Enjoy!

Bottom Line

In conclusion, Mom’s Macaroni and Cheese Recipe is a true comfort food that brings back memories of home-cooking and family gatherings. This wonderful homemade goodness is a staple side dish in any Southern-style kitchen, and it is sure to become your go-to recipe for any occasion.

Whether you are a busy parent looking for a kid-friendly meal or a seasoned cook who loves to experiment with variations and substitutions, this recipe has something for everyone. The creamy Velveeta cheese sauce, the al dente elbow macaroni, and the sharp cheddar cheese make it a delicious and satisfying dish that will please even the pickiest eaters.

So, gather your ingredients, put on your apron, and get ready to make Mom’s Macaroni and Cheese Recipe. You can find the full recipe on or watch a step-by-step video on YouTube to get all the details.

Trust me, once you try this recipe, you will never go back to store-bought mac and cheese again. It’s that good!

Mom’s Macaroni and Cheese Recipe

This is something my mom used to make for me when I was a kid. It is simple, quick, and great for kids and adults alike.

  • 2 (7 1/4 ounce) boxes kraft macaroni & cheese dinner mix, not prepared
  • 1 lb lean ground beef
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 (15 ounce) can tomato sauce
  • 1 (14 1/2 ounce) can diced tomatoes, undrained (I like the petit cut)
  • 1 tablespoon mild chili powder (optional)
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1/4 cup grated cheddar cheese, to garnish (optional)
  1. Cook macaroni in boiling salted water until tender; drain.
  2. Mix cooked macaroni with butter, stirring well.
  3. While macaroni is cooking, cook ground beef, garlic and onion in a large skillet until beef is browned and cooked through.
  4. Drain any accumulated fat.
  5. Add chili powder, salt, pepper, tomato sauce, diced tomatoes (with their juice), mixing well.
  6. Bring meat mixture to a boil, then reduce heat, cover and simmer for 10-15 minutes or until macaroni is done.
  7. Mix meat mixture with cooked buttered macaroni (do NOT add any additional milk as package suggests).
  8. Sprinkle contents of cheese packets into pasta and stir until blended.
  9. Serve garnished with grated cheddar, if desired.
Side Dish
< 30 Mins, Cheese, Healthy, Inexpensive, Kid-Friendly, Meat

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