Baked Macaroni and Cheese – Life Above the Cafe

Baked Macaroni and Cheese

Cheesy Goodness, need I say more?
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Baked Macaroni and Cheese

Baked Macaroni and Cheese
Jul 15, 2020




15 mins.

15 mins.


This is not diet food. I make this Baked Macaroni and Cheese for all of our holiday gatherings and a few times a year when I’m craving the cheesy goodness, but I’m warning you if you’re into counting calories and don’t like cheese then this Baked Macaroni and Cheese isn’t for you.

Since this is baked in a casserole dish it’s meant for sharing and will feed 8 – 10 people a large scoop or 4 – 5 adults a main dish with veggies on the side. It doubles well, but I would cook it in two separate pans to ensure that the center warms through.

On the other hand, if you love a creamy, cheesy, Baked Macaroni and Cheese that is something you would find in a Southern restaurant that serves delicious side dishes like the “Meat and Three” establishments around the South, then you have come to the right place. Get your grocery list ready because you are going to want to make this for your family.

I don’t like dried out Baked Macaroni and Cheese. I’ve tried multiple recipes throughout the years and I have found that often times what starts out as a delicious Baked Macaroni and Cheese has you to bake it for entirely too long. The noodles are already boiled, for that reason, I don’t bake my Macaroni and Cheese for more than 15 minutes. I want the sauce warmed up and the cheese melted.

I will occasionally turn the broiler on the brown the cheese a little, but to be honest I don’t even need that either, all I need is the creamy goodness that I can barely wait to burn the roof of my mouth on. True story let it cool off for 5 – 10 minutes after you take it out of the oven or you’re losing skin in the top of your mouth.

One of the secret ingredients in my Baked Macaroni and Cheese is Tostitos Cheese dip. Yes, the stuff in the can from the Chip section. I don’t like melting Velveeta and the cheese dip is already the perfect consistency and adds a level of creaminess and cheesiness that my family loves. If you prefer to not use the cheese dip it won’t be the same, but it will taste good, add 1/2 cup more heavy cream to the sauce to make up for the lack of cheese dip. In my opinion live a little and put the cheese dip in.

I hope that you’ll try this recipe today and leave a comment below. Also, please follow @lifeabovethecafe on Instagram, Facebook, and Pinterest using the social media icons found on this page.


  • 2 cups of uncooked elbow noodles
  • water and salt to cook noodles
  • 2 Tbsp. of unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup of heavy cream
  • 1 cup of whole milk
  • 1/2 – 3/4 of a small can of Tostitos Cheese Dip
  • 1/2 cup of grated sharp cheddar cheese
  • 1/2 cup of grated Italian blend cheese
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/4 cup of sour cream
  • 1 tsp. of dried parsley flakes
  • 1/4 tsp. of garlic powder
  • 1/4 tsp. of onion powder
  • 1/4 tsp. of salt
  • 1/4 tsp. of black pepper
  • 1/4 tsp. of paprika (sweet)
  • 1/4 tsp. of cayenne pepper


  • 1/2 cup of shredded Sharp Cheddar
  • 1/2 cup of shredded Monterrey Jack


Preheat your oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.  Spray a 9 x 11 casserole dish with cooking spray or coat with butter.

In a large pot of boiling, salted water, boil the elbow noodles for 7 minutes.  Drain the noodles and leave in the colander.

In the same pot melt the butter, add the heavy cream, milk, and cheese dip and all of the spices and parsley flakes.  Allow this mixture to warm but not boil.  Whisk often as you add the grated cheddar and Italian blend.  I buy Great Value brand bagged shredded cheeses for ease and speed and they work well.

Turn off the heat.  Mix the large egg and sour cream together with a little of the cheese sauce to temper it to keep the egg from scrambling.  Add the mixture to the cheese sauce.

Dump the boiled elbow noodles into the pot of cheese sauce and stir until everything is coated.  Pour the mixture into the greased casserole dish and top it with the 1/2 cup of Sharp Cheddar and 1/2 cup of Monterrey Jack cheese.

Bake for 15 minutes, broil for 2-3 minutes if desired.  Remove from the oven and allow to stand for 5 – 10 minutes to cool a bit.  Store leftovers in the refrigerator.  I recommend reheating the leftovers in the microwave on low power or in the oven on a low temperature.


Additional Photos:

Baked Macaroni and Cheese
Baked Macaroni and Cheese

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