This 6 cheese mac and cheese recipe features sharp cheddar cheese, mozzarella cheese, gouda, gruyere cheese, parmesan cheese, and American.
If you've never tried a baked macaroni and cheese recipe with eggs, it is a Southern baked mac and cheese with a custard-style cheese sauce made with egg and evaporated milk and without flour. It is the ultimate comfort food.
The 6-cheese sauce is made with cheddar, mozzarella, gouda, gruyere, parmesan, and American. Using good cheese and doing your own shredded cheese at home will give you a rich and creamy mac.
This is the best macaroni for potluck parties, cookouts, game day, and easy weeknight dinners. Serve it as the main dish or a side dish alongside BBQ meatballs, buffalo chicken thighs, or chicken and veggies.
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- Super cheesy: Six different types of cheese.
- Family favorite: The whole family will love this homemade mac, including picky eaters.
- Elbow macaroni: Macaroni noodles have a curved shape.
- Evaporated milk: A canned milk product with a creamy consistency. It is creamier and thicker than whole milk.
- Eggs: Large eggs
- Kosher salt and black pepper: To season.
- Garlic powder: A powdered form of garlic used to add a light garlicky taste.
- Unsalted butter: Butter that does not contain added salt.
- Sharp cheddar cheese: Sharp cheese has a stronger flavor than mild or medium cheese.
- Mozzarella cheese: This is a great melting cheese.
- Gouda: Gouda has a rich taste and creamy texture.
- Gruyere: Gruyère has a nutty and slightly sweet flavor and is a great melting cheese.
- Parmesan: Parmesan adds a savory and salty taste.
- American cheese: Processed cheese slices add creaminess to the cheese sauce. It has an emulsifying agent that results in a very creamy consistency so it's great for melting.
See the recipe card for quantities.
Preheat the oven to 350˚F (180˚C). Prepare a 9x13 baking dish by coating it with nonstick cooking spray.
In a large pot, cook the elbow macaroni according to the package directions until al dente. Be sure to salt the water.
Drain the cooked macaroni and return it to the pot. Add the butter slices and stir with the warm macaroni until melted.
In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together the eggs, evaporated milk, salt, pepper, and garlic powder until combined.
Pour the milk mixture into the macaroni. Reserve about 2 cups of the shredded cheeses (a little of each) and set aside. Add the remaining cheese, including the American cheese, to the pot and stir. Note: The cheese will not melt at this point.
Top Tip: You can quickly shred cheese using a food processor using the disc attachment.
Transfer the macaroni and cheese to the prepared baking dish.
Top with the reserved shredded cheese.
Bake uncovered for 30 minutes. The cheese will begin to turn lightly golden brown along the edges.
Cool for at least 10 minutes before serving.
- Elbow macaroni: Any short pasta shapes like shells, penne, bow tie, or rotini will work.
- Evaporated milk: You can make homemade evaporated milk with whole milk.
- Garlic powder: You can omit the garlic powder or add onion powder instead.
- Unsalted butter: You can use salted butter but you may need less added salt in the cheese sauce.
- Cheese: You need about 5 total cups of cheese for this recipe, so you can mix and match different cheeses to make your perfect cheese sauce. Some alternative cheese options include extra sharp cheddar, mild cheddar, Monterey Jack, Colby, provolone, pepper jack, and Velveeta (for the American cheese).
- Bacon jalapeño mac and cheese: Cook and crumble 6 to 8 strips of bacon. Add bacon crumbles and chopped jalepeño peppers to the mac and cheese mixture before baking.
- Buffalo chicken mac and cheese: Add 1 to 2 cups of shredded rotisserie chicken and ¾ cup hot sauce (like Frank's RedHot Original) to the mixture before baking. Alternatively, try my cheesy buffalo chicken pasta.
- 9x13 baking dish - This casserole dish pictured is a deep 9x13 that comes with a storage lid.
- Large pot - To boil the macaroni.
- Colander - To drain the cooked macaroni.
- Mixing bowls - To mix the milk/egg mixture.
- Whisk - To whisk the milk mixture.
To store leftover mac and cheese, let it cool, transfer it to an airtight container, and refrigerate for up to 3-4 days or freeze for 2-3 months.
When ready to enjoy, thaw frozen mac and cheese in the refrigerator overnight and reheat it in the oven or in the microwave until heated through.
- Grate your own cheese: For the creamiest texture, shred your own cheese at home. Grating cheese yourself instead of using pre-shredded cheese results in a creamier, smoother cheese sauce.
- Use a food processor: Bagged cheese has a coating to keep it from sticking together in the bag, but it also prevents your cheese sauce from being as smooth as possible. You can quickly grate cheese using the disc attachment on your food processor.
This is hotly debated what the best cheese is, but cheddar cheese is a popular choice. It's also important to add a good melting cheese like mozzarella or gruyere. Velveeta or American cheese can also add creaminess to your sauce. The best flavor comes from using a blend of cheese.
In a Southern-style mac and cheese, the egg creates a cheesy custard sauce as the mac and cheese bakes.
Mac and cheese is an entree in my eyes, but it's also one of the best side dishes for a cozy weeknight dinner. Find the perfect recipe.
6 Cheese Mac and Cheese
- 16 ounces elbow macaroni
- 3 large eggs
- 24 ounces evaporated milk (two cans)
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- ½ teaspoon black pepper
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder
- ½ cup unsalted butter sliced
- 1 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese
- 1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
- 1 cup shredded gouda
- 1 cup shredded gruyere
- ½ cup shredded parmesan
- 6 slices American cheese torn into small pieces
- Preheat the oven to 350˚F (180˚C). Prepare a 9x13 baking dish by coating it with nonstick cooking spray.
- In a large pot, cook the elbow macaroni according to the package directions until al dente. Be sure to salt the water. Drain the cooked macaroni and return it to the pot. Add the butter slices and stir with the warm macaroni until melted.
- In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together the eggs, evaporated milk, salt, pepper, and garlic powder until combined. Pour the milk mixture into the macaroni.
- Reserve about 2 cups of the shredded cheeses (a little of each) and set aside. Add the remaining cheese, including the American cheese, to the pot and stir. Note: The cheese will not melt at this point.
- Transfer the macaroni and cheese to the prepared baking dish. Top with the reserved shredded cheese.
- Bake uncovered for 30 minutes. The cheese will begin to turn lightly golden brown along the edges. Cool for at least 10 minutes before serving.
- Properly handle and cook the eggs. Always wash your hands after handling eggs.
- After cooking, refrigerate leftover mac and cheese within 2 hours.