African American History Of Macaroni And Cheese

This post may contain affiliate partner links. View our privacy statement HERE.

What is the Black history of macaroni and cheese?

And where did mac and cheese come from anyway?

Macaroni and cheese is one of the many soul food cuisines turned American dishes. And this yummy dish has a really old history.

African American History Of Macaroni And Cheese

Known initially as macaroni pie, mac and cheese was created by James Hemings, an African American enslaved person in Virginia who trained as a culinary chef in France.

Did a Black person invent mac and cheese?

James Hemings was a highly trained chef known to many modern-day cooks and culinary historians. 

He was a notable African American chef who helped create and define American cuisine as we know it today.

What is considered the very first macaroni and cheese dish?

According to Netflix’s soul food documentary High On The Hog, where an all-Black creative team tells the story of African American food. 

Mac and cheese (formally known as macaroni pie) was initially cooked by Hemings in a mixture of boiling water and milk, then baked over an open fire. 

What state is known for mac and cheese?

My home state of Virginia! The state where esteemed Chef James Hemings first created macaroni 

African American Baked Mac And Cheese

How did mac and cheese become soul food?

Hemings’ legacy of baked mac and cheese continued long after the Emancipation Proclamation in the 1860s.

Macaroni and cheese began to have new meanings and multiple identities in the Black community.

Mac and cheese became “a celebratory dish, a convenient comfort food, and a meal stretcher for impoverished families.”

We recognize this dish today as soul food!

Why is mac and cheese served at Thanksgiving?

Why is mac and cheese served at Thanksgiving?

The same reason why Southern baked mac and cheese is so important to Black culture.

Because baked mac and cheese is one of the many soul food cuisines turned American dishes. 

Simply put, baked macaroni and cheese’s cultural past are key ingredients that spice and flavor the African American table like no other.

What is the Black history of macaroni and cheese?

What are some good recipes for homemade macaroni and cheese?

  1. Black folks’ soul food baked macaroni and cheese
  2. Black Southern mac and cheese
  3. Soul food Southern mac and cheese
  4. Soul food lobster mac and cheese
  5. Southern mac and cheese
  6. Southern mac and cheese (no egg)
  7. Southern baked mac and cheese
  8. Soul food crab mac and cheese
  9. White cheddar mac and cheese

How do you make Southern baked mac and cheese the Black way?

When I think of a traditional Southern soul food meal, baked mac and cheese is one of the first things that come to mind. A delicious combo of two perfect comfort foods- macaroni and cheese can be found all over the Southern states.

Southern baked mac and cheese – the Black way – is still boiled in milk and then baked. But nowadays, this iconic recipe includes additional ingredients with traditional elbow noodles, butter, and milk.

Is mac and cheese an African American dish?

So why is mac and cheese important in Black culture?

Southern mac and cheese, which originated in my home state of Virginia, is a popular recipe passed along from chefs like Hemings in the 1700s.

Its legacy continues as it’s passed from African-American generation to generation and handed down from chef to chef.

How did mac and cheese become soul food?

What makes Black folks soul food baked mac and cheese so different?

Today, this Southern recipe is still made from scratch. Prepared with a combination of soul food seasonings like salt, pepper, garlic, onion, paprika, flour, milk, and a mix of cheeses. Commonly sharp cheddar cheese, mozzarella, and American cheese, baked until creamy on top and golden brown on the edges!

Some soul food baked mac and cheese recipes interchange evaporated milk and sweetened condensed milk.

Why evaporated milk in mac and cheese?

Whole, evaporated, or condensed milk provides creaminess and body to the recipe.

What is Black mac and cheese?

People often ask, “Is baked mac and cheese a Black thing?”

Asked another way, “Is macaroni and cheese an African American dish?”

Black mac and cheese, or Black folks mac and cheese, is Southern baked mac and cheese the way Black people make it with milk and lots of soul food seasonings and flavors.

Get ready for the most delicious baked mac and cheese you’ve ever tasted! 

Rich in delicious Southern, soulful flavors. 

What cheese is best for baked mac and cheese recipe?

African American baked mac and cheese recipe

Kitchen equipment for African American baked mac and cheese

Shop my kitchenware HERE!

Ingredients for African American baked mac and cheese 

  • 4 tablespoons of unsalted butter (divided – 1 tablespoon & 3 tablespoons)
  • 2 tablespoons of flour
  • ¼ cup of heavy cream
  • 1 cup of shredded sharp cheddar cheese
  • 1 cup of shredded Colby-jack cheese
  •  ½ teaspoon of salt 
  •  ½ teaspoon of black pepper
  • ½ teaspoon of garlic powder
  • ½ teaspoon of onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon of ground mustard powder
  • 1 teaspoon of paprika
  • 3 cups of water
  • 4 ¼ cups of milk (divided – 1 ¼ cups & 3 cups)
  • 8 oz. uncooked macaroni noodles
African American baked mac and cheese recipe

Instructions for African American baked mac and cheese

  1. Turn the Instant Pot on the sauté setting for 25 minutes (although you may not need this entire time).
  2. Fill the Instant Pot stainless steel inner pot with 3 cups of milk, 3 cups of water, and 1 tablespoon of butter. 
  3. Pro tip- For baked mac and cheese the Black way, use milk to coat the macaroni and give it a smooth, silky texture. Perfect for layering on cheese!
  4. Once the liquid begins to simmer, add the macaroni and cook according to the package directions, stirring occasionally to ensure the macaroni does not clump & stick. 
  5. Drain the macaroni and set it aside.
  6. Add the 3 tablespoons of butter to the empty inner pot and turn it back on the sauté setting.
  7. When the butter is melted, add the flour, 1 ¼ cups of milk, and seasonings (salt, pepper, garlic powder, onion powder, ground mustard, and paprika) and whisk until smooth. 
  8. Change the Instant Pot cook setting from sauté to slow cook for 1 hour (although you will not need this entire time).
  9. While the cook setting changes from sauté to slow cook, allow the ingredients to simmer for about 3 minutes until the mixture thickens slightly.
  10. Stir in the cheeses (reserve some for topping when baking).
  11. Close the Instant Pot with the lid and let slow cook for 5-10 minutes until the cheeses are blended.
  12. Open the lid to add the cooked pasta and the heavy cream to the inner pot, stirring the mixture to blend evenly.
  13. Transfer the pasta mixture into an 8-inch cast iron skillet or baking pan.
  14. Top with the remaining shredded cheese.
  15. Bake in the Instant Pot Omni Plus oven at 350 degrees F for 20 minutes or until golden and bubbly. Or bake in the conventional oven for 25 minutes or until mac and cheese is golden and bubbly.
  16. Serve this African American baked macaroni and cheese recipe right away, and enjoy!

🎙 Listen to The Soul Food Pod episode: Southern Mac And Cheese

Keep the podcast conversation going about Southern mac and cheese HERE!

African American baked mac and cheese pro tips:

  1. First: Southern mac and cheese must include sharp cheddar cheese.
  2. Then start with a good quality macaroni. 
  3. Making baked mac and cheese the Black way – boil the macaroni in a mixture of half water and half milk. The milk coats the macaroni and gives it a smooth, silky texture. Perfect for layering on cheese!
  4. Make sure you’re using a baking dish that’s not too deep. An 8-inch baking pan or 8-inch cast iron skillet is perfect for this oven recipe!
  5. Ensure not to walk away from the Instant Pot when using the sauté setting to avoid burning or over-cooking.
What to serve with African American baked mac and cheese?

What to serve with African American baked mac and cheese?

What goes with mac and cheese?

Baked macaroni and cheese can be eaten as a side dish or main course, depending on how hungry you are! 

But what else should you serve with it? 

Here are some great Southern soul food ideas for veggies and sides that go great with Black folks baked mac and cheese.

What is a traditional African American meal?

African American soul food dinner favorites may include Southern style whole chickenBlack folks Southern cabbageSoul food candied yams ,soul food collard greens, and African American baked mac and cheese.

And for dessert? Southern peach cobbler or soul food banana pudding!

What culture is baked mac and cheese from?

What do you think of this African American baked mac and cheese recipe?

Did you enjoy the African American history of macaroni and cheese?

Did you learn something new?

Like, what culture is baked mac and cheese from?

(African American.)

Or, what did James Hemings call mac and cheese? 

(Macaroni pie.)

Have you had it?

Would you make it? 

Comment below and lemme know.

Then subscribe HERE for all the soul food!

The Ultimate Soul Food Recipes Guide
The Ultimate Soul Food Recipes Guide
What is soul food? Soul food recipes are African-American recipes full of flavor! A legacy of Southern cooking the Black way. Check out this collection of the best soul food recipes!
Check out this recipe!
 

Like this post? Pin the below image to your Pinterest “Soul Food Recipes” board!

African American History Of Macaroni And Cheese Recipes
African American History Of Macaroni And Cheese

African American Baked Mac And Cheese

What is the Black history of macaroni and cheese? Baked macaroni and cheese is one of the many soul food cuisines turned American favorite dishes. This yummy dish has a really old history. Made with a rich and creamy homemade cheese sauce and yummy soul food seasonings and spices. It's Southern comfort food the Black folks' way!
Prep Time: 35 minutes
Bake Time: 25 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: Soul Food
Servings: 6
Calories: 522kcal

Equipment

  • Instant Pot electric pressure cooker
  • 8" cast iron skillet or baking dish

Ingredients

  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter divided – 1 tablespoon & 3 tablespoons
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • ¼ cup heavy cream
  • 1 cup sharp cheddar cheese (pre-shredded cheese or grated cheese)
  • 1 cup Colby-jack cheese (pre-shredded cheese or grated cheese)
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper
  • ½ tablespoon garlic powder
  • ½ teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground mustard powder
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 3 cups water
  • 4 ¼ cups milk divided – 1 ¼ cups & 3 cups
  • 8 oz. macaroni noodles uncooked

Instructions

  • Turn the Instant Pot on the sauté setting for 25 minutes (although you may not need this entire amount of time).
  • Fill the Instant Pot stainless steel inner pot with 3 cups of milk, 3 cups of water and 1 tablespoon of butter.

Pro tip: For baked mac and cheese the Black way, use milk to coat the macaroni and give it a smooth, silky texture. Perfect for layering on cheese!

  • Once the liquid begins to simmer, add the macaroni and cook according to the package directions, stirring occasionally to make sure the macaroni does not clump & stick.
    Once the liquid begins to simmer, add the macaroni and cook according to the package directions, stirring occasionally to make sure the macaroni does not clump & stick.
  • Drain the macaroni and set it aside.
  • Add the 3 tablespoons of butter to the empty inner pot and turn it back on the sauté setting.
  • When the butter is melted, add the flour, 1 ¼ cups of milk, and seasonings (salt, pepper, garlic powder, onion powder, ground mustard, and paprika) and whisk until smooth.
    When the butter is melted, add the flour, milk, and seasonings
  • Change the Instant Pot cook setting from sauté to slow cook for 1-hour (although you will not need this entire amount of time).
  • While the cook setting changes from sauté to slow cook, allow the ingredients to simmer for about 3 minutes until the mixture thickens slightly.
  • Stir in the cheeses (reserve some for topping when baking).
    Stir in the cheeses.
  • Close the Instant Pot with the lid and let slow cook for 5-10 minutes until the cheeses are blended.
  • Open the lid to add the cooked pasta and the heavy cream to the inner pot, stirring the mixture to blend evenly.
  • Transfer the pasta mixture into an 8-inch cast iron skillet or baking pan.
    Transfer the pasta mixture into a cast iron skillet or baking pan.
  • Top with the remaining shredded cheese.
  • Bake in the Instant Pot Omni Plus oven at 350 degrees F for 20 minutes or until golden and bubbly. Or bake in the conventional oven for 25 minutes or until mac and cheese is golden and bubbly.
    Bake in the oven until mac and cheese is golden and bubbly.
  • Serve this African American baked mac and cheese recipe right away, and enjoy!
    Serve this baked macaroni and cheese recipe and enjoy!

Video

Notes

African American baked mac and cheese pro tips
  1. First: Southern mac and cheese must include sharp cheddar cheese.
  2. Then start with a good quality macaroni. 
  3. Making baked mac and cheese the Black way – boil the macaroni in a mixture of half water and half milk. The milk coats the macaroni and gives it a smooth, silky texture. Perfect for layering on cheese!
  4. Make sure you’re using a baking dish that’s not too deep. An 8-inch baking pan or 8-inch cast iron skillet is perfect for this oven recipe!
  5. Ensure not to walk away from the Instant Pot when using the sauté setting to avoid burning or over-cooking.

Nutrition

Calories: 522kcal | Carbohydrates: 40g | Protein: 21g | Fat: 31g | Saturated Fat: 19g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 8g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 92mg | Sodium: 541mg | Potassium: 386mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 10g | Vitamin A: 1094IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 505mg | Iron: 1mg
Save it so you can make it!Pin this recipe to remember it later.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating




Captcha loading...