Southern Smoke Mac & Cheese Recipe | The Great American Recipe

Southern Smoke Mac & Cheese

Bambi Daniels' Mac & Cheese is a staple of southern/soul comfort food. Her recipe has been passed down for generations, each generation adding their own twist. Bambi’s personal twist is smoked gouda and smoked paprika. The dish highlights her southern roots and shows gratitude to her elders for what they taught her.

This recipe from Bambi appears in Episode 1 of Season 1 of The Great American Recipe.


Prep time: 20 Minutes

Cook time: 30 Minutes

Yield: Serves 4



  • 16 oz of elbow macaroni
  • 16 oz sharp cheddar cheese
  • 8 oz Monterey Jack
  • 8 oz colby
  • 8 oz smoked gouda
  • 1 egg
  • 3 cups of evaporated milk
  • 2 Velveeta cheese sauce packs
  • Teaspoon of Mrs. Dash
  • 1⁄2 teaspoon of pepper
  • 1⁄2 teaspoon of mustard
  • 1⁄2 teaspoon of smoked paprika
  • 1⁄2 of onion powder
  • 1⁄2 of garlic powder
  • Sprinkle of sugar to taste
  • 8 thick slices of bacon crumbled
  • Chicken bouillon powder
  • 1 stick of butter
  • Aluminum foil


  1. Boil macaroni in water with 2 teaspoons of chicken bouillon powder. *Bring water to a rolling boil before adding pasta for 10 minutes. Drain and set asideGrate and chop all cheeses. Set aside (even mixture of chopped pieces and grated.) Cook bacon, crumble set aside.
  2. In a saucepan, warm on medium low heat add 3 cups of milk, two packs of velveeta cheese sauce, mustard, pepper, Mr. Dash, smoked paprika, sprinkle sugar (for just a pinch of sweetness) . Mix well. Beat one egg and add to the warm mixture. Continue mixing making sure not to burn.
  3. In a large deep long pan, place your drained pasta, add cheese mixture and add all the cheeses leaving aside the gouda and a cup of sharp cheddar. Mix well and even out the mac and cheese mixture.
  4. Cover the top of the mac and cheese mixture with the smoked gouda and sharp cheddar cheese, crumbled bacon, and sprinkle of smoked paprika. Cover pan with aluminum foil. Cook at 400 for 25 minutes. Uncover for 5 minutes
  5. Once mac and cheese is brown on top and separates from the edge of the pan, take it out of the oven. Sprinkle with smoked paprika