Rating: 3.69 stars
1734 Ratings
  • 5 star values: 465
  • 4 star values: 574
  • 3 star values: 447
  • 2 star values: 192
  • 1 star values: 56

When musician John Legend visited Martha Stewart, he shared this recipe for his favorite Southern comfort food. Learn how to make the singer's delicious, creamy macaroni and cheese at home.

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Ingredients

Ingredient Checklist

Directions

Instructions Checklist
  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Generously butter a 13-by-9-inch glass baking dish; set aside. Bring a large pot of water to a boil; add salt and macaroni. Cook until al dente according to package directions. Drain, and return to pot. Add butter, and toss until pasta is coated and butter has melted; set aside.

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  • In a medium bowl, whisk together evaporated milk, skim milk, and eggs. Add seasoned salt, garlic powder, 1 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper; set aside. In another medium bowl, combine cheeses; set aside.

  • Place 1/3 macaroni in an even layer in the bottom of prepared baking dish; cover evenly with 1/3 cheese. Repeat with remaining macaroni and cheese mixture. Pour milk mixture evenly over contents of baking dish. Sprinkle with paprika. Bake until top layer is lightly browned, 35 to 45 minutes. Let stand 10 to 15 minutes before serving.

Reviews (66)

1734 Ratings
  • 5 star values: 465
  • 4 star values: 574
  • 3 star values: 447
  • 2 star values: 192
  • 1 star values: 56
Rating: 3.0 stars
05/30/2020
This was just okay for me. It was definitely not creamy at all, and a bit bland - and I used sharp cheese. I might try a variation with a bechamel, maybe sour cream and a sharper cheese and a crunchy topping. Maybe even more of the seasoned salt would help.
Rating: 3.0 stars
01/14/2020
Way too much cheese. At least 8oz of cheddar should be eliminated. Half of the butter in the noodles would suffice also. Use pepper jack instead of plain.
Rating: 5.0 stars
12/17/2019
This is your grandma basic recipe with Monterrey jack cheese added . My grandmother always used butter,can evaporated milk, eggs, salt, black pepper sharp,and mild cheese with one can of cream cheddar cheese the best
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Rating: 5 stars
10/02/2019
I’ve tried many macaroni & Cheeses recipes over the years. This one is the Only Recipe I will use from now on!
Rating: 5 stars
08/21/2019
rlly sexyand cool thank martha i stan u : ))))
Rating: 5 stars
12/16/2018
THIS recipe has become a much-demanded classic here on my farm; best Mac n Cheese recipe EVER~!! Just one problem: The original "John Legend Mac n' Cheese" recipe included John Legend's recipe for his Seasoning Salt, which I've been using for years to make my own Seasoning Salt. I lost it & haven't been able to find it again. That part of the original recipe is omitted here on Martha's website. :( PLEASE advise where I can find it! THANX~
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Rating: 5 stars
11/22/2018
I have made this several times now. I substitute gluten free penne noodles for the regular elbow macaroni. I also omit the paprika. The first time I made it I made no modifications other than the GF noodles. Since then I have played with the recipe a little each time, using different cheeses, and substituting the skim milk for half/half. It is always delicious and a crowd pleaser. John Legend surely has a legend with this dish! Yummy yummy yummy!
Rating: 3 stars
10/15/2018
This mac and cheese was pretty good. I also tasted notes of sweetness and I did not use sweetened condensed milk as others have suggested. In the future I may try with just one can of evaporated milk or replacing it all together with half and half or heavy cream. I would also suggest seasoning the pasta layers directly with salt and pepper rather than putting it in the liquid.
Rating: 5 stars
10/11/2018
I am not a fan of thick, southern style mac and cheese. I find it heavy and filling, I prefer creamy. This is definitely southern style. As southern recipes go, this is a good one. If I did like thicker mac and cheese, this would be a regular in my recipe box.
Rating: 5 stars
04/19/2018
I love this Mac cheese. I made last for dinner with collard and BBQ ribs perfect. Yum
Rating: 5 stars
03/26/2018
Great recipe. The only thing I will do next time is double the milk. I made it ahead of time and while juicy, it could have used a little more fluid
Rating: 5 stars
02/11/2018
It was delicious! I added different cheeses and added bread crumbs for a more crispy textured topping.
Rating: 5 stars
12/19/2017
This recipe was delicious!!!
Rating: 5 stars
12/19/2017
This recipe was delicious!!!
Rating: 5 stars
11/23/2017
I make this recipe for large groups (double the recipe) all the time and it is a huge crowd-pleaser. My kids love it and have learned to make it for their own holiday gathering. Try this and your kids will love it!
Rating: 5 stars
09/01/2017
By far the best macaroni and cheese recipe I've tried. Normally I follow the recipe exactly. But once in a while I add whatever cheeses I have on hand. Still comes out great! Family favorite for sure.
Rating: Unrated
04/05/2017
Please make it possible for us to print recipes with a button
Rating: Unrated
02/09/2017
This is very much like my mom's macaroni and cheese recipe. I am lucky enough to have one of her old cookbooks with this recipe written in Mama's hand inside the front cover. We still have that on special occasions when the family is all gathered and it's always a hit.
Rating: 5 stars
12/16/2016
Made this recipe for the 4th time this year and it was great. I halfed the recipe and it was the perfect size for a family of 4 adults with left overs for 2 lunches the next day. Served with candied yams, sauted kale, and ham. I think using freshly shredded cheese vs. the kind already shredded in the bag makes a difference. The bag kind seems to not be as creamy.
Rating: 5 stars
12/06/2016
This is a great baked macaroni and cheese. They can usually be pretty dry, but this wasn't. It's not wet per se, but it's cheesy and buttery! A+
Rating: 5 stars
11/23/2016
Can this be made one or even two days before, and then just re-heated in oven the morning of?
Rating: 5 stars
09/11/2016
I have made this three times and it is always a hit! Can't be easier or tastier!
Rating: Unrated
06/14/2016
Bad recipe. I made this for the Girl Scout troops for the 1st time based on the reviews. It didn't taste bad but the presentation was not good. The milk curdled up so it did not look appetizing. How embarrassing. All ingredients were recently bought. I've had better Mac & Cheese made in crock pots! If someone knows why it curdled up, please let me know how to fix it.
Rating: 5 stars
03/04/2016
Thanks a million for this recipe! It is the BEST mac & cheese ever. I used plain sea salt instead of seasoned salt and it didn't materially affect the finished dish. Yummy, yummy yummy -- and it reheats really well. I make a full batch even though it is just my husband and I. The leftovers are wonderful.
Rating: 5 stars
12/25/2015
Just made this with Christmas prime rib. It was outstanding! Best mac & cheese recipe ever. It turned out perfectly and was a great compliment to the rib roast. I will definitely keep this recipe. Thank you John Legend!
Rating: 5 stars
10/26/2015
This mac and cheese is always a hit with the family! Sometimes I sub some different cheeses, but it's always a home run. If you like your m&c baked, you will not be disappointed with this! Thanks, John Legend!
Rating: Unrated
11/27/2014
This wonderful recipe needs an updated review! I've been searching for a few years for the perfect mac n cheese recipe that is more of a southern baked variety as opposed to a creamy variety (more like the kind I grew up with). I have to say I have finally found that perfect recipe! It got a thumbs up from the family and they're so happy I made a huge amount so there will be plenty to enjoy with the rest of the Thanksgiving leftovers. Thank you so much for this winning recipe!
Rating: Unrated
07/16/2014
Hands down the most incredible Mac n' Cheese I've ever had. I'm just learning how to cook and this was so easy. My entire family loved it and they're hard to please. They even wanted to take the leftovers home for later. Thank you for sharing!
Rating: 5 stars
04/20/2014
This is the most amazing mac & cheese recipe ever! Being from the South and newly married, cooking is a BIG deal! This recipe is cheesy, creamy and oh-so-perfect! My husband loves it and can't go a holiday without it (I surprise him with it for regular suppers too!) and my stepchildren, who are THE pickiest eaters in the world, absolutely love this! I did make some changes, however, like using fat free evaporated milk and reduced fat cheese and it comes out fantastic! Thanks John and Martha
Rating: Unrated
11/25/2013
I've been making this mac & cheese for several years now and the only complaint I've heard is "Why didn't you make more?" It is definitely a favorite with my family and friends! Thank you Martha and John Legend!
Rating: Unrated
11/23/2013
Absolutely delicious and relatively easy mac n' cheese recipe. I believe that there is an error in the ingredients though. Only 3 cups of macaroni?? That's completely crazy for three bags of cheese! I followed recipe to the tee the first time and it was cheesy overload (albeit yummy). I nearly doubled the pasta the next time and it was great and seemed like a more appropriate proportion. I do use shells instead of elbow macaroni but can't imagine that accounts for the difference.
Rating: Unrated
11/16/2013
Have made this recipe since first time I saw on the show. It is the best recipe for mac n cheese. I received raves each and every time I prepare it.
Rating: Unrated
01/14/2013
This is the BEST recipe for us. I Love the smell when baking too. :) cb
Rating: Unrated
01/05/2013
Loved it. My cheddar wasn't as sharp as I like, but that's my fault. I also didn't use the skim milk, I wanted to see how creamy it was first. Very easy to make. I will experiment with other cheeses as well, just out of curiosity
Rating: 5 stars
12/21/2012
I LOVE THIS RECIPE! I have made it dozens of times and I get so many requests for it. I like to assemble it the night before. That gives the liquid time to absorb into the noodles and I think it makes it taste even better. Lately I have been making this in the Crockpot, which makes it perfect for carry-ins (use a large one). I just assemble the night before and cook on low for 4-5 hours.
Rating: Unrated
11/24/2012
If it turned out sweet, you may have used sweetened condensed milk instead of evaporated milk.
Rating: Unrated
11/08/2012
turned out really sweet, anyone else have that problem
Rating: Unrated
09/03/2012
Sorry to say that I didn't get the same results that other reviewers enjoyed. It was just "eh." Not creamy. Ingredients separated. Flavor kind of bland. (I mixed it up the night before. Maybe that was the problem. But other reviewers tried that and it worked.)
Rating: Unrated
07/29/2012
Tasted delicious and was pretty easy to make! :-)
Rating: Unrated
12/12/2011
@sbarlowholmes. You might be cooking your cheese/milk at too high a temperature. I would amend the recipe with a bechamel sauce. Mix 2 tbsp butter +2 tbsp of flour in a saucepan over med heat till smooth. Then add milk 1/4 cup at a time and then the rest of the ingredients after that. The bechamel base should give your mac a smoother consistency, with less graininess and curdling.
Rating: Unrated
12/09/2011
Very good, but why does my cheese/milk curdle when it is cooking?
Rating: Unrated
09/12/2011
How many "realistic" servings does this recipe produce?
Rating: Unrated
07/20/2011
This is the best m& c. My son is very fussy about his m & c - this made the grade, and my brother in law he is also fussy wanted some to take home, so it was the best!.
Rating: Unrated
07/10/2011
99% of the recipe is fine... but after half a stick of butter, 2 cans evaporated milk, 2 large eggs, and a pound and a half of cheese... It's totally ridiculous to add 1/3 cup of skim milk. Gimme a break, Martha. 1/3 cup of water just as fine, as is 1/3 cup of whole milk, or 1/3 cup evaporvated milk, or 1/3 cup of 2%. Sheesh. Make your readers spend money on a 1/3 cup?
Rating: 5 stars
05/31/2011
This is the best Mac and cheese! This will be my go to Mac and cheese!
Rating: 5 stars
02/13/2011
This is the best mac and cheese!!
Rating: Unrated
01/04/2011
I made this for the holidays and it was AMAZING! And so easy!
Rating: Unrated
07/22/2010
I tried this because JL said his family expects him to alway make it, which tells me it is awesome. Now I have been asked for the recipe many times. I love it and don't really like baked mac and cheese.
Rating: Unrated
07/13/2010
Not what I thought it would be. But then again I should've read the whole recipe before I started making it. I like creamy sauce mac
Rating: Unrated
04/05/2010
Very good recipe. I forgot the evap milk from the store, so I used 3.5 cups skim milk, 4 tbs all purpose flour adn otherwise followed recipe to a tee and it was perfect.
Rating: Unrated
01/24/2009
This recipe looks amazing but I was more intrigued by John Legend's more than able kitchen skills! He just kept moving right along, never forgetting a step. Sometimes Martha's guests look like they've never made the recipe that they are demonstrating on the show. Yay, John!
Rating: Unrated
01/22/2009
This is my favorite mac and cheese recipe --- easy, and beyond yummy. Your entire family will LOVE it.
Rating: Unrated
12/10/2008
Put it together the night before Thanksgiving and baked it on Thanksgiving. Always a hit.
Rating: Unrated
12/10/2008
Put it together the night before Thanksgiving and baked it on Thanksgiving. Always a hit.
Rating: Unrated
12/10/2008
Put it together the night before Thanksgiving and baked it on Thanksgiving. Always a hit.
Rating: Unrated
12/10/2008
Put it together the night before Thanksgiving and baked it on Thanksgiving. Always a hit.
Rating: Unrated
11/26/2008
I've made this 3 years in a row and it's still a hit with my family. Thank you John Legend - both for your extraordinary music and this awesome recipe.
Rating: Unrated
05/15/2008
This is the best Macaroni
Rating: Unrated
05/04/2008
I prepared this amazing dish the night before my dinner party and baked it the just before my guests arrived. It was the best mac and cheese my guests have ever eaten and my friends are total foodies. I only added a little mozzarella and topped with shaved parmesean cheese. It was so delicious. Thank you Martha and John Legend for this wonderful dish.
Rating: Unrated
03/27/2008
very tasty and easy
Rating: Unrated
03/25/2008
this is EXACTLY what i was looking for! its delicious! thank you
Rating: Unrated
03/25/2008
OMG Carried this to our Family Easter celebration and everyone loved it. It was the only casserole that was completely gone. Boo Hoo no leftovers to carry home.
Rating: Unrated
03/25/2008
OMG Carried this to our Family Easter celebration and everyone loved it. It was the only casserole that was completely gone. Boo Hoo no leftovers to carry home.
Rating: Unrated
02/14/2008
Super easy and super good! My family always askes me to make it!
Rating: Unrated
01/10/2008
This was SOOO Good. You should try it!
Rating: Unrated
01/07/2008
I'm a college student trying to teach myself how to cook. I halved the recipe and it was easy to put together and tasted great. I'll definitely be making this for my roomates!
Rating: Unrated
12/30/2007
I changed the recipe a bit, substituting the types of cheese used, amount of macaroni, and added ground turkey. Even my kids loved it and asked for seconds, except for one of my twins who isn't a big fan of cheese and opted for a PB
Rating: Unrated
12/26/2007
DELICIOUS!!!!!!!!!!!! This recipe is very easy to make and the taste is incredible!!
Rating: Unrated
12/05/2007
This is a great recipe! It reminded me of my childhood. Just try to eat this and not smile!