I Made Patti LaBelle’s Mac and Cheese, and Her Recipe Will Not Let You Down

As a southerner turned Wisconsinite, this recipe for Patti Labelle's Mac and Cheese is the best of both worlds. Like her songs, this dish is a hit!

This recipe for Patti Labelle mac and cheese will show you why she is such a success in the kitchen—not just on the stage and in the boardroom.

I discovered Patti Labelle’s cooking when I made her delicious sweet potato pie. That recipe is outstanding and a huge crowd pleaser, so I was pretty confident that her mac and cheese was a star in its own right; I was not disappointed!

How to Make Patti Labelle’s Mac and Cheese Recipe

There are so many ways to cook elbow macaroni, but when you’re looking for a comfort food classic, adding cheese is sometimes all you need. Pick your favorite cheeses, or use the ones Patti recommends.


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  • 1 pound large elbow macaroni
  • 9 tablespoons butter, plus more for greasing the dish
  • 1/2 cup each of four shredded cheeses (Patti recommends Muenster, sharp cheddar, mild cheddar and Monterrey Jack.)
  • 2 cups half-and-half
  • 8 ounces cheese loaf, cubed (We recommend Velveeta.)
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 1/4 teaspoon Kosher salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper


Step 1: Prep your oven and baking dish

Preheat your oven to 350°F. While that’s preheating, thoroughly butter a 2.8 to 3 quart baking dish.

Step 2: Cook the noodles

Bring a large pot of generously salted water to a rolling boil. Cook the noodles according to package directions to ensure they are just al dente.

While the noodles are cooking, melt 8 tablespoons of butter on the stovetop or in a microwave.

Step 3: Drain and rinse the noodles

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When the noodles have reached al dente, strain immediately and run cold water over the noodles to prevent further cooking. After the noodles have been rinsed, cooled and strained one more time, stir the melted butter into the pot, coating the noodles evenly.

Step 4: Mix in the cheeses

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In a separate large bowl, combine all of the shredded cheeses and gently mix well. Add 1-1/2 cups of the shredded cheese mix to the buttered noodles and mix well. Stir in the half-and-half, beaten eggs, cheese loaf cubes, salt and pepper.

Step 5: Bake the mac and cheese

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Gently pour the mac and cheese mixture into the prepared baking dish. Sprinkle the top with the remaining shredded cheese and last tablespoon of butter.

Bake the mac and cheese for about 35-40 minutes, until it is bubbling hot. If the top hasn’t browned, turn on the broiler for a few minutes to get a golden brown top on the mac and cheese. Let it sit for about 5 minutes before serving.

Here’s What I Thought

While the Patti Labelle mac and cheese is not the healthiest dish in town, it is quite delicious.

A few things to note:

  • Don’t overcook your noodles. If they cook too long, they will get mushy during their time in the oven.
  • I found the recommended salt and pepper measurements to be a bit scant. As a result, taste the mixture and, if you prefer, add additional salt and pepper before baking.
  • Next time, I will add a little more shredded cheese to the top as it was creamy but not overly cheesy for our Wisconsin household.
  • Serve with a side of hot sauce to add a bit of acid and heat to balance the richness of the dish.
  • Consider adding grilled chicken breast or roasted broccoli on top to round out a main dish for a weeknight meal. Or, serve with a colorful salad.

When served piping hot, the half-and-half and melted cheeses create a creamy goodness that, when mixed, coats all of the noodles. It is decadent, comforting and feels like a warm embrace.

This is a great Sunday meal side dish, contribution to a potluck or treat for a new mom and family. Make some tweaks to turn this recipe into your own hit and share it with the ones you love. Enjoy!

Jennifer Schwarzkopf
Half Chilean, half Irish descent and all joie de vivre, I'm a food writer/photographer who loves to share stories about different cultures and the magic that is sharing a meal together. When not doing that, you'll find me working on my culinary degree, hanging with family & friends, and just trying to "live deep and suck out all the marrow of life." Salud!