A classic side dish with an extra flavor boost, this Southern skillet pimento macaroni and cheese is a family favorite!
I was raised all over the south. I was born in Dallas, Texas, then on to Charleston as a wee one, then Raleigh, and finally, Nashville. Though each of those cities has a distinct culture all to itself, Southern food is the string that ties them all together. Delicious, amazing, downright incredible food.
I’m thankful to have grown up enjoying many southern classics like fried green tomatoes, banana pudding, and brown sugar pie. I’d be crazy to not mention macaroni and cheese, however. While it’s not exclusively southern, by any means, it’s certainly a side dish that you’ll find on almost any table for Sunday dinner down south.
I wanted to give the classic mac and cheese a little twist so Southern Skillet Pimento Macaroni and Cheese was born! It’s a classic cheddar cheese macaroni (if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it) with tons of pimento flavor. If that wasn’t delicious enough, it’s topped with crumbled bacon. Hallelujah, the ultimate southern side dish!
You could easily bake this macaroni as well (top with some seasoned Panko crumbs). Make it your own! If you love things a bit spicier, then add some cayenne and diced jalapeños. You get the idea. You can’t really go wrong once you have the base and the cheeses.
As for the cheeses, experiment there too! I kept it simply with classic sharp cheddar, but this would be a fantastic dish with a white cheddar and sharp cheddar blend!
This is the perfect side dish for any family affair or celebration! With summer around the corner, I will definitely be adding this mac and cheese to backyard BBQs and casual family suppers.
I also have several friends welcoming new babies into the family, and this would be a great dish to package up for them during this busy time! I even ate this as an entree alone last week, it’s so good!
I just love a dish that is as pretty as it is delicious. This one fits the bill. I’ve been growing fresh herbs in my backyard now that it’s finally warmer in Tennessee. I can easily grab parsley or chives to dice and sprinkle on top. I always think something green adds the perfect finishing touch to savory dishes!
On a random note, if you too are obsessed with buffalo check, you can find similar blue and white buffalo check napkins (super affordable) here! They also come in a couple of other colors. They’re great for placemats or napkins!
- 3 cups 12 oz. uncooked elbow macaroni
- 4 tablespoons butter
- 4 tablespoons flour
- 1 1/2 cups milk or half-and-half
- 3 cups sharp cheddar cheese shredded
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 10 oz jar pimentos, drained
- 1/3 cup crumbled bacon
- parsley to garnish
Cook macaroni according to package instructions. Drain and set aside. In a skillet over medium heat, add butter and melt. Stir in flour until smooth. Slowly whisk in half-and-half. Bring to a boil, stirring constantly. Once thickened (about 2 minutes), reduce heat to low and add in cheese. Stir until cheese is melted. Stir in salt, pepper, seasonings, and pimentos. Add macaroni and stir until combined. Top with crumbled bacon and chopped parsley.
Speaking of southern foods, check out festive ways to serve up southern favorites at your celebrations here! And if you’re on the hunt for another delicious (and easy) side dish, you HAVE to try my Roasted Parmesan Asparagus! It’s so delish! And if you love cornbread, try my Cornbread with Creamed Corn (made with Jiffy – it’s easy)!