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Dec 14, 2012 12:15 AM

Macaroni and cheese - Patti LaBelle vs Martha Stewart

So in another thread I debated pre-preparing and fridging mac and cheese casserole but have decided to just do it up the day of. We have a favorite family recipe but unfortunately we can't seem to extract the recipe from deep in the family files so it seems I'm off to discover a new fantabulous macaroni and cheese. We are used to a more Southern style-custard based with eggs and so I want to stick closer to this version though am willing to branch out for deliciousness. So far my Google search has revealed these to be two amazing recipes though now I am torn:

Patti LaBelle Over the Rainbow Macaroni and Cheese (
Martha Stewart Perfect Macaroni and Cheese (


Any experience with either of these recipes? Recommendations?

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  1. Martha's sounds waaaay better to me, but I don't know your audience either. She calls for nutmeg, pepper and cayene while Mss LaBelle only calls for seasoned salt (sounds odd to me). The sharpness of the gruyere and white cheddar appeals more to me than velveeta - again that's just my opinion. Hope it was okay to share my thoughts without cooking either

    7 Replies
    1. re: enbell

      Of course, absolutely appreciated.

      Obviously, I am going for decadent here but does anyone substitute evaporated milk or whole milk for half and half in macaroni and cheese casseroles.

      Also, I know it's technically "macaroni" and cheese but any other pasta shapes you like. I'd like to switch it up this year. I've been really into gobetti recently but it might be a bit too big of a noddle to pair with the cheesy sauce.

      1. re: fldhkybnva

        About pasta shapes: my new favorite for mac and cheese is cresti di gallo. It's basically an elbow noodle
        with a fringed crest on one side. It's a bit larger than a regular elbow and a whole lot cuter. It also seems to hold the sauce really well. Admittedly, I can only find them in Italian food shops or gourmet stores that stock lots of different pastas.

        1. re: fldhkybnva

          I like to use the small shells. They hold just the right amount of custard and cheese for me.

          1. re: hippiechickinsing

            Me too, I think shells are best for mac n' cheese

            1. re: cosmogrrl

              I used camapenelle tonight. A new shape for me and quite cute.

              1. re: fldhkybnva

                and a great shape for mac and cheese because it really holds the sauce!

        2. The best Mac and cheese recipe I've found is, believe it or not, Paula Deen's Creamy Macaroni and Cheese. My family goes nuts for it. I omit the eggs (but you said you like them) and add a sprinkle of Emeril's Essence to the mixture. Soooo good!

          1. Our family has tried both, but Patti's recipe edged out Martha's....especially when I used ButterKase instead of the Muenster.

            5 Replies
            1. re: grampart

              Yea, I was initially leaning towards Patti's recipe. What do you think about adding a few oz of parmesan and roasted garlic?

              1. re: fldhkybnva

                I've never used parmesan, but have tried Grana Padano which is very similar. It was very good, but I only did it that one time. Roasted garlic sounds like a great idea.

                1. re: grampart

                  Sorry, another question. I have read a few reviews that this recipe can be dry and not cheesy enough though I can't see how that is possible although perhaps they are not looking for a southern style. It seems many people add more cheese or milk did you do either?

              2. re: grampart

                Your review has made up my mind. I have read some other reviews online - the mac and cheese to this crowd is muy importante - which suggests perhaps additional milk and cheese. Did you find that you were wanting a cheesier final product or good as is (with your ButterKase substitution)?

                1. re: grampart

                  Grampart, I'd love to try this recipe again. What size dish do you use? I think that might be the issue as in the dish was too shallow.

                2. My first instinct was "Patti" -- but I decided to go ahead and read the recipes.

                  Still Patti.

                  If you want a southern-style custard mac and cheese -- Patti's recipe is all that -- and she unashamedly uses Velveeta.

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: sunshine842

                    Yes, and I remember so did my grandmother...:0

                    1. re: fldhkybnva

                      Gourmet has a time and place -- and so does Velveeta. :)

                  2. Real Southern mac and cheese is very simple. Elbow macaroni. eggs, butter, milk, and cheese. Here's Virginia Willis's recipe that is absolutely delicious and although similar to Patti's in essence is much less artery clogging...


                    Thumbs down on Martha's recipe, IMO.

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: Gio

                      I want to try this. Yes, old thread, back to life with someone else's inquiry from a different thread to point us here. Know what's nice about that? The info is still valuable and if you haven't seen it before, it's new to you. Grazie! :)