Talk about comfort food.  Hello, fall!  Hello, mac and cheese!  I was recently reading an article in a food magazine, and they offered four variations of my favorite side dish:  1.  basic mac and cheese;  2.  creamy mac and cheese;  3.  crunchy and baked mac and cheese;  4.  ‘cuttable’ mac and cheese.

I feel like ‘cuttable’ mac and cheeses is kind of a stretch, but I’ll give it to them; that’s pretty creative.  

creamy mac and cheese | a flavor journal For me, creamy mac and cheese always wins.  Growing up, my mom always made her mac and cheese with Velveeta, so it was super cheesy, creamy and consistently awesome.  I’m sure if I were to eat it again today, that would still my favorite mac and cheese – served with slices of spicy summer sausage, of course.  *nostalgia*  *thanks mom!* <3

creamy mac and cheese | a flavor journalFlavors you learn to love growing up tend to stick with you.  I figure that’s why I’m still such a big fan of the creamy mac and cheese as opposed to any other variations.  The problem is:  there’s a ton of different ways to make it.

creamy mac and cheese | a flavor journalFor this recipe, we are gong to keep it pretty basic.  But don’t worry, it’s seriously full of cheesy and creamy goodness.  It’s also easier than starting with a roux base, and the consistency seems creamier to me.

We are going to make this creamy mac and cheese using evaporated milk.  Heyo!  And, it’s simple : whisk together evaporated milk, cheeses, spices, then scoop in a dollop of sour cream before adding your al dente pasta.

creamy mac and cheese | a flavor journalThat’s it!  It’s simple, it’s got amazing flavor, and it’s a little bit spicy (because … of course).  🙂  Enjoy!

[my additional tips!]:

Actual Prep / cook time:  20 minutes

Clean-up difficulty:  2 

Overall difficulty to make:  2

Overall satisfaction:  8.5

Price range?  This dish is under $5 for 2-4 servings

What I would change next time?  Nothing!

For your own version, I recommend:.

  • Adding grated parmesan and freshly cracked black pepper as garnish before serving.
  • Omit the cayenne if you don’t want it spicy!

© 2016 : a flavor journal : by sara alvord


creamy mac and cheese
Serves 2
Basic cheesy cream sauce coats pasta shells of your choice to make a rich, decadent - and a tad spicy - creamy mac and cheese. Eat as a side or entree!
Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
10 min
Total Time
20 min
Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
10 min
Total Time
20 min
  1. 2 cups cellentani pasta (or elbow macaroni)
  2. 1/2 cup evaporated milk
  3. 1 cup grated muenster
  4. 1/2 cup grated sharp cheddar
  5. 1/4 tsp. cayenne
  6. 1/4 tsp. garlic powder
  7. 1/4 tsp. black pepper
  8. pinch of mustard powder
  9. pinch of nutmeg
  10. pinch of salt
  11. 2 Tbsp. sour cream
  12. 2 Tbsp. freshly grated parmesan cheese (for garnish) (optional)
  13. freshly cracked black pepper (for garnish) (optional)
  1. In a large sauce pan, bring salted water to a boil. (Use about 1/2 Tbsp. of salt). Add your pasta of choice, and cook until al dente.
  2. In a large saute pan over medium heat, add evaporated milk.
  3. Once the milk is warmed through and starting to bubble, add the cheeses.
  4. Stir in cheeses until completely melted.
  5. Turn the heat to "melt", or very low.
  6. Add all seasonings, and stir until combined.
  7. Turn the heat off, and add sour cream. Combine well.
  8. Add drained pasta into you cheesy sauce. Stir until all pasta is coated.
  9. Top with parmesan cheese (optional) and more freshly cracked black pepper (optional).
  10. Serve hot!
a flavor journal.