Mac and Cheese with Evaporated Milk is one of the easiest stovetop mac and cheese recipes ever! It’s made all in one pot, is ultra creamy and so cheesy. It’s so simple to make, it will replace that boxed mac and cheese forever!
Old Fashioned Mac and Cheese with Evaporated Milk
Does anyone here reach for that blue box of mac and cheese more times than you care to admit? I know I have. When I don’t have a dinner plan, I have developed the bad habit of reaching for a box of mac and cheese.
I don’t care for the taste of it myself, but my kids and husband love it. I was determined to create a substitute that would replace that box of mac and cheese. And so this evaporated milk mac and cheese was born!
Mac and cheese with evaporated milk is a lot cheesier, creamier, smoother, and richer than recipes that use water instead. Plus, this ultra creamy stovetop mac and cheese features all of the beauty of the boxed stuff and none of the yucky processed nonsense. It’s a meal I feel really good about serving to my family. And best of all, they absolutely love it! Bye-bye box!
Why You’ll Love Evaporated Milk Mac and Cheese
- It’s made all in one pot. No extra pot for the cheese sauce!
- It’s made with easy-to-find ingredients. No hard-to-find or expensive cheeses here.
- This creamy stovetop mac and cheese can be made in 15 minutes, and I promise it tastes so much better than store-bought!
- In fact, you will want to say goodbye to that powdered cheese forever.
Key Ingredients to Make Creamy Stovetop Mac and Cheese
- PASTA – Use any short type of pasta such as elbows or small shells.
- EVAPORATED MILK – I found using evaporated milk is the best option for boiling the pasta — it doesn’t curdle as it cooks as compared to say, heavy cream. I don’t suggest replacing it with another dairy.
- FLOUR AND BUTTER – Needed to make a roux for your mac and cheese with evaporated milk recipe. Don’t worry, it’s super easy and doesn’t require an extra pan.
- SEASONINGS – I’m using onion and garlic powder as well as a little cayenne pepper for a tiny kick. Don’t worry, it won’t make your evaporated milk mac and cheese too spicy. All of my kids eat it!
- CHEESE – I’m using 3 types of cheese for my homemade stovetop mac and cheese. For cheddar, I use either mild or medium. I have used sharp, but sometimes it turns out a little bit gritty. The second cheese is mozzarella because it melts beautifully and so smoothly. The third is Parmesan. You can leave out the Parmesan if you prefer. I also HIGHLY recommend shredding your own cheese because it melts a lot better, making it perfect for this creamy stovetop mac and cheese.
Instructions to Make Homemade Stovetop Mac and Cheese
MAKE A ROUX: Start by melting butter in a large saucepan, then whisk in the flour and cook for 1 minute. Whisk in the water and evaporated milk.
ADD PASTA: Stir in the pasta, onion powder, garlic powder, and cayenne pepper. You can also season with salt and pepper if you would like. Bring to a boil and cook over medium-low heat until pasta is al dente. While the pasta is cooking I like to shred the cheese.
CHEESE: Remove the pot from heat and stir in the cheeses until nice and smooth. The sauce will continue to thicken as it cools. Serve your old fashioned mac and cheese with evaporated milk while it’s hot!
Once cooled, store leftover mac and cheese with evaporated milk in an airtight container for up to 1 week. To reheat stir in a little extra milk to restore its smooth creaminess.
Yes, you can! Place completely cooled leftovers in a Ziploc bag or airtight container. Freeze for up to 2 months. Let thaw completely, then reheat as desired. You may need to add more milk to bring back its smooth creaminess.
There are also a lot of options here too! You can add sliced hot dogs (a childhood classic, right?!), cooked and chopped bacon, cooked vegetables such as broccoli or peas, or leftover Rotisserie Chicken is always a good idea too!
Yes! Simply replace the flour with a cup-for-cup gluten-free flour and use your favorite gluten-free pasta. Easy peasy!
More Macaroni Recipes To Try:
- Homemade Hamburger Helper
- Spaghetti Aglio e Olio
- Cheese Ravioli in Creamy Mushroom Sauce
- Taco Pasta
- Cheeseburger Pasta Skillet
Thanks so much for reading! Let me know what you think about this old fashioned mac and cheese with evaporated milk!
Mac and Cheese with Evaporated Milk
- 3 tablespoons butter
- 2 tablespoons all purpose flour
- 4½ cups (1.06L) water
- 1 (12 floz) (354ml) can evaporated milk
- 1 pound (454g) uncooked elbow pasta
- ½ teaspoon onion powder
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder
- ⅛-¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 3 cups (340g) shredded cheddar cheese (mild or medium)
- 1 cup (115g) shredded mozzarella cheese
- ¼ cup (30g) grated Parmesan cheese
- In a large pot melt the butter over medium low heat. Stir in the flour and cook for 1 minute. Whisk in the water and evaporated milk. Stir in the pasta, garlic powder, onion powder, and cayenne pepper. Boil over medium to medium low heat for 9 minutes or until pasta is al dente. Stir occasionally to prevent sticking. (while the pasta is cooking shred the cheese.)
- Once pasta is al dente remove from heat and stir in the cheeses. It will continue to thicken as it cools.
- STORAGE: Once cooled store in an airtight container for up to 1 week. To reheat stir in a little extra milk to restore its smooth creaminess.
- FREEZER FRIENDLY: Place completely cooled leftovers in a ziploc bag or airtight container. Freeze for up to 2 months. Let thaw completely then reheat as desired. May need to add more milk to bring back its smooth creaminess.
- GLUTEN-FREE OPTION: Replace the flour with a cup for cup gluten free flour and use your favorite gluten free pasta.