Creamy Mac and Cheese Recipe
FINALLY!! A homemade Mac and Cheese Recipe that my children eat (and love)! The ultra creamy sauce is so easy to whip up and you can use a variety of pasta; macaroni, shells, spiral – you name it!
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This makes a big batch but it does reheat well and stays creamy. Read our tips below on how to reheat leftover mac and cheese so it stays creamy.
Getting the cheese sauce right is no easy feat. I’ve tried so many different combinations of cheeses; sharp, fancy cheeses, mustards, nutmeg, etc. but this is the recipe that my children eat happily. The flavors of this homemade macaroni and cheese are very mellow and the texture is spot on. This recipe was adapted from the Sept 2016 issue of the Food Network Magazine (I collect their issues and it is my favorite food magazine).
Ingredients for Mac and Cheese:
Most homemade macaroni and cheese sauces call for sharp cheddars and mustard which produce a harsher flavor than my children liked. I think I’ve beat the boxed mac and cheese with this combination and it feels so good!
How to Make Mac and Cheese:
Making homemade mac and cheese couldn’t be easier! The process is so simple, you’ll be able to memorize it quickly.
- Cook the pasta (save some of the water)
- Stir together pasta sauce and whisk on the stove until thickened
- Add sour cream, cooked pasta and serve
Cook’s Tip: This mac and cheese recipe is quick and easy but DO NOT walk away from the cheese sauce. Whisk constantly while it is on the stove to keep it smooth and creamy. Do not overcook or boil, or it may curdle.
How to Re-Heat Mac and Cheese:
- Before heating, add a splash of water or milk, which will loosen up the warmed cheese sauce and create the same creamy consistency as freshly made cheese sauce.
- Re-heat mac and cheese over low heat on the stovetop or in the microwave stirring every 30 seconds.
P.S. We love that blue Staub braiser pan (Amazon affiliate link) for cooking the pasta because you can mix the cheese sauce right into it and it serves beautifully on the table. Pots and pans that go from the stove to the table save me some cleanup; I call it the “dish factor.”
Kid Friendly Recipes to Explore:
- Cheesy Chicken Fritters are always a hit with kiddos (and adults!)
- Mashed Potato Pancakes – crisp on the outside with a cheesy center
- Baked Chicken Nuggets are so much better than store-bought
- Practical School Lunch Ideas – both hot and cold
Creamy Mac and Cheese Recipe
A homemade Mac and Cheese Recipe that children eat (and love)! The ultra creamy cheese sauce is so easy to whip up and you can use a variety of pasta. You'll make this macaroni and cheese over and over.
Bring a large pot of salted water to a rolling boil. Add pasta and cook according to package instructions. Reserve 3/4 cup pasta cooking water, then drain remaining water and set pasta aside in the pot.
In a medium saucepan, combine 12 oz evaporated milk, 2 eggs, both grated cheeses and 3/4 tsp salt. Place saucepan over medium/low heat and cook 6-8 minutes, whisking constantly*, until completely smooth and thickened. As soon as it has visibly thickened, remove from heat. Do not overcook or boil or it may curdle.
Off the heat, whisk in 1/3 cup sour cream then stir in drained pasta. Season with salt to taste. If the sauce gets too thick, you can thin it out with some of your reserved pasta water.**
*This recipe is quick and easy but DO NOT walk away from the cheese sauce. Whisk constantly while it is on the stove to keep it smooth and creamy.
** Keep in mind the sauce will thicken more as it cools so you don't want it to be overly thick right off the stove.
If you make this recipe, I’d love to see pics of your creations on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter! Hashtag them #natashaskitchen
Q: Do your children have a favorite food that you make – something they request again and again? I’d love to hear from you in a comment below. We are always looking for inspiration (and my children thank you in advance!) 😉