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Extra Creamy Mac & Cheese


Mac & Cheese Chick - Extra Creamy Mac & Cheese

It started with a can of Cheddar cheese soup.

I came across this recipe on Pinterest and after seeing the ingredient list, was quite intrigued. Cheddar cheese soup. My mind instantly lasered in on Betty Draper (now Francis) and the homemakers of her era. I bet they would LOVE this recipe. Especially because it involves opening not only one can, but two! Yep, there’s evaporated milk in this mac and cheese as well. More for the novelty factor (it had nothing to do with an unspoken obsession with Mad Men. Really.) than anything else, I decided this was to be the next recipe I tested for the blog.

Photo courtesy AMCTV

But before I begin, I must raise an olive-studded martini-glass *hic* to the era that produced an army of can-opening cooks and especially to the Clever, Crafty, Cookin’ Mama who inspired me to take this mac and cheese recipe for a spin.

Mac & Cheese Chick - Extra Creamy Mac & Cheese

I took Mama’s advice and used 12 ounces of pasta instead of the entire package. I also went the easy route and used shredded Tillamook cheddar cheese. I added richness to the recipe by using Kerrygold butter but also tried to make it reasonably healthy by using fat-free evaporated milk. In other words, I was all over the place.

First, I set a pot of water on to boil. Once it started to boil, I added the pasta shells and cooked them according to the package directions (I believe it was 10 minutes). After draining the shells and popping them back into the pot, I then added the gorgeously rich Kerrygold butter.


Mac & Cheese Chick - Extra Creamy Mac & Cheese

Once the butter was incorporated, in went the Cheddar cheese soup. Once everything in the pot was happy, I added the fat-free evaporated milk and then the Tillamook cheddar cheese.

Mac & Cheese Chick - Extra Creamy Mac & Cheese

I stirred continuously until the pot achieved optimum ooey-gooey-melty goodness, then seasoned to taste.

Mac & Cheese Chick - Extra Creamy Mac & Cheese

Looks delicious, doesn’t it? I couldn’t wait to get it into my bowl and dig in.

Mac & Cheese Chick - Extra Creamy Mac & Cheese

The verdict? Three elbows up! The promised extra creaminess definitely delivered, and I liked how the sharp cheddar flavor shone through. One thing I found though, is that it still didn’t really meet my personal criteria for homemade. Opening cans just killed that aspect of it for me. One might view this as better than a boxed mac & cheese, but I think it is pretty much on par. Here is my recipe, adapted from Clever, Crafty, Cookin’ Mama.

4.7 from 3 reviews
Extra Creamy Mac & Cheese
Recipe type: Entree, Side Dish
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4 as a side
Extra Creamy Mac & Cheese, adapted from Clever, Crafty, Cookin' Mama.
  • 12 ounces pasta (I used shells)
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 1 can Cheddar cheese soup
  • 6 ounces fat-free evaporated milk
  • 1½ cups shredded sharp Cheddar cheese
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  1. Set a large pot of water to boil. Add the pasta and cook as directed on the package until tender. Strain the pasta and return it to the pot.
  2. To the cooked pasta, add the butter, Cheddar cheese soup and evaporated milk and stir until combined and the butter has melted.
  3. Add the Cheddar cheese and stir to combine. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
  4. Serve and scarf down immediately!

Leftovers note: This mac and cheese recipe reheated nicely in the microwave. You may want to save the unused fat-free evaporated milk and add a little to the mac and cheese just prior to reheating to make it nice and smooth.

Many thanks to Clever, Crafty, Cookin’ Mama for the original recipe.

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{ 6 comments… add one }
  • ... November 3, 2013, 10:47 am

    Yummy *.*

  • nichole July 6, 2015, 3:18 pm

    Hello! Is this able to be made ahead of time and then frozen? My kids LOVE this recipe and I’m looking ahead to when we are busy in fall/winter and I can pre make freezer meals that I can toss into a crock pot. Thank you in advance!

    • Anonymous July 8, 2015, 1:26 pm

      Hi Nichole, I haven’t tried to freeze it, but if you do try it let me know how it turns out!

  • CP July 31, 2015, 11:52 pm

    Made this tonight and in a word, yum. Didn’t have the evaporated milk, but used regular milk and it was great. I tried a triple cheddar blend for a little more variety and mixed it up even further with some mini rigatoni (I love shells, but why not experiment once in awhile?). Deelish. Keeper recipe.

  • Cassidy Fahey March 28, 2016, 11:38 am

    This sounds SOOOOO good!! I’m going to have to try it one day, but I always seem to be on the run and never have the time to make homemade mac and cheese, and yet it’s always so much better than instant mac and cheese. However, I have found some great instant mac and cheese brands on this other blog I follow. You should definitely read it if you only have time for instant. https://cultofmacandcheese.wordpress.com/2016/03/17/5-best-instant-macncheeses/

  • Kathy T December 30, 2016, 7:16 am

    OMG. I personally never liked mac n chees. This recipe is so easy everyone in my family and friends truly enjoy it. First time I made it was for a family picnic. Fiirst thing to be finish and people where asking for more. Who new. I would give it a 10. Five stars but the site wouldn’t let me

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