Creamy Stove Top Mac and Cheese

There’s this debate raging about Mac and Cheese and whether it is considered a must-have Thanksgiving dish. I’m here to settle that debate. The answer is a resounding YES. At least in my house.

Nearly every year that I’m hosting Thanksgiving dinner I serve Mac and Cheese. I normally serve it at Christmas too. In 2014 I made a seven-cheese mac. In 2013 it was a family recipe. In 2012: pumpkin flavored mac. And while it appears that I did nothing much to memorialize Thanksgiving in 2010 (which makes sense because my sister and I were in the process of moving to a new place around that time), I did make a white mac and cheese a few days before Thanksgiving which pretty much counts, doesn’t it?

So this year I found a very simple looking but deliciously creamy stovetop recipe that I pulled from the September 2016 edition of Food Network magazine. I multiplied the recipe by 1 and a half because I had a 12 ounce box of noodles and the recipe only called four 8 ounces. What the hell else was I going to do with the other four ounces of noodles?

I was a bit disappointed by the mac and cheese as it sat on my table top and I arduously rearranged my dishes to get the best Thanksgiving meal picture. It looked lumpy. And it could have been lumpy from the eggs in the recipe. By the time I was making the mac and cheese I was finishing everything up at the end, which meant I was juggling the turkey, the gravy, the biscuits, the stuffing and both potatoes. Whew!

So I wasn’t overly attentive while stirring the cheese sauce for this dish which I believe may have resulted in lots of little lumps in the sauce. I wasn’t overly thrilled by the flavor either.

But then the next day I was preparing a dish of leftovers for my friend who was homeless this Thanksgiving and I tasted the mac and cheese cold for some odd reason. I do not like cold food when it’s supposed to be hot. Like cold pizza. Can’t stand it. Even so, I found myself snitching noodle after noodle while wrapping up Amber’s dish. It was delicious! I haven’t reheated the leftovers yet but my dad did and he gave the dish two thumbs up. So while initially I was disappointed, ultimately I was very pleased.


  • 12 oz shell pasta
  • 12 oz evaporated milk
  • 3 large eggs
  • 3 c. grated havarti cheese
  • 2 c. grated Colby jack cheese
  • Pinch of grated nutmeg
  • ground pepper
  • Kosher salt
  • ½ c. sour cream


  1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the pasta and cook according to package directions. Drain, reserving the cooking water.
  2. Combine the evaporated milk, eggs, havarti, Colby jack, 1 teaspoon salt and some ground pepper and the nutmeg in a large saucepan over medium heat. Cook, whisking constantly (this part is important!), until smooth and thickened, about 8 minutes. Remove from the heat.
  3. Add the pasta and sour cream to the sauce; toss to coat, then let sit 5 minutes so the sauce thickens slightly. If the sauce is too thick you can thin it out by adding some of the reserved pasta water.

Recipe rating: 

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