Thick and Creamy, Rich and Cheesy, Mac and Cheese

Another Mac n Cheese recipe.

There are, I imagine, just as many recipes for macaroni and cheese as there are cooks making it, and that folks is a awful lot with a few too many.  What makes us want or need to create a new recipe when many of us already have plenty darn good ones in our repertoire is beyond me but here I am, jumping on the wagon and playing fiddle with the best of you.

I used the new Barilla White Fiber pasta shells, one of three new types of pasta from this company. The other two are mini penne and mini rotini. All contain three times more fiber than regular pasta and with each 3.5 ounce portion, that's 30% of our daily whole grain recommendations and I am one who likes the extra fiber.

This recipe is based on one I have made many times using only cheddar while many of my other recipes contain various types of cheese. This time I fiddled with the taste by adding the vegetables of southern cooking (known as the trinity) along with a can of condensed milk, which is an invention from the Great Depression and whereby many recipes using the long-lasting canned milk became popular.

I hope you try it, it was a hit during the holidays - ever so creamy and cheesy - by golly, I think that is what I will name it. Enjoy!

Creamy, Cheesy Mac
about 10 servings

1 -12 oz box sea shell pasta
1/2 small sweet onion, chopped
1/4 cup minced celery
1/2 cup butter
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon white pepper
1 -12 oz evaporated milk
1/2 cup milk
1 -5 oz Kraft Old English sharp cheddar cheese spread
2 cups shredded mild cheese
2 cups shredded sharp cheese, divided
2 tablespoons diced roasted red pepper

Cook the pasta in boiling salted water, about 4 quarts, for 6 minutes. Drain and place in a large bowl.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Add butter to a large saucepan over medium heat and sauté the onion and celery cooking until tender. Stir in flour until smooth and cook for 1 minute. Add pepper and slowly stir in both the milks increasing the heat to medium high. Stir constantly until sauce thickens. Add the jar of cheese spread and whisk until smooth. Add the 2 cups mild cheese, 1 cup sharp cheese and stir until smooth. Fold in the red peppers. Remove from heat and combine with the cooked pasta. Mixture should be soupy. Pour mixture into a lightly greased 3-quart casserole.

Bake uncovered for about 20 minutes or until bubbly.

Add remaining cup of sharp cheese and dust lightly with paprika. Bake for 5 minutes to melt the topping.


  1. Hey Drick! I have to admit that I've never bothered trying to perfect a Mac and cheese recipe because I can't get Dudette off the blue box variety. That being said, I've never seen a recipe with evaporated milk. That would make it nice and creamy. It looks delicious.

  2. I love to fiddle with mac and cheese recipes. Sometimes I change up the cheeses or add different proteins and it's almost always good. I especially like the roasted red pepper and evaporated milk in this one!

  3. Sounds real cheesy and I like the addition of the trinity.

  4. My family has totally embraced the addition of yummy and cheesy mac n cheese recipes for the holidays . . . and this is one recipe that I have to let them in on! Thanks so much Drick!

  5. I like my mac and cheese really creamy and really cheesy. This looks like just the ticket!

    And thanks for the tip on the new type of pasta with extra fiber. I hadn't heard about but it sounds worth trying. Will search it out.

  6. Mac and cheese is one of my top 3 comfort foods, and this looks amazing. I sure would love to eat at your house during the holidays!!!


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