My Best Mac & Cheese

Estimated read time 4 min read
The GOAT (greatest of all time) side dish!!  My kids cheer when I make this!  Try my recipe for creamy, saucy, perfectly balanced Mac N Cheese! 
One Minute Video on how to make this Macncheese.

This is my very best mac n cheese recipe. It’s layered with all kinds of flavors like bitter, creamy, sweet and savory.

This recipe serves as many as a dozen people, with leftovers. I also have an option down below describing how you can separate this recipe into two large quantities, top with a crispy panko top and then freeze for later.

This recipe works so well because of the layering of several important flavors:

  1. Evaporated Milk

The Evaporated milk adds a sweetness to this recipe, and a creaminess too. If you grew up on boxed mac n cheese, you’ll remember that it was actually kind of sweet. The evaporated milk adds this sweetness and a depth of flavor like nothing else can.

2. Coleman’s Mustard Powder

This strong and intense mustard powder adds just a “bite” to the cheese sauce. Slightly bitter, this really adds to the layering of flavors in this recipe.

3. The Cheeses

The main body of cheese in this sauce is a colby/jack blend. This makes the cheese sauce extra creamy and also gives the sauce a bit of a “stretch” factor. Extra sharp cheddar is also added, and this adds that very important “bite” of bitterness to the sauce.

4. The Butter and Olive Oil

I use a 2:1 ratio of butter to olive oil as the fat component in this recipe. The butter, of course is important for all the reasons butter is important in a creamy recipe like this. The extra virgin olive oil adds just a touch of earthy/fruit flavor, which I believe adds to the depth of flavor to the finished sauce.

5) The White Pepper

While only a pinch, the white pepper adds to that zingy “bite” of flavor that makes this dish so well-rounded and layered with flavors.

The Best Mac & Cheese

The GOAT (greatest of all time) side dish!!  My kids cheer when I make this!  Try my recipe for creamy, saucy, perfectly balanced Mac N Cheese! 


  • 2 pounds elbow macaroni Boil in salted water
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/3 cup flour
  • 4 cups whole milk
  • 2 cups evaporated milk
  • 1 pinch white pepper
  • 2 teaspoons mustard powder I like Coleman's Mustard Powder best
  • 8 cups Colby/Jack blend grated
  • 2 cups extra sharp cheddar grated
  • 2 teaspoons salt or more, to taste


  • In a large electric skillet melt the butter and add the olive oil.
  • Add the flour and begin stirring. Be sure to use a spatula with a flat bottom so you can continually scrape the bottom of the skillet.
  • When the flour is totally mixed into the fats and has just started to toast (this is a light roux) add the milk a little at a time, stirring constantly.
  • Continue stirring as the sauce thickens – about ten – 15 minutes.
  • Turn the heat down to the lowest setting and add the cheese, a little at a time.
  • After all the cheese has been added (keep stirring) and is melted, turn off the heat entirely.
  • Add the pasta with a large slotted spoon and stir well. Serve immediately and enjoy!!



Freeze ahead option:
topping per casserole:
1 cup panko bread crumbs1 cup grated extra sharp cheddar
This recipe will make two casserole dishes of mac & cheese to freeze. Or you can serve 1/2 of the recipe fresh, then freeze one pan. To freeze, spray a casserole dish with nonstick spray. Top with 1 cup panko and 1 cup extra sharp cheddar. Cover with foil. Freeze for up to three months. To bake, defrost casserole on counter for about four hours. Bake covered at 350° for 30 minutes. Take foil off and bake for ten additional minutes, or until your topping is toasted.
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!
Shannon Vavich

I've been working in the food industry since 1999 and have studied culinary arts all over the world. I currently live in Germany with my family. You can learn more about my work and life on the "about" page. Be sure to subscribe to my socials. You can also keep in touch by subscribing to my free newsletter. Thanks so much for taking the time visit my website! I appreciate it!

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