35 Creamy and Dreamy Recipes That Use Evaporated Milk
When it comes to evaporated milk, there are plenty of possibilities. The convenient canned dairy adds a decadent creaminess to a number of desserts, sauces, and pasta dishes, but it's also useful in cocktails and shareable dishes like casseroles and nacho platters. Amp up your next meal with one of these easy evaporated milk-based recipes.
We use evaporated milk here because it has a richness similar to that of sat fat--heavy half-and-half, but with far less fat. Be sure to shake the can vigorously before using. We love the flavor that bacon adds, but if you'd rather omit it, each serving will contain 212 calories, 13.2g total fat (4.4g sat), and 379mg sodium. (Cost for 4: $6.95)
Pumpkin-Spice Magic Cake
If you can't get enough pumpkin spice during fall, we have one more recipe you must try out. For our Pumpkin Spice Cake recipe, we combined silky flan with moist pumpkin spice cake and buttery caramel sauce in one incredible confection. We were inspired by a Mexican dessert called “impossible flan”. While it is not at all difficult to make, our Test Kitchen recommends using a light-colored Bundt pan for the best results. A dark-colored pan may get too hot and overbake the cake.
Incredibly bright and fresh, Tallarines Verdes translates to “green noodles,” and is a similar dish to pasta with pesto sauce. However, what sets this traditional Peruvian dish apart is one key ingredient: evaporated milk. This makes the pureed spinach-basil sauce more creamy (and less oily) than what many would expect from pesto, and lends a very subtle sweetness to the dish. In other words… it’s incredibly delicious. Sautéing the red onion first softens its flavors so that it doesn’t overpower the sauce with harsh onion notes. And we blanch the spinach and basil in order to preserve the leaves’ color, resulting in a vibrant, bright green sauce. Feel free to use linguine or bucatini noodles instead of spaghetti, if you prefer.
Roast Beef and Cheddar Sandwich with Horseradish Sauce
We are not thinkin' Arbys-- not after a roast beef sandich like this one. A classic creamy cheese sauce makes this sandwich super rich, while a horseradish sauce adds a kick. We love the onion bun, preferably bakery-made, but you could also use a pretzel bun instead. Make this sandwich the centerpiece of your Super Bowl Spread or serve along with beer and fries for a crowd-pleasing meal.
Georgia Peanut Pie with Peanut Butter Crust and Brown Sugar-Bourbon Whipped Cream
This pie is the perfect mix of sweet and salty. With a cookie-like peanut butter crust, gooey peanut butter filling, and salty cocktail peanuts, this pie is a Georgian's dream. It's even topped with Brown Sugar-Bourbon Whipped Cream. This peanut pie will impress even the most stubborn relatives you entertain this holiday season.
Zucchini's mild flavor concentrates into something much richer when you cook it until most of its liquid evaporates.
Instant Pot Mac and Cheese with Bacon
If you thought you loved your Instant Pot, just wait until you make a rich and gooey bowl of macaroni and cheese within minutes. The Instant Pot’s pressure function allows you to skip the entire process of boiling water, cooking, and draining the pasta saving valuable time over a traditional stovetop mac and cheese recipe. And we keep the cheese sauce quick and convenient, as well as decadently creamy, by utilizing canned evaporated milk—an affordable staple that you may already have in your pantry. Plus, evaporated milk packs less fat than using heavy cream, which means you can feel a little better about all the cheese you’re pouring in to make a beautiful melty finish. We opted for a blend of cheddar and Gouda cheeses, but feel free to go all-cheddar or try adding another favorite cheese to the mix.
This gingerbread fudge is the perfect “something different” to add to your holiday confections spread. Offering all of the toasty, familiar flavors of gingerbread and the creamy-rich texture of your favorite fudge, it’s the perfect mash-up of two holiday favorites. Plus, in keeping with the classic marshmallow fluff base, we’ve also kept this homemade holiday candy as easy as can be to mix up. We topped our gingerbread fudge with crushed gingersnap cookies and crystalized ginger for a little added oomph, but you could stir in toasted walnuts or pecans for crunch if you prefer. This holiday fudge recipe yields plenty for sharing, just be sure to store the fudge in the refrigerator when you’re finished snacking.
Thick and Creamy Yogurt
To create a satiny yogurt, Fletcher uses whole milk, adds dry milk to boost the protein, and heats it before culturing.
Broccoli with Cheese Sauce
Finding a healthier cheese sauce for broccoli that doesn’t sacrifice flavor sounds like an impossible task, but this recipe proves otherwise. This crowd-pleasing side dish significantly slashes calories, fat, and sodium but still packs plenty of flavor. Serve with pan-seared chicken or pork chops.
Apple Spice Bundt Cake with Cider Glaze
Don't be afraid to go 100% whole-grain with desserts; we use all spelt flour here with amazing results. The nutty flour boosts the taste of the butter, spices, and vanilla, unlike all-purpose flour, whose bland nature would dilute those flavors. Be sure to weigh the flour for accuracy; using too much will make the cake dry.
Sweet Potato Gratin
Alternating layers of buttery-rich Yukon Golds and earthy sweet potatoes become even more delicious with Parmesan cheese and Gruyere cheese.
German Chocolate Brownies
This recipe is a combination of my nana’s greatest hits—brownies and German chocolate cake. The fudgy brownies allow the frosting’s coconut flavor to shine and are decadent without overwhelming the palate. We used a 9x13” baking pan, which yielded thinner brownies and a more even distribution of both the brownies and the frosting’s flavor. It’s definitely possible in an 8” or 9” square pan, which will give you thicker brownies and globs of frosting. In that case, you’ll need to use a fork.
Homemade (Rum-infused) Horchata
Whole milk and sweetened condensed milk make this booze-infused Mexican horchata insanely rich and creamy.
Sweet Corn Oatmeal with Peaches
Try substituting unsweetened almond milk (we like Almond Breeze) for the whole milk for a rich, slightly nutty flavor.
Cheesy Nachos with Pinto Bean Salsa and Pickled Jalapeños
Be sure to shred the cheese yourself; preshredded strands are often coated in an anticaking agent that could make the sauce grainy. You'll want to build the nachos on a sturdy base--nothing too thin and fragile, as the chips need to stand up to those tasty toppings. We love Lundberg's hearty Original Sea Salt Rice Chips, made with whole-grain brown rice.
Easy Chicken Spaghetti
Give your traditional chicken casserole a break and serve this bright and lively chicken spaghetti. You only need a Dutch oven and a 9-x-13 baking dish to create this delicious meal, meaning there is less clean-up afterwards. Cook and shred your chicken in advance to save time.
Super Juiced Golden Milk
Look out, green juice: Golden milk is becoming the healthy drink du jour. Made with fresh turmeric, a root that's now more widely available in supermarkets, the creamy sip has an earthy-sweet flavor and anti-inflammatory benefits. This recipe comes from Emanne Desouky, co-owner of Super Juiced in Oakland. We've gone for store-bought almond milk as the base, but if you want to make your own, as Desouky does, omit the dates, vanilla, and salt here. She prefers to use organic ingredients. You can also serve the golden milk hot, with a little coconut oil on top.
Sweet Potato Casserole with Pumpkin Seed-Oat Crumble
We use less sugar in this classic casserole and get sweetness instead from fragrant orange rind and vanilla. Turmeric boosts the orange color and adds a subtle earthiness to the sweet potatoes. Instead of an all-nut or marshmallow topping, an oat streusel made with pumpkinseeds adds crunch and contrast to the dish. Evaporated milk has a concentrated dairy flavor without the added sugar of sweetened condensed milk; it will help the potato base to thicken as it bakes.
Banana Pudding Milk Shake
This Banana Pudding Milk Shake is cool and refreshing. This treat doesn’t have to be just for dessert; we love it for an afternoon snack as well. You only need 5 ingredients for this creamy drink. Chances are you already have a few on hand. If you have bananas, vanilla bean ice cream, and vanilla wafers, you can create this summer treat in just 10 minutes.
Potatoes with Huancaína Sauce (Papa a la Huancaína)
This salad of boiled potatoes and thick, custardy chile-cheese sauce gets its bright yellow color from aji amarillo, a yellow chile that's become an edible symbol of Peru. Huancaína sauce means that it is made in the style of people from Huancayo, the Peruvian highlands.
Tres Leches Bread Pudding
Everyone who tasted this bread pudding loved it, and we bet everyone you make it for will love it too. This bread pudding has classic tres leches flavors: It’s super creamy and milky, and lightly spiced with cinnamon, but not overpowering. Instead, the cinnamon adds warmth. The dulce de leche's deep caramel flavors take this to the next level. You can find canned dulce de leche right by the sweetened condensed milk. Feel free to let this soak overnight in the fridge before baking—you’ll just need to skip the hour at room temp if you decide to. Serve with even more dulce de leche and a warm cup of coffee.
You'll love our highfalutin' nacho iteration laden with sweet lobster meat, avocado, a rich yet amazingly low-fat cheese sauce, and a heap of crunchy, piquant tomato-radish salad on top that takes this dish to a completely new level. Between the crunch and saltiness of the chips and the richness of the seafood and cheese sauce, these nachos are just right for a glass of bubbly. This recipe is geared for a main-dish serving; for party snacks, it'll serve 12 or more.
Curried Pumpkin Soup
A warm bowl of this creamy pumpkin curry soup is the perfect start to any fall meal. Buttery sautéed mushrooms and onions create a delicious savory balance to the toasty curry powder and sweet pumpkin. In addition to the pumpkin puree, basic all-purpose flour and evaporated milk lend rich body to this aromatic curry-kissed soup without adding a ton of extra fat. While it certainly makes a great opening course, you could also ladle out dishes of our pumpkin curry soup alongside a tossed salad and crusty baguette for a light autumn lunch.
German Chocolate-Pecan Pie
Surprisingly, pecan pie is a relative latecomer to the Southern table. Recipes for milk-custard-based pecan pies can be found as early as 1886, but it wasn't until the 1930s when promotional recipes for a syrup-based pecan pie appeared on the labels of Karo syrup bottles that its popularity soared. Twenty years later, Marion Brown's landmark Southern cookbook proclaimed it "the South's most popular pie." Our latest twist? A stellar riff on the flavors of German chocolate cake, for which the Lone Star State also claims bragging rights.
It’s easy, it’s cheesy, and it requires no special equipment—what’s not to love? This slow cooker take on cheese fondue offers all of the nuanced flavor of traditional fondue along with all of the convenience of the crockpot; basically, it’s perfect for entertaining. Tossing the cornstarch with your grated cheese helps the cheese incorporate evenly into the liquid when melting and prevents clumping. Serve with a platter of your favorite roasted veggies, sausages, and bread cubes, using long skewers for dipping.
Layers of flavor make this unexpected side dish a wow-worthy winner. A different spin on the classic gratin, sweet sugar pumpkin and spicy poblano peppers make for a creamy and hot casserole that will make you want a second helping. The secret ingredient is a can of evaporated low-fat milk, which is poured over the vegetables to seal in their flavor while adding a whole new level of decadence. Ever versatile, this dish would work as a side with Tex-Mex, but would also not be out of place on the Thanksgiving table.
Stacy and Joyce's Skillet Cornbread Dressing
The Powell family’s annual Thanksgiving celebration at their South Carolina farm attracts nearly 100 people each year and there’s always more than enough food to go around. While it is hard to choose one dish from the ever-growing buffet table, this Southern-style cornbread dressing, by Joyce Comfort and Stacy Le, is one of the family’s favorites. Cooked in a Butter Pat cast iron skillet, this cornbread dressing gets better every year.
Homemade Alfredo Sauce
Do you love the wonderfully creamy Alfredo sauce that’s served in restaurants like Olive Garden, but rarely find yourself with the heavy cream that most homemade Alfredo sauce recipes require? Good news—this recipe utilizes a pantry staple you likely already have on hand: evaporated milk. Swapping the typical heavy cream for evaporated milk in this easy Alfredo sauce recipe not only makes it more budget friendly, but also trims calories and fat (without losing richness). Dried parsley is called for here, but feel free to garnish with fresh if you have it on hand. And remember, you’re just a couple of leftover grilled chicken breasts or a rotisserie chicken away from a hearty dish of chicken Alfredo.
This traditional Puerto Rican cocktail tastes like a very thick and creamy coconut eggnog. It's very rich, so you can serve it over ice, if preferred, to dilute it a little. Feel free to increase or decrease the amount of rum depending on how strong you like it. The drink keeps in the refrigerator for 1-2 weeks. Pro tip: It's great for gift-giving! Simply place in a decorative glass bottle with a stopper for a delightful Christmas gift.
Queso-Filled Mini Peppers
Tortilla chips usually go hand-in-hand with queso, but mini sweet peppers make a tasty and colorful bite-sized vessel for the rich cheese dip. Don’t worry if the queso looks a little broken when the cheese melts in the evaporated milk, the cream cheese will make it smooth again. Pickled jalapeños add a tangy note to the dip, but if you like your queso extra spicy, use finely chopped fresh jalapeños instead.
Easy Pumpkin Pie Squares
Pumpkin pie, meet dump cake. These pumpkin bars taste like pumpkin pie with a sweeter, slightly crunchy crust. They’re slightly rich, so they’re perfect after a big meal, and make the perfect bite. Best of all, they’re way easier to make than pie and the perfect treat for a crowd.
Creamy Stovetop Mac and Cheese
Sharp cheddar, white cheddar, and cream cheese make this cheese sauce ultra creamy, while hot sauce and Worcestershire sauce help round out the rich, cheesy flavors. This stovetop recipe will have you wondering why you ever enjoyed mac and cheese any other way.
Sheet Pan Beefy Nachos
If you have young kids serving themselves, lift the nachos off the pan with the parchment paper (and remove the hot pan from the table). For the creamiest nacho sauce, start with a block of cheese and shred it yourself.