Getting My Mac On

52 macs in 52 weeks

February 2, 2021

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Week 48: Sour Cream & Onion Mac

11 months ago today, I started this blog – I can’t believe it’s in the final weeks! (Although I have enough “make-up” posts to do, that it’s kind of like there’s a couple of months!)

Sour cream and onion is one of my most favorite flavor combinations. In fact, this was almost a part of the “Mac Bar” post featuring many of my favorite snacks as toppings. But I used a cheddar-based mac for that, and I thought this would work better with white cheeses along with a couple of other tweaks, so I decided to wait.

But then every time I bought a bag of Ruffles, I’d eat them before I got around to making the mac, or the green onions would dry out, or I’d use the sour cream & chive topping on something else. Finally, the planets have aligned and I have all the right ingredients on hand to give this a try!

Sour cream & onion mac


  • 8 ounces penne pasta
  • 6 Tbsp. butter
  • 4 Tbsp. flour
  • 1½ cups whole milk
  • ½ cup sour cream with chives (see notes)
  • 1½ cups shredded mozzarella
  • ½ cup shredded Parmesan cheese (see notes)
  • ½ – 1 tsp. onion salt (see notes)
  • 1 cup sour cream & onion Ruffles (see notes)
  • Green onions, chopped (just the green parts)


  • Bring a pan of water to a boil, add ½ teaspoon of salt, then add pasta and cook 10 minutes. Drain and set aside.
  • Melt the butter over medium heat, then stir in flour and cook 2-3 minutes, whisking constantly.
  • Slowly add the milk and whisk until sauce is smooth and slightly thickened; then remove from heat and add sour cream. Stir to combine.
  • Add cheeses and stir until completely melted.
  • Add onion salt to taste.
  • Combine pasta and cheese sauce and stir until thoroughly coated.
  • Top with chopped onions or chives and serve!


Very good! It’s pretty mild, but very creamy. I hadn’t initially planned to use onion salt in the sauce, but it really made a difference. I had added a small amount of kosher salt as usual, but after tasting it, I thought it still needed a little something.  Adding the onion salt at the last minute gave it just the flavor boost I was looking for.


  • Did anybody else’s family use CHIVO? It was made by the same company as IMO, which was a sour cream substitute, but CHIVO was soooo much better! So of course, they discontinued it. Kroger/Fred Meyer has a version that is fine (it’s what I used here, I’ve never seen anything similar anywhere else) but it’s really not the same. Bring back the CHIVO!
  • Go for a block of Parmesan here, rather than the pre-grated stuff in a jar.
  • I mean, I guess you COULD use pretty much any brand of sour cream and onion potato chips, even the non-ridged type, but why would you settle for less than the best?
  • If you don’t keep onion salt on hand and wouldn’t use it for anything else, I don’t know that I’d recommend going out and buying it JUST for this recipe (unless you plan to make it FREQUENTLY) but I tend to use garlic salt and onion salt instead of regular salt (not for baking of course), so It’s something that’s always in my pantry.  I actually don’t have any “regular” (i.e. table salt) right now – I’ve shifted to kosher salt for almost everything.

Posted February 1, 2021

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