It’s that time of the year! The weather is getting chilly and we are all craving comforting dishes. It’s the perfect time to dust off your slow cooker and make this luscious Slow Cooker Mac and Cheese!
Hi guys! It’s Olivia from Olivia’s Cuisine, stopping by to share one of my favorite comfort food recipes, Slow Cooker Mac and Cheese. Because who doesn’t love a classic?
And the best thing? It is made completely in the slow cooker!
Now, let me start by saying this is not the “dump everything in the slow cooker and leave it for 8 hours” type of recipe. This mac and cheese is ready in 2-3 hours – so you are allowed to go on a quick trip to the bank or grocery store – and requires pre-cooking the pasta on the stove for optimal results.
But don’t run for the hills yet! I promise it is worth it.
I’ve always been a fan of creamy mac and cheese. If cooked right, macaroni and cheese equals tender pasta embraced by pure molten cheese.
Unfortunately, I’ve had my fair share of dry and/or soggy mac and cheese and I vowed to never make that mistake again.
Slow Cooker Mac and Cheese Recipe and Tips
So when I was testing this recipe, I made sure to add enough liquid to ensure the final dish was absolutely creamilicious! I tried a version with only milk, a version with evaporated milk, and a version with a combination of those. I eventually settled – and this is my home chef tip of the day – for a version with milk, evaporated milk, and a little bit of the pasta water.
The starchy pasta water helps to bind the pasta and the cheese together, preventing the sauce from breaking and your mac and cheese becoming lumpy.
Don’t believe me? Just look at this creamy beauty!
My second tip of the day is to cook the pasta before you add it to the slow cooker, but just until almost al dente. The pasta I use cooks for a minimum of 8 minutes for al dente results, so I cook it for about 5 minutes and immediately drain to stop cooking. That way, the pasta finishes cooking in the slow cooker and your mac and cheese is not mushy at the end!
Trust me, this extra prep work will make all the difference and your Slow Cooker Mac and Cheese will be your new family hit!
P.S. Don’t know what to do with leftovers? Try my Fried Mac & Cheese Balls! They are to die for.
- 16 ounces small elbow macaroni
- 1 can (12 fl oz) evaporated milk
- 1 cup whole milk
- 1/2 cup pasta water
- 8 ounces Monterey Jack, shredded
- 8 ounces Sharp Cheddar, shredded
- 4 ounces cream cheese
- 3 tablespoons butter, melted
- 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
- 1/2 teaspoon paprika
- Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
- Bring a large pot of salted water to boil and cook the macaroni just until shy of al dente, about 5 minutes. Drain (reserving 1/2 cup of the pasta water) and reserve.
- Add the pre-cooked macaroni and all the remaining ingredients to your slow cooker and stir to combine. Cover and cook for 2 to 3 hours or until the pasta is tender and the cheese is melted.
- Serve immediately!
Home Chef Tip: Adding pasta water to your mac & cheese not only helps bind the macaroni and sauce together, but also prevents the cheese sauce from breaking.
We hope you love this Slow Cooker Mac and Cheese recipe from SoFabFood Contributor, Olivia from Olivia’s Cuisine, as much as we do. If you love this recipe, be sure to visit our Slow Cooker section for more easy weeknight meal ideas. For daily recipe inspiration, like us on Facebook, follow us on Pinterest, and stop by our Google+ Community to see all of the amazing recipes our community members are sharing. Enjoy!