Slow Cooker Macaroni and Cheese
I might have a slight obsession with cheese. It might be a problem, to be honest. I will have entire conversations with people about cheese, especially if it’s about Cabot cheddar cheese from Sam’s Club. Which means it comes in a two-pound brick. Even though there are only two of us. Which means it’s perfect to use to make the cheesiest dishes like the best-ever queso or macaroni and cheese. Especially if that macaroni and cheese is made in actually slow cooker macaroni and cheese! (Can I add any more sentence fragments to that paragraph?!)
A couple years ago, I decided to make slow cooker macaroni and cheese when we were hosting Easter. I thought it would be the perfect compliment to our ham, instead of making scalloped potatoes. Plus, it freed up coveted oven-space by letting the slow cooker do the work. Granted, you miss out on the burnt-cheese top and corners, but that’s a sacrifice I’m willing to make.
This mac and cheese is the smoothest, creamiest, cheesiest mac and cheese you’ll ever have. It reheats like a dream without drying out at all. Like, at-all at all. It’s just as good reheated as it is straight out of the slow cooker. I hope that blows your mind as much as it blows mine, because reheated macaroni and cheese can sometimes be less than thrilling.
Anyway, I’ve been making some version of this slow cooker macaroni and cheese, which I adapted from Brown Eyed Baker, for a couple years now. I figured it was high time I wrote down my modifications, since I’ve attempted to verbally tell people what I change a few times. It goes something like this:
I use milk instead of half-and-half and Cheez Whiz instead of Velveeta since I never use the rest of the Velveeta brick and the Cheez Whiz will keep in the fridge practically forever. Put all of the cheese in at the beginning instead of putting some on top at the end. Add mustard, red hot, and Worcestershire for even more flavor.
At this point, I’m sure whoever I’m talking to has stopped listening, eyes glazed over, and decided to never ask me for a recipe again. And that’s before I even cut down the recipe by 1/3 since it makes enough to feed a small army…which is great if you’re having all of your in-laws over for Easter. It’s not as great if you’re just two people who are trying to eat healthier but needed to get your mac and cheese-fix.
Granted, this version of the recipe still makes at least 6 healthy portions, but that’s better than 10+ healthy portions, right? Right??
- 2 cups elbow macaroni
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1 can (12 ounces) evaporated milk
- ½ cup milk, any fat content
- 8 ounces shredded sharp cheddar
- approximately 6 ounces Velveeta or Cheez Whiz
- 1 tablespoon yellow mustard
- ⅛ teaspoon seasoned salt, or to taste
- pepper, to taste
- 1½ teaspoons hot sauce
- 1 teaspoon Worchestershire sauce
- Cook the elbow macaroni in salted water to very al dente. I usually knock 1-2 minutes off of the al dente time noted on the box. Drain. Return to the pot and add the butter. Stir until coated.
- At this point you have two choices: mix the macaroni and cheese in the pot you cooked the macaroni in, or in the slow cooker. Either way - add the remaining ingredients and stir until everything is pretty evenly dispersed.
- Cook in the slow cooker on low for around 2 hours. Stir it every 30-45 minutes to make sure the cheese is melting evenly throughout. Store leftovers in the refrigerator for up to 5 days, if they last that long.
Which has your vote: macaroni and cheese baked in the oven or slow cooker macaroni and cheese?