I have eaten macaroni and cheese no fewer than half a dozen times in the last week. What happened is that we hadn’t eaten macaroni and cheese for a good month or so, which is forever for us, and so I decided to make up for it by making baked mac and cheese. And then a few days later, when that ran out, I made this creamy slow cooker mac and cheese. The husband says one or two dinners of mac and cheese is enough — I say the limit does not exist.
This cheesy, creamy slow cooker number comes not only at the request of my mac-and-cheese-starved tummy, but also by you, dear reader. I put up on a poll on Facebook last week asking whether you’d want to see a recipe for creamy slow cooker mac and cheese or slow cooker shrimp and grits. There was a resounding winner (I’ll let you guess which); though, the latter may have to make its way on the blog someday, too.
But today, we talk about mac and cheese, made extra cheesy and extra creamy in the crockpot. It’s easy food at its finest. It’s comfort food at its finest. It’s mac and cheese at its finest. And all you have to do is set it and forget it, as they say.
So here’s what’s going on in this slow cooker situation: A boatload of elbow macaroni is topped with evaporated milk, regular milk (preferably whole, for the richness and flavor), butter, eggs, shredded sharp cheddar cheese and S&P. Stir it all up, top it with more cheese, and let it cook. In just a few hours, creamy mac and cheese for a crowd is ready. Add a lightly dressed salad of greens and your meal is set.
This variation of mac and cheese is a cross between baked mac and cheese and stovetop mac and cheese — it has that quintessential creaminess of stovetop mac and cheese, but it holds together a bit more like the baked variety. If you’re lucky, you might even get a few of those golden brown cheesy edges in the slow cooker that you sometimes get on that frozen mac and cheese — you know the one. Those edges are like rainbows — special and exciting, but gone in a flash. So you better have your spoon ready as soon as you serve this dish. Someone else might snatch them up before you.
Of course, if they do, it’s really no biggie — that just leaves more of the creamy, cheesy stuff for you to top with even more cheese (and paprika — it’s how we do, and I highly recommend it) on your plate.
Sorry, Husband, but this goes on the dinner menu again next week.
P.S. Have you taken the annual reader survey yet? Pretty please do!
- 12 ounces elbow macaroni, cooked
- 1 can (12 oz) evaporated milk
- 1½ cups milk
- ¼ cup (1/2 stick) butter, softened
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon pepper
- 2 eggs, beaten
- 5½ cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese, divided, plus more for topping
- Smoked paprika, for topping (optional)
- Spray a large slow cooker with cooking spray. Add cooked macaroni, evaporated milk, milk, butter, salt, pepper, eggs and 5 cups cheese. Stir to combine. Top with remaining ½ cup cheese and a dash or two of smoked paprika, if desired.
- Cover and cook on low 2½ to 3 hours. Stir mixture and serve with extra shredded cheese and paprika on top, if desired.