Slow Cooker Macaroni and Cheese
Let's face it: Few foods are as filling and comforting as macaroni and cheese.
This timeless classic is ideal for serving to your siblings, porting to a pot luck or simply enjoying after a long day at work. While it may be tempting to break out your boxed mix for a quick and easy supper, using your slow cooker is the best way to craft equally quick - yet significantly better quality - pasta.
Bring out your Crock-Pot® Casserole Crock Slow Cooker and get ready to enjoy this hearty dish for the next several days.
Jenn Bare Takes on the Comfort Food
Known for her delicious spins on slow cooker dishes, Crock-Pot Girl™ Jenn Bare offers her own take on macaroni and cheese. To begin, prepare 16 ounces of your favorite noodle - Jenn uses shells, but feel free to use rotini, bow ties or farfalle. Line your slow cooker with a nonstick spray and add the cooked noodles. Cut 1/2 stick of butter into small pieces and spread throughout the pasta, sprinkle the noodles with salt and pepper, then cover the dish after stirring its contents.
In a medium-sized saucepan, combine 1 10 3/4 ounce can of condensed cheddar cheese soup and 2 cups of fat-free half and half, stirring the mixture until it's smooth. Gradually add 2 beaten eggs and 1 teaspoon of dry mustard, then stir in 4 cups of shredded sharp cheddar cheese. When the sauce is creamy and the ingredients have been well-blended, pour the mixture over your noodles.
Allow your macaroni and cheese to cook on low for about two to four hours. Serve this dish warm or put it in the fridge to serve it chilled.
Crafty Takes on the Classic
Cheese, noodles and butter are the three ingredients needed most for your mac and cheese, but there are several other additions that can turn this pasta from classic comfort food to crafty culinary concoction. Crock-Pot Girl™ Jenn Bare recommended sprinkling bacon bits on top of your finished dish for a heartier meal, but if you're a big fan of this smoky meat, consider preparing several slices before turning on the slow cooker. Chop five pieces of bacon and stir them in the pasta when you add the butter.
Alternatively, if you have a more dairy-centric palate, consider choosing a variety of cheeses to add to the mixture. Instead of 4 cups of sharp cheddar cheese, opt for 1 cup cheddar, 1 cup mozzarella and 2 cups havarti.