My husband has been asking when we were going to try a side dish recipe for Crock Pot Thursday, and I was excited about this one’s short cook time. My kids haven’t been eating macaroni and cheese for over a year now, which started immediately after I bought a 12 pack of Kraft from Costco.
If I didn’t feed all of my friends’ kids mac and cheese every time I hosted a play date, we’d still be sitting on 11 boxes. Because of the macaroni and cheese boycott of 2012/2013, I halved the recipe. My sizable behind needs to get ready for some book signings, and I have a serious case of blogger butt right now. The last thing I need in my refrigerator is leftover macaroni and cheese.
Of course, this macaroni and cheese is no Kraft, so we ate all of it, and we grown-ups fought over the last 1/4 cup like a pack of wild dogs.
Good news! The kids like mac and cheese again! I did not calculate the calories in this dish, but if I had to guess, I would say one serving is about 46 bazillion calories.
I’m going to share a tip with you that I should have mentioned months ago. I have a set of CorningWare bakeware set that my husband and I received as a wedding gift almost ten years ago. I use them all the time, but my favorite use is in the Crock Pot.
If I’m making a smaller slow cooker recipe, I put my smallest oval Corningware dish inside my slow cooker’s removable stoneware, put the recipe inside the dish, put the dish lid on, AND the Crock Pot lid. Use regular cook times.
This is awesome for several reasons.
1. It saves me from having to scrub the gigantic slow cooker insert.
2. The leftovers are already in a refrigerator appropriate container.
3. Since slow cooker recipes do best in a fuller vessel, small recipes sometimes cook funny in my 6.5 quart crock pot. Crock pot liners work fine, too. I use them for larger recipes that look like they’ll crust up the side of the stoneware.
This recipe will make a mess of your stoneware. Protect it.
Creamy Crock Pot Macaroni and Cheese
- 2 cups uncooked elbow macaroni (an 8-ounce box isn’t quite 2 cups)
- 4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) butter, cut into pieces
- 2 1/2 cups (about 10 ounces) grated sharp Cheddar cheese (Do yourself a favor and grate your own cheese. There is a time and a place for pre-grated cheese. This is not it.)
- 1/2 cup sour cream
- 1 (10 3/4-ounce) can condensed Cheddar cheese soup
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup whole milk
- 1/2 teaspoon dry mustard
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- Boil the macaroni in a 2 quart saucepan in plenty of water until mostly tender, about 7 minutes. Drain.
- In a medium saucepan, mix butter and cheese. Stir until the cheese melts.
- In a slow cooker, combine cheese/butter mixture and add the sour cream, soup, salt, milk, mustard and pepper and stir well.
- Then add drained macaroni and stir again.
- Set the slow cooker on low setting and cook for 2 hours, stirring occasionally.
Using two kinds of cheese adds a nice depth. My mother-in-law used one cup of pepper jack, and said it was excellent.
Whole grain pasta works very well in this dish.
Don’t half the recipe unless you want your husband to nearly bite your finger off.
I used my 6.5-Quart Crock-Pot Programmable Touchscreen Slow Cooker to make this.
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