This Crockpot Macaroni and Cheese makes a deliciously creamy macaroni with the use of a crockpot.
When I think of macaroni and cheese, I tend to think of children. I mean seriously, who requests this dish more than kids? It is a dish that most of us grew up eating. Though most of us were likely having the boxed type. I know I sure was.
But let’s talk about real macaroni and cheese. Because let’s face it that boxed stuff doesn’t belong on our dinner tables as adults. Especially when we can make this homemade version just as easily and have a creamy delicious dish.
I have had all sorts of macaroni and cheese in my adult experience. My favorites are the classic kinds that are made from cheddar or white cheddar cheese with either elbow macaroni or shells.
However, I am not going to sell you on the idea that this one should win any awards. No sir (or ma’am), I have had insanely delicious macaroni and cheese that would put this one to shame. Although, I must tell you this one is pretty dang good. Especially when you consider, the small amount of work it entails. And we all know that some days we need a recipe to bail us out.
And yes, as much as I love to cook some days the crockpot can be a best friend in the kitchen. It feels like someone is making food for you or at least it is the closest thing to that without actually having a person in your kitchen. All we have to do is add the ingredients and leave them in our trusty crockpot to cook. This recipe is exactly that sort of crockpot cooking we know and love.
Like most kids, my daughter loves macaroni and cheese. But the whole boiling and then baking can be a bit more time-consuming than some days allow. This is a great one for a side dish or even a dinner. Adding a veggie like broccoli or a side salad can turn it into the main entree. I added some variations below however, the classic stands up just as it is. Or at least I sure think so.
Why You Will Love This Recipe
- It is simple to throw together.
- It is ready in about an hour, making it a quick crockpot recipe.
- The dish is creamy and delicious.
- It is made with real food ingredients.
- Adding protein creates an even more delicious macaroni and cheese. We love adding ground beef or even bacon.
What You Will Need To Make It
3 cups of whole milk
4 cups shredded cheese white cheddar or yellow cheddar (using freshly shredded is best, see note)
1 tsp salt
4 tbsp butter
1- 16 oz package of macaroni noodles or shells
1 tbsp dijon mustard
2 eggs beaten
Spray your crockpot with a nonstick spray (I use olive oil spray, but use what you like). Pour in the dry macaroni noodles. Top the noodles with the shredded cheese. Add the milk to a bowl with the eggs, dijon mustard, and salt. Mix well and then pour into the crockpot. Give the entire contents of the crockpot a good stir to combine. Then place the butter on top before putting the lid on to cook. Cook on low for 1 hour or until the macaroni is soft. Be sure not to overcook as the macaroni will begin to dry out if cooked too long.
- It is best to use freshly shredded cheese from a block or from the deli. Prepackaged shredded cheese is coated with cellulose which is an anti clumping ingredient that can cause the macaroni and cheese to be more gritty.
- Make sure to set your crockpot on the low setting as overcooking the pasta will result in a mushy macaroni and cheese
- It is a good idea to spray your crockpot with a nonstick cooking spray before adding the ingredients in. It makes for easier clean up later.
- Check the macaroni and cheese after 45 minutes to make sure its not done faster than the time specified here. I have two crockpots and for some reason one of mine cooks just a tad bit faster than the other. Of course we all are using different crockpots and so cooking times can vary.
- It is a good idea to turn the crockpot off instead of on warm as the macaroni tends to dry out if it sits in the warm crockpot too long. I serve when ready and then turn off the crockpot, allow the leftover macaroni to cool then place it in a Tupperware and store in the fridge.
Variations for Crockpot Macaroni and Cheese
Hot Sauce-Adding a few splashes of hot sauce like Tabasco will give the macaroni and cheese a bit of a kick.
Garlic-Shaving in a couple cloves of garlic before cooking will give it a more in depth flavor and works wonderfully when using a white cheddar. Creating a white cheddar garlic macaroni and cheese for a more grown up variation.
Crispy Bacon-If you are in the mood to spruce up the macaroni and cheese, you can garnish it with a bit of crispy bacon when serving. Simply cube and fry up some bacon prior and have it ready to garnish.
Ground Beef- This is my daughters favorite way to have macaroni and cheese. When serving this crockpot macaroni and cheese with ground beef. I brown a 1 lb package of ground beef in a skillet (drain if using a higher fat content beef) and when the macaroni is ready, I dump the ground beef into the crock pot then mix to combine right before serving.
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- 3 cups whole milk
- 1-16 oz package of macaroni shells or noodles
- 1 tbsp dijon mustard
- 4 cups white cheddar or yellow works too
- 4 tbsp salted butter
- 1 tsp salt
- 2 beaten eggs
- Spray your crockpot with a nonstick spray (I use olive oil spray, but use what you like).
- Pour in the dry macaroni noodles.
- Spread the shredded cheese over the noodles.
- Add the milk to a bowl with the eggs, dijon mustard, and salt. Mix well and then pour into the crockpot.
- Give the entire contents of the crockpot a good stir to combine.
- Then place the butter on top before putting the lid on to cook.
- Cook on low for 1 hour or until the macaroni is soft. Be sure not to overcook as the macaroni will begin to dry out.
- Give the macaroni a stir when ready to serve.
*Make sure crockpot is set to low, over cooking will result in a mushy dry macaroni
Serving Size:1 cup
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 508Total Fat: 31gSaturated Fat: 17gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 10gCholesterol: 132mgSodium: 845mgCarbohydrates: 33gFiber: 2gSugar: 5gProtein: 24g
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