Slow Cooked Triple Cheddar Mac & Cheese


When it comes to slow cooking macaroni and cheese, there are literally 1000's of recipes.  They're all so similar, I couldn't begin to discuss every single method.  So, I would like to show you how I make mine...yes?  I usually turn to slow cooked mac & cheese on a busy day in my kitchen, when I need my oven to prepare other dishes. The slow cooker I use to prepare my slow cooked mac & cheese, is a little different from the average slow cooker. The difference, is that the heat source is only on the bottom of the slow cooker.  So, in the interest of full disclosure, I wanted to show you. When cooking in a conventional slow cooker [which is the type I most often use] the heat source is located on the bottom and the sides of the slow cooker.  The only change needed may be adjusting your cooking time slightly.


Why do I mention this?  Funny you should ask...I make a special effort to make sure all of my recipes are presented in a way that you can be successful recreating my dishes.  In this slow cooker with the heat source on the bottom only, my mac & cheese cooks in around 2-2 1/4 hours on low.  So, in a conventional slow cooker, I recommend you cook on low for 2  hours, and check the center for doneness.  It may be completely cooked in that time.  After testing a tiny bit from the center sprinkle the remaining cheese on top and keep warm until it melts.  If not completely cooked, you may need to increase the time by 30 minutes to 1 hour, based on how your slow cooker cooks...Now, that said, let's move on to the good stuff...
 
You'll need:
2 cups dry elbow macaroni
1 can [12 oz] evaporated milk
1 can [10 3/4 oz] cheddar cheese soup
8 oz sour cream
1/2 cup [1 stick] butter, melted
3 large eggs
1 tsp dry mustard
1/4 tsp white pepper [or black pepper to your taste]
1/2 tsp salt
3 1/2 cups of triple cheddar cheese, divided [I used Kraft Triple Cheddar]

Directions:
Set your slow cooker on the low setting, and spray the inside with cooking spray.  Parboil the macaroni in salted water for 6 minutes then drain well before adding to the slow cooker.


While the macaroni is cooking, in a small mixing bowl, whisk together, the melted butter/margarine, evaporated milk, cheddar cheese soup, sour cream, eggs and seasonings.  We like black pepper and white pepper alike in this macaroni and cheese, it's fine to go with your preference.


After 6 minutes, drain the macaroni and add it to your preheated slow cooker.  Pour the sauce on top, along with 3 cups of shredded triple cheddar cheese.


Stir all of the ingredients together until the macaroni is coated and the sauce is evenly distributed.  In my slow cooker, it's only necessary to stir this once, so, make a special effort to stir the sauce and cheese well at the beginning.


Cook on low for 2 hours, then remove the lid and check the middle for doneness.  Sprinkle the remaining cheese on top.  Replace the lid and continue to cook for another 15 minutes to allow the cheese to melt. 


Keep warm until serving.  Yield: 8-10 servings

Cook's note:
This recipe will also work in your conventional oven.  Changes: Cook the macaroni until al dente on top of the stove, then mix together with  3 cups of shredded cheese and the combined sauce.  Pour into a buttered 8 x 12 inch baking dish and top with the remaining cheese.  Dot the top with butter.  Bake at 350°F for 40 minutes until golden.


71 comments:

Kasha said...

Do you have to use an egg in this mac n cheese dish? I have an egg allergy and tend to stay away when i can.

Robyn said...

Instead of cooking the pasta first, could it be put in dry and have the same outcome?

Melissa said...

Hi Kasha, I've never made this dish without eggs, but, I suspect it would still work. The eggs serve as a binder for the cheese sauce, so, it would likely have just a bit more liquid. If you try it, let me know! ~ Melissa

Melissa said...

Hi Robyn, I wouldn't recommend making this without parboiling the macaroni first. The key is not to overcook the pasta, or the outcome could be mushy. Thanks for your visit, Melissa

Anonymous said...

I tried this recipe. This was off the chain and my whole household ate plenty of it. I had to hide me some so I can have some tomorrow. Awesome Recipe!!!!!!

Melissa said...

Hello! That's wonderful, I'm so happy your family enjoyed this simple dish. I appreciate your comment! ~ Melissa

taruc said...

This looks great! Now all I need a slow-cooker...

Melissa said...

Hi taruc, Check out the Cook's note, you can also make this in the oven.

Rhonda said...

Might could add ham...make it a meal! Not that mac and cheese alone isn't a meal...it's my FAV food group!

Melissa said...

Hi Rhonda, sounds good to me, go for it!

Linda K. said...

Melissa, I do most of my cooking in a Celebrating Home Bean Pot. I will bake it for 45 minutes and check it. It generally cuts the time at least in half. Thank you so much for sharing with us.

Melissa said...

Hi Linda, how cool is that? Enjoy, thanks for your visit. ~ Melissa

Anonymous said...

Looks yummy. My kids love Mac and cheese and have been looking for some other ways to cook it but just the original way. Hoping they love it.

Melissa said...

I sure hope so too, happy slow cooking! ~ Melissa

Anonymous said...

I forgot the soup and evap milk. I left list at home and tried to remb, all the ingred. Will this be a problem? I cant leave again sweet munchkin is sleeping.

Melissa said...

Oh my, you could substitute whole milk for the evaporated milk. if you have Velveeta on hand you could use it instead,. Melt prior to adding it to the slow cooker.

Anonymous said...

My crock pot is a large oval one. Do you think a doubled recipe will fit?

Melissa said...

This recipe will work in a 6 quart oval, and yes, it would also do fine if you need to double the recipe. Depending on how your crock pot cooks, the time may need to be increased, but, I would still check it at the 2 hour point and make any necessary adjustments from there. Hope this helps!

Anonymous said...

How do I know when its completely cooked, im cooking it now and I doubled the recipe for a party, im a little iffy on whether our not its done...thanks!

Melissa said...

The best way to test is to take a small sample from the center. You can tell if it's cooked through in the center by the warmth and texture. Sure hope your guests enjoy, we love it!

Anonymous said...

Bowing can you keep on warm before serving , so it doesn't dry out?

Melissa said...

Sure, I haven't had a problem with it drying out. However, I wouldn't recommend leaving it for an extended length of time.

Michelle said...

I made this tonight & it was amazing. I left the eggs out & used medium shell noodles because I didn't have any elbows. Wonderfully moist & cheesy!

Melissa said...

Michelle, thanks so much for leaving a comment about how this dish is without eggs. I'm delighted you enjoyed it! ~ Melissa

Anonymous said...

Can I freeze the left overs Melissa?

Melissa said...

Sure!

kaykay said...

Hi melissa, what brand of cheese soup do you use?

Melissa said...

I use Campbell's Cheddar Cheese soup. It holds up quite well to the slow cooking process, and blends with the milk and cheese beautifully. Enjoy!

Anonymous said...

I just made this tonight for dinner! It was very yummy! I added French's french fried onions for a bit of a crunch!

Melissa said...

Great idea, so happy you enjoyed.

Anonymous said...

I made this tonight to go with dinner and omg is it ever yummy!! I used the oven method as nobody wanted to wait for it to cook in the crockpot. Thank you so much for this recipe...no more boxed mac n cheese here! This is just yummy gooey cheesy goodness, and so easy! I didn't have elbow macaroni so I used rotini...it really holds the cheese sauce in!

Melissa said...

Wonderful, so happy to hear you enjoyed this dish. Rotini pasta does make a yummy mac-n-cheese, good call. ☺

Anonymous said...

It's in the crock pot and looks yummy! What does it look like in the middle when you check if it's ready? Mines a little watery still

Melissa said...

It should be creamy, but set when gently shaken.

Erin Copeland said...

Looks fantastic!

Cricket said...

For some reason, my slow cooker does nothing on low. How long would I cook this on high?

Melissa said...

When slow cooking, generally a dish that cooks on low for 2 hours, would cook in 1 hour on high. This could vary based on how your slow cooker performs. So, I would recommend checking it at 1 hour. If the center is creamy but set when gently shaken, it's done. If not, continue to cook and check it every 15 minutes to avoid over cooking.

heidi said...

after reading recipe and comments...i think i am gonna try your mac n cheese.....i have a thanksgiving lunch at work on tues...about 20 people i suppose....i have a 6 qrt crock pot and you mentioned that doubling recipe is ok....you did mean doubling in a 6qrt right....it will all fit right ? :) any suggestions on cooking/keeping warm?....i go to work at 5 am and we'll b eating lunch about 11?

Melissa said...

Yes, doubling in a 6 quart slow cooker should be fine. An oval would be ideal, so be mindful of your slow cooker, and it's shape, and adjust the time as needed. Once cooked, for the best results, serve it then. If it's necessary, once cooked, keep it on the lowest setting to prevent changing the texture of the pasta.

Gina said...

I made this today for Thanksgiving and it came out beautifully. I about doubled the recipe in my slow cooker, but didn't seem to matter. Everyone talked about how good it tasted. Definite two thumbs up.

Melissa said...

Gina, I'm so happy to hear, it, thanks for stopping by! ~ Melissa

mary said...

in a regular oven should you cook covered or uncovered--- its cooking now please respond!!

Melissa said...

I never cover mac and cheese when baking, so, definitely uncovered.

Anonymous said...

Hi. I live somewhere where we can't buy Cheese soup. Any suggestions. This looks so Yummy, and I really want to try it! Shelley (Ontario, Canada)

Melissa said...

Hi Shelley, thanks for visiting. Oh sure, a basic cheddar cheese bechamel would work beautifully!

Rebecca Eldridge said...

Will this taste much different if I leave out the dry mustard? Thanks!

Melissa said...

Hi Rebecca, if you don't have it, leave it out, it will still be delicious, enjoy!

Jim Frasure said...

Why not kick it up with a pinch of cumin and Chipolte Pepper powder???

Melissa said...

Go for it, Jim!

Anonymous said...

What would your suggestion be for the triple cheese as we don't have the kraft triple cheese block here in Australia. .

Melissa said...

Triple cheddar is a blend of mild, medium and sharp cheddar cheese. Any of your favorite 3 flavors of cheese in equal amounts will work perfectly. Thanks for visiting!

Althea Harris said...

I never cooked with dry mustard, can I get it at any grocery store? If so, what dept. Please?

Melissa said...

Oh sure, dry [ground] mustard is readily available on the spice aisle.

Recipe Chatter said...

This looks awesome! Just wanted to let you know I featured you in this recipe round-up. Thanks for all the great recipes. :) http://www.recipechatter.com/southern-cooking-in-your-slow-cooker-cookbook-giveaway/

Toma Moore said...

Yay! I'm gonna chunk up some cream cheese and add it in! Yummmy!

Jill said...

Melissa, this looks great!! I'm dying to know what the meal next to it on your plate is, though! That sauce looks divine. :)

Melissa said...

Hi Jill, in the picture is my Oven Fried Provolone Stuffed Chicken Breast and a homemade marinara sauce that I've never posted. However, here's the link to the chicken.

http://www.melissassouthernstylekitchen.com/2012/05/oven-fried-provolone-stuffed-chicken.html

Anonymous said...

Could you substitute the butter with margarine?

-Alison
Thank you!!!

Melissa said...

Sure Alison, if you prefer margarine.

Anonymous said...

This is on my to do list. I have one question, how bad is the clean-up? I generally use disposable pans when making mac & cheese.

Melissa said...

My slow cooker tends to clean-up quite easily after making this, so it should do well.

Anonymous said...

I'm making this now. I doubled the recipe. But the pan I had to use is taller rather than short and long. Do you think it will take longer to cook?

Melissa said...

It could. It depends on how your slow cooker cooks. I would check it around 2 hours, testing the enter for doneness. You should be able to tell if it needs to go another 30 minutes at that point. Hope it works out well for you.

Sandy S. said...

I just made this and it was AMAZING! I cooked the pasta 6 minutes and I then cooked it in the crockpot 2 hours and I am in cheese overload. Perfect!! Love it, love it! Thanks bunches.

Melissa said...

Wonderful Sandy, I'm delighted to hear it!

mefutch said...

Sounds Yummy! I love using my Slow Pot(which looks like yours)especially during hot months. My base has setting 1-5. If yours has that, what number would be low?

angel Smith said...

hi i love the sound of this but being in the uk i am finding it difficult to find a plain cheese soup ( we like ours with Stilton and broccoli) would a cheese sauce be the same cos i would love to try this thanks

Melissa said...

I cooked this mac and cheese on the #2. The #1 setting serves more like a warm setting. Hope this helps!

Melissa said...

Hi Angel, yes of course! A homemade cheese sauce will work fine, just adjust the remaining liquid to avoid over "saucing." Thanks so much for visiting from the UK!

Lisa said...

So I made this recipe exactly as written with the exception that I used 2% evaporated milk instead of regular evaporated milk. The Mac/Cheese tasted fine but looked curdled...not creamy like everyone commented. Do you think it was the 2% evaporated milk? I was trialing this recipe for a potluck and am hesitant to use it again due to the curdling. Any thoughts?

Melissa said...

Hi Lisa, it could have been the quality of the milk and/or cheese. I recommend that after you put all of the ingredients into the slow cooker stir to mix. Don't be tempted to stir it AFTER it has cooked as that could also cause the sauce to clump. Sorry you had trouble I hope this helps!

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