Slow Cooker Mac & Cheese

mac & cheese

Several years ago I attempted to make lasagna in my crockpot.  It went horribly.  I overcooked it and the noodles literally dissolved into mush.  It was a huge Fail with a capital F.  I have been tentative about putting noodles in my crockpot ever since.  This week I decided to jump into the slow cooker-noodle realm again.  I’ve never been brave enough to attempt macaroni and cheese in the slow cooker until yesterday and now I’m glad I did.  My son’s birthday party is coming up in less then 2 weeks.  I have decided since we are having it at an indoor playland from 2-3:30 pm, that I don’t need to have a full-blown meal.  I need it to be kid-friendly and easy.  I’ve decided on mac and cheese and bbq meatballs in separate crockpots.  We will also be having birthday cupcakes, fruit tray, veggie tray, and chips and salsa.  There will be more adults then kids at the party, so I needed to consider that into my planning too.

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I love the super cheesy mac and cheese you get at restaurants.  I found the basic structure to this recipe at “Get in my Belly”  I modified it ever so slightly.  It was SUPER cheesy.  My son actually told me there was too much cheese.  If you are a cheese fanatic, use only 3 cups of uncooked elbow macaroni.

My next adjustment to the original recipe is that for me, it only needed 2 hours on low.  I was home and stirred this 3 times in that 2 hours.  If it were to be on low for 3 hours, I feel like the noodles would have been mush, as they are already super soft at 2.

The pepper in this recipe is optional.  I put it in before I even thought about my almost 7 year old.  I don’t know what it is with kids and seeing those black sprinkles in their food, but it freaks them out every time, even if you can’t really taste it.  Kids get the idea that it’s “spicy” and it turns them off to any food with 3 little speckles in it.  My son ate his mac & cheese, but he did make sure to tell me that he doesn’t like pepper.  Noted.  For the birthday party, no pepper in the mac & cheese.  Got it.

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Slow Cooker Mac & Cheese:

1 (15 oz) can Campbell’s Cheddar Cheese condensed soup
2 & ¾ cup half & half milk
3 1/2 cups uncooked elbow macaroni
2 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese
1 cup shredded colby cheese,
3 tbsp butter, melted
optional: 1/2 tsp. pepper

1. Mix half and half with condensed cheese soup until well blended.  If you have a non-metal whisk, feel free to do this in your slow cooker to avoid an additional dirty dish to wash.
2. Add remaining ingredients. Stir.
3. Cover and cook on low for 2 hours.  Stir 1-3 times during the cooking process to make sure cheese is melting.  Enjoy!

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PS- sorry I had to take the photo the day after, so the mac and cheese isn’t in it’s complete prime.  It was super good warmed up as a left over today, but it would have photographed better yesterday (when I didn’t have time).  Oh well, such is life.  It still tastes good, even as a leftover.