Creamy Slow Cooker Macaroni and Cheese ~ Classic comfort food cooked in the slow cooker for optimal creaminess and intense deliciousness.
Creamy Slow Cooker Macaroni and Cheese or any type of Macaroni and Cheese WAS NOT part of ANY of my holiday meals. Ever. Never knew people considered this a holiday dish.
It wasn’t until I moved to Texas for 18 months in the late 90’s did I realize it was a ‘thing’ and a big holiday thing at that.
I loved my time in Texas for many reasons (and hated it for others). However, when it comes to the culinary offerings of that great state, it ranks pretty high in my book.
Each year, I have a few must have items on my holiday table, and then I like to mix things up from time to time as well.
This year, one of my ‘making a special appearance’ side dishes is this fantastic and utterly Creamy Slow Cooker Macaroni and Cheese. I’ve made this many times and is always a huge hit.
There are a lot of what might look like odd ingredients in this, but I promise, they all work wonderfully together.
How to Keep Cheese Sauce from Seizing
Cooking this much dairy in the crock pot can have a seizing effect on the sauce if the slow cooker runs too high. If yours runs super hot like mine does (my appliance: keep warm = low, low = high, high = warp speed), gauge your time and watch it a bit more closely than you might normally watch your slow cooker.
Whisk the eggs thoroughly before adding to the cream sauce.
If you notice the sauce is starting to seize, lower the setting to keep warm immediately. Stir the sauce, and add a bit more milk to break down the sauce. Replace the lid askew, partially covering, partially venting to cool it down quicker.
After a few minutes of ‘cooling down’ replace the lid properly and continue with cooking.
If you notice it’s seized after it has cooked, all is not lost! Sadly I have had plenty of seized sauces and the dishes are still absolutely wonderful. Just remove the sauce from the slow cooker and pour into a large bowl. Then slowly add a bit more milk or even heavy cream and about 1/4 cup more cheddar. Stir until the milk has worked into the sauce and the cheese has melted.
I know this seems odd to add more milk and cheese, but I’ve had it seize on me more than once, even with being watched and temps adjusted quickly (I really just need to get a new slow cooker). And I’ve learned adding to the sauce helps smooth it out again.
Plus can you really have too much cheese?
Well, I guess yes if you have dietary issues.
One of the things I try to be cognizant of is the dietary needs of my guests, not just for the holidays, but anytime I entertain.
If I know I am hosting a vegan, vegetarian, gluten intolerant/free, dairy intolerant/free, etc, etc, etc individual, I strive to have items they can enjoy. However, sometimes there is no need to make any dietary considerations.
How to Handle Digestive Stress
Digestive distress effects many of us these days and can strike any of us for any reason, during a holiday meal, a random Wednesday for breakfast-whenever.
Because of this, I like to be prepared for the holidays (and that random Wednesday) with everything my guests or even myself might need to get relief from the feast and feel better from top to bottom.
I have found it handy to keep anti-acids or other heartburn treatment options on hand in anticipation of my holiday entertaining schedule and potential needs of my guests.
Heartburn isn’t a frequent visitor for me anymore, but it does happen from time to time, and I like to be prepared as a hostess.
Holiday Recipes to Make
Holiday Drinks to Serve
Sponsored Creative Thanksgiving Recipes for you.
Creamy Slow Cooker Macaroni and Cheese
- 4 tbsp butter; room temp , cubed
- 4 oz cream cheese; room temp; cubed
- 12 oz UNCOOKED elbow macaroni (or any small pasta)
- 2 1/2 cup grated cheddar (any)
- 2 cups grated Monterrey Jack cheese
- 2 eggs; beaten
- 12 oz can evaporated milk
- 1/2 cup mayonnaise
- 1 cup whole milk (any can be used)
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp black pepper
- 1/2 tsp dry mustard
- 1/2 tsp onion powder
- 1 tbsp hot sauce; +/- to taste
- Parsley as optional garnish
Heat slow cooker to low, add the butter and cream cheese, cover and begin the rest of the dish.
Bring a large pot of water to boil; salt generously.
Add pasta and cook AT LEAST ONE MINUTE SHORT OF PACKAGE DIRECTIONS.
While water boils/pasta cooks, grate cheese; set aside.
Beat the eggs in a small bowl
In a large bowl, stir or whisk the milk, evaporated milk, mayonnaise, beaten eggs, salt, pepper, dry mustard, onion powder, and hot sauce.
Once well combined, fold in the cheeses.
After the pasta has cooked to the desired uncooked consistency, drain well and add directly to the slow cooker. Stir well, combining the butter, cream cheese, and pasta into one.
Slowly pour in the milk/cheese mixture, folding it into the pasta, place the lid and cook for 2 1/2-3 hours on low.
Garnish with the option fresh parsley or freshly ground black pepper.
Serve and enjoy
Optional FIRST step: Spray the slow cooker with cooking spray to prevent the crusty, stuck on bits. Or don't if you love that part the best like I do.