Friday, September 30, 2011

Slow Cooker Mac and Cheese

Macaroni and cheese can be a difficult dish to make in the slow cooker. I have tried many recipes and methods only to be rewarded with mushy noodles and a separated cheese sauce. Following a tip, I tried this recipe with uncooked noodles and the results were fantastic. Just make sure all of your noodles are completely covered with the cheese mixture. If you prefer a crispy crunchy topping, you may want to put the mac and cheese under the broiler for a few minutes before serving.

Slow Cooker Mac and Cheese
recipe adapted from What's Cookin' Italian Style

Mac and Cheese:
8 ounces elbow macaroni, uncooked
12 ounce can evaporated milk
2 cups whole milk
1 can cheddar cheese soup
2 eggs, beaten
3 cups shredded cheddar cheese
4 tablespoons cream cheese, softened
4 tablespoons melted butter
1 teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon black pepper
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon ground mustard
¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon dried parsley

½ cup Italian flavored bread crumbs
4 tablespoons grated parmesan cheese
½ cup shredded cheddar cheese
2 tablespoons melted butter

Use a 4-quart slow cooker coated well with cooking spray. If you only have a 6-quart, put an oven-safe casserole dish all the way into your slow cooker, and load the ingredients into it. I used a soufflĂ© dish coated with olive oil.

Place the uncooked macaroni directly in your slow cooker or oven safe dish. Add the evaporated milk and remaining mac and cheese ingredients through the dried parsley and stir well to combine. You want to make sure all the noodles are covered in liquid, add more milk if necessary.

In a small bowl, combine the topping ingredients and sprinkle on top of the mac and cheese. Cover and cook on low for 5 to 6 hours, or until the mixture is firm and golden around the edges. Do not remove the cover or stir until before macaroni has finished cooking.