Monday, January 25, 2016

Slow Cooker Mac and Cheese



When friends were visiting, I wanted to make dishes they would love but I didn't want to spend a lot of time cooking. I was thrilled when I spotted this slow cooker Mac and Cheese recipe from Trisha Yearwood. I admit I was a little disappointed that I had to cook the macaroni. After all, wouldn't it be fun to throw everything in the slow cooker and forget about it? Except for the macaroni, that's what you do with this recipe.

All the other ingredients are fairly standard, so I guess the evaporated milk is the secret ingredient that makes this work so well. Am I the only one who never thought to make Mac and Cheese with evaporated milk? I thought it might lack something in flavor, but that wasn't the case at all!

The only change I made was to butter the slow cooker instead of spraying it with cooking spray. Buttering worked fine. This would be a really great recipe for a beginner cook. You could print it on a recipe card and give it as a gift along with a slow cooker to a bride who doesn't cook yet. I bet it would be one of their favorite dishes.

It would be great for times when you need to bring a hot dish to a pot luck or to a scout meeting. Especially when you're having a busy day. It takes almost no time to assemble - then you can do something else and forget about it. Or maybe on a snow day when a filling and hot comforting dish would hit the spot. The flavor is perfect. It's creamy and satisfying, and it makes a lot. Everyone thought it was delicious. And I got to spend more time with my friends!


Trisha Yearwood's Slow Cooker Mac and Cheese

Cooking spray or butter
8 ounces cooked elbow macaroni
1 12-ounce can evaporated milk
1 1/2 cups whole milk (or 2%)
1/4 cup butter, melted
1 teaspoon salt
dash of pepper
2 large eggs, beaten
2 10-ounce bricks sharp cheddar cheese (about 5 cups)
dash of paprika

Cook the macaroni. Butter the slow cooker. Add the macaroni, evaporated milk, milk, butter, salt, pepper, eggs and all but 1/2 cup of the cheese. Mix. Add the 1/2 cup of cheese on the top, sprinkle with paprika and cook on low for three hours and fifteen minutes.


26 comments:

  1. If I'm ever allowed to eat salty and yummy cheddar cheese again, this is first on my list of recipes to try!

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    1. You will be allowed to eat salt again. I have to admit that this surpassed my expectations!

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  2. This does sound great! I'm told there are lasagna noodles that you don't have to cook before you put the dish together, but I've never tried them. Love the 3+ hours of slow cooking! Just assemble it and walk away (and talk with your friends).

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    1. Sheila, I've used those no-boil lasagna noodles, and they are great!

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    2. I always use the no boil lasagna noodles and they work out great! I follow the recipe on the back of the Barilla box except I make my own sauce.

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    3. On Leslie's recommendation, I have tried the no-cook lasagna noodles. You really can't tell the difference!

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  3. I own a slow cooker but have never used it. I don't cook my husband does, but this recipe looks easy enough I think I will try it. Thank you!!!

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    1. Sara, you can surprise him! Maybe on Valentine's Day?

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  4. The joys of the simple things in life, like mac and cheesed.

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  5. My daughter makes slow cooker mac and cheese...absolutely delicious!

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  6. Krista, I was hoping you'd share this recipe -- thanks! And no, I never would have thought of using evaporated milk, either.

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    1. I'm glad I'm not the only one, Leslie. : )

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    2. I use evaporated milk in place of cream in some recipes. It gives some on the creaminess without all those calories and fat.

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  7. I love my slow cooker! Thanks for the recipe!

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    1. I was looking at pressure cookers last night but decided I didn't have enough interesting recipes. We need to try more slow cooker recipes here, I think!

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  8. I've tried a few of Trisha's recipes, and enjoyed them all. I don't have any evaporated milk in the house, and I don't feel like braving the icy roads today, but I'll pick some up this week and hopefully try this recipe on Saturday, maybe even adding some diced peppers. I love that this can be made in the crockpot, because even though you have to cook the macaroni you can still pretty much fix it and forget it! :-)

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    1. That's the whole point, isn't it, Nicole? Fix and forget. But then it's yummy and it feels like you didn't do a thing. I'm not braving the roads yet, either!

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  9. I love Mac&cheese; it is my favorite comfort food. I hope this isn't a lame question: do you grate the cheese or just use the blocks in the slow cooker? Thank you.

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    1. That isn't lame at all! It gets surprisingly hot. The recipe calls for shredded cheese, so that was what I used. It melts very fast!

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  10. Krista - This is one of Marc's favorite comfort foods, too. We no longer have a slow cooker, but after seeing this recipe, I think he may just go out and buy a new one! Thanks for sharing such a cozy and comforting dish on this cold winter day. Have a wonderful week, stay warm!

    ~ Cleo

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    1. I hope Marc likes this recipe, Cleo. Be careful in the snow!

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  11. Yay! Mac and cheese with no flour in the recipe. I'm sooo making this with my gluten free elbow macaroni. A celiac's dream come true! Thank you!!

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  12. I make this all the time but mine has tom be gluten free and dairy free. It doesn't taste as good as the regular way but it's still very tasty.

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