Slow Cooker Beef and Macaroni

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There’s something incredibly satisfying about coming home to a warm, comforting meal after a long day. In the realm of comfort food, few dishes can rival the classic combination of beef and macaroni. This slow cooker beef and macaroni recipe takes this beloved duo to a whole new level, delivering tender beef, al dente macaroni, and a rich, flavorful sauce that will leave you craving more. Let’s dive into this delicious recipe and discover how the magic of slow cooking can transform simple ingredients into a memorable meal.

Slow cooker beef and macaroni is a comforting and hearty dish that has its roots in American home cooking. It’s a variation of the classic macaroni and cheese, elevated with the addition of tender, slow-cooked beef. This recipe is the epitome of comfort food and is perfect for busy households looking for a satisfying and easy-to-make dinner.

The idea of slow-cooking meat and combining it with pasta dates back to the mid-20th century when home cooks began experimenting with their crockpots. These versatile kitchen appliances made it possible to cook tougher cuts of meat until they were tender and flavorful. Over time, recipes like slow cooker beef and macaroni became staples in American cuisine, loved for their simplicity and great taste.

Today, this dish remains a beloved family favorite, often served at gatherings and potlucks. Its rich and creamy sauce, combined with the savory beef, creates a delightful flavor profile that appeals to both kids and adults alike.

Slow Cooker Beef and Macaroni

This slow cooker beef and macaroni recipe combines succulent beef, aromatic herbs, and a luscious tomato-based sauce, all simmered together for hours to create a dish that's bursting with flavors. The slow cooking process allows the beef to become incredibly tender and infuses the pasta with all the savory goodness of the sauce. Whether you're cooking for your family or hosting a gathering, this dish is sure to impress.

Tools and Equipment

Prep Time 15 mins Cook Time 6 hrs Rest Time 10 mins Total Time 6 hrs 25 mins Difficulty: Beginner Servings: 6 Calories: 319.29 Best Season: Suitable throughout the year

Ingredients

Step-by-Step Instructions

  1. Heat a large skillet or frying pan over medium-high heat. Add a splash of oil, then sear the beef stew meat until browned on all sides. Remove from the skillet and set aside.

  2. In the same skillet, add the chopped onion and minced garlic. Sauté until the onion becomes translucent and fragrant.

  3. Transfer the onion and garlic mixture to the slow cooker. Add the seared beef, diced carrots, celery, red bell pepper, crushed tomatoes, tomato paste, beef broth, dried Italian herbs, paprika, red pepper flakes (if using), salt, and pepper. Stir well to combine.

  4. Cover the slow cooker and cook on low heat for 6 hours or until the beef is tender.

  5. In the last 30 minutes of cooking, add the uncooked macaroni to the slow cooker. Stir well to ensure the pasta is fully submerged in the sauce.

  6. Once the macaroni is cooked al dente, turn off the slow cooker and let the dish rest for about 10 minutes.

  7. Garnish with fresh chopped parsley before serving.

Nutrition Facts

Servings 6


Amount Per Serving
Calories 319.29kcal
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 6.1g10%
Saturated Fat 2.32g12%
Trans Fat 0.26g
Cholesterol 72.53mg25%
Sodium 535.98mg23%
Potassium 1148.31mg33%
Total Carbohydrate 36.6g13%
Dietary Fiber 4.86g20%
Sugars 9.59g
Protein 31.81g64%

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily value may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs. Please note that the nutritional values provided are approximate and may vary depending on the specific ingredients and portion sizes used. It's always best to double-check with your specific ingredients and measurements for accurate nutritional information.

Note

Tips and Variations:
  • For added flavor, consider browning the beef in a skillet before adding it to the slow cooker. This step helps seal in the juices and adds depth to the dish.
  • If you prefer a thicker sauce, mix 1 tablespoon of cornstarch with 2 tablespoons of cold water, then stir it into the slow cooker during the last 30 minutes of cooking.
  • Feel free to add your favorite vegetables to the mix. Peas, corn, or zucchini can be great additions to enhance the nutritional value and taste.
  • For a spicier kick, increase the amount of red pepper flakes or add a dash of hot sauce to the sauce mixture.
Serving Suggestions:
  • Serve this delicious slow cooker beef and macaroni dish as a standalone meal or pair it with a fresh green salad and crusty bread for a well-rounded dinner. It's also great as leftovers, allowing the flavors to meld even further.
Allergen Information:

Here's the allergen information for Slow Cooker Beef and Macaroni:

  • Dairy: This recipe typically includes cheese and milk, which are common allergens for individuals who are lactose intolerant or allergic to dairy. You can use dairy-free alternatives to make it suitable for those with dairy allergies.

  • Wheat: Macaroni is made from wheat, so if you or someone you're serving has a wheat allergy or gluten sensitivity, consider using gluten-free pasta as a substitute.

Wine or Drink Pairing:

Slow cooker beef and macaroni is a hearty dish that pairs well with a variety of beverages. Here are some suggestions:

  • Red Wine: A medium-bodied red wine like a Merlot or a Cabernet Sauvignon complements the rich and savory flavors of the beef and cheese.

  • Beer: A lager or a light ale can be a refreshing choice to balance the richness of the dish.

  • Iced Tea: For a non-alcoholic option, a glass of iced tea, whether sweetened or unsweetened, pairs nicely with the comfort of this meal.

Storage and Leftovers:

Properly storing and reheating your slow cooker beef and macaroni can help maintain its quality. Here's what to do:

  • Refrigeration: Allow any leftovers to cool to room temperature, then transfer them to an airtight container. Refrigerate within two hours of cooking.

  • Use Within Three Days: Consume the leftovers within three days to ensure they remain safe to eat.

  • Reheating: Reheat individual servings in the microwave or warm larger portions on the stovetop in a saucepan over low to medium heat. You may need to add a splash of milk or broth to restore creaminess.

Keywords: Slow cooker beef and macaroni, comfort food, easy recipe, one-pot meal, pasta recipe, slow-cooked beef, tomato sauce, family-friendly, crowd-pleaser

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