Slow-Cooker Mac and Cheese

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Indulge in the ultimate comfort food with our Slow-Cooker Mac and Cheese recipe. This creamy and cheesy delight is the perfect dish for cozy gatherings, potlucks, or simply satisfying your cravings. With its rich and velvety texture, this homemade mac and cheese will melt in your mouth and warm your soul. The best part? It’s made effortlessly in a slow cooker, allowing you to enjoy a deliciously comforting meal with minimal effort. Join us as we take you through the steps of creating this crowd-pleasing classic that will leave everyone asking for seconds.

Slow-Cooker Mac and Cheese is a comforting and creamy dish with humble origins that can be traced back to the United States. Macaroni and cheese itself have a rich history, dating as far back as the 14th century in Europe. However, the modern American version, characterized by its creamy cheese sauce and elbow macaroni, emerged in the 19th century.

This slow-cooker adaptation of mac and cheese is a testament to the enduring love for this classic comfort food. The slow-cooking method allows for the gradual melding of flavors, resulting in a rich and indulgent dish. Over the years, it has become a staple at potlucks, family gatherings, and holiday feasts, appreciated for its simplicity and crowd-pleasing nature.

Slow-Cooker Mac and Cheese

Our Slow-Cooker Mac and Cheese recipe takes the beloved comfort food to a new level of convenience and flavor. The slow cooker method allows the pasta to cook slowly and absorb all the creamy goodness, resulting in a decadent and satisfying dish. With a combination of cheddar and Gruyère cheese, this mac and cheese offers a delightful balance of sharpness and creaminess. The addition of spices and herbs adds depth and complexity, elevating this classic dish to a new level. Whether you're hosting a gathering or simply enjoying a cozy night in, this slow-cooked mac and cheese is sure to become a family favorite.

Tools and Equipment

Prep Time 15 mins Cook Time 2 hrs Total Time 2 hrs 15 mins Difficulty: Beginner Servings: 12 Calories: 466.44 Best Season: Suitable throughout the year

Ingredients

Step-by-Step Instructions

  1. Cook the macaroni according to package instructions until al dente. Drain and set aside.

  2. In a large mixing bowl, combine the shredded cheddar cheese and Gruyère cheese.

  3. In the slow cooker, melt the butter on low heat.

  4. Add the milk, Dijon mustard, garlic powder, onion powder, paprika, salt, and pepper to the slow cooker. Stir until well combined.

  5. Gradually add the shredded cheese mixture to the slow cooker, stirring constantly until the cheese melts and the mixture becomes smooth and creamy.

  6. Add the cooked macaroni to the slow cooker, stirring until all the macaroni is coated with the cheese sauce.

  7. Cover the slow cooker and cook on low heat for 2 hours, stirring occasionally to prevent sticking.

  8. Once the mac and cheese is heated through and the flavors have melded together, it is ready to be served.

  9. Garnish with fresh parsley and additional shredded cheese, if desired.

  10. Serve the slow-cooker mac and cheese hot and enjoy the creamy and cheesy goodness.

Nutrition Facts

Servings 12


Amount Per Serving
Calories 466.44kcal
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 26.57g41%
Saturated Fat 15.2g76%
Trans Fat 0.35g
Cholesterol 81.09mg28%
Sodium 506.51mg22%
Potassium 260.73mg8%
Total Carbohydrate 33.59g12%
Dietary Fiber 1.31g6%
Sugars 5.22g
Protein 22.89g46%

* 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 extra creaminess, add a dollop of cream cheese or sour cream to the slow cooker before adding the cheese.
  • Experiment with different cheese combinations such as Monterey Jack, fontina, or mozzarella to create unique flavor profiles.
  • Add cooked bacon, diced ham, or sautéed mushrooms to enhance the flavor and texture of the mac and cheese.
  • For a crunchy topping, transfer the mac and cheese to a baking dish, sprinkle with breadcrumbs and additional cheese, and broil until golden brown.
  • If you prefer a spicier kick, add a pinch of cayenne pepper or a dash of hot sauce to the cheese sauce.
Serving Suggestions:
  • Serve the slow-cooker mac and cheese as a main dish with a side salad or steamed vegetables.
  • Pair it with a slice of crusty bread or garlic bread for a complete meal.
  • Serve as a comforting side dish at potlucks, barbecues, or holiday gatherings.
Allergen Information:

Slow-Cooker Mac and Cheese typically contains common allergens, so it's essential to be mindful if you or your guests have dietary restrictions or allergies:

  • Dairy: Most mac and cheese recipes use a combination of dairy products, including milk, butter, and various cheeses. This can be problematic for individuals with lactose intolerance or dairy allergies.

  • Gluten: Traditional macaroni is made from wheat flour, containing gluten. To accommodate those with gluten sensitivities or celiac disease, gluten-free pasta can be used.

Wine or Drink Pairing:

Pairing beverages with Slow-Cooker Mac and Cheese can enhance the dining experience:

  • White Wine: A crisp and acidic white wine, such as Chardonnay or Sauvignon Blanc, complements the creamy richness of the dish.

  • Beer: A light lager, pale ale, or even a craft beer with citrusy notes can be an excellent match for mac and cheese, providing a refreshing contrast.

  • Apple Cider: For a non-alcoholic option, consider serving mac and cheese with cold or warm apple cider. The sweetness and acidity of the cider balance the dish's creaminess.

  • Iced Tea: A glass of iced tea, whether sweetened or unsweetened, can be a refreshing and versatile pairing.

Storage and Leftovers:

Properly storing and reheating leftover Slow-Cooker Mac and Cheese ensures that it remains delicious:

  • Refrigeration: Place any leftover mac and cheese in an airtight container and refrigerate it. Consume within 3-4 days.

  • Reheating: To reheat, add a small amount of milk or cream to maintain creaminess and prevent drying out. Reheat on the stovetop over low heat, stirring constantly, or microwave in short intervals, stirring in between, until heated through.

  • Freezing: Mac and cheese can be frozen for longer storage. Portion it into freezer-safe containers or freezer bags. Properly sealed, it should be good for up to 2-3 months in the freezer.

Keywords: Slow-Cooker Mac and Cheese, Creamy Mac and Cheese, Comfort Food, Easy Dinner, Family-Friendly, Cheesy Pasta, Slow Cooker Recipe

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