The problem with mac and cheese is sometimes I just don’t want to take the twenty to thirty minutes to make it when we want to eat as soon as we walk in the door. I have been trying to master the art of a crock pot mac and cheese that isn’t dried out but remain creamy. Well, this crock pot mac and cheese nails my requirements.
Most nights we are not eating supper till after 8:30. Between swim or basketball practice, dance, or cheer. This means most normal crock pot meals are well past done by this point. I have started making meals that I start after school or when I get home to work. So, this crock pot mac and cheese is perfect as it is ready when we all get home and isn’t burnt to smithereens.
Crock Pot Mac and Cheese
This is a boil your macaroni recipe. I have seen some with no boil options, but this one, I boiled. but I boiled about 2 minutes shy of done. This helps the pasta from becoming mush. I also reserved a half a cup of the pasta water for the recipe. As soon as you drain the pasta, add butter to the pasta and toss to keep the pasta from sticking together.
To the buttered pasta add the cheesy goodness. The regular thoughts – milk, cheese, sour cream and alfredo sauce. Yes, you read that right. Alfredo sauce. I am telling you, it was a fluke using it, but it was so good. I also added some diced onions. Mainly because I had some on hand and love onions in everything. Add the a reserved pasta water and the seasonings including dry mustard and onion powder. Stir to combine and cook on low for 2-3 hours.
The ability to have creamy crock pot mac and cheese on a week night while you are busy chasing kids is all possible thanks to the use of Alfredo sauce. Now, if you don’t like jared Alfredo sauce, make your own. You could also substitute another cup of milk with a block of cream cheese too.
And if you are wondering about what appears to be oversize elbow macaroni noodles, it is the cellantani shaped pasta. I love this shapes. Gets more cheese stuck in every single piece.
- 1 pound of cellentani pasta
- ½ cup reserved pasta water
- 2 tablespoons of butter
- 1 jar alfredo sauce
- 2 cups of milk
- 1 cup of sour cream
- 3 cups of shredded colby jack or cheddar cheese
- 1 teaspoon of onion powder
- 1 teaspoon of dry mustard
- 1 teaspoon of paprika (optional)
- salt and pepper to taste
- Cook pasta for 2 minutes less than package recommendations so the pasta is still somewhat hard.
- Drain and dump pasta into a crock pot lined with a crock pot liner. Stir in butter to keep pasta from sticking to each other.
- Pour rest of ingredients over pasta. Stir to combine. Add salt and pepper to your taste.
- Cook on low for 2-3 hours on low heat.