A dinner that includes a dish like mac and cheese is always a welcome sight for hungry family members. Mac and cheese can serve as a satisfying side dish or the star of the meal with the addition of chunks of country ham or broccoli wedges.
Trisha Yearwoodthe host of the Emmy-winning Food Network show Trisha’s Southern Kitchenhas a recipe you can start in the slow cooker when the kids get home from school and be ready to serve when homework is done: Slow Cooker Mac and Cheese.
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- Cooking spray
- 8 ounces elbow macaroni, cooked
- 1 (12 oz) evaporated milk
- 1 1/2 cup whole milk
- 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter, melted
- 1 teaspoon of salt
- Pinch of pepper
- 2 large eggs, beaten
- Two 10-ounce bricks of sharp cheddar cheese, grated (about 5 cups)
- Pinch of paprika
When to add pasta to slow cooker mac and cheese
The Only Ingredient That’s Cooked Outside of Yearwood’s Slow Cooker Crock Pot Mac & Cheese the recipe is the pasta for macaroni and cheese. It is always recommended, when adding cooked pasta to other baking ingredients, or in this slow cooker recipe, to boil the pasta just before al dente. The macaroni will continue to absorb liquid from the wet ingredients during the cooking time. Boiling the pasta and removing it from the water before it’s fully cooked will prevent the pasta from becoming too soft when it cooks in the slow cooker – you want your finished macaroni and cheese to have some bite.
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Yearwood’s recipe uses whole milk in addition to evaporated milk. Evaporated milk contains less water than regular milk, so it can add creaminess to a dish without adding extra water, which can weigh ingredients down and create a dense, soggy texture. Make sure and verify that you are buying evaporated milk and not condensed milk (which is sweetened) as the labels look very similar. The taste of each item is extremely different because evaporated milk is an condensed milk flavor and condensed milk has a sweetness that makes it a good ingredient for baked goods like desserts.
Yearwood’s recipe also uses a generous amount of cheese for a rich version of mac and cheese and uses two whole eggs to bring a custard-like base to the dish. All ingredients are added to the slow cooker and mixed. Watch this video of Yearwood making this mac and cheese and get the recipe below, which is ready to serve in about three hours of cooking in the slow cooker.
Related: Copycat Stouffer’s Mac and Cheese Recipe
Yearwood reserves a little cheese to sprinkle over the ingredients in the slow cooker which forms a crust on the top and around the edges for each serving of mac and cheese. She also includes a sprinkle of paprika, which she says is a signature garnish for Southern dishes that people share with others at social gatherings.
Get this recipe in the slow cooker after school and enjoy delicious mac and cheese when the clock says it’s time for dinner!