If you are looking for quick and easy comfort food to make in the slow cooker, you have it right here. Slow Cooker Mac and Cheese is a delicious quick win!
You might be reading this thinking “Isn’t it called Mac and Cheese?” Well yes, if you’re in the US or Canada. Us Brits like to call it “Macaroni Cheese” – but the dish is exactly the same!
Macaroni Pasta is made with Durum wheat – just like any other pasta! The thing that makes it “macaroni pasta” is the shape, and it comes in two popular forms:
- Short Tubes – very much like Rigatoni, except smaller.
- Elbow Tubes – the same as the short tube version, except with a curve.
Easy Mac and Cheese
There is no messing around making a white sauce with butter and flour like traditional recipes. This recipe is really just a case of dumping the ingredients in the slow cooker, and coming back to wonderfully creamy cheese pasta!
It’s no secret in our house that I love Mac and Cheese, or anything with cheese for that matter! I do make it on the stove now and again, however making it in the slow cooker is so easy that this is now my go to method when I need a hit!
I love the fact that it literally takes me only a few minutes to drop in the ingredients and mix them through. Then I can go and get on with something else, and the end result is creamy and delicious!
How do I serve Slow Cooker Macaroni Cheese?
You can serve this straight from the slow cooking pot and it tastes great, however I like to create a crunchy top. I simply transfer the Macaroni to a heat proof dish and sprinkle with breadcrumbs, herbs, some grated cheese. Follow up by blasting under the grill for a few minutes.
The breadcrumbs adds a lovely bit of extra texture. Grilling it (rather than putting it in the oven) means the whole dish doesn’t dry out.
Slow Cooker Mac and Cheese is one of those dishes which you can just serve as is, or it can make a great accompaniment to a variety of other foods.
It’s also really convenient to add in a few extras to the Mac and Cheese whilst it’s cooking. You can add veggies (peas and sweetcorn work well) or throw some crispy bacon on the top before you grill it!
Recipes to pair with Slow Cooker Mac and Cheese
Mac and Cheese is commonly served with Tex Mex style food, why not try it with some of the following ideas?
How long can you keep Mac and Cheese?
The Macaroni cheese will keep for three days if kept in an airtight container in the fridge.
You may find the pasta starts to congeal, but this is easily fixed. Just start to warm through the pasta and stir in a little milk as you go. This will gently separate the pieces before you serve it up.
Slow Cooker Mac and Cheese
- 350 g dried macaroni pasta
- 25 g butter
- 700 ml milk
- 250 ml cream double or heavy cream
- 125 g mature cheddar grated
- 75 g Parmesan grated
- ½ tsp basil dried
- 1 tsp English mustard
- 1½ tsp paprika ground
- ½ tsp black pepper ground
- 2 garlic cloves crushed
For the topping
- 1 slice of bread toast and grate or blend into breadcrumbs
- 25 g mature cheddar grated
- handful parsley finely chopped
- Turn the slow cooker onto low and add all ingredients into the pot. Mix the ingredients and ensure that the pasta is completely covered in the milk and cream sauce.
- Replace the lid and allow to cook through for 1.5 hours until the pasta is soft. Stir through well.
- To create the crispy topping, spoon out the macaroni cheese into an oven safe dish and sprinkle with the toasted breadcrumbs, chopped parsley and 25 g of grated cheddar. Grill for 2-3 minutes until golden and the cheese is melted. Serve immediately.
- If it congeals – If you don’t serve immediately and find that the pasta is beginning to ‘set’ you can loosen this again with a little warmed milk stirred through.
- Gluten free – If you use gluten free pasta and leave off the breadcrumbs, this recipe is completely free of gluten.