Nothing says winter comfort like a hot, creamy dish of macaroni and cheese. But if the prep work seems too much for a simple weeknight dinner, try this easy crockpot version instead. Perfect for mixing up right after school and leaving until after sports practice or that evening meeting, Crockpot Macaroni and Cheese might become as much a winter staple as your rain boots this year.
3 c shredded cheddar cheese
3 c milk
12 oz can evaporated milk
1 tsp salt
¼ tsp ground mustard (optional)
¼ tsp paprika (optional)
16 oz box elbow macaroni (or gluten free noodles)
Grease crockpot liner with cooking spray. Mix evaporated milk with spices until combined. Beat egg in mixture. Pour into crockpot. Add regular milk, 2 cups of cheese, and macaroni noodles. (No need to boil before unless you want to quicken the cooking process. If so, parboil noodles while prepping other ingredients.) Stir well. Sprinkle remaining cheese on top. Cook on high 2 hours or until noodles swell and sauce thickens. Might need to stir well before serving.
Try these variations and tips for a complete meal or to suit your family’s dietary needs:
- Substitute 4 oz cream cheese for ½ c of shredded cheese for a creamier texture. Chop into cubes and add with milk.
- Using mild or medium cheddar rather than sharp also adds to creaminess of dish.
- Reduce shredded cheese by 1 c if recipe is too cheesy for your liking.
- Add chopped broccoli or cauliflower florets, frozen peas and carrots, or other vegetables of your choice. Tip: puree carrots and add them to the sauce for a vegetable boost.
- Add cubed ham, shredded chicken, or cooked ground beef.
- Substitute coconut milk to reduce dairy.