One of the issues with cooking for Thanksgiving is every burner, pot, pan, and oven shelf is taken up with the food you’re about to throw down.
It only makes sense that we employ the slow cooker for a classic like mac and cheese. Now, I know what you’re thinking: Does the slow cooker really save? Yes, yes, it does. You still have to boil the pasta but there’s no roux, no constant whisking, no burnt cheese sauce. It’s just creamy mac and cheese that you only have to stir ONCE. Let’s get to it.
Ingredients! It’s simple elbow macaroni, shredded Colby jack cheese, evaporated milk, and whole milk to make it creamy. And there’s melted butter because...it’s melted butter. A squirt of sriracha or your favorite hot sauce is optional. QUICK NOTE: Don’t use sharp cheddar for the cheese mix. It’s one of my favorites for when I make classic mac and cheese but I found it curdles in this dish and gets weird. So don’t be me.
That pasta gets boiled to al dente (look at the package for suggested times and cook it at the lowest time – overcooked mac means mushy mac), then throw it into a very well-greased slow cooker with everything else. You can gather all the ingredients and grease the insert while the pasta boils – we’re multitasking. Also, that squirt of sriracha was a last minute decision that I totally don’t regret!
Now, usually we have a bunch of step-by-step photos, but seriously – that’s it! That mixture gets cooked for an hour on LOW, stirred once after 30 min. Boom. Done. Mac and cheese with ease.
If you want, go ahead and throw it in a baking dish and top with Progresso panko bread crumbs or more cheese and broil the business. I'm personally a fan of creamy mac and cheese that's fresh from the slow cooker.