Southern-Style Crock Pot Macaroni & Cheese

Mama called me the week before Thanksgiving and said she wanted us to try a slow cooker mac & cheese recipe on Thanksgiving to free up some real estate in the oven.

I wasn’t overly thrilled at the thought because the one and only time I’d ever tried a recipe for it, it was a total flop. And you can’t go screwing around with something as important as macaroni and cheese on Thanksgiving!

But I tend to do what my mama says. So I had to figure this thing out.

Southern-style baked macaroni and cheese uses eggs and sets up a little like a quiche. The edges get all golden brown and crusty and the center stays soft and melty. I figured as long as I used parboiled noodles and added more liquid, all I’d need to do was use my usual seasonings and things should work!

But it was Thanksgiving! I was still having some major reservations about trying something new on The Big Day but went with it anyway. And it was a total hit! It cooked up almost exactly like my traditional mac and cheese and tasted perfect!

I’ll be using this recipe a lot going forward! Especially in the summer when I don’t want to turn the oven on! Plus this will travel perfectly so it’ll be great for pot-lucks and tailgating. Woo-hoo! I’m so glad Mama made me suggested that I try it!

Southern-Style Crock Pot Macaroni & Cheese
12 ounces (2 heaping cups) uncooked elbow macaroni noodles
1 12-oz. can evaporated milk
1 1/2 cups milk
1/2 cup sour cream
2 eggs, beaten
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon dry mustard
1/2 teaspoon white pepper
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) butter, melted
16 ounces cheddar cheese*, shredded and divided (about 4 cups)

Boil noodles in liberally salted water for 5 minutes then drain well. Do not cook noodles longer than 5 minutes.

While noodles are cooking, combine evaporated milk, milk, sour cream, eggs, salt, mustard, white pepper and cayenne pepper in a large bowl and mix well.

Add parboiled noodles, melted butter and 3/4 of the shredded cheese to the milk mixture and stir until thoroughly combined.

Spray the inside of a medium-large crock pot (approximately 4-qt size) with cooking spray then pour macaroni mixture into crock pot. Top with remaining cheese. Cover and cook on low for 3 hours or until set in the center and golden brown around the edges.

*Mama bought extra sharp cheddar which I don’t know that I’d necessarily recommend for this. The sharper the cheddar, the less creamy it is. I have a feeling when I make this again with regular or mild cheddar things will be much creamier!

This recipe was featured at the Weekend Potluck!

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