The Crock Pot always saves time and energy because you can start a meal, leave, and then return to find a finished dish. This mac and cheese version takes 4 hours on the low heat setting. It’s much more nutritious than mac and cheese from a box, particularly if you use whole grain macaroni, or quinoa macaroni.
Kids can manage this one pretty easily because everything is simply mixed together and transferred to the crock pot to cook slowly. Emptying the hot pot of pasta will require assistance unless a teenager is preparing it.
8 oz. macaroni
3 ½ cups Cheddar cheese, grated
1 ½ cups milk
1 large can evaporated milk
2 eggs, beaten
½ tsp. salt
Pepper, as desired
Cook the macaroni first according to the package directions. Drain thoroughly. If using bulk macaroni, cook in plenty of water at a rolling boil for 10-12 minutes. Taste it at the 10-minute mark to avoid over cooking. It should be “al dente”; that is, firm but not hard. It will cook more in the crock pot, so don’t cook until it is completely soft.
If you’re using quinoa macaroni, taste it after 8 minutes. The quinoa pastas fall apart if overcooked and may require less cooking time in general. They have great flavor, however, so they are great in this mac and cheese!
Spray the inside of the crock pot with Pam or other cooking spray or grease by hand.
Grate the cheddar cheese and set aside 1/3 cup of the cheese to sprinkle on top.
Beat the eggs in a bowl and add the two types of milk. Mix together.
Add the pasta to the bowl. Add the cheddar cheese, salt and pepper, and mix everything together.
Pour the whole mixture into the crock pot.
Sprinkle the reserved cheddar cheese across the top.
Sprinkle the top lightly with paprika.
Cook on high for 1 hour, then on low for 3 hours.
Thanks to reader Yoanna for pointing out that you want the water up to temp quickly or you are creating a nice warm bath for bacteria to multiply like crazy. Even though the hot water would kill the bacteria eventually, there are some nuero-toxins created as a byproduct of the bacteria multiplying that are not destroyed by heat.