There is a lady at Yankee Bill’s job who brings in Crockpot Mac ‘n Cheese (also known as All Day Mac ‘n Cheese) for every potluck. She says it makes her feel guilty fbecause it is so darn easy to make, but whenever she tries to sign up for a different dish they practically have a mutiny in the cubicle farm!
I finally tried the recipe last night and found that it met all of my requirements for being a keeper. It was quick, easy, pretty frugal*, and YUMMY!
16 oz cooked and drained Pasta
Elbows are classic, but you can use anything. I mixed 1/2 whole wheat and half regular elbows with the leftover spaghetti in the fridge.
4 Cups Shredded Cheddar Cheese
I used only 3, and a mixture of taco cheese and cheddar, which was what I had in the fridge. Sharp cheddar would have had a more intense flavor)
1 Can (12 oz) Evaporated Milk
I used fat free. You could make your own powdered milk substitute.
1 1/2 C Milk
I used fat free. You could use powdered milk.
2 TBS Flour
I used whole wheat. I also chucked in 2 TBS of wheat germ that I had on hand, no one even notice and I had upped the fiber content. Score one for mom.
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp Black Pepper
Spray Crockpot with nonstick spray (or grease down, your choice). Mix everything together and pour into Crockpot. Cover and cook on low for 5-6 hours**-Do not stir, it will cook and firm up.
Although I personally didn’t do this, you can reserve out some cheese to sprinkle on the top and make a super cheesy layer, or you can mix up your favorite casserole topping (ie cracker crumbs and butter) and sprinkle that on top too.
This recipe is great to take along to potlucks, to bring to a family who needs meals (sickness, new baby, just moving etc), or even to make while camping (assuming you have power of course). Just add a veggie and maybe some fresh bread, and you have a classic comfort meal.
Just don’t ask how many calories are in it. I won’t tell if you won’t.
*Note: The least frugal thing about this meal is it uses 4 cups of shredded cheese. There are ways to mitigate your cheese cost somewhat-such as paying attention to cost per ounce and shredding your own block cheese if necessary-but the fact of the matter is that the cost per serving is still pretty low. Everything in the ingredient list is a pantry staple for me, which means it is bought at the lowest possible price.
**Note: 5-6 hours means it is done. I don’t think anything at all would happen to this recipe if it had to cook a few more hours. So if you work an 8 hour day go ahead and throw it together and start the crockpot in the morning-it should still be fine when you get home. That’s the beauty of crockpots-very few things HAVE to be taken out when done.