Paula Deen’s Crockpot mac and cheese is the best creamy slow cooker macaroni and cheese recipe! Elbow macaroni is coated in a cheesy homemade sauce that’s absolute perfection.
Paula Deen Crockpot Mac And Cheese
Get ready to indulge in the creamiest, most delicious slow cooker macaroni and cheese recipe you’ve ever tasted – Paula Deen’s Crockpot Mac and Cheese! This recipe is a game-changer, and you need to give it a try. This southern-style dish combines elbow macaroni with a homemade cheesy sauce that will have you coming back for seconds, or even thirds.
One of my favorite aspects of this recipe is how it takes mac and cheese to a whole new level of deliciousness. This dish is incredibly creamy, buttery, and each bite just melts in your mouth. It’s perfect for family gatherings and potlucks.
The optional beaten eggs provide a different texture compared to your average mac and cheese and create a casserole-like consistency. It’s important to note that the pictures you see here do not include eggs. However, the choice is yours; you can include or omit the eggs to achieve your desired thickness and consistency.
The beauty of this recipe is that it’s easily customizable to suit your preferences, whether you want to experiment with different types of cheese, switch up the pasta shape, or include eggs or omit them. It all comes down to your preference and your definition of what makes the perfect macaroni and cheese.
Whether you’re hosting a large gathering or simply want to treat your family to a delicious, comforting meal, Paula Deen’s Crockpot mac and cheese is the perfect dish to whip up. This recipe is easy to make, and the slow cooker does most of the work for you, giving you time to focus on other aspects of your meal.
Your family and friends will be begging for seconds, so make sure to prepare plenty! Enjoy this creamy, cheesy delight that’s sure to satisfy everyone at the table.
Elbow Macaroni: The foundation of this creamy crockpot mac and cheese is elbow macaroni. This pasta shape is perfect for holding onto the delicious cheese sauce, ensuring every bite is full of flavor. You can try using different pasta shapes, such as shells or cavatappi, to switch things up.
Butter: Butter is essential in this recipe, as it not only adds a rich depth of flavor but also helps create a smooth cheese sauce.
Freshly Shredded Cheddar Cheese: To achieve the best creamy macaroni, it’s crucial to use freshly shredded sharp cheddar cheese. Pre-shredded cheeses contain anti-caking agents that result in a gritty texture once melted. You can replace some of the cheddar cheese with Gouda, Monterey Jack, or Colby-Jack for a different flavor profile.
Milk: Whole milk is used in this mac and cheese recipe to create a luscious sauce. If you want an even creamier texture, you could substitute the milk with evaporated milk.
Condensed Cheddar Cheese Soup: This ingredient adds another layer of cheesiness to the dish and helps create a smooth, creamy sauce.
Sour Cream: Sour cream adds a rich, tangy flavor that complements the other ingredients in this homemade macaroni and cheese recipe.
Eggs: Adding beaten eggs is optional, as they act as a thickener in the sauce in place of a roux. If you prefer a thicker, casserole-like texture, you can include the eggs. However, I recommend omitting them to avoid the risk of curdling, especially if you’re using an older slow cooker.
Salt and Pepper: These seasonings enhance the flavors in the dish and help bring out the best in the mac n cheese.
Dry Mustard: Dry mustard adds a tangy quality, which helps balance out the rich flavors of the fat in this dish.
How Do You Make Paula Deen’s Macaroni And Cheese?
Prep your slow cooker with nonstick cooking spray, making sure to cover both the bottom and the sides.
Cook the elbow macaroni in a large pot of salted water, but don’t cook it all the way (it will continue to cook in the slow cooker). While the macaroni is cooking, start preparing the cheese sauce.
Melt butter in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat, then add freshly shredded sharp cheddar cheese. (See the recipe card below for the full printable instructions.)
Whisk them together until the cheese has fully melted, and then transfer the cheese and butter mixture to the greased slow cooker. Add the condensed cheddar cheese soup, milk, sour cream, salt, pepper, and dry ground mustard to the slow cooker with the melted cheese.
If you’re using eggs, whisk in the beaten eggs now. Mix everything together as best you can. Add the partially cooked macaroni to the slow cooker.
Mix the noodles with the cheese sauce, ensuring all the noodles are coated.
Cook the mac and cheese in the slow cooker, making sure to stir it occasionally during the cooking process. The dish is ready when the macaroni has absorbed all the liquid. See the recipe card below for the full written instructions, including ingredient amounts, cooking times, and helpful tips, etc.
To prevent the mac and cheese from drying out or becoming overcooked, stir the mixture a couple of times during the cooking process. This will help distribute heat evenly and ensure the macaroni cooks properly.
If you don’t have a slow cooker, you can make this dish in the oven. Simply cook the macaroni to al dente and prepare the cheese sauce as instructed, but instead of using a slow cooker, transfer the mixture to a greased 9×13-inch baking dish. Cover with aluminum foil and bake in a preheated oven. Bake at 350°F for 25-30 minutes or until the macaroni is tender and the cheese is bubbly.
Another option is to cook the mac and cheese on the stovetop. In this method, you would cook the macaroni 1 minute shy of fully done in a large lidded pot, then prepare the cheese sauce in a separate large saucepan. Once the sauce is ready, add the sauce to the pot with the cooked macaroni and mix well. Cook the mixture over low heat, stirring frequently, for about 15-20 minutes or until the macaroni is tender and the cheese sauce has thickened.
Why Do You Put Dry Mustard In Mac And Cheese?
Dry mustard adds a bit of tanginess that balances out the rich flavors in the dish, providing a more complex and satisfying taste.
Why Do You Add Eggs?
Adding eggs is optional. They’re used as a thickener in the sauce in place of a roux. They create an emulsion that leads to a thick and creamy cheese sauce. I opt to skip them in this recipe because they make the sauce thicker than I like (closer to a mac and cheese casserole), and you run the risk of the eggs curdling in the slow cooker.
This is especially true if you’re using an older Crockpot, because they tend to run hotter than the newer ones (even when you have it on the low setting). I like foolproof recipes, so omitting the eggs is my recommendation.
What’s The Best Cheese To Use?
Sharp cheddar cheese is a classic choice for its strong flavor, but feel free to experiment with different types of cheese, such as Gouda, Monterey Jack, or Colby, to find your perfect combination.
How Do You Keep Mac And Cheese Creamy?
By using freshly shredded cheese, whole milk or evaporated milk, and omitting the eggs, you can guarantee a creamy consistency in your mac and cheese.
What Spices Make Mac And Cheese Better?
In addition to dry mustard, try adding spices like paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, or a pinch of cayenne pepper for a flavorful twist.
Keep In Touch
I’d love to hear what you thought of this recipe in the comments or on Instagram! @KeyToMyLime #KeyToMyLime
Mac And Cheese Recipes
If you like this recipe, be sure to check out all of our pasta recipes! Some reader favorites are:
- Baked Mac and Cheese with Velveeta
- How to Make Kraft Mac and Cheese Better
- Crockpot Mac and Cheese
- Spicy Mac and Cheese
- Macaroni and Tomatoes
- 2 cups uncooked elbow macaroni
- 1/4 cup butter (1/2 stick)
- 2 1/2 cups freshly shredded sharp cheddar cheese*
- 1 cup whole milk
- 1 (10.5 ounce) can condensed cheddar cheese soup
- 1/2 cup sour cream
- 3 eggs, beaten (optional, I don’t use them, SEE NOTES)**
- 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon dry ground mustard
- Spray the inside of a 6 quart Crock Pot with nonstick cooking spray. Make sure to spray both the bottom and the sides. Set aside.
- Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil, add the macaroni and cook for 6 minutes (only softening the noodles, not fully cooking them). Carefully drain them through a colander. While the noodles are cooking, begin to prepare the cheese sauce.
- Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium heat, then add the butter. Once the butter has almost melted, add the cheddar cheese to the pan. Whisk the cheese and the butter together until the cheese has fully melted. Remove from the heat and transfer it to the greased crockpot.
- To the Crockpot with the melted cheese, add the condensed cheddar soup, milk, sour cream, salt, pepper, and dry mustard. Whisk together. (If you’re using the eggs, whisk in the beaten eggs now.) The melted cheese will be one big lump at this point, so just whisk it together the best you can.
- Add the partially cooked macaroni to the slow cooker and mix it with the cheese sauce. Make sure all the noodles are covered with the sauce.
- Cook on LOW for 2-2 1/2 hours, stirring twice during the cooking time. It’s finished cooking when the macaroni has absorbed all the liquid.
*It’s important to use freshly shredded cheese because pre-shredded cheese is coated in an anti-caking agent that stops it from melting smoothly.
**I prefer creamy mac and cheese, so I leave the eggs out. With the eggs, the texture is much more thick, dense, and similar to a casserole. It’s delicious either way though, but it’s noticeably prettier without the eggs.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 384Total Fat: 23.3gCarbohydrates: 29.5gFiber: 1.1gSugar: 3.3gProtein: 14.1g
Nutrition information isn’t always accurate.
Looking for the ultimate comfort food? Make a batch of Paula Deen’s Crockpot mac and cheese today!