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This Slow Cooker Mac & Cheese is so good, everyone will be asking you for the recipe!Throughout the winter months, Jack and I help operate the concessions stand at our daughter’s swim meets – and this Slow Cooker Mac & Cheese is always a crowd favorite. It’s always the first dish to sell out every weekend! Fellow swim parents, April and Russ (who were so nice to share their recipe with us), have been making this easy, creamy, and very cheesy Slow Cooker Mac & Cheese to sell at concessions for a few years now. It’s simple to make and just has the perfect mix of gooey pasta and cheese.
How do you make the best Slow Cooker Mac & Cheese?First, select the right kind of pasta. We suggest a sturdy pasta such as elbows or spirals including cavatappi (which means corkscrew in Italian), cellentani, gemelli, or lumache. Once cooked, all of these pasta shapes will hold up nicely to a thick sauce – and the tubes and curly edges also help the sauce stick to the pasta. Second, cook the pasta just until al dente – which means that it is cooked to be “firm to the bite.” The pasta will cook more as it heats in the slow cooker with the sauce, so you want to make sure that the pasta isn’t soft and overcooked before mixing it with the cheese. Drain and rinse under cool water.
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1 pound cavatappi/cellantani, or your favorite pasta
1 pound Colby Jack cheese
1 pound Monterey Jack cheese
1 pound Velveeta cheese
¼ pound butter (one stick)
1 pint heavy cream (16 ounces)
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 teaspoon white pepper
1 teaspoon dry mustard powder
¼ teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg
½ teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
Few shakes of hot sauce
Cook pasta in salted water to two minutes shy of cooked. The pasta should be chewy. Drain and rinse under cold water and hold until later in this recipe.
Place all other ingredients in a slow cooker and heat for 90 minutes on low.*
Run cooked pasta under hot tap water, drain and add to the slow cooker and stir.
Cover and heat for 30 to 60 more minutes until the pasta is cooked and the cheese is melty before serving.
If cooking for a longer length of time, turn slow cooker to warm so it doesn’t brown on edges.
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*If you want to speed things up, you can melt the cheese mixture in a saucepan, then add it to the slow cooker with the cooked pasta. Heat on low for about an hour before serving or lower the temp to warm.