Homemade mac & cheese is the best, but I was always too intimidated to make it. The whole rue making process, etc. So I was pretty excited about this pin, which looked like a recipe I would actually have the skills and patience to make.
I did make a few changes to the recipe to make it marginally healthier. First. I substituted whole grain elbow macaroni. I used 2% evaporated milk, skim milk, and reduced fat cheddar. A teaspoon out of Lake Michigan calorie-wise, really, but I’m happy to report that the substitutions didn’t seem to negatively impact the outcome.
I also doubled the recipe to use the entire box of pasta and so I would have a meal to freeze. One “meal” is actually way more than my husband and I can eat in one meal, but we love leftovers. The first time I made the recipe, I was concerned the pasta would get overcooked and turn to mush, so I only cooked it a little before dumping it in the crock pot. I think this was a wise choice, because even partially cooked pasta was starting to fall apart a little toward the end of the 2 1/2 hour cooking time (2 1/2 hours on high is definitely long enough). I haven’t been brave enough to try putting dry pasta in with the other ingredients, but something tells me it would work just fine. If anyone tries it this way, please let us know.
I added extra salt to my serving because I am a salt freak (thus negating my efforts to make the recipe “healthier,” but whatever). Overall, the taste and texture were awesome. I added some bread crumbs to one batch since I really like them on my mac & cheese. It got an enthusiastic thumb’s up from the hubby. We thought the frozen and reheated half of the last batch was even better than the fresh batch. This is a great freezer meal for someone who just had a baby.
Original source: Moms with Crockpots
Difficulty (1-5): 1 – if you can boil water and dump stuff in a crock pot, you can make this
Result (1-5): 4 (only b/c the pasta fell apart a little after the 2 1/2 hours in the crock pot)