Mac n Cheese is one of those foods I love to eat, but hate to make. It’s just a huge pain to me to make it from scratch. And any time I’ve tried to make it, it hasn’t turned out great. I like a creamier mac n cheese and the recipes I have tried in the past have been too dry for my liking. Therefore, I was super excited to find Paula Deen’s recipe on Pinterest!
I knew if it was a Paula Deen recipe it was going to be great! However, I was concerned about the calorie count. She isn’t known for her diet food. I checked around on Pinterest some more and found this version via recipe-diaries.com. She substituted some full fat items for low fat and declared it just as good. I mixed my version with low fat and full fat, because I haven’t found a low fat cheese that I can stand yet!
As soon as I read this recipe, I was in, it is just much easier, at least to me, than the other versions I have tried. It is not something you can make and leave for the whole day, because it only stays in the crockpot for about 2 1/2 hours.
Paula Deen’s Crockpot Mac n Cheese (slightly adapted)
2 cups uncooked elbow macaroni
4 tablespoons butter
2 1/2 cups grated sharp cheddar cheese
1/2 cup sour cream
1 can condensed cheddar cheese soup
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup whole milk
1/2 teaspoon dry mustard
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- Boil the macaroni in water for six minutes. Drain and put aside.
- In a medium saucepan, mix butter and cheese. Stir until cheese melts (approx. 5 mins)
- In the crockpot, combine the melted cheese mixture and all other ingredients (I skipped the eggs). Add the drained macaroni and stir everything together lightly.
- Set crockpot to low and cook for 2 1/2 hours, stirring occasionally.
As I noted above, I skipped adding the eggs and I don’t think it changed the integrity of the dish.
How did it go?
We really liked it. It was very reminiscent of Stouffer’s mac n cheese. I am not a huge fan of sharp cheddar, so I felt it was a tad too sharp for me and my husband agreed. I think I will use a mix of mild and sharp the next time I make it. It was really easy to throw together and I think we probably could have eaten it at 2 hours versus 2 1/2 hours. Overall, I think it was a win and I loved that I didn’t have to turn the oven on. I used a crockpot bag (I do every time I use the crockpot) so clean up was super simple, one pan!
I would like to substitute some more of the ingredients to make it lower in calories next time too, though not sure I’ll ever be a fan of low fat cheese!
I’d love to hear if you try it!