Just in time for New Year’s dinner, I’m popping in quickly to share the best crock pot macaroni and cheese recipe ever. Over the past 10 years, it has become a Thanksgiving staple in our home and I can’t think of a more perfect side to accompany those greens and black eyed peas on New Year’s Day! Last month when I was whipping up a batch at 6:00 a.m. for my husband’s office (they always request it on potluck lunch days), I had a influx of recipe requests. If you didn’t see my Insta-stories, it really is delicious. This is a modified Paula Deen recipe, (original HERE), that I’ve tweaked over the last decade since I first stumbled across it.
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The key is- DON’T OVER-COOK the pasta and DON’T OVER-COOK the final dish. Check on it often. You must be home and “present” while this one is cooking 😉
Creamy Crock Pot Macaroni and Cheese
A family favorite and holiday dinner must, modified version of Paula Deen's original recipe
- 2 cups uncooked pasta (elbow macaroni but I like to use rotini sometimes, too)
- 3 cups shredded/grated sharp cheddar cheese
- 3/4 cup sour cream (I use light)
- 4 Tbsp butter
- 1 cup milk (whole is preferred)
- 1 can Campbell's cheddar cheese soup
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp pepper
- 1/2 tsp dry mustard
Boil pasta for one minute UNDER the "al dente" option on the box. Using the elbow macaroni, the lucky number is typically "5". (If you boil too long, the pasta will become mushy in the crock pot).
While the pasta is boiling, cut the butter into smaller pieces for quicker melting. Add the butter, along with the sharp cheddar to a non-stick sauce pan and melt over medium heat, stirring often. (If you do not use a non-stick pan, the cheese clean up will get very messy)
In the crock pot, add sour cream, can of soup, milk, salt, pepper, and dry mustard and stir together.
When the melted sharp cheddar/butter mixture has melted, add to the crock pot. Drain the cooked (approx. 5 min.) macaroni and add it to the crock pot. Stir all ingredients well.
Cook on low. Depending on your crock pot, you will likely need to cook it anywhere from 1 1/2 to 2 1/2 hours. After 20 minutes of cooking, start revisiting and stirring every 20 minutes or so and make sure the make and cheese isn't getting scorched. You will know it is finished when the white in the sauce mixture isn't white anymore and has married together to form to form one uniform sauce.
Serve and enjoy!
I double this batch often and it works like a charm. When I double the batch, it usually takes about 30 minutes longer to cook perfectly.
This is what the mixture will look like when everything is combined and stirred, before it begins to cook.
And here is a glimpse of the final dish.
Scroll & Tap to Get the Look
It’s so easy to pull together, especially for holiday dinners and backyard barbeques during the summer. Let me know if you make it this weekend; I would love to hear from you! Wishing you all a wonderful and safe New Year’s! If you aren’t already, subscribe to my emails below to make sure you don’t miss a thing in 2018. We have some fun projects ahead 😉