*This is the 3rd of 10 Crock Pot Recipes I am trying between now and the end of February for the Peanut Butter Fingers Blog Crock Pot Challenge.*
Have you tried this pasta before? As a vegetarian (pescatarian), I’m always looking for good ways to sneak extra protein into my diet. This pasta has 10+ extra grams of protein depending on your meal size. It’s an easy way to bulk up any pasta meal.
And you can hide it in Mac and Cheese. Yum– Mac and Cheese is one of my favorites. It’s exactly what I go for when the weather goes downhill or I don’t feel good. Talk about a “southern comfort!”
I’ve made the cheesy pasta goodness in the Crock Pot before, but it always involved pre-cooking the noodles in a separate pot of boiling water. In my mind that is just more work and more mess. Isn’t the Crock Pot all about making cooking easy? So when I saw a recipe on Pinterest that called for dumping uncooked macaroni noodles in your Crock Pot I was intrigued. Would it work?
I considered this an experiment of sorts. I was interested to see if the noodles would properly cook and not be hard. The good news is they cooked, the bad news is I think I used way too many low fat products and the end result was just a slight bit dry. The hubs said I was being too hard on myself and it tasted really good. I would recommend trying to cut the fat in some of the cheese, but not using all low fat products. Hopefully that would make it a little less dry.
If you are looking for a low fat Mac and Cheese, I found also found this recipe on Pinterest from Fitness magazine to make Mac and Cheese with greek yogurt. It’s not a Crock Pot recipe, but it may be a better way to cut calories.
Let me know if you try it.
AND- If you want a really awesome, tried and true, full fat, Crock Pot Mac and Cheese recipe, try this one – click HERE. Yes, you have to precook noodles. But this Paula Dean Mac and Cheese and is a go-to recipe for our Thanksgiving. It works like a charm. Don’t count the calories though… it’s ridiculous.
As I mentioned, my version was an experiment so I just thought I’d offer you options
This is what I used:
1 box macaroni
4 tbs butter (margarine*)
4 cups shredded cheese (low fat*)
4 oz cream cheese, cubed (low fat*)
2 cups of milk (low fat*)
12oz can evaporated milk (low fat*)
1/4 cup sour cream (low fat*)
1 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1 tsp onion powder
1 tbs dry mustard
* Something should be full fat to give it more cream—woops!
Spray Crock Pot with Pam—I didn’t do this and mine stuck!
Turn on Crock Pot. Heat and whisk milk, evaporated milk, butter, sour cream, cream cheese and spices until it’s not as lumpy.
Add uncooked noodles
Put cheese on top but don’t stir. It mixes down through the Mac and Cheese as it cooks.
Cut on low for 3-4 hours. This is one you want to do when you are home. Stir occasionally to get the crunchy outer crust throughout the pot. It actually makes it feel like a baked Mac & Cheese.
Serve and Enjoy!
What’s your favorite Mac & Cheese recipe?
Do your cooking experiments sometimes end up a little off?