3 Crockpot Mac & Cheese Recipes to Get You Through Finals

I know we all just got back from Thanksgiving break, with winter break right around the corner, but finals time can get tough. I think it's hugely important to make sure you’re taking care of yourself during this time of high stress because focusing on your wellness will exponentially help your performance. Make sure you're getting plenty of sleep and make sure you eat even if your appetite tells you you're fine (that is if you know you haven't had a snack recently.) Wellness during this upcoming finals time is crucial, so here are some mac & cheese recipes you can throw into a crockpot and have ready to come home to. I’ve included a variety of recipes for you all to try depending on what your preferences are, and hopefully they’ll make getting ready for finals a little bit easier!

  1. 1. Gluten Free Mac & Cheese

    Ingredients

    1½ cups almond milk or any milk

    12 oz evaporated milk

    ¼ cup melted butter, cooled

    3 eggs

    ½ tsp salt

    8 oz gluten free macaroni

    3 cups shredded cheddar cheese

    Instructions

    In a medium bowl, whisk together milk, evaporated milk, butter, eggs and salt.

    Pour into a greased slow cooker.

    Add cheese and macaroni to slow cooker.

    Stir gently to combine.

    Cook on high for 30 minutes.

    Reduce heat to low and cook for 3 hours.

  2. 2. Creamy Crockpot Mac & Cheese

    Ingredients

    1 pound elbow pasta

    2 1/2 cups milk (whole is best)

    1 can (12 oz) evaporated milk

    3 cups (12 oz) shredded sharp cheddar

    1 cup (4 oz) shredded American cheese (or Monterrey)

    1 teaspoon salt

    1/2 teaspoon black pepper

    1/2 teaspoon dry ground mustard

    1/4 teaspoon garlic powder

    Dash of cayenne pepper (to taste)

    1/4 cup butter, cubed

    Instructions

    Spray 6-quart slow cooker with non-stick spray.

    Rinse the uncooked pasta well in cold water and drain.

    Add uncooked pasta to crockpot along with milks, cheeses, salt, pepper, mustard, garlic and cayenne pepper. Stir to combine, making sure macaroni is submerged in liquid as much as possible.

    Dot with cubed butter.

    Cover and cook on low heat for 1 hour. Remove lid and stir. Depending on your slow cooker, your dish could be done at this point or require UP TO 1-2 more hours.

    If not done, continue cooking and checking periodically (ever half hour or so).

    When done, pasta will be tender and liquid will be thick and creamy.

  3. 3. Breaded Crockpot Mac & Cheese

    Ingredients

    8 ounces pasta elbow or other tube shaped pasta

    1 1/2 cups whole milk

    12 ounces can evaporated milk

    1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter melted and cooled

    3 large eggs slightly beaten

    1 teaspoon salt

    1/2 teaspoon pepper

    1/4 teaspoon dry mustard

    1/4 teaspoon nutmeg

    12 Ounces shredded cheese mixture of sharp cheddar, fontina and mozzarella

    Bread Crumb Topping:

    2 tablespoons butter

    2 cups dry homemade bread crumbs

    1/4 teaspoon salt

    1/8 Teaspoon pepper

    1/8 teaspoon garlic powder

    1 teaspoon fresh thyme

    Instructions

    Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add salt to taste (1-2 Tablespoons).  Add pasta to boiling water and cook for 5 minutes. Drain immediately.

    Spray the inside of a crockpot with nonstick cooking spray.  Add whole milk, evaporated milk, butter, eggs, salt, pepper, dried mustard, and nutmeg.  Whisk ingredients until smooth and well combined. Add cooked pasta and stir to coat. Add cheese and stir to evenly distribute throughout the mixture.

    Cook on High for 30 minutes then reduce to Low and cook for 2 hours or until pasta is tender.

    Meanwhile, make the breadcrumb topping; melt butter in a large skillet.  Add bread crumbs, salt, pepper, and garlic powder. Cook on medium to medium-high heat stirring frequently until crumbs are nicely toasted and crispy. Cool a few minutes and stir in thyme leaves.

     Sprinkle the top of cooked mac and cheese with bread crumb topping and serve!

Remember to take care of yourselves through this stressful time, and I hope you all love these recipes! Good luck on finals!