I’ve since skinnied down this dish, and it’s even better. Check out the updated recipe.
Early last year, I stumbled upon a total treasure of a recipe while browsing FoodNetwork recipes, Paula Deen’s Creamy Macaroni and Cheese.
What caught my attention, is that Food Network showcased this as their most downloaded recipe in 2007. As an added bonus, I noticed that this recipe is made in a slow cooker, a favorite cooking method of mine. And, considering it’s a Paula Deen recipe, I knew it had to be good!
I’ve been making this recipe for over a year and a half now, and I still absolutely love it. So do my family and friends — especially kids. This dish has turned into one of my regular potluck and party favorites, and is too well received to ever leave any as leftovers. I’ve made it for four different occasions just this year alone: a birthday party for my future stepson, a potluck at my temp job, a potluck at my new job, and this past weekend for a 4th of July barbecue.
It’s almost shameful how ridiculously easy this recipe is, especially for something so fabulous tasting. It’s simple enough for kids to help make, with supervision. And it’s quick enough for me to prepare before heading to work in the morning.
Because this gets cooked in a crockpot for just a few hours, I usually mix all the ingredients at home, carry it to my destination, and actually cook it there if I plan to be there for at least a few hours before meal time. I even do this at work, plugging the crockpot in near my desk, where I can occasionally stir the mac and cheese. I do advise caution when crockpotting it at work — the scent of this fabulous comfort food cooking in the workplace will drive your coworkers nuts. But they’ll love you for it when they finally taste it.
Like most Paula Deen recipes, this one isn’t exactly healthy, which is why I only make it for large crowds. I refrain from cooking it for just Jeff and the kids. One of these days, I will attempt a lower-fat/calorie/points variation for us and blog about it, if that version still tastes good.
- 2 cups uncooked elbow macaroni (an 8-ounce box isn’t quite 2 cups)
- 4 tablespoons (1/2 stuck) butter, cut into pieces
- 2½ cups (about 10 ounces) grated sharp Cheddar cheese
- 3 eggs, beaten
- ½ cup sour cream
- 1 (10¾-ounce) can condensed Cheddar cheese soup
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 cup whole milk
- ½ teaspoon dry mustard
- ½ teaspoon black pepper
- Boil the macaroni in a 2 quart saucepan in plenty of water until tender, about 7 minutes.
- In a medium saucepan, mix butter and cheese. Stir until the cheese melts.
- In a slow cooker, combine cheese/butter mixture and add the eggs, sour cream, soup, salt, milk, mustard and pepper and stir well. Then add drained macaroni and stir again.
- Set the slow cooker on low setting and cook for 3 hours, stirring occasionally.