Mac and Cheese – Great for Lunches – Simple Slow Cooked

This slow cooked mac and cheese recipe is so simple. But you may wish to take the basic recipe and adapt it to make many variations and give it some more flavour!

Simple Slow Cooked Mac and Cheese

Great for Lunches

We have been making more effort with our diet which includes not just sending everyone off with just sandwiches for lunch. Having invested in some Thermos food flasks I wanted to use them as much as possible. Personally mac and cheese isn’t one of my favourite dishes so to be able to give the rest of the family a treat at lunchtime seemed a good idea.

Using the slow cooker means I can either have things cooking whilst at work, or if (like this one) they require a bit more attention I can at least be getting on with other things at the same time.

Slow Cooked Mac and Cheese Ingredients

  • Macaroni Pasta – the original recipe suggests 350g. Personally I found this to be a tiny amount and ended up just putting in the whole packet!
  • 600ml Whole Milk – apparently semi-skimmed doesn’t quite work right and it all separates.
  • 50g butter (cubed)
  • 50g soft cheese (I just bought the cheapest version and it was okay)
  • 100g mature cheddar – grated. Plus extra to serve on top.
  • Any other cheeses you fancy!
  • Mustard – although use sparingly.
  • Any seasonings – we used salt, pepper, fresh herbs, spices (try oregano, basil, marjoram, garlic, parsley, nutmeg, chilli flakes – maybe not all together!)
  • Additional – chorizo or bacon and peppers (we use frozen).

How to Slow Cook Mac and Cheese

  1. First of all pour boiling water over the macaroni pasta. Drain and throw away the water.
  2. Then add everything* apart, from the cheese and fresh herbs to serve, into the slow cooker.
  3. None of this needs heating up first. It was really hard for me to trust this process but it really works! Just pop the lid on and cook on low for 1 hour.
  4. Then give it a stir, again put the lid back on and cook for a further 30 minutes.
  5. At this point you want to make sure that the pasta is cooked. Also that the sauce has reduced enough to coat the macaroni. If not adjust the cooking accordingly – either by adding more milk, cooking for longer, or leaving it with the lid off.
  6. This additional step is due to the * above. It is likely okay to add the chorizo or bacon to cook from the start but it isn’t what we did. We have frozen chorizo so we fried it with the slow cooked mac and cheese after it was taken out. This is actually when all the extra herbs and spices were added too because our boys think my food is too plain. It also means that you can adjust it to various palates.

Note I added two teaspoons of mustard and this was far too much and really over-powered things even after I diluted it down further with additional milk.

Serve with garlic bread – and if you want to be healthier a bit of salad.

Simple Slow Cooked Mac and Cheese with garlic bread

Do you have any tips for slow cooked Mac and Cheese?

See also Mum’s Best Macaroni Cheese Recipe for if you don’t have a slow cooker.

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