Make-Ahead Slow Cooker Mac and Cheese
< 30 minutes
< 3 hours
3 cups shredded Cheddar cheese, divided
2 cans (12-ounce each) evaporated milk
1-½ cups low-sodium chicken broth, divided
1 large egg, lightly beaten
2 teaspoons kosher salt
½ teaspoon ground black pepper
1 pound cavatappi pasta or pasta of your choice
½ package (8-ounce) cream cheese, cubed and room temperature
Crispy Bread Crumb Topping
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
1-½ cups panko (Japanese bread crumbs)
¼ teaspoon kosher salt
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
- 1.In a 6-quart slow cooker, stir together 2 cups Cheddar cheese, evaporated milk, 1 cup broth, egg, salt, and pepper. Stir in pasta. Cover and cook on low for 2 hours, stirring halfway through. Turn slow cooker off.
- 2.Prepare Crispy Bread Crumb Topping
- 3.In a medium skillet, melt butter over medium-high heat. Add panko and salt, stirring until well combined. Cook, stirring constantly, until golden brown, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat, and transfer to a small bowl. Stir in parsley. Let cool. Use immediately, or store in airtight container until ready to use.
- 4.Stir in cream cheese, remaining 1 cup Cheddar and remaining ½ cup broth until smooth in slow cooker. Let stand, covered, for 30 minutes. Sprinkle slow cooker mac and cheese with Crispy Bread Crumb Topping just before serving.
- 5.Tip: This dish is great for a large crowd during the holidays. If the Mac and Cheese gets too thick while standing, add ¼ cup warm milk to thin it out.