There are certain dishes that simply MUST make an appearance at my family’s Thanksgiving table, and macaroni and cheese is one of them.
There is something so comforting about a hearty bowl of macaroni and cheese. I think that’s why I immediately gravitated towards the original recipe of BHG’s Four Cheese Macaroni and Cheese. The decadence of the dish spoke to me and reminded me of my mother’s classic that she makes every holiday. I knew I just had to try it!
I planned on making it just as the recipe called for until my oven randomly stopped working. I think all of the recent baking made my oven call in sick so I had to change plans right away. The new plan was to use my crock pot, and Slow Cooker Macaroni and Cheese was born. Let’s just say that things always happen for a reason, and this new change in plans was perfecto!
Not only must you add this to your Thanksgiving menu stat, but you must make it once a month just to remind you how delicious the simple things in life can be. This will save you so much time during the holidays. Just think about it: While you baste your turkey, make your stuffing, bake several pies and entertain your guests, this amazing macaroni and cheese will be tending to itself and ready in a few hours. You simple toss all of the ingredients into the slow cooker like below and let it cook away.
I only made the following changes to the original recipe:
- I replaced the elbow macaroni pasta with penne but you can definitely still use the macaroni for a more traditional dish.
- I added two large beaten eggs to the mixture to create more of a custard as it cooked away.
- I replaced the milk with 1 1/2 cups of evaporated milk and 1 1/2 cups of half and half to make the macaroni and cheese richer. It is for the holidays after all right?
- I tossed in a 1/2 cup of melted butter as well.
- I toasted the panko crumbs over my stove top in a saute pan with a tablespoon of butter until golden brown.
- I tossed all of the ingredients together in the slow cooker except for 1/4 cup of the shredded cheese and the toasted panko crumbs. Once everything was combined, I topped the pasta with the cheese and panko crumbs and let it cook on low for 2 1/2- 3 1/4 hours.
- Cook less time if you want it super creamy and cook a bit more if you want the mac and cheese a bit firmer. Just make sure your pasta is nice and soft before stopping the cooking process.
This macaroni and cheese is really incredible. You will want to make this over and over again, especially since its so easy now. You can even have your kids make it. Now that is something to truly be thankful for.
There’s nothing more satisfying than coming home after a long day of work to a dinner that’s been cooking itself all day long, amIright? That’s one of the many reasons why I love cooking with my crock pot. Throw a bunch of ingredients into the crock in the morning, press play, then voila – a hot and bubbly meal is ready to go when you are.
I usually shy away from crock pot recipes that call for an extra step either before or after cooking, but recently I made an exception for Pulled Pork Enchiladas and oh dear me, it was totally worth it!
Lean pork is simmered in a savory broth all day then shredded and wrapped with crumbly cotija cheese in flour tortillas. The dish is smothered in a green-chili spiked enchilada sauce then baked until golden brown and bubbly. So, so amazing. My husband and I both flipped for this meal!
True, there is some work to be done after the pork comes out of the crock pot, but you can definitely make the pork a day or two ahead of time, assemble the enchiladas the following day, then cover with sauce and bake the next. Easy!
Start with a 3lb boneless pork shoulder. Trim of any visible fat then cut into big hunks if you want the dish to cook a bit faster. I actually shaved half the recipe’s recommended cooking time off by doing this vs cooking it whole.
Next add the seasonings including chicken broth, a roughly chopped onion, and chopped garlic cloves. Mmmm…savory.
Finally add spices like ground cumin, chili powder, and salt. Mmmm…spicy!
Cook the pork until it’s fall apart-tender and shreds easily with two forks, then mix with enchilada sauce and some of the cooking liquid.
Now get the enchilada filling ready, starting with shredded Cotija cheese. Cotija cheese is slightly crumbly, salty, and really unique tasting. I was able to pick it out of each bite of enchilada, which I really loved.
Shred the Cotija cheese then sprinkle it on top of some shredded pork placed into the center of a flour tortilla.
Roll then place in a baking dish and smother in enchilada sauce mixed with diced green chilis and more of the pork cooking liquid.
Bake, topping with more cheese when there’s 5 minutes left, then top with fresh tomatoes or salsa, and cilantro.
Juicy, decadent, cheesy, and packed full of flavor. I cannot recommend this recipe enough. Enjoy it this week for dinner!