4ouncesAmerican cheese (or Monterrey)1 cup shredded (from the deli, not processed slices)
Dash of cayenne pepperto taste
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. Sauce will thicken even more after lid is removed and mac and cheese sits.
IMPORTANT - please do not use the bagged shredded cheese. It contains an anti-caking agent that can make your mac and cheese gritty. Get the cheese from the deli and shred it yourself.
PASTA - please use a sturdy pasta, not the really thin noodles. Thin noodles will cook much faster and turn to mush. We use Barilla brand elbow noodles.
Also, every slow cooker is different. WNewer slow cookers should work fine for this recipe. Cook on low for one hour without disturbing. Remove lid and stir well. Replace lid and check every 15 minutes after that. DO NOT turn the heat up! You will make your macaroni mushy. My slow cooker is only a couple years old and my mac and cheese is done after about 1 hr and 45 minutes.
Making for the holidays? If you've never made this before, please do a dry run before the holiday! Everyone's slow cooker acts differently, so it's important to try this out first. Happy Thanksgiving and Merry Christmas!