Slow Cooker Mushroom Mac and Cheese

Story by Natalie
Slow Cooker Mushroom Mac and Cheese
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It wasn’t until last year that I caught on to the wonder and ease that is the crockpot. I know I'm way late to the game, but for years I had the misguided notion that crockpots were for home cooks who had given up. Crazy, I know. Who was I ever kidding that I could work part time, raise three kids, and crush dinners Monday-Friday all cooked over a stove and dirtying an embarrassing amount of dishes each night? Finally, in a mad attempt to get some sort of manageable grasp on our dinner routine I busted out a crockpot for the first time in my 8 years of homemaking. Mind blown! Endless recipe possibilities, and tons of nutrition and flavor packed in one easy dish that I don't have to stand stirring for an hour?...well, even better. For all these reasons and more I am thrilled to be partnering with Fred Meyer stores in celebrating #crocktober: an entire month devoted to delicious crockpot recipes that will add some serious ease and excitement to your dinner routine.


...as you bite into the perfectly paired flavors of mushrooms, sharp cheddar, parmesan, and gruyere cheese...

Slow Cooker Mushroom Mac and Cheese

Generally, when thinking of crockpot recipes my mind jumps to stews, soups or roasts, so I wanted to mix it up a bit. And so, without further adieu allow me to introduce you to crockpot mushroom mac and cheese. Guys, it's so good!

When I was developing this recipe I couldn't help but think of my favorite Disney Pixar movie, Ratatouille. There’s a scene where the rat chef accidently toasts a mushroom by way of electric shock. He bites down into the toasty fungi and chases it with a bite of French cheese. It’s at that moment that fireworks start going off in his mind representing the satisfaction his tastebuds are experiencing. This mushroom mac and cheese? Yeah, it’s like that. Fireworks exploding, angels singing...you name it…as you bite into the perfectly paired flavors of mushrooms, sharp cheddar, parmesan, and gruyere cheese melted together over pasta.

In order to infuse the mac and cheese with the nutty, earthy flavor we all love so much about mushrooms we’ve flipped the caps, filled them with butter and placed them along the top of the dish in the last hour of cooking. The butter melts, the drippings soak into that cheesy goodness and I’m sure you get the picture...it’s going to be good.

Now that you’re drooling and filled with inspiration to make dinner this week, I want to let you in on one more bit of exciting information. We want everyone to make this recipe (it's that delicious) so we are giving away SIX red cook & carry crockpots! The giveaway can be found here. May the best person win! (And by winning, of course, I mean having the chance to devour a bowl of this creamy mushroom mac and cheese.)

Slow Cooker Mushroom Mac and Cheese

This post was sponsored by Fred Meyer.  All opinions are our own. Thank you for supporting the brands that we love. 

Slow Cooker Mushroom Mac and Cheese

Serves 6

Ingredients

16 oz macaroni or cavatappi, cooked 4 minutes shy of doneness
4 oz gruyere or comte, grated
4 oz sharp cheddar, grated
2 oz parmesan, grated
3 garlic cloves
1 small onion, chopped
4 cups milk
4 oz cream cheese, cut into small pieces
6 tbsp butter, divided
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp freshly ground pepper
1 tsp sea salt
1 lb cremini mushrooms stems removed
1 tbsp chive
1 tbsp flat leaf parsley

Method

  1. In a large crockpot add the pasta, cheese, garlic, onion, cream cheese, 4 tbsp of the butter, nutmeg, salt and pepper.
  2. Pour the milk over the top of all the ingredients and stir to roughly combine. Pasta should be mostly submerged under the milk. 
  3. Cook on low for 2 hours.
  4. After 2 hours, remove lid and stir all ingredients together. 
  5. Arrange mushroom caps upside down all over the top of the mac and cheese.
  6. Fill each stem hole with a pat of butter from the reserved butter.
  7. Close the crock pot and cook for 1 hour.
  8. Top dish with chives and flat leaf parsley and serve hot.