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Jun 27, 2011 12:55 PM

Cooking or reheating mac & cheese in a crock pot?

I wanted to bring mac & cheese (Ina Garten's recipe) for a potluck lunch at work, but I won't be able to reheat in an oven.

I was thinking about either making it in a crock pot directly (if I can find a good recipe) or keeping it warm by scooping into a crock pot after baking. Does anyone have experience or suggestions? Thanks in advance!

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  1. I've had great luck with doing the "cook and hold" in a crock pot with mashed potatoes, where after mashing and finishing, sling them in the CP (if in a hurry, sling can be taken literally-LOL), add some butter and lid it up. Incorporate a splash of milk if necessary before serving.

    Mac and Cheese gets tricky. If gooey and wet, like the Stoffers red-box variety, it should do just fine in a warm (not hot) crockpot. Homemade, unless with a lot of cream and velveeta to loosen it up, usually tends to be a little denser and tight, and storing in a crockpot may continue to dry out something that needs to stay moist.

    So if me, I;d try to find a loose mac and cheese recipe, od do a small batch of what your go to recipe is and then transfer and hold as an experiment to see if you need to add anything before putting in crockpot or add right before serving.

    I've done enough chili parties and chili cookoffs among friends to know that crockpots are a semi-wet-cooking method that do like to remove moisture over time when in warming mode affectively slowing drying out what's cooked in them.

    Good luck

    1 Reply
    1. re: jjjrfoodie

      Thanks for the tip! I'll keep in mind that warming in the crock pot will definitely cause some drying out.

    2. I don't know where I got the following recipe from, nor have I ever made it. It is for the oven but I see no reason why a crockpot wouldn't work. Note that the UNCOOKED pasta goes into the sauce, which is wet enough to allow it to cook through. I would think that this method would be unlikely to dry out.

      Creamy Macaroni and Cheese

      Time: 1 hour 15 minutes

      2 tablespoons butter

      1 cup cottage cheese (not lowfat)

      2 cups milk (not skim)

      1 teaspoon dry mustard

      Pinch cayenne

      Pinch freshly grated nutmeg

      1/2 teaspoon salt

      1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

      1 pound sharp or extra-sharp cheddar cheese, grated

      1/2 pound elbow pasta, uncooked.

      1. Heat oven to 375 degrees and position an oven rack in upper third of oven. Use 1 tablespoon butter to butter a 9-inch round or square baking pan.

      2. In a blender, puree cottage cheese, milk, mustard, cayenne, nutmeg and salt and pepper together. Reserve 1/4 cup grated cheese for topping. In a large bowl, combine remaining grated cheese, milk mixture and uncooked pasta. Pour into prepared pan, cover tightly with foil and bake 30 minutes.

      3. Uncover pan, stir gently, sprinkle with reserved cheese and dot with remaining tablespoon butter. Bake, uncovered, 30 minutes more, until browned. Let cool at least 15 minutes before serving.


      1 Reply