Crockpot Mac N Cheese
Thursday of last week was crazier than normal. Of course, dinner time is when everyone was in a different place than home. The girls had their Irish Dance performance, Trent had a playdate, I had a restaurant to review and Bryan was super busy at work. The solution? Crockpot Mac N Cheese to the rescue. I liked this recipe because was healthier than other attempts and the noodles are not mushy. Plus, there was a hidden veggie – in the tortellini. I always keep frozen cream cheese/neufchâtel and tortellini on hand for quick meals. This was one of my better throw together in the morning so I can focus on my day meals.
8 ounce cream cheese or neufchatel
2 cups of milk – we used 1%
4 ounces mozzarella cheese grated
4 ounces Gruyère cheese grated
1 onion chopped – optional
3 egg whites
16 ounces Tortelloni with Mushrooms or another veggie.
Non-stick spray the crockpot (you will thank me later) and add all the ingredients except the noodles and onion. Wisk until somewhat smooth and add remaining ingredients. Cook on low for five hours. If possible after the first hour stir to ensure the noodles are evenly cooked. Sprinkle Panco/bread crumbs on top and set under the broiler for a crispy top. The crockpot is broiler safe but double check your owner’s manual if uncertain. Add a salad for a complete balance meal. Being the mean mom that I am, my kids need to finish their salad before they can devour their mac n cheese.
My past attempt at crock pot mac and cheese have been a disaster. When the dinner bell rang, I ended up with mushy noodles and a sauce that fell apart. Nothing worse then an extra greasy sauce and noodles that collapsed on the fork. The boxed stuff looked better. What makes this recipe work is the sturdiness of the tortellini, creaminess from the Gruyere cheese and lower fat from cream cheese. While this recipe is not restaurant quality, it does fit the bill on busy nights. Plus, I usually have all the ingredients in the house – major bonus points.