Today you are in for a treat! It’s The Ultimate Recipe Challenge and this month’s theme is PASTA! I am so excited for this. My submission is Slow Cooker Mexican Macaroni and Cheese and this stuff is amazing. Now, I have never actually seen macaroni and cheese on a menu in a Mexican restaurant, so this isn’t an ethnic dish so much as a flavor dish. I really love this Ultimate Recipe Challenge group because it makes me stretch a little bit. There are a lot of really great bloggers sharing recipes and we don’t talk about them ahead of time, except to learn the theme. I want to be unique, while still creating a really great recipe. I’m sure everyone else feels the same way.
I don’t know about you, but I really love the slow cooker. It’s great to be able to throw a bunch of ingredients in it, walk away and come back later to dinner. It’s like magic. Whoever came up with that thing was a genius for sure. I decided to try this Mexican Macaroni and Cheese recipe in the slow cooker, just to see how it turned out. It was really nice and creamy and very flavorful. The picture below shows it before I cooked the pasta.
Side note: When we have lived in other countries, my slow cooker is the thing I have missed the most. That’s because I haven’t found one in other countries, until we moved to China. Let me tell you, I was so happy with that find. It’s funny what you don’t think about having that you use a lot or even that other people don’t use at all. I really hope I can find one when we move to Martinique. That would cut down on using the oven as well.
Before I actually tried making this in the slow cooker, I looked online to see if there was anything like this already made. I wanted to read the comments. One that came up the most is that by making pasta in a slow cooker, you don’t get that crunchy, brown topping. I decided that I would take some of the cooked pasta out and bake it for 10 minutes before taking the pictures. I tell you this as a disclosure of sorts. It does make for nicer photos than the slow cooker pot. This is totally an aesthetic thing because it tastes exactly the same.
- 3 cups uncooked pasta
- 1 cup salsa verde
- 2½ cups milk
- 1 14.75 ounce can of creamed corn
- 1 11 ounce can of Mexican corn
- 2 cups Mexican blend shredded cheese, divided
- 4 ounce cream cheese, very soft and cut into pieces
- Either grease or line a slow cooker. I use the Reynolds Slow Cooker liners and love them.
- Add all of the ingredients except ½ cup shredded cheese, spreading the cream cheese out through out the pot.
- Stir well.
- Cook on low for 3 hours.
- At the end of 3 hours, either sprinkle the remaining cheese over the pasta and serve. OR
- For a crunchier top, preheat the oven to 350° pour into a greased 9x13 inch pan, sprinkle the remaining cheese over pasta and cook for 10 minutes.
You should make this for your family right away. It has a really great flavor combination. While you’re waiting for it to cook, grab yourself a cold drink, sit back and click through the other really yummy pasta recipes. Which do you want to try first? What is your favorite way to make pasta?