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4.75 from 12 votes

Paula Deen's Macaroni and Cheese {EXTRA Creamy + Crock Pot Friendly}

Paula Deen's Macaroni & Cheese can be baked in the oven or in the Slow Cooker! Made extra creamy with eggs, cream cheese, and 2 other cheeses!

Ingredients

  • 2 cups uncooked elbow macaroni
  • 1/4 cup butter, softened
  • 1 cup half-and-half
  • 4 large eggs, beaten
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper, optional
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 8 oz. cheddar cheese, grated
  • 8 oz. American cheese, cut into cubes, Velveeta packaged slices work well
  • 4 oz. cream cheese, softened

Instructions

Crock Pot Method:

  • Note: The butter, half and half, sour cream, and cheeses should be close to room temperature prior to being added to the macaroni.
  • Cook the macaroni for 1-2 minutes less than instructed on package so the macaroni doesn't become mushy.
  • Drain the macaroni and return it to the warm pot you boiled it in. Add all remaining ingredients. Use a silicone spatula to gently stir until well-combined.
  • Add the macaroni to the Crock Pot. Heat on low for 2-3 hours hours, then switch to warm, and serve! Stir occasionally as it cooks if you're able.

Oven Method:

  • Note: The butter, half and half, sour cream, and cheeses should be close to room temperature prior to being added to the macaroni.
  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  • Cook the macaroni for 9 minutes.
  • Drain the macaroni and return it to the warm pot you boiled it in. Add all remaining ingredients. Use a silicone spatula to gently stir until well-combined.
  • Add the macaroni to a greased 13 x 9 baking dish.
  • Bake, uncovered, for 40-45 minutes, until hot and bubbling.
  • Let it stand for 10 minutes prior to serving.

Video

Notes

Make-Ahead Method For Baked OR Crock Pot Mac and Cheese:

  • Cook the Pasta no more than Al Dente.
  • Immediately rinse the cooked pasta with cold water to halt the cooking process and rid it of extra starch.
  • Combine all remaining ingredients in a saucepan and whisk together over medium heat until well-combined and smooth. Let it cool until it's just warm to the touch.
  • Combine the cooled macaroni and sauce.
    Store in the fridge for up to two days, covered.
Add it to a casserole dish or Crock Pot and proceed as instructed. Note that you may have to cook it a tad longer since its starting off cold.

Using Eggs in Macaroni and Cheese

Southern-Style macaroni and cheese recipes such as this one typically call for using eggs. The purpose of the eggs is to create a custard-like consistency. This method is used instead of creating a roux. 
Be warned that some people love the eggs, and others aren't a fan of the texture.
To skip the eggs and make this recipe with a roux:
  • Melt 3 Tablespoons unsalted butter in a saucepan over medium heat.
  • Add 2.5 Tablespoons of flour and whisk until the consistency is that of a paste.
  • Slowly add 1/2 cup half and half. Whisk until combined. Gradually add the remaining 1/2 cup until combined.
  • Continue to heat, whisking occasionally for about 10 minutes to allow it to thicken.
  • Remove from heat, combine with remaining ingredients, add to warm macaroni and bake.

Nutrition

Calories: 472kcal, Carbohydrates: 14g, Protein: 19g, Fat: 37g, Saturated Fat: 22g, Cholesterol: 189mg, Sodium: 946mg, Potassium: 190mg, Sugar: 1g, Vitamin A: 1260IU, Vitamin C: 0.4mg, Calcium: 579mg, Iron: 1mg