Slow Cooker Mac and Cheese with Green Chile
This new recipe post is sponsored by New Mexico Department of Agriculture through Kitchen PLAY 💚
This slow cooker mac and cheese with green chile is wildly decadent, rich, and loaded with flavor! Featuring extra creamy mac and cheese that is well seasoned and infused with a subtle heat from tasty green chile!
If you were to ask me what is one of my most favorite side dishes, ever, I would most likely say mac and cheese. You can typically find me making some for nearly every occasion. Sunday dinners, holidays, potlucks, a “just because” gift for a friend…you name it. Mac and cheese is just one of my holy grails.
Additionally, mac and cheese is just so dang tasty and extra comforting too. And the best part is, almost everyone enjoys it! I’ve made southern style mac and cheese, and smoked gouda mac and cheese (my fave!), creamy white mac and cheese, and even, vegan mac and cheese, y’all. They’re all so good!
Out of all the many, many mac and cheese recipes that exist on my website, not a single one of them are like this slow cooker mac and cheese. Yup, I said slow cooker. I know many folks don’t think of making mac and cheese via a slow cooker/Crock pot, but I’m hoping you will really enjoy this one! It’s just so easy!
There’s Only One New Mexico Green Chile
New Mexico green chile is well known for its delicious taste and wonderful aroma when it’s being roasted. They are also commonly known as Hatch chiles and have an ardent following of culinary devotees. While these chile pepper varieties are also grown in other states by using the same seed, they will not taste the same because the growing conditions are different. In addition, New Mexico green chile has an incredibly short season- once a year in late summer/early autumn. New Mexico green chile are “the” green chile.
Unique growing conditions make this green chile so special. Aside from the seeds themselves, the soil, water used for irrigation, hot temperatures during the day, and cooler temperatures at nighttime contribute to the delicious and unique flavor profile of the New Mexico green chile. This green chile is versatile and can enhance both sweet and savory dishes of any type of cuisine; not just Southwestern.
There are also a lot of health benefits that come from eating New Mexico green chile. For example, eating chile peppers burns calories by boosting metabolism and has many vitamins. In fact, it has more vitamin C than citrus fruits. Chile peppers also improves digestion, eases pain, and destroys bacteria.
They’re little powerhouses and New Mexico green chile is a superfood.
How To Make Slow Cooker Mac and Cheese (Video)
This crockpot macaroni and cheese recipe is so easy and simple, let’s go ahead and get into it!
- On the stovetop, cook pasta according to package directions but for 3 minutes less than al dente because pasta will finish cooking in slow cooker.
- Transfer semi-cooked pasta, cheeses, milks, green chile peppers, butter, and seasonings into slow cooker.
- Cook on “high” setting for 1 hour; checking and stirring in 30-minute increments.
Other Recipes You May Enjoy
- Chicken and Waffles Recipe
- Buttermilk Fried Chicken Sandwiches with Slaw
- Easy Sausage and Peppers Recipe
- Salmon Cakes with Quick Aioli
- Creamy Chicken and Mushrooms
- One-Pot Creamy Beef Pasta
- Easy Chicken and Dumplings
- Chicken and Sausage Gumbo
Why Cook Pasta Beforehand?
Here is the reason why I recommend cooking the pasta slightly before it goes into the slow cooker.
Cooking the pasta first helps to remove some of the starch that is on dried pasta. I’ve tested this recipe without boiling the noodles first and it resulted in a gummier-tasting pasta noodle. Yikes, no one wants super soggy, gummy mac and cheese. In addition, the pasta is not fully cooked but rather undercooked as the slow cooker will finish the full cooking.
What Kind Of Cheese Is Best?
For this slow cooker mac and cheese, I highly recommend that you DO NOT buy pre-shredded cheese in the bags. I know, I know. They’re super convenient and work for many things but not mac and cheese, especially slow cooker mac and cheese. Mainly because pre-shredded cheese contains a sawdust material on it that helps to preserve the cheese. This coating will not yield to you the creamiest mac and cheese and it also will produce more gumminess. Remember, we are preventing that!
I recommend that you buy the blocks of cheese for the very best results. You can grate the block with a hand grater or with a food processor if you have one. Blocks of cheese do not have that coating on them so your mac and cheese will be extra creamy, it will blend super well, and taste so much better!
How Spicy Is Green Chile?
Let’s just say that according to the Scoville Heat Units chart, green chile is at the very bottom. Thus, green chile is a more mild type of chile in taste and not overwhelmingly spicy (like the Carolina/ghost peppers) whatsoever. Also, the green chile in this slow cooker mac and cheese is diced very finely. So, the little bits of chile add a nice contrast in flavor and subtle heat which compliments this dish beautifully.
It’s worth mentioning that I did not roast my green chile beforehand, rather, I added them into the mix as they are. However, you can surely roast the chile in the oven prior to adding them into the slow cooker. In fact, roasting the chile will add even more flavor and depth! If you prefer to roast the chile:
- Preheat the broiler and line a large baking sheet with foil.
- Place chile on baking sheet and broil on both sides for 3-5 minutes.
- Peel the charred skin off the green chile and chop.
I sure do hope y’all enjoy this slow cooker mac and cheese recipe! Make it alongside weeknight dinners, weekend lunch or dinners, or for an event. It’s sure to be a favorite that everyone will enjoy.
Thank you to New Mexico Department of Agriculture for sponsoring this post!
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UNTIL NEXT TIME…LOVE AND BUTTER,
This slow cooker mac and cheese with green chile is so good and loaded with flavor! Featuring extra creamy mac and cheese that is well seasoned and infused with a subtle heat from tasty green chile!
- 1 lb cavatappi pasta, or elbow/other short cut pasta
- 1 (8 ounce) brick extra sharp cheddar cheese, shredded, yields 2 cups
- 1 (8 ounce) brick Monterey Jack cheese, shredded, yields 2 cups
- 2 1/2 cups whole milk
- 12 ounce canned evaporated milk
- 1/4 cup (4 tablespoons) unsalted butter, cubed
- 2 medium-sized New Mexico Green Chile peppers, finely diced
- 2 teaspoons kosher salt
- freshly cracked black pepper
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1/2 teaspoon ground mustard
- On the stovetop, cook pasta according to package directions, but cook for 3 minutes less than al dente as pasta will finish cooking in the slow cooker.
- In a 5-quart or larger slow clooker/crock pot; add in semi-cooked pasta, cheeses, whole milk, evaporated milk, cubed butter, green chile, and sprinkle in all seasonings.
- Place slow cooker on high setting and allow mixture to cook for 1 hour. Be sure to stir mixture together every 30 minutes or so for even cooking.
- All cheese and milks should be melted, well combined, and creamy. Serve warm in bowls and garnish with additional fresh black pepper, if desired, and enjoy!
- Once mac and cheese is done cooking, you can place slow cooker to the “warm” setting to keep mixture nice and warm if serving for events/get togethers.
Keywords: slow cooker, crock pot, mac and cheese, sides