Slow cooker broccoli mac and cheese
At last, slow cooker broccoli mac and cheese that I have been waiting to make for a while now. This recipe is genius if I say so myself. A healthy new technique on how to cook broccoli and added to recipes.
Finally a couple of days ago I got around to trying the slow cooker mac and cheese I have been wanting to try for a while. It was all an experiment that I wished it did turn out a winner recipe… and so it did!
My husband raved about this recipe so many times that I don’t know if he was being nice or really the recipe was that good. He said it was a fantastic tasty recipe and he loved the fact that the broccoli was minced since it was much easier to eat that way. Perfect for the kids too!
I was surprised at how fast the recipe cooked on the slow cooker. I placed the slow cooker on high for 2 hours and that is all it took. After cooking the mac and cheese for two hours, the broccoli followed. To cook the broccoli only took another 20 minutes so all in all about 2 1/2 hours. I am sure you could cook this slow cooker broccoli mac and cheese recipe on low for 4 hours if you need it more time. Then the broccoli will also need another 30 minutes or so.
I used a couple of my favorite cheeses for my slow cooker broccoli mac and cheese but you can use combination of your choice.
I have many other recipes on my to do list for recipe development I want to try. I hope they all turn out as good as this one. Today I am attempting a gluten free lemon poke cake so lets see how that goes.
I am going to be developing other recipes using this broccoli minced method but for now I leave you with this simple recipe I hope you like.
Slow cooker broccoli mac and cheese
Miryam's original recipe
Yield: 8 servings
Total Time: 2 1/2 hours
- 12 oz fresh broccoli
- 13-16 oz extra-sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
- 4 oz gorgonzola cheese
- 4 cups organic milk
- 19 oz whole wheat elbow macaroni ( 1 1/2 containers)
- 1/2 tsp celtic salt
- 1/2 tsp arrowroot powder, or cornstarch
Place all the ingredients in the slow cooker, except the broccoli and arrowroot powder, mix through and set the slow cooker on high for 2 hours. Alternatively you can place the slow cooker on low for 4 hours. (I stirred the mixture two times while cooking)
Place the broccoli on a food processor and pulse until minced, about 20 seconds. Set aside.
Add the broccoli and arrowroot powder in the slow cooker, stir and cook for an additional 20 minutes on high. Serve immediately with some extra gorgonzola cheese.
NOTE: I did stir the mac and cheese a couple of times while cooking. I don't know if this is necessary but I wanted all the elbow macaroni to get coated with the milk and cheese. You can also use any other cheese mixture of your choice.
Some people have complained that they needed less time to cook the past because theirs become to soft with 2 hours. Watch the pasta and see how it is doing after 1 hour on high and 2 hours on low!!
What a great idea of using slow cooker to make mac and cheese! And it turned out so delicious!
I have a couple of questions; can an alternative milk be used as almond milk? Also, what’s your take on using brown rice pasta vs whole wheat pasta?
Thanks for recipe, I’ve been looking for a mac n cheese that involves fresh broccoli. Pined it (:
Yes I think you could use almond milk. I have used brown rice pasta before and love it. I just haven’t found brown rice pasta elbow macaroni at a decent price and since we are not gluten free I used whole wheat pasta sometimes. Thanks for pinning my recipe!
I never thought of making mac and cheese in a slow cooker… Normally I am just making chili in mine! Thanks for the awesome recipe, can’t wait to try it!
Wow, Miryam, I’ve never seen a mac and cheese recipe done in a slow cooker before- Way to ‘hide’ the broccoli in there, this looks so good! :)
Pinned to try. I am not a fan of gorgonzola–I am going to try feta!!
This looks amazing! I’m so glad you posted this so we can enjoy soon. Saving and sharing! oxox
I like Mac & Cheese anything. The Crockpot part is just a bonus. Great recipe.
I don’t make enough recipes in my slow cooker, but I need to start. This macaroni and cheese would be a hit in my house. Usually, we do family dinner on Wednesday and my cousin and her baby come over. This would be a great way to treat them!
Wow friend, this recipe looks so tasty. I have to agree with your husband I really love the fact that the broccoli was minced since it was much easier to eat that way. I have a slow cooker, but I’ve never made mac cheese in there. Have to try ;-)
What a brilliant way to cook Mac and cheese, Miryam! Looks very scrumptious and healthy :)
I had no idea you could make mac and cheese in the slow cooker! Very cool. And YES using the food processor to mince the broccoli is pure genius.
YUM!!! I love mac and cheese!
wow! thanks! i saw this in the afternoon and made it right away! it’s lovely!!!! my one-year-old is tucking in! next time i will put some walnuts or almonds in… what do you think?
thanks for sharing anyway. i will kepp this recipe! :)
daniela from berlin ( germany)
This may be a silly question but do the noodles go in raw? I’m assuming yes since there’s 4 cups of milk. Thank you! Definitely want to try this.
Yes they do. Make sure they are also whole wheat pasta otherwise if you use the regular version the cooking time will be a lot less. I hope you like it.
it smells amazing, however, it has become a mush. there is almost no macaroni shape left. most of the pasta got absorbed into the cheese sauce. I did use whole wheat pasta. I used 13oz extra sharp cheddar, not 16oz. This even happened about an hour and a half into cooking. i cannot figure out what i did wrong. I want to make it again, what can I do next time so this doesn’t happen?
It seems like the pasta got cooked a lot earlier than expected correct? I would perhaps decrease the cooking time. Just keep an eye on it if you can and when you see that the pasta is about to be ready add the broccoli. The broccoli takes very little time to cook since it is so fine so with 10 minutes it should be enough. I hope this helps a little!
Do you add the cornstarch to cook with everything at first or with the broccoli at the end. Description confused me, excited to try this!!
With the broccoli at the end :-) I hope you like it!
Yeahhhh, your directions are incorrect and I had mixed EVERYTHING except the broc., like it said, hopefully it still comes out good. Please fix your directions and state that cornstarch is added with the broccoli at the end. Thanks.
I was excited to try this meal as I’m in the process of cutting back on our meat consumption. I would definitely say you could easily use half of the cheese called for. My husband wouldn’t eat much but my two year old packed it away! It’s definitely a great base recipe and I love the idea of cooking pasta & veggies on the crock pot…it just needs some tweaking and a lot less cheese.
I am sorry it wasn’t of your liking, we like cheese :-) Glad that your 2 yr old ate it at least. I hope you get the recipe how you want it. Thanks for stopping by.
If I were to make this on the stove top what would be your cooking times? And, like another commenter, I don’t much like gorgonzola, so what would you suggest?
You can use any other cheese you like. This recipe is very versatile when it comes to swapping cheese. About the cooking time on a stop top, I don’t know but I would say at least 15-20 minutes.
This recipe looked delicious and easy so I gave it a try! And it didn’t turn out well at all. The noodles were mushy and the taste wasn’t particularly good either. I think any macaroni recipe requires a rue.
I use arrowroot powder, same thing as corn starch that thickens the sauce to create a rue. What type of pasta you used? I might have to do the recipe again but for what I can remember with the time I used for the recipe mine turned out ok. Sorry yours was not good!!
Can you use gluten free pasta?
Yes you can but you have to watch it to make sure it does not become too soft so perhaps it needs less time!!
Delicious dish added for guests in the menu for dinner. Everyone loved this and had a great experience of learning recipes from your blog. Thanks
Turned out great added ham and broccoli