Three Cheese Jalapeno Bacon Mac and Cheese is the BEST mac and cheese recipe made in the slow cooker with gouda, cheddar bacon and jalapenos!
This mac and cheese recipe totally breaks my “10-Minute” rule for slow cooker recipes. The preparation takes closer to 30 minutes, while cook time is only one hour. You might be asking yourself why I could make mac and cheese in the slow cooker as opposed to baked mac and cheese and that is an excellent question!
The benefit of cooking mac and cheese in a crock pot is that it reduces the chances of it drying out. Instead it stays warm and creamy, especially when you are making it for a pot luck, as I was on this occasion. The difference between a good mac and cheese recipe and a bad one comes down to the cheese sauce.
Too thin and watery and it doesn’t stick to the pasta. Too thick and gloppy and it is just a bad texture. If you don’t have a slow cooker or don’t want to use one, just make it as the recipe dictates, put it into a large casserole dish and bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes.
Watch us make Three Cheese Jalapeno Mac and Cheese!
This recipe for macaroni and cheese has won THREE, yes three, mac and cheese competitions. Even with the additional work, it is my go-to for side dishes when I really want to WOW folks. I have tried to adapt this mac and cheese recipe for the instant pot and haven’t had success yet. You are better off just making it in the slow cooker.
Also, be sure to taste test your bacon and jalapenos prior to adding them to the pot. I made the mistake of not tasting my bacon and for some reason it was way too salty for my taste. Jalapenos can also differ in heat, so make sure it is safe for your crew before you flavor the whole pot! To reduce heat on jalapenos, nix the seeds or use pickled. On the other hand, if it is lacking flavor, either from the bacon or the jalapenos, add some hot sauce, fine sea salt or chili powder to punch it up.
Tools for making Three Cheese Jalapeno Bacon Mac and Cheese:
- Slow Cooker – this is hands down my favorite slow cooker (and I own 4). It cooks evenly, has latches for easy carrying to and from events and even has a dock for a spoon on top and a temperture port to check the internal temperture of meat without lifting the top and letting all of the hat escape.
- Box Grater – I am a huge advocate for shredding your own cheese off the block. Not only is this cheaper, pre-shredded cheese is tossed in a flour blend to prevent it from sticking. That blend can also prevent a good melt and result in a grainy texture. This is one short-cut I don’t use!
Check out even more slow cooker recipes!
- Slow Cooker Beef Stew
- Slow Cooker Cashew Chicken
- Slow Cooker Apple Balsamic Chicken
- Slow Cooker Italian Beef Hoagies
- Slow Cooker Chicken Korma
- Slow Cooker Jambalaya
- Slow Cooker Ragu
- Slow Cooker Orange Chicken
- Slow Cooker Cilantro Lime Tacos
- Slow Cooker Balsamic Chicken Pasta
- Slow Cooker Pineapple Pulled Pork
- Slow Cooker Beef and Broccoli
- Slow Cooker Cowboy Chicken