Note: This is a sponsored post. As part of the #RECIPEMAKEOVER event, I received products from Barlean’s to use in the recipes.
When I signed up for #RECIPEMAKEOVER, I got really excited to dive into some of my family’s favorite recipes and try to make them a bit healthier. The first recipe I thought of is my Slow Cooker Mac and Cheese. I love Mac & Cheese, but I don’t make it very often because it packs a big calorie punch. That’s unfortunate because it’s also one of my kids’ favorite meals. So, my goal was to make it healthier, while keeping that creamy Mac & Cheese flavor they love.
To make it healthier, I changed the pasta to whole grain elbow mac and substituted cauliflower for some of the noodles. I thought this would get rejected by my kids, but they barely noticed. Score! I also reduced the amount of cheese, replaced the heavy cream with evaporated milk and used coconut oil instead of vegetable oil. The result was creamy and cheesy and delicious with fewer calories. I hope you enjoy it! Also, check out the links at the end of this post to some of my other blogger friends to see what they’ve come up with.
Slow Cooker Mac & Cheese Recipe
Slow Cooker Mac & Cheese - RecipeMakeover
I made over my favorite Mac & Cheese recipe to make it healthier and I loved the result. I didn't miss those extra calories and neither did my kids.
- 2 cups uncooked whole grain elbow macaroni
- 1 TBL Barlean's butter flavored coconut oil (or regular coconut oil)
- 3 cups shredded cheese I used a Mac and Cheese blend of cheddar, American and Swiss
- 12 ounce can of evaporated milk
- 2 cups chopped cauliflower
- 1.5 cups milk
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 1/3 tsp salt
Spray the slow cooker with cooking spray.
Heat the coconut oil to make it a liquid and then toss it with the dry, uncooked pasta.
In a large bowl, mix together all of the ingredients, leaving out about 1/2 cup of cheese to sprinkle on the top.
Transfer the mixture to the slow cooker and top with the reserved cheese.
Cook on low for 3 hours until the pasta is tender and the sauce is bubbling.
Note: If you like your Mac and Cheese to have more of a custard texture, add an egg to the mixture. I left out the egg because I like mine more creamy. You could also use chopped broccoli instead of the cauliflower or a mixture of both. I threw my cauliflower in the food processor to give it a rough chop to make the pieces roughly the same size as the pasta.
Thank you Barlean’s for letting me try your wonderful products and thank you to the Pintertest Kitchen for putting together this fun event. I have been loving the butter flavored coconut oil. I’ve been using it instead of butter or oil in my recipes and it’s fantastic on popcorn. I also love that it’s organic and non-GMO . If you want more information on it, check out the Barlean’s website.