*PS – Ranch Macaroni Cheese – Slow Cooker

Practice Supper:  Slow Cooker Ranch Macaroni & Cheese

ranch mac n cheese

For those evenings we talked about —‘practice’ nights: sports, play, First Holy Communion, or nice weather and we just want to get outdoors……THIS is the dinner for THAT kind of night.


  • Makes: 8 servings
  • Serving Size: 1 cup
  • Yields: 8 cups
  • Prep: 15 mins
  • Cook: 2 hrs 5 mins



We had this last night- the kids inhaled it. I think it needs ‘something’ but I can’t quite figure out what it is – my immediate thought is that American cheese is not the ingredient to use (big surprise, huh?) – maybe a sharp shredded cheese combo. The ‘kick’ would be better if it came from something other than the hot sauce right now my thought is that for a single recipe, 2 teaspoons of hot sauce would do the trick — the powdered ranch dressing is not cutting it either — i am going to work on this because the kids really liked it, and i think it could be elevated quite easily.

  • (1) 14 1/2 ounce package dried multigrain rotini pasta
  • (1) cup purchased shredded carrot and/or thinly sliced celery
  • 1 or 2 teaspoons cayenne pepper sauce (Frank’s Red Hot) (OPTIONAL……This makes things a little spicy – you know your family – you decide)
  • (1) 1 ounce envelope ranch dry salad dressing mix mixed with sour cream –  (Maybe a little sour cream at the end as well if a creamier texture is desired)
  • 16 ounces shredded sharp cheddar or a family favorite
  •  sour cream 


  1. In a 3 1/2- to 4-quart slow cooker combine the first four ingredients (through dressing mix). Add 4 cups water; stir to combine.
  2. Cover and cook on high for 2 hours (pasta should absorb all the liquid by this time). Add cheese (do not stir). Cover and cook 30 minutes more. Stir gently to combine. If desired, add milk to reach desired creaminess.

I am cooking this for dinner tonight.  The hot sauce is there in the first photo – the recipe is doubled and I halved the hot sauce so it will not be overwhelming.


  • (1) 14 1/2 ounce package dried multigrain (OR REGULAR) rotini pasta
  • (1/2) cup purchased shredded carrot 
  • 1 or 2 teaspoons cayenne pepper sauce (Frank’s Red Hot) (OPTIONAL……This makes things a little spicy – you know your family – you decide)
  • 16 ounces shredded sharp cheese mixture (or one of your favorites)
  • 1 envelope ranch salad dressing powder
  • sour cream
  •  Milk (optional)

From the Test Kitchen


Prepare as directed, except stir in 3 cups cooked chopped chicken with the cheese.




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