pasta · Sides · slow cooker

Easy Cheesy Spirals

I sure hope you’ve done all of your grocery shopping by now.

My first job was at a grocery store and if you had to work the day before Thanksgiving, you were in for a CRAZY day. I’ve never seen so many people packed down the grocery store aisles than I did on the Wednesday before Thanksgiving.

If you’re braving the crowds today, I highly recommend adding this recipe to your shopping list. You’ll need to pick up a few more obscure items, so they will probably have them in stock.

My family was never one to make Mac & Cheese for Thanksgiving, but in my older years I’ve had it more and more at Thanksgiving potlucks and parties. I think it’s a typical Southern staple for the big day, and I can see why: it’s so good.

This recipe comes from my business manager, Greg. He would make this for our station potlucks and win best dish almost every single year. It’s got a LOT of cheese.

You don’t understand.

It’s got A LOT OF CHEESE. 7 cups total PLUS an entire container of Parmesan cheese.

This is not a side dish to load up on. It’s incredibly rich and extremely cheesy, so you’ll need to take it slow.

There are a few head-scratching moments in this recipe (uncooked pasta in the slow cooker?} but just go with it, because it all works out in the end.


Easy Cheesy Spirals

  • Servings: 10-12
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Print

An extremely cheesy pasta recipe that's made entirely in the slow cooker, perfect for holiday gatherings.


  • 16 oz. cellentani (spiral) pasta
  • 16 oz. container Ragu double cheddar sauce
  • 1 quart heavy cream
  • 4 TBS. butter
  • 4 cups smoked cheddar cheese, shredded
  • 3 cups extra sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
  • 8 oz. container whipped cream cheese
  • 8 oz. Parmesan cheese, grated
  • 1 TBS. smoky paprika
  • 1 tsp. black pepper
  • 2 TBS. prepared pesto
  • Directions

    1. In a large mixing bowl, combine the cheddar pasta sauce, cream cheese, heavy whipping cream, 2 teaspoons paprika, black pepper, pesto and mix well. Sample this mixture and add more pepper and parika to taste.
    2. Mix in sharp cheddar cheese and 2 cups of the smoked cheddar cheese, parmesan and pasta and mix well.
    3. Pour into slow cooker (lined with a crockpot liner is best) and cut butter into 4 squares, placing it on top.
    4. Cover and cook on low for 3 hours, stirring occasionally. At the 2 hour mark, check to see if the pasta is cooking.
    5. Once pasta is at desired texture (anywhere from 3-4 hours of cooking), pour final 2 cups of smoked cheddar cheese on top and sprinkle with smoky paprika. Place lid back on and allow cheese to melt, about 5-10 minutes, then serve.

    3 thoughts on “Easy Cheesy Spirals

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