Creamy Crockpot Macaroni and Cheese

All recipes slow cooker mac and cheese

Video All recipes slow cooker mac and cheese

This creamy macaroon and cheese starts with raw elbow paste; Do not boil these noodles. Just throw the milk, cheese and seasonings in the slow cooker for a meal everyone will love!

We’ve also made homemade macaroni and cheese macaroni and

baked macaroni and cheese, but the slow cooker is super portable and the dish won’t dry out. This is a great casserole to take to a shared meal or family reunion.

Creamy Crockpot Mac and Cheese

There are many different ways to make macaroni and cheese, but two of them are more popular than others. The first type is macaroni and southern or baked cheese, which includes eggs and is almost like a casserole. The second type is cooked on the stove in a bรฉchamel sauce. There are no eggs and it’s super creamy.

To get that ultra-creamy texture in a clay pot, you have to use condensed cheese soup or Velveeta cheese, neither of which appealed to me.

It is best to use evaporated milk and American cheese, the kind you get from the deli counter. Except for American cheese, using a melted cheese like Monterey Jack or White American will also produce creamy results.


you’re doing


before you’ve never done this before, do a dry run before the holidays! Everyone’s slow cooker acts differently, so it’s important to try this first. Please read the FAQs below as well for best results. Happy Thanksgiving and Merry Christmas!

Frequently Asked Questions

There have been

quite a few questions about this recipe, please check here before asking in the comments, as it may have already been answered. PLEASE READ the notes on the printed recipe.

Can I duplicate this recipe and change the cooking time?

Yes, this recipe can be duplicated as long as you have a large enough slow cooker. The cooking time will not change.

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The recipe says to use raw noodles, however, does it also say rinse the pasta?

Yes, rinse the raw paste simply to remove dust and foreign particles from the manufacturing plant.

Not like yellow cheese, what is a good white substitute?

Monterey Jack works well, as do White American and White Cheddar. A marble cheese should also work. Strong cheddars will give this dish the best flavor, try Vermont white cheddar!

Can I advance this and overheat it?

We do not recommend reheating macaroni and cheese, as they never taste the same and there is a chance that the macaroni will become soft. However, if this is a deal breaker, you can reheat it, just add some milk to loosen the thick sauce while it heats. We recommend doing it and having it ready just before leaving. Turn off the slow cooker but leave the lid on. When it arrives, stir and loosen with milk if necessary.

How many servings does this do?

This serves 6-8 people. One serving size is 2 ounces of dry pasta that expands to about 1.5 cups with sauce when cooked.

Why was my macaroon and cheese sandy?

Prepackaged grated cheese contains an anti-caking agent that can make your final product taste gritty. Buy your cheese at the deli and crush it yourself. We’ve also found that some less expensive cheeses are gritty even when you crush them yourself, but after the macaroni and cheese sits for a while, the grit disappears.

Why was my macaroon and cheese soft?

If it cooks too quickly or too long it will become soft. The biggest culprit is macaroni noodles. We use the Barilla brand and we have also used Creamette. These noodles are thicker and sometimes have ridges. Thinner noodles will cook much faster and become soft.

Another reason could be an older slow cooker that can cook hotter (even over low heat) than a newer clay pot. Leave the lid on for one hour over low heat. DO NOT increase the temperature to High! Stir after an hour and then check after 15 more minutes. Check and stir every 15 minutes after that if necessary. Mine was made is 1 hour and 45 minutes.

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Soft macaroni

and cheese can also be the result of using gluten-free macaroni noodles, as they don’t hold up as well. One of our readers did this successfully with gluten-free pasta. She said hers was done in 90 minutes, but it started to get mushy at 2 o’clock, so it’s important to keep an eye on her!

Can I mix all the ingredients, refrigerate overnight and put in the slow cooker a few hours before serving?

Yes, with the exception of pasta. Wait until you take it out of the fridge and turn on the slow cooker before adding the macaroni.

I’m confused by the cooking time, is it 2 hours or 3?

Actually, it is up to 3 hours. You need to simmer the dish for 1 hour, then stir it and check if it is cooked. After that, check it periodically (every thirty minutes or so) until it’s ready. The actual cooking time depends entirely on the slow cooker you have (similar to ovens, everyone cooks differently), hence the instruction of “up to 3 hours”.

Can I use regular milk instead of evaporated milk?

Do not use regular milk. However, you can create your own evaporated milk. To make 1 cup of evaporated milk, simmer 2 1/4 cups of regular milk until it becomes 1 cup.

Is evaporated milk the same as condensed milk?

Condensed milk is sweetened and the two cannot be used interchangeably.

Ingredients you’ll need for macaroni

and cheese: 1 pound elbow pasta 2 1/2 cups milk (whole is best)1 can (12 oz) evaporated milk 3 cups (12 oz) grated spicy cheddar cheese 1 cup (4 oz) grated American cheese (or Monterrey)1 teaspoon salt 1/2 teaspoon black pepper 1/2 teaspoon

  • dried ground mustard
  • 1/4

  • teaspoon
  • garlic powder

  • Splash of cayenne pepper (to taste
  • )
  • 1/
  • 4
  • cup

  • butter
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Useful kitchen tools in


  • 6-quart slow cooker
  • Food processor with shredder
  • Liquid
  • measuring cup

  • Measuring spoons To

prevent our macaroni and cheese from being bland, we add mustard, garlic and cayenne to ours, in addition to the basic salt and pepper. All of these can be adjusted to your liking.


  • recipes you’ll love: Bought too many elbow macaroni? Try our Chili Mac for dinner, or this easy tuna pasta salad for your next gathering!
  • I love cheese. I love the variety and how it encompasses cultures from Italian beef and Manicotti cheese to Mexican corn in a cup.
  • We’re sure to love our Mac and Cheese around here. If you have an Instant Pot at home, put it to the test with this creamy and delicious Instant Pot Mac and Cheese. You won’t be disappointed!
  • Don’t miss one of the most popular dinner recipes on the blog: cheeseburger pasta and bacon. It’s the perfect weekday dinner, but be careful, once you make it, everyone will order it again and again!
  • This macaroni and cheese casserole with ham in peas is a crowd treat and great for a weekday dinner!
  • Our Crockpot Chicken and Dumplings soup is another big hit when it comes to family favorites.
  • Finally, pair your delicious macaroon and cheese with the best meatloaf ever! Creating a delicious and comforting dinner.
  • If you love using your Crockpot, this Crockpot Roast Beef will definitely be a recipe you’ll want to add to your meal rotation.

This post was originally published on August 21, 2017

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