Made with a mix of cheddar and American cheeses, this Crock Pot Mac and Cheese is uber creamy and super easy to make. Just add all of the ingredients to the slow cooker and cook on low. No need to precook the pasta!
Easy Slow Cooker Mac and Cheese
We’re huge fans of mac and cheese in this house and while I love my baked mac and cheese recipe, there are some nights where I just need something that doesn’t require turning on the oven. Heck, some nights I don’t even want to stand in front of the stove, even if it’s super minimal work like in my stovetop mac and cheese recipe. That’s where this crock pot mac and cheese comes in! Instant Pot Mac and Cheese is another great option.
This is really a mind-blowingly easy recipe because literally all you need to do is add the ingredients to the crock pot and turn it on. No need to preboil the pasta or anything. Just dump, stir, and go. Plus it only takes one hour to cook so if you’re terrible about remembering to turn your crockpot on in the morning – no worries! This slow cooker mac and cheese can be made without any preplanning at all.
The best part about this crock pot mac and cheese is how unbelievable creamy it is. Lots of creamy mac and cheese recipes are made with velveeta which I’m not a huge fan of, or cream soup. This recipe has neither, just some evaporated milk. While American cheese tends to be very smooth and creamy when melted, the sharp cheddar adds loads of flavor. It’s the perfect combination!
What You’ll Need
You’ll need just a handful of ingredients to make this slow cooker macaroni and cheese.
- Elbow pasta – One of the best things about this easy mac and cheese recipe is that the pasta doesn’t need to be cooked beforehand.
- Whole milk – Provides the liquid base to the cheese sauce.
- Evaporated milk – This actually helps to create the creaminess in the sauce, so you can use real cheese and not Velveeta.
- Cheese – I use a combination of sharp cheddar and cubed American cheese for lots of flavor and a cheesy, creamy texture.
- Seasonings – Salt, pepper, and garlic powder are the only spices needed.
Can I Use Other Types of Cheese?
For the ultimate creamy mac and cheese, using American cheese really does make a difference as it melts beautifully and becomes super creamy. However, you can use other melty cheeses if desired, like Monterrey Jack or white American if you’re not a fan of yellow cheese. You can also swap the cheddar for a different flavor. Just note that since different cheese melts differently, the texture can change.
How to Make Crock Pot Mac and Cheese
Ready for the easiest macaroni and cheese recipe you’ll ever find? Here’s how to make your slow cooker mac and cheese.
- Add everything to the slow cooker. Add the uncooked pasta with the evaporated milk, whole milk, cheeses, and seasonings. Combine, making sure all noodles are covered. Add the cubed butter to the top.
- Cook. Cook on low heat for an hour. Give it a stir and cook for 1 more hour.
- Serve. Remove the lid, stir, and allow to sit for a few minutes so the sauce can thicken. Serve and enjoy!
Why Is My Macaroni Mushy?
There are a few things that can result in mushy pasta in this recipe. First, if you cook it for too long or if you are using a thin pasta that cooks too quickly.
Second, if you cook it too quickly. This is one recipe that should always be cooked on low – do not try to increase it to high to speed up the cooking process.
This slow cooker mac and cheese is perfect for holidays, picnics, and potlucks. You can prepare it just before leaving and keep the slow cooker on warm to keep the dish hot.
The kids love this with chicken nuggets or hot dogs for a quick and easy lunch or dinner and you can’t go wrong serving it with meatloaf. And it’s definitely a hit for big holiday dinners – partly because it’s so tasty and partly because it doesn’t take up any oven or stove space!
How to Store Leftovers
Leftovers of this creamy mac and cheese recipe should be kept in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 4 days. You can reheat them in the crockpot or warm up individual portions in the microwave. I sometimes add a splash of milk to prevent the sauce from drying out during reheating.
More Crockpot Recipes:
- Crock Pot Cube Steak with Gravy
- Creamy Crockpot Creamed Corn
- Crock Pot Chicken Alfredo
- Crockpot Bacon Wrapped Smokies
Crockpot Mac and Cheese
- Spray 6-quart slow cooker with non-stick cooking spray.
- Add uncooked pasta to the slow cooker with evaporated milk, whole milk, cheeses, salt, pepper, and garlic . Stir to combine, covering all the noodles.
- Dot with cubed butter.
- Cover and cook on low heat for 1 hour. Remove the lid and stir. Cover again and cook for 1 more hour.
- Sauce will thicken once the lid is removed and it sits for a few minutes.