Crock Pot Mac and Cheese

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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!

Crock Pot Mac and Cheese Feature

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!

Overhead view of crock pot mac and cheese ingredients

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.
  • Butter

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!
Mac and Cheese on a wooden spoon

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.

Crockpot Mac and Cheese in a bowl

Serving Suggestions

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!

Crock Pot Mac and Cheese

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 Mac and Cheese Feature
5 from 66 votes

Crockpot Mac and Cheese

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!
Servings: 8 servings
Prep: 5 minutes
Cook: 2 hours
Total: 2 hours 5 minutes


  • 1 pound elbow pasta uncooked
  • 2 1/2 cups whole milk
  • 12 ounces evaporated milk
  • 3 cups sharp cheddar
  • 1 1/2 cups American cheese (cubed)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 4 tablespoons butter cubed


  • 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.

Last Step:

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Calories: 635kcal | Carbohydrates: 52g | Protein: 28g | Fat: 35g | Saturated Fat: 20g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 8g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 105mg | Sodium: 1129mg | Potassium: 441mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 10g | Vitamin A: 1073IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 793mg | Iron: 1mg


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57 comments on “Crock Pot Mac and Cheese”

  1. I’ve seen other recipes that say you need to buy a block and shred your own cheese, does that matter or can you buy already shredded and cubes cheese?

    1. Hi Amy. Fresh grated is always an ideal way if you have it, but you can use already shredded cheese with great results.

    1. Hi Julie. You could pre-cook but I wouldn’t cook them all the way. It will help to shorten the cooking time but you don’t want the noodles mushy.

  2. 5 stars
    Great Mac n cheese. I added a few squirts of spicy brown mustard and used velveeta instead of American and it really elevated the taste but surprisingly not spicy at all! I am not a fan of Mac n cheese (the rest of my family is) and even I liked it!!

    1. Hi Doris. The cooking time will vary depending on the size of your slow cooker, but I would plan on almost doubling the cooking time.

  3. 5 stars
    I follow this recipe and add 1 tbsp dijon mustard and it is so good! I’ve made it about 6 times this holiday season for every event I go to. It’s always a hit

  4. 5 stars
    How do I order the American cheese sliced at the deli counter so that I know it will end up being 1.5 cups cubed? Is it a 1 inch thick slice? Or more? I’ve made this recipe twice, but I used the individual Kraft slices because at the time I didn’t know there was American cheese at the deli counter

    1. Hi Miriam. If you order 8 to 12 ounces of sliced American cheese that will give you the right amount depending on how much you want to add.

  5. I followed all instructions and mine came out grainy/ clumpy. The cheese sauce is not smooth. Is there a way to fix this?! )):

    1. Hi Maddie. Sorry to hear this. Without knowing more details, it sounds like it could be something with the type of cheese or it didn’t cook long enough.

  6. 5 stars
    Could I use a can (or 2?) of camp bells cheddar soup instead of the American cheese? All I have and the grocery is closed!

    1. Hi Carolina. I haven’t tried that before but I would try it. I would use 1 1/2 cups of the soup and keep the rest on hand in case you need to add more. Let me know how it turns out!