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This homemade crockpot mac and cheese comes together beautifully in your slow cooker. This is no ordinary crockpot mac and cheese recipe because it’s got an extra creamy texture and is full of flavor thanks to an amazing combo of milk, seasonings, tender macaroni noodles, plus sharp cheddar cheese.
Our super special creamy slow cooker mac and cheese recipe wins the hearts (and stomachs) of everyone who tries it – the secret is in the cheese sauce! Yummy alternatives to this crockpot recipe are our baked mac and cheese recipe as well as this easy chili mac and cheese.
CROCKPOT MAC AND CHEESE INGREDIENTS
You will need:
- 1 (16-ounce) box elbow macaroni noodles
- 4 cups whole milk
- 1 (8-ounce) block extra-sharp white cheddar cheese, shredded
- 1 (8-ounce) block extra-sharp yellow cheddar cheese, shredded
- 1 (8-ounce) block Velveeta cheese, cut into 1inch cubes
- 1½ teaspoons sea salt (optional)
- 1 teaspoon ground mustard
- ½ teaspoon white pepper
Be sure to buy blocks of cheese and shred yourself. Pre-shredded cheese has a coating on it which can impact how it melts and therefore affect the texture of your finished mac and cheese.
SUBSTITUTIONS AND ADDITIONS
TOMATOES: You could add a can of diced tomatoes. Just drain and add to the cooked macaroni near the end of the cooking time.
TOPPINGS: Bacon always makes things better and mac and cheese is a classic example of a dish that needs bacon. Sprinkle bacon bits on top of your finished mac and cheese. Bread crumbs are also a great topping for mac and cheese. It gives it a delicious crunch, especially if you use panko bread crumbs.
VEGGIES: If you want to sneak in some hidden veggies, broccoli and cauliflower will go pretty much undetected by your children. When they’re smothered in cheese, who can tell the difference? If you can get away with visible veggies, peas, corn, and bell peppers add a nice bit of crunch to this soft pasta dish.
PROTEIN: Serve your quick crockpot mac and cheese with ham, chicken or beef for some protein.
SPICE: If you like something that’s a little bit spicy, buffalo chicken and chili make a great contrast to the creamy cheese.
SEAFOOD: My top-rated way to dish up mac and cheese has to be what I like to call, “Adult Mac n Cheese”. This is easy macaroni and cheese is loaded with crab or lobster with extra cheese on top.
HOW TO MAKE THIS CROCKPOT MAC AND CHEESE RECIPE
STEP ONE: In the insert of your crockpot sprayed with cooking spray, place the milk and the uncooked pasta. Stir well to make sure that the noodles are not sticking together.
STEP TWO: Set your crockpot to high heat and your timer to 2 hours (if you have a digital style). Allow the macaroni noodles to cook for 30 minutes. Stir well, then add all the cheeses and spices. Stir again to combine and return the lid to your slow cooker.
Every slow cooker is different so keep an eye on it and adjust your cook time slightly if you find it looks ready a bit early or takes a bit longer. The pasta will become mushy if it is cooked too long.
STEP THREE: Cook for the remaining 1 hour and 30 minutes. Make sure you stir your mac and cheese every 30 minutes until it is cooked through and all the cheese has melted and is smooth.
Stirring is very important to ensure the sauce is evenly distributed and coats all of the pasta.
HOW TO SERVE
This easy recipe is a great option for serving a crowd. Crockpot macaroni and cheese is one of the easiest things to make in big portions and keep it warm in the slow cooker — that makes it a perfect main dish or side dish for a lot of guests. Make sure you check out our crockpot chili as well.
You could even do a buffet-style crockpot mac and cheese. Make a plain batch and let everyone load their bowl with their choice of toppings. Serve with a caesar salad and cheese biscuits, beer bread or cornbread on the side. We’d recommended an easy blueberry cobbler for dessert.
IN THE FRIDGE: This creamy macaroni and cheese will keep in the fridge for 3 to 4 days in an airtight container. You may find the texture of the creamy sauce changes slightly but as long as you don’t mind, add a splash of milk and reheat.
IN THE FREEZER: We don’t recommend freezing this easy crockpot mac and cheese as it will affect the texture of the dish.
This superfast crockpot mac n cheese is easy to make, and using a slow cooker takes it from bland and boring to extra-creamy and mouthwatering. If you’re looking for a new meal idea in your crockpot, you’ll want to try this great dish for sure. You’ll never buy boxed mac and cheese again!
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
You can double this homemade macaroni recipe as long as all of the ingredients will fit in your slow cooker.
Can I use low-fat milk in this creamy recipe?
For best results, we’d recommend sticking with the whole milk that the recipe calls for if you can. It makes for a much creamier mac and cheese.
If you are using pre-shredded cheese, it comes coated with an anti-caking agent. It is best for this recipe to shred your own cheese.
Mushy pasta is the result of overcooking the pasta. Too long in the slow cooker will result in mushy pasta. It also needs to be stirred periodically to ensure the sauce is distributed evenly.
MORE RECIPES YOU’LL LOVE
Crockpot Mac and Cheese
- 16 ounces elbow macaroni
- 4 cups whole milk
- 8 ounces yellow cheddar cheese extra-sharp, shredded by hand
- 8 ounces white cheddar cheese extra-sharp, shredded by hand
- 8 ounces Velveeta cheese cut into 1-inch cubes
- 1 ½ teaspoon sea salt optional
- ½ teaspoon white pepper
- In the insert of your crockpot, place the milk and the elbow macaroni noodles. Stir well to make sure that the noodles are not sticking together.
- Set your crockpot to high heat and your timer to 2 hours (if you have a digital style). Allow the macaroni noodles to cook for 30 minutes. Stir well, then add all the cheeses and spices. Stir again to combine and return the lid to your slow-cooker.
- Cook for the remaining 1 hour and 30 minutes. Make sure you stir your mac and cheese every 30 minutes until it is cooked through and all the cheese has melted and is smooth.