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Crock Pot Mac and Cheese

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close up shot of Crockpot Mac and Cheese in a crockpot with a large wooden spoon
This is the best creamy crockpot mac and cheese around. It's the ultimate comfort food and sure to become a favorite recipe with the entire family.
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Table of Contents
  1. Crock Pot Mac N Cheese
  2. Mac and Cheese (Crock Pot) Ingredients
  3. How To Make Slow Cooker Mac and Cheese
  4. What to Serve with Crock Pot Mac and Cheese
  5. How Long to Cook Crock Pot Mac and Cheese
  6. Other Recipes You Will Love
  7. JUMP TO RECIPE

This homemade crockpot mac and cheese recipe comes together beautifully in your slow cooker. This is no ordinary crockpot mac and cheese recipe because it’s extra creamy and full of flavor thanks to an amazing combo of milk, seasonings, plus cheddar and parmesan cheese.

Our super special crockpot 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 recipe are our baked mac and cheese recipe as well as this easy chili mac and cheese.

A bowl of food on a plate, with Cheese and Slow cooker

Crock Pot Mac N Cheese

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 for sure.

It’s a great option for serving a crowd. Crockpot mac and cheese is one of the easiest things to make in big portions and keep it warm in the slow cooker — that makes it perfect for a lot of guests. (Make sure you check out my crockpot chili as well.)

Warning: Once you try this you may never want to eat the plain boxed version of mac and cheese again! 🙂

Mac and Cheese (Crock Pot) Ingredients

  • 1 (16-ounce) box of elbow macaroni
  • 4 cups of whole milk
  • 1 (8-ounce) block of extra-sharp yellow cheddar cheese, shredded by hand
  • 8-10 ounce block of extra-sharp white cheddar cheese, shredded by hand
  • ½ cup of grated parmesan
  • 4 ounces of room-temp cream cheese
  • 8 ounces of container sour cream
  • 1½ teaspoons of sea salt
  • ½ teaspoon of white pepper
  • 1 teaspoon of ground mustard

PRO TIP: 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. 

A bowl of rice on a plate, with Cheese and Slow cooker

How To Make Slow Cooker Mac and Cheese

Not only is the flavor of this recipe amazing, but it’s also so easy to make. Perfect for busy days!

  1. To begin, you’ll fill a large pot halfway up with water and bring to a boil.
  2. Once the water has started to boil, pour in a little bit of olive oil and the box of macaroni. Cook the macaroni for 2-3 minutes and then drain.

    Why add olive oil? It helps to keep the pasta from sticking together. It’s such a brilliant cooking hack. You can use it anytime you make pasta.
  3. Next up, add the macaroni to a slow cooker. Then add the milk, shredded cheddar cheeses, parmesan, and seasonings.
  4. Turn the slow cooker on low and cook for 1 hour, stirring occasionally.
  5. Cut the cream cheese into small, one-inch cubes.
  6. Stir in the cream cheese and the sour cream until the cream cheese starts to melt. Look at all that ooey gooey, creamy, cheesy yumminess!
  7. Cook on low for an additional 20-30 minutes until it’s hot and creamy.
  8. Serve it as it comes or with bacon on top.

    My boys liked adding some extra salt and pepper of course. My oldest also loves parmesan cheese and shakes it liberally over the top of his mac and cheese as well.

What to Serve with Crock Pot Mac and Cheese

Crockpot mac and cheese is so versatile. Although we say to serve this recipe with bacon on top, the things you could serve with this delicious crockpot mac and cheese recipe is endless! Plain old macaroni and cheese is very kid-friendly, but what else could you pair with this creamy, cheesy bowl of goodness?

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.

Serve your quick crockpot mac and cheese with ham, chicken or beef for some protein. If you like something that’s a little bit spicy, buffalo chicken and chili make a great contract to the creamy cheese.

My top rated way to dish up mac n cheese has to be what I like to call, “Adult Mac n Cheese”. This is mac n cheese loaded with crab or lobster with extra cheese on top. Talk about simple and tasty homemade meals!

Alternatively, you could make this crockpot mac and cheese recipe with another type of pasta or even noodles for a bit of a twist. And if you don’t have a family of bacon lovers like me, sprinkle the mac and cheese with bread crumbs so you still get a bit of crunch.

A bowl of rice on a plate, with Cheese and Cream

How Long to Cook Crock Pot Mac and Cheese

From start to finish, making your very own crockpot mac and cheese from scratch should take no more than two hours. For the majority of that time, you don’t have to do a thing… Apart from smell the delicious cheesy aroma.

Making this no boil crock pot mac and cheese recipe couldn’t be much easier (or quicker!). Simply boil the macaroni in a pan for just a couple of minutes, then drain. Add the macaroni to the slow cooker with milk… Then add seasonings, plus cheddar and parmesan cheese and give it a good stir.

Go put your feet up and read a book while you let the crockpot mac and cheese do its thing for about an hour. All you’ll have to do is stir it occasionally. Lastly, add the cream cheese cubes and sour cream and let it cook for another 20-30 minutes.

By this point, you’ll hardly be able to wait to taste your homemade crockpot mac n cheese, so dig in. Enjoy the velvety richness.

A plate of food on a table, with Cheese and Cream

It’s so easy to turn a classic mac and cheese into something that the whole family will want to eat time and time again.

You could even do a buffet-style crock pot 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 biscuitsbeer bread or cornbread on the side. (I’d recommended easy blueberry cobbler for dessert.)

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close up shot of Crockpot Mac and Cheese in a crockpot with a large wooden spoon

Slow Cooker Mac and Cheese

5 from 18 votes
This is the best creamy crockpot mac and cheese around. It's the ultimate comfort food and sure to become a favorite recipe with the entire family.
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour 30 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 35 minutes
Servings 6

Ingredients
  

  • 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
  • ½ cup grated parmesan
  • 1 ½ teaspoon sea salt optional
  • ½ teaspoon white pepper
  • 4 ounces cream cheese room-temp
  • 8 ounces sour cream
  • 1 teaspoon ground mustard

Instructions
 

  • To begin, you'll fill a large pot halfway up with water and bring to a boil.
    Once the water has started to boil, pour in a little bit of olive oil and the box of macaroni. Cook the macaroni for 2-3 minutes and then drain.
  • 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.
  • Then add the milk, shredded cheddar cheeses, parmesan, and seasonings.
  • Turn the slow cooker on low and cook for 1 hour, stirring occasionally.
  • Cut the cream cheese into small, one-inch cubes and stir in the cream cheese and the sour cream until the cream cheese starts to melt.
  • Cook on low for an additional 20-30 minutes until it’s hot and creamy.

Video

Notes

TIP: 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. 
TIP: 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.
TIP: Stirring is very important to ensure the sauce is evenly distributed and coats all of the pasta.

Nutrition

Sodium: 1725mg | Calcium: 963mg | Vitamin C: 1mg | Vitamin A: 1392IU | Sugar: 14g | Fiber: 2g | Potassium: 588mg | Cholesterol: 112mg | Calories: 769kcal | Monounsaturated Fat: 9g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Saturated Fat: 22g | Fat: 35g | Protein: 41g | Carbohydrates: 70g | Iron: 2mg
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Proudly Prepared by the Spaceships Kitchen

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  1. JNeen says

    Sounds delicious and I’m planning to make this tomorrow. Can I use heavy cream instead of whole milk? If so, same quantity or how much? Thanks

    • Layne Kangas says

      I haven’t subbed that out! I think it tastes wonderful with the whole milk and the consistency is perfect so I don’t know if I would recommend subbing the heavy cream. Let me know if you try it!

  2. Lindsey says

    I would like to make a double batch, with a box of 32 oz elbow macaroni noodles, and wondered if you would recommend simply doubling the other ingredients as well? Also, cooking time? Thank you!

    • Layne Kangas says

      I’ve never tried doubling this! I would suggest doubling everything. I am not sure how that would impact cooktime. It might be easiest to make each batch in it’s own crockpot just to make it simpler. Enjoy!

    • Shila says

      I have a similar recipe and I double it almost every time I make it because it’s a family favorite! I simply double all the ingredients and I cook for the same amount of time.

  3. Jennifer says

    I will be making this Sunday for my son’s graduation party but would like to add some diced tomatoes – would you suggest draining before putting them in – and at what point in the cooking process? Thanks in advance 🙂

  4. Liz says

    I’m planning to make this for a group of 115 people. How big are you calculating the serving size at? It’s being served as a side so I want to make sure I’m making only enough for about 1/2 cup serving per person. Thanks.

    • Layne Kangas says

      The recipe is to make eight one-cup servings. So, using that for our basis, this recipe would make 16 1/2-cup servings. To make 115 of the 1/2 cup servings, you’d need to make this recipe 7-8 times over. Enjoy! 🙂 (Please also note, that we updated our recipe today, so be sure to print this new recipe card out!)

  5. Carrie says

    5 stars
    Was this recipe recently changed? I made it often and it had cream cheese and sour cream in it (no velvets).

  6. Sally says

    I want to make this for a big dinner. I don’t have enough crockpots. What do you suggest for baking in oven time and temperature?

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