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Best Crockpot Mac & Cheese

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overhead shot of Best Crockpot Mac & Cheese in a crockpot
This is the best creamy crockpot mac and cheese around, making it the ultimate comfort food, and it's sure to become a favorite recipe with the entire family.
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Table of Contents
  1. Crockpot Mac N Cheese
  2. Crockpot Mac N Cheese Ingredients
  3. How To Make This Crockpot Mac and Cheese Recipe
  4. How Long To Cook Crockpot Mac & Cheese
  5. What To Serve With Crock Pot Mac and Cheese
  6. BEST CROCK POT MAC AND CHEESE FAQ
  7. Other Favorites You'll Love
  8. 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.

overhead shot of Best Crockpot Mac & Cheese in a crockpot

Crockpot 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! 🙂

Crockpot Mac N Cheese Ingredients

Best Crockpot Mac & Cheese raw ingredients that are labeled
  • 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 cheese
  • 4 ounces of cream cheese, room temperature
  • 8 ounces container of 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 them yourself. Pre-shredded cheese has a coating on it which can impact how it melts and therefore can affect the texture of your finished mac and cheese. 

How To Make This Crockpot Mac and Cheese Recipe

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 it 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.

How Long To Cook Crockpot Mac & 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 smelling 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.

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 are 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 contrast 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.

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.

overhead shot of Best Crockpot Mac & Cheese in a bowl

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 recommend easy blueberry cobbler for dessert.)

BEST CROCK POT MAC AND CHEESE FAQ

How to avoid grainy Mac and Cheese

First, be sure to use good-quality cheese. A sharp cheddar will give the best flavor, but you can also use a combination of cheeses if you prefer.

Next, grate the cheese yourself rather than using pre-shredded cheese. Shredded cheese often has additives that can prevent it from melting properly.

Finally, be careful not to overheat the cheese. If it gets too hot, it will separate and become grainy.

Can you put uncooked pasta in a slow cooker?

It is perfectly fine to put dry pasta in the slow cooker. It will cook and soften up while the slow cooker is heating the rest of the ingredients.

Can I double the recipe? Will the cooking time change?

Doubling a slow cooker recipe can impact the cooking time. The best approach if you would like to double your slow cooker recipe is to use a second slow cooker so that you don’t have to try to adjust the cooking time.

Can I substitute white cheese?

If you would like to use all-white cheese in this mac and cheese recipe, it will be just as gooey, cheesy, and delicious.

Why is my mac and cheese mushy?

Overcooking the mac and cheese in the crockpot can result in mushy pasta. Make sure to stick to the recommended cooking time.

Can I make Crockpot Mac and Cheese ahead of time?

While you can make this mac and cheese ahead of time, we don’t recommend having it ready more than a few hours ahead of time, or it may lose its creamy texture.

Other Favorites You’ll Love

overhead shot of Best Crockpot Mac & Cheese in a crockpot

Crockpot Mac and Cheese

5 from 20 votes
This is the best creamy crockpot mac and cheese around, making it the ultimate comfort food, and it's 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
  • teaspoons sea salt, optional
  • ½ teaspoon white pepper
  • 4 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
  • 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 to 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 to 30 minutes until it’s hot and creamy.

Video

Notes

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

Nutrition

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

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  1. Soni says

    5 stars
    Made this yesterday and it was delicious.I didn’t have any dry mustard so stirred through some hot English mustard.thank you for sharing .