This Crock Pot Mac and Cheese is a family favorite! Elbow macaroni noodles are slow cooked in a rich cheesy sauce.

It is great as a holiday side and a favorite for Sunday supper. This easy mac and cheese recipe needs just minutes of prep and comes out of the slow cooker perfect every time!

Crock Pot Mac and Cheese being served from a crockpot

Why This is The best Crock Pot Mac & Cheese Ever.

Homemade mac and cheese is my personal favorite food and I can assure you that this is the best crock pot macaroni and cheese I’ve ever had!

  • Unusual ingredients, amazing flavor. The recipe (and the reviews) speak for themselves.
  • It has a perfect consistency every time (and the pasta is not mushy).
  • This recipe takes only about 10 minutes of prep and the slow cooker does the rest.
  • This recipe can be doubled for a crowd (and left on warm for serving).
  • Everyone loves this recipe when I make it.

Crock Pot Mac and Cheese Ingredients

Why This Recipe Works

1. Precooked Pasta

Precooking the pasta ensures it is perfect every time. I’ve tested countless “no boil mac and cheese recipes” (using uncooked pasta). Depending on the brand, the pasta can become mushy or gummy in texture and I find it to be inconsistent.

Boiling the macaroni about 2 minutes less than indicated on your package (so it’s quite firm) keeps it from getting mushy.

2. Sauce Ingredients

I prefer crock pot macaroni without evaporated milk or Velveeta cheese. While some of the ingredients in this recipe may seem odd, they really make a great cheesy sauce!

A traditional cream sauce or cheese sauce doesn’t hold up well in the slow cooker, as dairy can curdle and/or separate in the crock pot.

The addition of mayonnaise sounds odd and even if you don’t love mayonnaise, it works (as you can see by the reviews on this recipe below). Regular or light mayonnaise (or dressing) will work.

Pasta in a strainer with shredded cheese on the side

Crock Pot Mac and Cheese is perfect for camping or potlucks, basically, anywhere you don’t have an oven.

It’s also a great way to save oven space for Thanksgiving dinner (including turkey and stuffing!) and cook this on the side.

How to Make Crock Pot Mac and Cheese

This slow cooker macaroni and cheese takes less than 10 minutes to get into the Crock Pot and then it’s ready to go!

  1. Boil pasta for about 2 minutes less than the package indicates.
  2. While pasta is boiling, shred the sharp cheddar cheese.
  3. Put all of the ingredients into the slow cooker and cook per the recipe below.

Crock Pot Mac and Cheese ingredients in a crockpot

Tips for Perfection

  • Pasta – Do not overcook the pasta, it should be very firm after boiling. Rinsing the pasta stops it from cooking.
  • Cheese – Shred the cheese from a block, pre-shredded cheeses do not work as well.
  • Cooking time – Check the pasta early, slow cookers can vary.
  • Double the recipe – A single batch of this slow-cooker mac is cooked in a 4qt slow cooker. To double this recipe, cook in a 6QT crockpot.  Cook on high for 2 1/2 hours, stirring after 1 hour and 2 hours.  (When stirring, try to do it as quickly as possible to keep the heat inside).
  • Make ahead –  To prepare this ahead of time, mix all of the ingredients except the pasta. The pasta can be cooked ahead, rinsed, and cooled. Combine the pasta and sauce ingredients in the crock pot just before cooking.
  • Baking in the oven –  If you prefer or if you are short on time, you can bake this in the oven (and I have many many times!) Preheat the oven to 350°F. Bake 30 minutes covered and 30 minutes uncovered.

Note:  Slow cookers can vary!  You may have to slightly adjust the time for your slow cooker.  If your Crock Pot Mac and Cheese is done early, you can turn your slow cooker onto warm.

cooked Crock Pot Mac and Cheese

More Crock Pot Holiday Sides

Crock Pot Mac and Cheese being served from a crockpot
4.96 from 1189 votes↑ Click stars to rate now!
Or to leave a comment, click here!

Crock Pot Mac and Cheese

Crock Pot Mac and Cheese is one of our favorite comfort food dishes! The whole family will love this creamy & cheesy dish.
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 2 hours
Total Time 2 hours 15 minutes
Servings 8 servings

Ingredients  

  • 2 cups uncooked elbow macaroni
  • 10 ½ ounces condensed cream of chicken soup
  • 3 cups cheddar cheese shredded
  • 1 cup gruyere cheese shredded
  • ½ cup mayonnaise
  • ½ cup sour cream regular or light
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • ½ teaspoon dry mustard powder
  • ½ teaspoon pepper

Instructions 

  • Boil macaroni noodles according to directions to make them very al dente. (I cook them for at least 1-2 minutes less than directed on the bag. Mine boiled for 5 minutes). Drain and rinse under cold water.
  • Combine all ingredients in a 4qt slow cooker and cook on high for 2 hours or low for 3 hours, stirring once or twice.
  • Serve hot.

Video

Notes

  • Pasta - Do not overcook the pasta, it should be very firm after boiling. Rinsing the pasta stops it from cooking.
  • Cheese - Shred the cheese from a block, pre-shredded cheeses do not work as well. If you do not have gruyere cheese, you can use an additional cup of cheddar instead (4 cups in total).
  • Cooking time - Check the pasta early, slow cookers can vary.
  • Double the recipe - To double this recipe, use a 6QT crockpot.  Cook on high for 2 ½ hours, stirring after 1 hour and 2 hours.  (When stirring, try to do it as quickly as possible to keep the heat inside).
  • Make ahead -  To prepare this ahead of time, mix all of the ingredients except the pasta. The pasta can be cooked ahead, rinsed, and cooled. Combine the pasta and sauce ingredients in the crockpot just before cooking. 
  • Baking in the oven -  If you prefer or if you are short on time, you can bake this in the oven (and I have many many times!) Preheat the oven to 350°F. Bake 30 minutes covered and 30 minutes uncovered.
4.96 from 1189 votes↑ Click stars to rate now!
Or to leave a comment, click here!

Nutrition Information

Calories: 464 | Carbohydrates: 31g | Protein: 27g | Fat: 47g | Saturated Fat: 21g | Cholesterol: 105mg | Sodium: 917mg | Potassium: 203mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 1000IU | Vitamin C: 0.2mg | Calcium: 665mg | Iron: 1.5mg

Nutrition information provided is an estimate and will vary based on cooking methods and brands of ingredients used.

Course Casserole, Main Course, Pasta, Side Dish
Cuisine American

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A serving dish of Crock Pot Mac & Cheese with text
Top Image - A dish of Crock Pot Mac & Cheese. Bottom image - Crock Pot Mac & Cheese ingredients with text

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About the author

Holly is a wine and cheese lover, recipe creator, shopping enthusiast and self appointed foodie. Her greatest passion is creating in the kitchen and making deliciously comforting recipes for the everyday home cook!
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Comments

  1. This was a huge hit at the school potluck. One mom was even mad that her husband raved about it because he asked her to make it! Super easy and very tasty!5 stars

  2. Is there another ingredient that you could use as a substitute for the mayonnaise? Would milk be a viable option and if so, how much would you use?

    1. You could try additional soup but I can’t say for sure how this will change the texture/flavor. We have only made this as written. Let us know how it goes!

  3. This was FANTASTIC!!! The only thing I changed was using cheese soup instead of chicken. Everyone at the party couldn’t get enough :)5 stars

  4. Hi there, this looks delicious! Is there a good substitute for Gruyère? My small-town grocery store only Carrie’s the basic cheeses. I think Münster is the most fancy they have. Thanks!

  5. I have to start by saying I am not known for my cooking. I tried doing a baked macaroni and cheese last Thanksgiving and it was a disaster. I wanted to try on more time before resigning myself to a life time of Kraft macaroni and cheese. I was originally looking at the crockpot mac that you didn’t have to cook the noodles but it didn’t get great reviews. I settled on this one even though the ingredients seemed a little odd to me. I have to say it turned out wonderful and my oldest son said I had redeemed myself from last year’s disaster. I used sharp cheddar cheese and Monterey jack cheese and used light mayo and light sour cream and 98% fat free cream of chicken soup. It. was a hit and I’ll definitely try again.

  6. I tried this recipe because it had a 5 star review but GROSS! I cook a LOT and have my own blog. I was looking for a crockpot mac and cheese recipe since I was short an oven this year. I was leery of the mayo and rightfully so- it literally tastes like mayo and all 7 of our kids HATED it.2 stars

    1. Hi Sara, I’m so sorry you didn’t love this recipe as much as we do! We find the mayo undetectable in flavor, but just adds creaminess to the mac and cheese. Thank you for trying it.

  7. I was a little skeptical when I saw “mayonnaise” in the mix, but holy cow this is excellent. Very easy to modify to taste, as well. I added a little cayenne pepper for heat and a stick of butter for depth. It’s a top 3 best Mac & Cheese of all time. Thanks for the recipe!5 stars

    1. To double this recipe, use a 6QT crockpot. Cook on high for 2 ½ hours, stirring after 1 hour and 2 hours. Enjoy Nicole!

  8. Can this be topped with a layer of cheese to add a little “crust”? If so, should I add it right at the beginning of the cooking process?

    1. I haven’t tried it but it should work just fine. As the mac and cheese needs to be stirred, I would suggest adding it after stirring.

  9. First, I enjoy your recipes! And this question may be too late; however is there substitution can use for the sour cream?

    1. I’ve only tried this as written however you could try Greek yogurt or plain yogurt. I’m so glad you’re enjoying the recipes Shirley!

  10. Made a double recipe and 12 people ate it all! The only change made was I used “smoked” Gruyère. Cooking in the Crock Pot was perfect for our Thanksgiving lunch.5 stars