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
4.98 from 2950 votes↑ Click stars to rate now!
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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
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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.
4.98 from 2950 votes

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

 

Extra Creamy Mac & Cheese with writing
A Serving dish of Crock Pot Mac & Cheese with text
Crock Pot Mac & Cheese in a slow cooker with text
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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Holly Nilsson is the creator of Spend With Pennies, where she creates easy, comforting recipes made for real life. With a passion for nostalgic flavors and simplified techniques, Holly helps busy home cooks create delicious meals that always work. She is also the author of “Everyday Comfort,” which promises to inspire even more hearty, home-cooked meals.
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Comments

  1. Soooo good! Creamy and cheesy. There was none left! I made mine in the oven so the edges got a little browned as my family likes.5 stars

  2. Great flavor, but there was so much fat pooling in the crockpot! Honestly about a cup of it in a double batch. Too much. But I think I’ll try again with cream of chicken. I liked the savory element it added.4 stars

  3. Best Mac & cheese ever! Every bite was gone and everyone asked for the recipe! I can’t wait to make it again :)5 stars

  4. I made this as a 4th of July side dish and a table full of 11 year olds said that this mac & cheese is bussin’ and I don’t think I’ve ever been more proud. Delicious. It’s day 2 and I’ve added some smoked sausage to it. There’s time for veggies tomorrow.5 stars

  5. I 5x the recipe and it fit just right in a 10qt crockpot. Cooked on low for 3 hours and it came out perfectly creamy! Everyone loved the mac!!5 stars

  6. Okay… so can this possibly be combined and turned on in a crockpot before I leave for work and ready when I get home? I have a “warm” function on mine, hoping I can use this and let it run for the whole day.

    1. Hi Johnny, we recommend keeping the pasta and sauce separate and combining them just before cooking. This will keep the pasta from soaking in the sauce and getting mushy. Other readers have made it and left the crockpot on warm until ready to serve with great results. I would love to hear how it turns out for you!

  7. This has become my go-to mac and cheese recipe! Everyone loves it including my 1 year old! I make it vegetarian with a can of cheese soup and bake it in the oven. No other changes to this perfect recipe! Thank you for this!5 stars

  8. Trust the recipe and the reviews, this is easy and delicious! I have made many from scratch Mac N Cheese casseroles, and this one wins for simplicity with great flavor. I did something I rarely do, I followed the recipe to a T with the exception of cook and stir times. My crock pot runs hot, and I made a double batch, so I cooked on high and kept an eye on it to make sure it didn’t break down and get oily. I stirred at 45 minutes, and again at 45, then turned to low for the last half hour before switching to warm. My only thought for future is I might switch out the Gruyere for a less expensive cheese with a milder flavor. Otherwise, this is going to be a staple for holidays and family get togethers. Love your recipes, thank you!5 stars

  9. I found this recipe and made it today for Mother’s Day… It was so delicious and got so many compliments! Thank you for sharing :)5 stars

  10. I’ve made this and it’s great! I’m having a BBQ soon and I have a guest who is allergic to egg. Is it okay to omit the mayo? Do you have an alternative ingredient to suggest?5 stars

    1. I haven’t tried it without mayonnaise, you could also use a vegan mayo which will be egg free. Hope that helps!

  11. I just wanted you to know that a) every recipe I’ve tried on your website has been great, and b) I’ve tried about 10 different crockpot mac & cheese recipes, and this one is BY FAR the best of them. Thanks so much for sharing!5 stars

    1. You can also find this information in the recipe notes. Enjoy!

      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.