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!
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.
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.
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!
- Boil pasta for about 2 minutes less than the package indicates.
- While pasta is boiling, shred the sharp cheddar cheese.
- Put all of the ingredients into the slow cooker and cook per the recipe below.
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.
More Crock Pot Holiday Sides
- Crock Pot Creamed Corn
- No Boil Slow Cooker Mashed Potatoes
- Crock Pot Scalloped Potatoes
- Crockpot Sweet Potato Casserole
- Crock Pot Stuffing
Crock Pot Mac and Cheese
- 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
- 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.
- 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.
Nutrition information provided is an estimate and will vary based on cooking methods and brands of ingredients used.
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ok I was very hesitant when I saw the ingredients but let me tell you, this was the best Mac and cheese I have ever made! I don’t know how these ingredients work and never would’ve put them together but it was amazing. my husband is a great cook and even said this was really good, my daughter loves it. This is the only way I will make it for now on, thank you for this recipe!
I am so happy to hear you and your family loved this as much as mine does!
I was pretty wary of this recipe, yet was impressed with the high ratings. I doubled the recipe for a party someone was putting on. Bad news, only a few people showed up. Good news, everyone loved the Mac and cheese! I was worried about how much I would be taking home and if I could freeze it. It ended up I barely had enough left for 2 servings for myself! This is something I will definitely be making again and again!
Really enjoy this easy recipe. It always tastes like ‘more’!!
Good if you like mayo, its all I taste. My house stinks and I am probably tossing this!
I am sorry to hear you don’t love this recipe as much as we do. This Crock Pot Mac and Cheese has become my most requested food to bring to dinners and potlucks. Thank you for trying it.
I recently made this recipe. I thought mine was a little dry for my liking although the taste was wonderful. I followed the recipe exactly. Maybe the fact that I used pre-shredded bagged cheddar cheese might have caused the undesireable consistency. However, my husband really liked it without any complaints.
By the way, I love your recipes and had been able to save them to favorites but have not been able to over the past couple of weeks. Can you help me understand why?
Pre shredded cheese does have a gritty consistency when used in dishes like this, so that could have caused the undesirable consistency. I always recommend using freshly shredded cheese in this dish.