Crock Pot Mac and Cheese

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Crock Pot Mac and Cheese is a family favorite recipe! Tender macaroni noodles smothered in cheese is one of our favorite comfort food dishes.

This easy mac and cheese recipe requires just minutes of prep and comes out of the slow cooker perfect every time!

a serving of Mac and cheese in a white bowl
Creamy Crock Pot Mac and Cheese

Macaroni and cheese is my personal favorite comfort food recipe (although, what do you expect from a girl who served mac ‘n cheese at her wedding and totally skipped the prime rib!).  It’s not completely from scratch, but it is completely delicious! To make it even easier, this extra cheesy mac and cheese is cooked in the slow cooker!

Some people wonder why you would cook mac & cheese in the slow cooker…  there are lots of good reasons!

  1. Crock Pot Mac and Cheese is perfect for camping or potlucks, basically anywhere you don’t have an oven to bake macaroni.
  2. No need to heat up the oven on a hot day.
  3. Can fill your oven with things like a 15lb turkey and stuffing and cook this on the side.
  4. Ummm, it’s freaking delicious (just scroll down and read the comments, you’ll see what I mean)!!

overhead view of Mac and cheese ingredients in the crock pot

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!  Fast, easy and beyond amazing!

While I’ve tried several times to make a no boil mac and cheese (using uncooked pasta), I find that they never turn out quite as good as this recipe! Boiling the macaroni about 2 minutes less than indicated on your package (so it’s quite al dente) keeps it from getting mushy.

I prefer macaroni without evaporated milk or velveeta.

While some of the ingredients in this recipe may seem odd, they really make an amazing dish!  Here’s the thing about cooking dairy in a slow cooker.  A traditional cream sauce or cheese sauce doesn’t hold up well in the slow cooker, they tend to curdle and/or separate. Please don’t don’t let the addition of mayo freak you out.  It’s good, I promise (read the reviews on this recipe below) …  it just subs out some of the dairy.  I usually use a light mayo type dressing.

close up of crock pot Mac and cheese

I don’t make it very often because when I do, I can’t stop eating it.  In fact, I wake up and eat it for breakfast too if I’m lucky enough to have any left!  If you’d like to make it into an entree, feel free to add in some ham and broccoli or cooked chicken and leftover veggies!

How to Double Crock Pot Mac and Cheese:

I have successfully doubled this recipe in a 6QT slow cooker.  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).

Note:  Slow cookers can vary in temperature greatly!  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.

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Overhead shot of Crock Pot Macaroni and Cheese
4.96 from 542 votes
Review Recipe

Extra Creamy Crock Pot Mac and Cheese

Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 2 hours
Total Time 2 hours 15 minutes
Servings 6 servings
Author Holly Nilsson
Crock Pot Mac and Cheese is one of our favorite comfort food dishes! The whole family will love this creamy & cheesy dish.

Ingredients

  • 2 cups uncooked macaroni noodles
  • 10 ½ ounces cream of chicken soup condensed
  • 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

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Instructions

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

Recipe Notes

Be sure that your macaroni is cooked al dente before you put it in the slow cooker so it doesn’t become mushy. 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.
If you do not have gruyere cheese, you can use 4 cups cheddar instead.
*Nutrition information provided is an estimate and will vary based on cooking methods and brands of ingredients used.

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.)

Keyword best crockpot mac and cheese, crock pot mac and cheese, crockpot mac and cheese recipe, how to make crockpot mac and cheese
Course Casserole, Main Course, Pasta, Side Dish
Cuisine American

Repin this Easy Recipe!

Extra Creamy Mac & Cheese with writing

Crock Pot Mac & Cheese with a title

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Slow Cooker Mac and Cheese with title
About the author

Holly

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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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Recipe Rating




Comments

  1. Made this at Easter and it was a total hit!! I doubled and used a 9 x 13 pan. I used 4 cups of cheddar, 2 cups of American and 2 cups of Monterey cheeses. I also added around 1/2 cup of half and half and doubled the other ingredients. I sprinkled more cheese on top and then melted about a quarter cup of butter and mixed in 3/4 cup of Panko bread crumbs. About 15 minutes into baking, I added the buttery crumbs. It was awesome, per the kids who came around for seconds and thirds. Also, for leftovers, I recommend heating in an air fryer…just as good as the first time!!4 stars

  2. Is there any advice I could get to avoid grainyness???

    I’ve added a 8oz block of cream cheese,
    Switched pepper for cayenne pepper
    And id rather try it with sour cream but switch it with Greek yogurt,

    My only issue now is how to avoid it getting grainy, please help!

    1. Hmm, I haven’t had that problem when making this recipe but a couple of things that might help: make sure you are shredding your own cheese instead of using pre-shredded cheese and be sure to drain and rinse the macaroni in cold water before adding to the crockpot. Hopefully, that helps!

  3. The best macaroni and cheese I’ve ever had! I didn’t have powder mustard so I replaced with horseradish mustard. I also used extra sharp white cheddar cheese instead of regular cheddar because that’s what I had on hand. Will definitely be using this as my go to Mac n cheese recipe!5 stars

    1. As long as it doesn’t cook too long. It does actually get nice crispy edges in the crock pot (if you don’t stir it).

    2. I did a crust using a mixture of melted butter, shredded cheddar, and bread crumbs. It’s the tastiest! I’m not sure how it would turn out if you didn’t use the crust mixture. If you got the mentioned ingredients, I’d suggest mixing the crust stuff together and sprinkle on top before placing in oven on broil :) I have done this crust two times so far ontop of this recipe. just used a google search for the measurements. I feel like it was about half cup butter…one cup bread crumbs..have cup shredded cheese. Good luck

  4. I am looking forward to trying this recipe for a side with Christmas ham dinner. Was wondering Holly, have you ever tried this with any other macaroni shape other than elbow? In the comments a couple people mentioned that they were using other shapes but did not say how it turned out. i wasn’t sure how they hold up compared to elbow macaroni. Hate to try it and end up with a crock pot of mush and cheese.

    1. I actually haven’t tried with another shape. I think if you cook it firm before adding to the slow cooker, it would work just fine. Let us know how it works out for you!

  5. There is no better mac and cheese recipe anywhere. I’ve been making this for years and I’m constantly asked for the ingredients. The gruyere is what makes it amazing – get the good stuff, not the smoked kind, and you won’t be disappointed! I double the recipe if it’s for more than a family of four because it always gets cleaned out . This year I made it for Thanksgiving and I’ve been asked to bring it to TWO holiday gatherings. Thank you for sharing this gem!!5 stars

    1. I’ve never bought gruyere cheese before, and the only one my grocery had is smoked, is that gonna be bad in my Mac??

      1. It’ll be delicious! A little smoky flavor is lovely in mac and cheese.

  6. I’ve made this several times and it’s always a huge hit! I’m snowed in right now and happen to have all the ingredients except sour cream, is there a substitute you would recommend?5 stars

  7. So delicious!
    I didn’t have Gouda so added 1 cup Monterey Jack cheese and 3 cups of cheddar. I didn’t have dry mustard so I added a squeeze of yellow mustard. Didn’t have onion powder so I added paprika. Cooked on low for 3 hours. After 2.5 hours I added crushed corn flakes on top and cooked for 30 more mins.
    Definitely a keeper.5 stars

  8. I used a whole bag of noodles which measured out to be 6 cups. I’ve done this twice and it turns out perfect. I really thought 2 cups must have been a misprint and the pictures of this this recipe definitely had more than 2 cups of pasta. Family favorite!

    1. The recipe is correct as written, I measure 2 cups of elbows before cooking. Glad you’ve enjoyed the recipe!

  9. Has anyone tried adding a bit of smokey paprika to the recipe? I like a smokey flavor mac & cheese and wonder how this would work out with this recipe if I add a touch.

  10. I used a 16oz box is that going to mess up the dish mine is currently cooking if so what I can to correct it? It’s only been in the crockpot for about 20mins

    1. 16 oz is about 4 to 4 1/2 cups, this recipe needs just 2 cups. You could make another batch of the sauce and stir it in. Let us know how it goes.

  11. I doubled this recipe and followed exactly and it was way too cheesy! A ratio of about 2:1 cheese/sauce to noodles. I could’ve used 16oz of noodles and the original amount of everything else and it would’ve been much better. The taste is very strong and potent, not sure if that’s because it had too much sauce or just the ingredients themselves. I will end up cooking more noodles and adding them or throwing it away, I’m undecided.3 stars

  12. I’ve made this several times and the first few it was PERFECT but the last 2 times, it separates and gets oily but also kind of gritty since the oil is going separate and not keeping everything moist. Same ingredient brands, same instructions. Any advice on what could be going wrong? Thanks!4 stars

    1. A high temperature can cause the cheese to separate, so if you’ve been cooking on high, perhaps try low. If that doesn’t work, you could try reducing the cook time and stirring in between. Once it’s warmed and melted, turn the slow cooker to warm. I hope that helps, let us know how it goes!

  13. I made this for dinner tonight …so easy and good!!! Thanks
    It will become my go-to recipe for Mac and Cheese for sure5 stars

  14. I haven’t tried the recipe yet so can’t really give an accurate rating. Can canned cheese soup be used instead of cream of chicken, etc? Is the mayo a butter substitute?

    1. Canned cheese soup can be used as a substitute. The addition of the mayonnaise is because a classic cheese or cream sauce does not usually hold up in a Crockpot properly.