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.

More Macaroni Recipes You’ll Love

Overhead shot of Crock Pot Macaroni and Cheese
4.95 from 539 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. I was so scared to try this recipe and was extremely hesitant. The ingredient list is nothing like the other recipes online. But it came out AMAZING and everyone raves about it. I pre-mixed the sour cream, soup, seasoning, and Mayo. Then brought it on a farmhouse trip, boiled the noodles, threw it together with the cheese, and stirred every hour or so. After 3 hours? I switched to warm. Everyone loved it and got thirds! And it was requested again for next time. THANK YOU SO MUCH5 stars

  2. As usual recipes from this site are spot-on and I’ve made this one several times. My question is can this be made with cottage cheese instead of cheddar? I have 2 Grands that turn down any dish with cheddar type cheese because it’s ‘too sour” (their words) which I take to mean tangy so I sometimes make it with just mushroom soup or bechamel . It will affect the flavor so any ideas? Cottage cheese at least has a bit of protein.5 stars

    1. Hmm, I have never tried it with cottage cheese but that sounds delicious. You will have to let us know how it turns out. It may not be as creamy but hopefully delicious.

    1. You sure can, John! Some readers have mixed the breadcrumbs in with good results but if adding breadcrumbs we prefer to top with a bread crumb topping. Combine 1 cup Panko bread crumbs, 2 tablespoons butter melted, 1 teaspoon parsley (you can add a bit of parm too if you’d like).

  3. The best mac and cheese recipe by far! I got rave reviews after bringing to a potluck. My favorite way to make this is to bake this in my Pit Boss smoker – 30 minutes with foil, and 30 minutes uncovered. The dish is then infused with a hint of smoke, which is a perfect finishing touch.5 stars

  4. Has anyone made this recipe using a mixture bag of shredded cheddar cheese? I’ll be using hand shredded gruyere just not the cheddar.

    1. Hi Jennifer, we have not tried this recipe with a bag of shredded cheese. My only concern would be that bagged shredded cheese tends to have additives that can cause your cheese cause to be a little gritty. But otherwise, it should work well.

  5. I make this in the oven according to the alternative instructions. It’s a HIT! I’ve made it countless times. Only change I make is to add a generous portion of panko to the top. This recipe is soooo much easier than having to make a roux.5 stars

    1. This makes 6 side dish servings (½ cup each). Nutrition information is based on one serving.

  6. I doubled it and followed exactly. Huge hit. Only thing I will change is to add crushed red pepper next time. New fave for sure!5 stars

  7. So delicious & easy. Made this recipe for 8 teenage/young adult men who requested mac & cheese. They all loved it! So glad I doubled it, though easily could have tripled it for them because they inhaled it & kept saying how it was the best mac & cheese ever.5 stars

  8. I definitely loved this recipe! It was probably the best tasting Mac and cheese I’ve made. I was all weirded out when the recipe didn’t call for any milk but the sour cream and mayonnaise switch out works so well. I somehow couldn’t find my dry mustard anywhere, apparently I have a dry mustard thief, so I ended up putting grainy Dijon mustard instead… oh! And I ended up substituting Gouda for gruyere because it’s just what I had on hand. I definitely will make this recipe again :)5 stars

  9. This is by far the best Mac and cheese recipe that I’ve ever tried. My sons are a bit fussy when it comes to homemade Mac and cheese and they were amazed at how creamy and delicious it was that I had to make another crock pot of it the next day. I’ve made it both with the Gruyere cheese and without and it’s great either way. This is definitely a keeper. Thank you

  10. Do you thinking doubling the recipe would be too much for one crock pot? My family loves this Mac & cheese!!

    1. I doubled the recipe in a 6QT slow cooker and cooked on high for 2 1/2 hours, stirring after 1 hour and 2 hours. Worked perfectly!

  11. I am making this today for a potluck/tailgate. I won’t have time to slow cook because I leave too early but it still sounds delicious so I’m going to try on the stove and baking for a few (like traditional homemade). Hope it turns out okay!!! Wish me well!!

  12. I just cooked my pasta al dente but totally forgot to rinse it in cold water Will this make my pasta mushy? I’ve already mixed all the ingredients together and realized I missed rinsing the pasta, help!

    1. Rinsing in cold water helps stop the cooking to keep the pasta al dente. Some pastas tend to soften more than others. It’ll still taste amazing Lauren!

  13. I am making this tonight for guest
    I prefer the larger macaroni and I have a 4 quart slow cooker. There will be 4 guest
    How MUCH of the macaroni should I cook ???
    Can anyone help me with this!
    Thank you