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
4.97 from 1372 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

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.
4.97 from 1372 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

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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. I’m planning on making this for thanksgiving this year but we’re feeding 16 people (14 adults, 2 kids). Is the 3x recipe enough for 16 or should I quadruple?

  2. I love this recipe and have made it many times! Question- I’m cooking for vegetarians this year. Is there anything that could be substituted for the cream of chicken condensed soup?

  3. This is absolutely THEE BEST Mac and cheese out there! The canned cream soup and sour cream shine. I halved the mayo and added 1/4 cup more of sour cream. The whole milk, butter eggs?? Fuggehabout go with this. Thank you Holly5 stars

  4. I made the 1/2 recipe I used 2cups of mild shredded cheddar, 1/2 can of cheddar soup, n 1/2 of all the other ingredients. I cooked it for 60 minutes in in a sprayed crockpot It was greasy n it wasn’t creamy. It tasted ok but didn’t look good Do u have any suggestions?

    1. If you found it to be greasy this would likely be because the cheese separated which means the temp was too high or it overcooked a bit. It could be because your Crock Pot wasn’t full enough if you halved the recipe, generally a Crock Pot should be between 1/2 and 3/4 full. I hope that helps!

    1. The cooking time would likely be less so you might have to keep an eye on it. I would say about 60-90 minutes. If you try it I would love to hear how it turns out Vicki!

  5. My family LOVES this! We have made this 4 times in the past year or so. The extended family at Thanksgiving is requesting this from me again this year. Also my 2 teen boys can’t get enough of this creamy and flavorful Mac and cheese recipe. It disappears way too fast…may start tripling the recipe!5 stars

  6. Absolutely the best! My cousin requested this for our family reunion. I should have doubled the recipe. She took the crockpot off the table so she could take the remaining small amount home.5 stars

    1. Hi Nay, as written in the recipe we use 3 cups of cheddar cheese and 1 cup of gruyere cheese. But you can switch those out for your favorite cheeses if you prefer.

  7. how many grams of macaroni is this? So confused by the dry and liquid cup measurements being different – we tend to use grams here in the UK!

  8. This Mac and cheese recipe was super easy and delicious!!! We do have some leftovers and was wondering if there is a good way to reheat to make them cheesy again?5 stars

    1. I am so glad you loved this recipe Melissa! You can reheat it in the microwave and mix in a little extra sour cream or even milk to make it creamier.

    2. when baking this in the oven. Do you combined all ingredients in pan the spread unto baking dish? would I cook the noodles more or stop it two minutes early so it’s firm before adding it to the baking pan?

      1. Cook them so they are firm, they’ll still bake more in the oven. Spread it into a 9×13 pan.

  9. I have never liked macaroni and cheese but I know many do. So I made this just as the recipe called for and it smelled so good while cooking, I tried it. Absolutely delicious!! It was a huge hit. My husband loved how it even got a little brown and crunchy.

    I have already shared the recipe and this is what I will bring to potlucks from now on.5 stars

    1. my coworkers request this for every potluck. it is soo good. A lot are vegetarian so I use a can of Campbell’s cheddar cheese soup instead of cream of chicken. Works great. Love this recipe ❤️5 stars

    1. While I haven’t tried it, I have tried other no boil mac and cheese recipes using uncooked pasta and I find depending on the brand, the pasta can become mushy or gummy in texture and I find it to be inconsistent. If you try it I would love to hear how it turns out Rhonda!

  10. Loved this but it wasn’t a hit with the kids. They didn’t hate this. I’ll be making again as my go-to Mac & Cheese. I made it a one-dish with the addition of 1lb of smoked sausage (as suggested) and 8 oz. of mushrooms. The kids like both so that’s not their problem!4 stars

  11. Amazing recipe, my grandparents & boyfriend absolutely loved it (and it didn’t raise my grandpas sugar !!). Thank you so much for sharing this recipe!5 stars

  12. I followed this recipe to a T (doubled it) and absolutely loved the flavour, but it was almost a little too saucy. I am wondering if all hell would break loose if I added an extra cup or two of noodles before slow-cooking in the future or would that make for a super dry mac?

    1. I have only tried the recipe as written Elsa, but if you would like it a little less saucy you could try adding more noodles! I would keep in mind that the noodles will about double once they are cooked. So I would start by adding only a half cup extra of noodles and then add more from there!

  13. Our local Krogers was out of gruyere for the first time ever so I chose a Swiss that a gentleman suggested at deli section. Then I realized reading the recipe that there was no milk in it so I’m thinking there is no way this is going to be good but I already spent $11.00 on the Swiss so decided to forget on. I used Campbell’s cheddar cheese soup instead of chicken but stuck to recipe other than that. This was THE BEST Mac and cheese I’ve ever had in my life. My entire family absolutely loved it and will make this and only this ever. Thank you for sharing and the best Mac and cheese ever!!!5 stars

  14. Ok, here was I did. I started out with doubling the recipe. I read that one 8oz. brick of cheese was equal to about two cups of cheese when shredded. So I used three 8 oz. bricks of extra sharp yellow cheddar, one 6oz brick of gruyere, and then half of another 6oz. brick of gruyere.

    I followed the rest of the measured ingredients- again, based on me doubling the recipe.

    I used large shells for noodles- the ones about the size of a quarter because the cheese gets all over the shells and cupped inside. The box of shells called for 10 mins in boiling water for al dente. I under cooked them as suggested in the recipe and let cook for 6 mins in the boiling water.

    I rinsed with cold water and mixed in with everything in the crockpot. Crockpot cook time was 2hrs and 15 mins on low.

    Turned out to be the best ever and has officially became “the” mac n cheese requested for me to make by friends and family.

    -Mr. Kyle Lacombe5 stars

    1. I am so glad to hear your friends and family love this recipe as much as I do Kyle! Thank you for sharing your tips about doubling the recipe.

    2. You said you doubled the recipe and cooked 2 hours 15 minutes on low. The recipe says 2 1/2 hours on high for a double recipe. Just wanted to double check.