Everyone loves a good slow cooker recipe, and this Crock Pot Mac and Cheese is so simple, cheesy, and delicious!
Moms love this Crock Pot Mac and Cheese because it’s a low-effort slow cooker meal, and kids love it because it’s Mac and Cheese! Pair with veggies, or a quick green salad for a fantastic weeknight dinner.
Slow Cooker Mac and Cheese
If your family is like mine and could eat mac & cheese every night of the week, then you’ve definitely gotta try this super easy slow cooker version!
Made with lots of cheese, butter, and sour cream, this Crock Pot Mac and Cheese will definitely be a new favorite with your family.
It’s a simple recipe, great to throw together when you have multiple things going on at home and don’t have time to be standing in front of the stove.
This is definitely one dinner that the entire family will love!
Slow cooker mac and cheese
As you can imagine having 6 little kids, macaroni is ALWAYS a hit at dinner time! You’ll love this easy and tasty Mac and Cheese recipe!
PASTA. Bring water to a boil and cook macaroni for 6 minutes. Drain and set aside.
SAUCE. In a medium pan, mix butter and cheese until cheese melts. Add sour cream, soup, salt, milk and pepper until combined.
SLOW COOK. Add this mixture to the slow cooker along with the cooked macaroni. Mix until combined and cook on low for 2 hours stirring every once in awhile.
The result is a super cheesy, tasty macaroni that the kids go nuts over!
Crock Pot Tips
- High on a crock pot is about 300°F. Low is about 200°F. Since we want to avoid the cheese sauce from getting too hot and curdling, keep the crock pot on LOW and then turn it to the warm setting.
- Pasta will become gluey when cooked for too long. Take care to pre-cook the noodles to al dente and don’t let them cook in the crock pot for longer than suggested.
- Food on the bottom tends to cook faster than the food on top. For this recipe, stir it every once in a while to make sure everything is heated all the way through.
tips + variations
Unpleasant texture. The gritty texture is actually little clumps of protein that have separated from the cheese. This can happen when cheese/dairy is cooked at too high of a temperature, is overheated, or the temperature changes too quickly.
Thicken the sauce. The sauce should be creamy, not soupy. To thicken your Mac and Cheese, use a few methods:
- remove the lid of the crock pot to allow for liquid to evaporate
- add in more cheese
- cornstarch slurry: in a separate bowl, combine 1 tablespoon of COLD water with 1 tablespoon of cornstarch. Stir it into the Mac and Cheese and the dish will thicken as it continues to cook. Repeat if needed.
Noodles. Elbow macaroni noodles are a Mac and Cheese classic, but you can use other similarly sized noodles like shell, cavatappi, penne, farfalle, fusilli, or rotini.
Cheese. Stay away from sharp cheddar cheeses and stick with mild cheddar to get the best melt. Other cheeses that melt well, or add a twist of flavor, include manchego, muenster, provolone, monterey jack, fontina, gruyere, or american cheese.
Add-ins. When there are about 30 minutes left in the cooking time, add in some of these suggestions:
- cooked bacon bits, diced cooked ham, grilled chicken, or cooked hamburger
- parmesan cheese
- salsa or jalapeños
- broccoli or roasted red peppers
- garlic powder, dry mustard, onion powder, red pepper flakes, or paprika.
STORE. Store leftover slow cooker Mac and Cheese in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 3-5 days.
The key is to reheat slowly on low heat. Adding in a bit more milk can help smooth out the texture. You can reheat in the slow cooker, covered in the oven, stovetop, or microwave.
Note: Discard Crockpot Pot Mac and Cheese if left out for more than 2 hours at room temperature.
FREEZE. This pasta dish can be frozen for 2-3 months. When you’re ready to use, thaw it in the fridge and reheat slowly over low heat.
what to serve with mac and cheese:
There are so many great sides to go with this recipe. Veggies and bread are great – so are salads. Here are some of the go-to recipes we like to pair best with this cheesy dinner idea:
For more macaroni and cheese recipes, check out:
- Favorite Macaroni and Cheese
- Baked Penne
- Fried Mac and Cheese
- Beef & Tomato Macaroni Soup
- Macaroni And Cheese With Ham
Crock Pot Mac and Cheese Recipe
- Bring water to a boil and cook macaroni for 6 minutes. Drain and set aside.
- In a medium pan, mix butter and cheese until cheese melts. Add sour cream, soup, salt, milk and pepper until combined.
- Add this mixture to the slow cooker along with the cooked macaroni. Mix until combined and cook on low for 2 hours stirring every once in awhile.
Made this for the family and it was a HUGE hit. I added smoked paprika and minced garlic. Thanks for the recipe.
You’re welcome!! Thanks for sharing what you did. I’m glad the Mac and cheese was a hit!
Amazing. Creamy. Everyone loves this in our household
I’m so glad you enjoyed it! This mac and cheese is definitely a fav at our house!
I’ve made a lot of your recipes exactly like written, everyone raved about how good they are.
I was looking for easy foods that can feed lots, is easy to make & all kids love! This is going to be it
I didn’t see where it says how many this will feed ?
~Thanks for sharing!!
My whole family loves this mac and cheese! It’s creamy and cheesy and has a great blend of flavors. I also love that I can make it a couple of hours beforehand and let it sit until dinner.
Wondering if this could be doubled to feed a large group?
I see my question was already answered-thanks! Making this for a family gathering soon.
What size crockpot would you use? I was thinking 4 quarts? I’m trying to plan out all my thanksgiving appliances I’m going to use 😂
This is such a tasty mac and cheese recipe and I love that I can cook it and keep it warmed in the slow cooker. Perfect for our family dinners!
I survive the fall and busy days by using my crock pot. This is a kid favorite! So creamy.
I love Crock Pot recipes since they work well with my busy schedule. And it’s even better when my kids like the recipe too! This Crock Pot Mac N Cheese is a keeper. My family loved it!
You changes the ingredients? Where can I find the old one? With the sour cream and cheddar cheese soup? It’s even in the beginning description?
So sorry about that! We had a little mess up on the back end but the recipe is back. 😉
Yes! Thank you! This is so good! I make it all the time for large gatherings and always a hit with both grown ups and kids!
So creamy, delicious, and so easy to make!! A family 5 star recipe for sure!!! Thanks so much!!
I was wondering with your crock pot Mac and cheese, can I put macaroni in the crock pot uncooked? I’ve tried a recipe that you could and it came out amazing. Your recipe sounds even better, I just don’t wan to cook macaroni ahead of time. It seems to take the most time.
Do you have any other options for the cream of cheddar soup?
You could do a different condensed soup… like cream of chicken. It would alter the flavor of the Mac and cheese alittle but should still taste yummy. You’ll have to let us know how you like it if you try it with a substitute soup.
Did a huge batch (x10 the recipe) for a graduation party of 100 people. Cooked it in a large roasting pan and it was a hit! I cut the salt in half since condensed soup mix is ultra salty and I’m glad I did….it probably could’ve gone without any salt added at all. This is much easy and holds up better with a better texture than making a traditional cheese base using a roux. Melting the cheese slowly is key to a smooth texture and slowly add milk to not chill the cheese sauce down too much. Look forward to making again in a normal batch size. That was a lot of cheese to shred!
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