Crock Pot Mac and Cheese (+Video)
Crock Pot Mac and Cheese is a creamy, cheesy and easy macaroni and cheese recipe that is always a hit!
A CREAMY MAC AND CHEESE RECIPE
This recipe is my go-to Mac and cheese recipe when I don’t have oven space and I want a recipe I know that everyone will love. There’s nothing quite like a comforting bowl of mac and cheese, and when it comes to making it, the crock pot is a game-changer. Whether you’re feeding a crowd or just looking for a comforting weeknight meal, this crock pot mac and cheese recipe is sure to become a new favorite in your household. So, grab your crock pot and let’s get cooking!
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS:
Yes, it’s important to cook the macaroni before adding it to the crock pot. This will ensure that the macaroni cooks evenly and doesn’t become mushy.
I don’t recommend it. Using freshly grated cheese. Don’t use the bag stuff. I don’t mind using it for my No-Boil Macaroni and Cheese – but for this, you really need to freshly grate the cheese. It really makes all the difference here! Also the American cheese in this recipe helps to keep it so creamy. Don’t skip it!
In some stores you can find it with the other block cheese. However, you may need to go to your store’s deli counter. Just ask for a 3/4 pound of white American cheese. Tell them you don’t want it sliced, just a big block.
Yes, this recipe is easily doubled. However, you will need a larger crock pot. The cooking time should be about the same.
Just replace the white American cheese in this recipe for Velveeta. One block of Velveeta is one pound (16 ounces) so you’d use 3/4’s of a block.
This adds creaminess without the heaviness of milk or heavy cream. It also doesn’t curdle like milk tends to do. I like to use a bit of half and half to give it a richness without overloading. However, if you really want, you could certainly use milk instead of evaporated milk.
INGREDIENTS NEEDED: (SEE RECIPE CARD BELOW FOR THE FULL RECIPE)
- elbow macaroni – you could use other small pasta shapes like shell pasta
- salted butter – you want to use real butter here not margarine
- evaporated milk – not to be confused with sweetened condensed milk although you can usually find them near each other in the baking aisle in the grocery store
- half and half – you could technically substitute with milk but half and half is going to make it much creamier
- shredded cheddar cheese – freshly shredded is best
- white American cheese – I prefer to cube this rather than shredding it – just make sure its small cubes, if you don’t want to use this you can use all cheddar cheese but this adds a lot of creaminess to the Mac and cheese instead of adding Velveeta
- salt and pepper – you can use a white pepper here if you don’t want to see black flakes in your Mac and Cheese
HOW TO MAKE CROCK POT MAC AND CHEESE:
Cook the pasta according to the package directions until al dente (should still have a little ‘bite’ to it.)
Spray a 4-quart slow cooker with nonstick cooking spray.
Place the cooked macaroni into the slow cooker. Add the butter and stir until coated.
Pour in evaporated milk and half and half.
Then add 2 cups shredded cheddar cheese, cubed American cheese salt and pepper. Stir to blend.
Cover and cook on low for 1 1/2 to 2 hours (gently stir occasionally as it cooks.)
During the last 15 minutes of cooking, top with remaining cup of shredded cheddar cheese. Cover and allow cheese to melt.
Once done, turn the slow cooker to the warm setting until ready to serve. Leftovers can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.
WANTING MORE? GIVE THESE RECIPES A TRY!
Originally published: November 2016
Updated and republished: April 2019
Crock Pot Mac and Cheese (+Video)
- 16 ounce box elbow macaroni
- 4 Tablespoons salted butter, cubed
- 12 ounce can evaporated milk
- 1 1/2 cups half and half
- 2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
- 3/4 pound block white American cheese, cubed
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon pepper
- 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
- Cook 16 ounce box elbow macaroni according to the package directions until al dente (should still have a little 'bite' to it.)
- Spray a 4-quart slow cooker with nonstick cooking spray. Place the cooked macaroni into the slow cooker.
- Add 4 Tablespoons salted butter, cubed and stir until coated.
- Pour in 12 ounce can evaporated milk, 1 1/2 cups half and half, 2 cups shredded cheddar cheese, 3/4 pound block white American cheese, cubed, 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Stir to combine.
- Cover and cook on low for 1 1/2 to 2 hours (gently stir occasionally as it cooks.)
- During the last 15 minutes of cooking, top with 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese. Cover and allow cheese to melt.
- Once done, turn the slow cooker to the warm setting until ready to serve.
- Please refer to my FAQ’s and ingredient list above for other substitutions or for the answers to the most common questions.
- Just go to your grocery store’s deli counter and ask for 3/4 pound of white American cheese. Tell them you don’t want it sliced, just a big block.
- Leftovers can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.
“The Country Cook” is not a dietician or nutritionist, and any nutritional information shared is an estimate. If calorie count and other nutritional values are important to you, we recommend running the ingredients through whichever online nutritional calculator you prefer. Calories can vary quite a bit depending on which brands were used.
Great recipe! Everyone loves it and it is now my go to for parties and larger gatherings. I usually cannot find the block cheese of White American at the deli counter so I use either a block of Monterrey Jack or Colby Jack as a substitute.
Woo hoo! So glad to hear that and thanks so much for coming back to comment and leave a review!
I’m still in search for the perfect mac and cheese for my family. Who knew there could be so many variations. This one sounds perfect and looks yummy! I’m wondering if this one can be made on the stove top or in the oven, instead of the crock pot?
I did a slight variation of this recipe. I made it in a double batch, grated the American cheese instead of cubing it, and used garlic salt instead of salt. To cut down on the mess, I mixed everything together in a huge bowl before transferring it to the crock pot. I was in a hurry and didn’t have time for the butter to soften, so I cubed half a stick (for the double batch) and microwaved it for 30 seconds so it was about half melted, half solid and incorporated it into the noodles that way. It’s cooking now, and so far, so good! I’ll update with the cook time if it needs more time!
can you use a crock pot liner for this recipe? Thinking about making this for Christmas dinner.
I used a crock pot liner in mine, but I mixed everything beforehand so I wouldn’t tear the liner trying to mix it well and then dumped it into my lined crock pot.
This recipe is incredible, I made exactly as stated and it is exactly like Mac & cheese ought to be, cheesy, comforting, tasty. I highly recommend this recipe. Make you sure you read all the instructions before shopping for ingredients, I would’ve saved a lot of time I wasted searching for a block of American cheese if I would of read the recommendation first to get it at the deli counter.
This was THE BEST Mac and cheese recipe I have ever made!!!!! Thank you, Thank you, Thank you! This will be our go to forever!
I’ve made this several times, and it’s a huge hit. My nephew even asked me to make it for him for Christmas. I’m doing prep for Thanksgiving today, and I’m wondering how it would freeze since I don’t need the full recipe and don’t want to waste the extra ingredients. Has anyone tried?
easy to follow and tastes great even though i put corn and chicken into the recipe also.
love this recipe – and I don’t typically like mac and cheese! a couple of hints: for those that don’t love cheddar, colby is a great substitution – it melts a little better and isn’t as strong in flavor. Second – when you go to the deli to get .75 lb white american, have them slice it in 1/2″ thick slices – makes the cubing SOOO much easier.
my question is have you ever made this ahead and frozen it in a casserole dish to be heated later in the oven? thinking about sending it with my husband on a guys fishing trip but want to make it as easy for them as possible. thoughts?
I just posted a question about freezing it before I saw yours, now I feel a little silly. Did you try freezing?
THIS is some of the best Mac & cheese since my granny!!
This was a HUGE hit at my house. We made a Mac and Cheese bar With this recipe as the starting point and then made other things people could add. We had lobster, buffalo chicken, Bacon, chives, and broccoli just to name a few!!!
This has become a weekly dinner in my house. Thank you!!!
Julie – that is the best idea ever!! Why didn’t you invite me?!?! Ha! I love it! You were so sweet to take the time to come back and leave such great feedback!