Creamy Slow Cooker Mac and Cheese

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  • Creamy Slow Cooker Mac and Cheese – Only takes 10 minutes to prep and made with only a few simple ingredients! Pure comfort in a bowl and tastes absolutely amazing.

    This crockpot mac n cheese is one of our favorite side dish recipes. We especially love to make it once the weather gets cooler. We also love to make roasted parmesan broccoli, slow cooker mashed potatoes, baked macaroni and roasted brussels sprouts with pears and cranberries.

    crock pot mac and cheese

    Crock pot mac and cheese

    If you’re looking for a recipe for slow cooker mac and cheese without evaporated milk, this is it! My two year old LOVES this crock pot macaroni and cheese recipe and asks for it pretty much every day. Luckily it makes a lot, so we always have leftovers for lunch the next day. It warms up great!

    I love that this creamy mac and cheese is made all in the slow cooker. No precooking the noodles or making a roux. Seriously so easy! It would make the perfect side dish for Thanksgiving! Also, makes a great dinner when you don’t have a lot of time to prep. I’m telling you, this creamy slow cooker mac and cheese is so delicious!

    slow cooker mac and cheese

    How do you make crock pot macaroni and cheese?

    This crock pot mac n cheese is SO simple and delicious. Just throw everything in the crockpot and let it do the work for you! Scroll down for the printable crock pot mac and cheese recipe.

    1. To start making this easy crock pot macaroni and cheese, you’ll need noodles, cream cheese, butter, milk and seasonings (no evaporated milk required!).
    2. Place the above ingredients in the crockpot and cook on low in the slow cooker for about 2 hours. Make sure to stir halfway through.
    3. Then mix in the cheeses and let melt. Enjoy!

    I typically use a sharp cheddar and monterey jack cheese combo, but the pepper jack cheese tasted amazing. It has a tiny little kick, but not enough for my kids to notice the difference. It really just adds an awesome flavor to the crock pot mac and cheese and makes the sauce extra thick and creamy.

    Cheese for creamy slow cooker mac and cheese

    Do you have to cook pasta before putting in crock pot?

    No, you don’t have to cook the pasta before putting it in the crock pot. That’s the best thing about this crock pot mac and cheese recipe! The uncooked pasta goes straight into the crock pot and will cook over the course of the 2 hours. It softens up and has the perfect consistency. So so easy and no boiling required!

    Can you cook crock pot mac and cheese on high?

    No, I wouldn’t recommend cooking this slow cooker mac and cheese on high. There’s a chance the noodles could get mushy from overcooking and the consistency of the cheese sauce may change. Since this crock pot mac and cheese recipe only takes 2 hours to make, I’d recommend cooking on low to ensure the consistency comes out perfect!

    Can I make crock pot mac and cheese the night before?

    Sure! This crock pot mac n cheese warms up really well the next day and tastes just as amazing! After cooking, simply let it cool and store in an airtight container in the refrigerator. To reheat, either place in the microwave or oven until warmed throughout. I like to add a small splash of milk before reheating, to make sure the mac and cheese doesn’t dry out when warming back up.

    crockpot mac n cheese

    Quick tips for crock pot macaroni and cheese

    • Make sure to stir the crockpot mac n cheese about halfway through!
    • Feel free to double the crock pot mac and cheese recipe. Depending on the size of your slow cooker, you may need to cook in 2 different crock pots if possible.
    • You can easily use different types of noodles with this recipe (like elbow, macaroni, etc.). Cooking time will vary, so keep an eye on the mac n cheese after about an hour.
    • To thin out the sauce, add more milk. To thicken, add more cheese.
    • Try topping with bacon, chives, hot sauce, or breadcrumbs.
    • I used shredded sharp cheddar and pepper jack cheese in this recipe, but you can also use monterey jack or even gouda as well.

    Creamy Slow Cooker Mac and Cheese

    Course: Main Course
    Cuisine: American
    Keyword: slow cooker mac and cheese
    Prep Time: 10 minutes
    Cook Time: 1 hour 50 minutes
    Total Time: 2 hours
    Servings: 8
    Calories: 582kcal
    Author: Jamielyn
    Creamy Slow Cooker Mac and Cheese - Only takes 10 minutes to prep and made with only a few simple ingredients! Pure comfort in a bowl and tastes absolutely amazing.

    Ingredients

    • 1 lb cavatappi pasta (uncooked)
    • 4 Tablespoons salted butter (sliced)
    • 4 ounces cream cheese (cut into cubes)
    • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
    • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne or black pepper
    • 3 cups whole milk
    • 1/2 cup heavy cream (can also use whole milk)
    • 2 cups freshly shredded sharp cheddar cheese
    • 1 cup freshly shredded pepper jack cheese (can sub with monterey jack)

    Instructions

    • Place the uncooked pasta into the bottom of the slow cooker. Put butter, cream cheese, salt and pepper on top. Then pour the milk and cream on top and stir to combine. 
    • Cover and cook on low for 1 1/2 – 2 hours, or until the pasta is tender. Stir half way through.
    • Once the noodles are ready, add the cheese on top and stir to combine. Cover and let cook an additional 5-10 minutes, or until the cheese is melted. 
    • Stir before serving. Salt and pepper to taste. If you’re turning to the warm setting and not serving immediately, add more milk to thin out the sauce as needed.

    Video

    Notes

    You can use different types of noodles with the recipe, however cook times will vary with different noodles, so be sure to check around an hour and add time accordingly. Add a dash of hot sauce if desired.
    This crockpot mac n cheese recipe comes from my friend Donna's cookbook: The Simple Kitchen
     

    Nutrition

    Calories: 582kcal | Carbohydrates: 48g | Protein: 21g | Fat: 33g | Saturated Fat: 20g | Cholesterol: 102mg | Sodium: 685mg | Potassium: 317mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 6g | Vitamin A: 22.5% | Calcium: 45% | Iron: 6.2%
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    crock pot mac and cheese

    Enjoy!

    crock pot mac and cheese
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