This easy crockpot mac and cheese recipe is made with elbow noodles, cheddar cheese, milk, heavy cream, and butter. It comes out creamy and perfect every time!
Easy Crockpot Mac and Cheese
This crockpot mac and cheese is an easy and hands-free way to prepare mac, plus it frees up your stovetop in case you’re making other delicious dishes.
This easy crockpot mac and cheese features simple ingredients such as noodles, cheddar cheese, milk, and butter. Plus, it only takes 1.5 – 3 hours from start to finish to make.
Why you’ll love it!
- Serves a crowd
- Frees up stovetop space
- Easy to prepare
- noodles: we prefer to use classic macaroni noodles, but any noodle will work.
- shredded cheddar cheese: cheddar cheese is a classic mac and cheese ingredient. Feel free to use either white or yellow.
- whole milk: whole milk is the basis of the sauce.
- heavy cream: a little heavy cream makes this nice and decadent.
- evaporated milk: evaporated milk is important because the liquid is cooked out and doesn’t separate like milk or cream!
- spices: we’re using salt, pepper, and a little ground mustard seed.
- butter: all mac deserves some butter.
Want to mix up your cheese? We recommend using at least half cheddar, but feel free to add in any of the following shredded cheeses:
- Colby jack
Mac and Cheese Sauce
No matter if you’re making stovetop mac and cheese or baked mac and cheese, this is the best mac and cheese sauce on the internet!
How to Make Crockpot Mac and Cheese
Add noodles and cheese
First, spread your macaroni noodles on the bottom of your slow cooker. Then, add the shredded cheddar cheese.
Combine the whole milk, heavy cream, evaporated milk, and spices. Then, pour it on top of the noodles and cheese and mix to combine.
Evenly spread out the pads of butter and cover.
slow cook & mix
Slow cook on low for 1 hour.
Then, stir the mixture, making sure to scrape the bottom of the crockpot. This part is important! You don’t want anything sticking.
Continue cooking in increments of 30 minutes until your noodles reach the desired doneness. Ours took a total of 1.5 hours.
Add remaining cheese
Finally, add the remaining cheese and mix to combine. Place the lid back on and cook for 5 more minutes until the cheese melts. Mix and serve.
Why is my crockpot mac and cheese grainy?
Your mac and cheese is likely grainy because the cheese has not melted all the way.
What cheese do I use for mac and cheese?
The best kind of cheese to use for mac and cheese is shredded cheddar cheese.
Why did my mac and cheese stick to the crockpot?
You must make sure to stir your crockpot mac and cheese periodically so that it doesn’t stick to the bottom of your slow cooker.
How long to cook crockpot mac and cheese?
Mac and cheese will take anywhere from 1.5 – 3 hours to cook in the slow cooker depending on what noodles you use.
Transfer leftover crockpot mac and cheese into an airtight container and store it in the fridge for up to 3-5 days.
To reheat: the easiest way to reheat mac and cheese is in the microwave on high for 60-90 seconds.
Crockpot Mac and Cheese
- 1 lb. uncooked elbow macaroni noodles
- 1 lb. shredded sharp cheddar cheese divided
- 1.5 cups whole milk
- 1.5 cups heavy cream
- 12 oz. evaporated milk
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
- ½ teaspoon ground mustard
- 6 tablespoons unsalted butter
- Add the noodles into a large slow cooker.
- Then, evenly spread 3 cups of the shredded cheddar cheese on top of the noodles.
- Add the whole milk, heavy cream, evaporated milk, and spices into a medium-sized bowl. Mix until combined.
- Pour the milk mixture over the noodles and cheese and stir thoroughly. Make sure all of the noodles are completely covered by the liquid.
- Cut the butter into large cubes and place on top of the mac and cheese.
- Cover the slow cooker with a lid and cook on low for 1 hour.
- After 1 hour stir the mixture together using a large spatula. Be sure to scrape the bottom and sides of the slow cooker so that the noodles and cheese don’t stick or burn to the bottom of the slow cooker. Cover the slow cooker and cook for another 30 minutes on low.
- Check the noodles for doneness. If they aren't done, continue cooking in increments of 30 minutes. If they are soft and ready to be eaten, add the remaining 1 cup of shredded cheddar and stir. Place the lid back on the slow cooker and continue on low for an additional 5 minutes to allow the cheese to melt.
Tips & Notes
- Other cheeses can be added to the cheddar combination. American cheese is a great addition, but it does add a layer of oil to the final product.
- All noodles have different cooking times, and this recipe would need different liquid amounts. Because of this, we recommend only using elbow macaroni noodles.