Creamy Slow Cooker Macaroni and Cheese

Macaroni and Cheese in Bowl
James And James / Getty Images
Prep: 10 mins
Cook: 3 hrs 30 mins
Total: 3 hrs 40 mins
Servings: 6 to 8 servings
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
770 Calories
59g Fat
26g Carbs
35g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 6 to 8
Amount per serving
Calories 770
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 59g 75%
Saturated Fat 33g 166%
Cholesterol 168mg 56%
Sodium 867mg 38%
Total Carbohydrate 26g 9%
Dietary Fiber 2g 9%
Protein 35g
Calcium 1039mg 80%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

This easy slow cooker macaroni and cheese is convenient for many reasons. Not only does a crock pot free the oven up for other things—it's great for summer cooking because it doesn't add as much heat to the kitchen. And what could be more convenient for a potluck dinner or game day gathering? Just take the finished mac and cheese along to the party in the slow cooker and plug it in.

In this easy recipe. ​cooked macaroni is combined with shredded cheddar cheese, butter, and evaporated milk in this easy slow cooker version.

We've received many positive comments, including some suggestions for changes. One person recommended 1 1/2 teaspoons of dry mustard, cayenne pepper, and black pepper, along with 1 cup of sauteed onion and 1 clove of minced garlic. See more tips and variation suggestions below the recipe instructions.


Steps to Make It

  1. Cook the macaroni in boiling salted water following the package directions. Drain well.

  2. Generously butter the bottom and sides of the crockery insert of a 3 1/2 to 5-quart slow cooker.

  3. Toss hot macaroni in the slow cooker with the vegetable oil and then add all remaining ingredients.

  4. Stir gently to combine and then cover and cook on LOW for 3 to 4 hours, stirring occasionally.


  • Potluck Advice: Add more evaporated milk if it will be sitting on low or warm for any length of time. This is especially important if you are taking it along to a potluck dinner or tailgating. To transport the hot dish, wrap the slow cooker in towels or a blanket to keep the dish hot. Keep in mind that the "danger zone" when harmful bacteria can grow is between the temperatures of 40 F and 140 F. 
  • Freeze the macaroni and cheese in plastic freezer containers in serving-size portions. Thaw, warm in the microwave, and enjoy anytime!

Recipe Variations

  • Replace the elbow macaroni with small shells, rotini, ditalini, or mini penne pasta.
  • Replace the sharp cheddar cheese with a combination, such as cheddar jack cheese, pepper jack, or a similar Mexican-style blend of cheeses. Another favorite cheese for this recipe is Velveeta. Dice 1 pound of Velveeta cheese or shred it before adding to the slow cooker and wait until the end of the cooking time to taste and add salt.
  • Crock Pot Macaroni and Cheese With Ham or Bacon: Add 2 cups of diced cooked ham or 1/2 cup of diced cooked bacon to the macaroni along with the milk and remaining ingredients. Stir and continue with the recipe.
  • For added zing, use Creole or Cajun seasoning in place of the salt.

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