Slow Cooker Macaroni and Cheese With Variations

Slow Cooker Macaroni and Cheese
Diana Rattray
Prep: 20 mins
Cook: 2 hrs
Total: 2 hrs 20 mins
Servings: 4 servings
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
691 Calories
43g Fat
48g Carbs
28g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 4
Amount per serving
Calories 691
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 43g 55%
Saturated Fat 27g 136%
Cholesterol 141mg 47%
Sodium 1758mg 76%
Total Carbohydrate 48g 18%
Dietary Fiber 2g 6%
Total Sugars 19g
Protein 28g
Vitamin C 2mg 10%
Calcium 721mg 55%
Iron 2mg 9%
Potassium 682mg 15%
*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 slow cooker macaroni and cheese makes about 6 servings. Optional green or red bell pepper and finely chopped onion may be added for extra flavor. 

It's a simple recipe with no need to make a separate sauce. Plus it can be left in the slow cooker and transported to a party or potluck dinner. Just set the slow cooker on warm and serve it right from the crock pot.

See the tips and variations for additional ingredient ideas and possible substitutions.


  • 3 cups elbow macaroni

  • 5 tablespoons butter, softened

  • 1 (12-ounce) can evaporated milk

  • 1/2 cup milk, half-and-half, or light cream

  • 3 cups shredded sharp processed cheese (Velveeta) or cheddar cheese

  • 1/4 cup red or green bell pepper, optional

  • 1/4 cup finely chopped onion, optional

  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, or to taste

  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

  2. Following package directions, cook macaroni in boiling salted water. Drain well and transfer hot macaroni to a large bowl.

  3. Butter slow cooker crockery insert with about 1 tablespoon of the softened butter.

  4. Add 4 remaining tablespoons of butter to hot macaroni and toss to coat thoroughly.

  5. Add evaporated milk, milk or cream, cheese, and bell pepper and onion, if using. Add salt and pepper.

  6. Cover and cook on high 2 to 3 hours, stirring once or twice. Taste and add more salt, as needed.

Glass Bakeware Warning

Do not use glass bakeware when broiling or when a recipe calls to add liquid to a hot pan, as glass may explode. Even if it states oven-safe or heat resistant, tempered glass products can, and do, break occasionally.


  • If you like a crunchy topping, transfer the finished mac and cheese to a buttered 2 1/2 to 3-quart baking dish. Toss 1 cup of finely ground fresh soft bread crumbs with 2 tablespoons of melted butter. Sprinkle over the macaroni and cheese and then put it under the preheated broiler just until the crumbs are browned and crunchy.

Recipe Variations

Macaroni and Cheese With Ham: Add about 1 to 1 1/2 cups of cooked diced ham to the macaroni along with the cheese.

Bacon Macaroni and Cheese: Add about 1/2 cup of cooked crumbled bacon to the macaroni along with the cheese.