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Now you can come home to a super creamy and delicious mac and cheese thanks to this Crock Pot Macaroni and Cheese Recipe. The slow cooker does all the work for this amazing comfort food recipe.

Close up image of blue bowls of macaroni and cheese
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We are huge fans of macaroni and cheese and finally have perfected the best recipe. It has the perfect blend of cheese and tastes amazing. Macaroni and Cheese is the perfect side to feed a crowd.

This recipe is perfect for a potluck or just an easy side for a weeknight dinner. We even love serving as an easy Thanksgiving Recipe or as a Christmas side dish.

I love making homemade macaroni and cheese instead of using the box stuff. I know exactly what I am feeding my family and I adjust the ingredients to what we like. Another family favorite is Crockpot Carrots.

Why This Recipe Works

If you are looking for an easy side dish for your next holiday or get-together, make this easy crockpot macaroni and cheese. It is always a crowd pleaser and can easily be put together.

This is a great dish when you are looking for side dishes that doesn’t require baking. You can toss all the ingredients in the crock pot and let it the slow cooker do all the work. There is no need to spend hours stirring the mac and cheese.

The ingredients are easy and combining the two flavors of cheese makes this creamy texture recipe so flavorful. Everything gets placed in the crock pot for an easy process. You do not need to cook the noodles before adding to the crock pot.

Ingredients

Ingredients needed - macaroni, butter, cream cheese, salt and pepper, whole milk, heavy cream, sharp cheddar cheese, pepper jack cheese
  • Uncooked Elbow Macaroni
  • Butter
  • Cream Cheese
  • Salt and Black Pepper
  • Whole Milk
  • Heavy Cream
  • Sharp Cheddar Cheese
  • Pepper Jack Cheese

For the full recipe and ingredients, scroll to the bottom for the recipe card.

Variation Ideas

  • Change the Cheeses – We recommend using different cheeses. It adds flavor and it is fun to change the flavor. American cheese is also a family favorite.
  • Make it spicy – If you like your mac and cheese to be spicy, mix in some jalapenos, cayenne pepper or green chilies.
  • Add in Bacon – We love the added flavor that bacon gives mac and cheese. You can sprinkle in bacon bits or chop up freshly cooked bacon.
  • Change the pasta – Use different types of pasta. Some ideas include bowtie, shells, penne and more. Just use what you have.

How to Make Crock Pot Mac and Cheese

Placing uncooked pasta in the slow cooker

Step 1 – Add uncooked pasta to crock pot – Place the uncooked pasta in the bottom of the slow cooker. I used a 6 quart crock pot.

Top pasta with cream cheese and butter and season with salt and pepper

Step 2 – Top with butter and cream cheese – Cut the butter and the cream cheese over the pasta. Season with salt and pepper.

Pour milk and cream over the butter, cream cheese and noodles

Step 3 – Add the liquid – Pour the milk and cream on top.

Cook the mixture in the slow cooker

Step 4 – Cook on Low – Cook on low for 1 hour and 30 minutes, or until the pasta is chewy.

Top with shredded cheese

Step 5 – Add in the two cheeses – Stir in the cheeses.

Cooked mac and cheese in slow cooker

Step 6 – Cook until creamy cheesy is melted – Cover and cook for another 10-15 minutes or until the cheese is melted.

  • Step 7Stir in more milk if not immediately stirring – Add more milk if needed or if you are going to have it sit for a while.

Helpful Tips

  • Cheese – The key to making the best Crockpot Mac and Cheese is the special blend of cheeses. Cooking in the crockpot at just right amount of time, to make all these cheeses melt perfectly together for a crispy top.
  • Room Temperature Ingredients – Make sure that all your ingredients are at room temperature. They just blend better instead of being pulled straight out of the refrigerator.
  • Whole Milk – We like using whole milk. But if all you have is low-fat milk I would use that. It may not be as creamy but it is still just as delicious. You can use evaporated milk as well.
  • Hand Shred Cheese – Make sure to skip the bag pre shredded cheese. Shredding your own cheese is much better and there are no added ingredients.

Can I make this ahead and reheat it?

We do not recommend making ahead and reheating it. The macaroni and cheese is never the same after reheating it. If you do reheat it, we recommend adding milk to increase the moisture.

I would reheat in on the stovetop or microwave. Reheating on the stovetop prevents the mac and cheese having hot spots.

Close up image of blue bowls of macaroni and cheese with a serving on a fork.

Why was my Mac and Cheese Gritty?

When choosing cheese for the mac and cheese make sure you hand shred the cheese. The already shredded cheese has added ingredients which can make your mac and cheese gritty.

Grating the cheese yourself is a game changer for this mac and cheese recipe. It makes it so creamy and delicious.

Cheese Options

Yes, you can easily change the cheeses for this recipe. Try one of these options.

  • Gruyere
  • Gouda
  • Muenster
  • Parmesan
  • Monterrey Jack
A serving of mac and choose on a wooden spoon.

Serving Suggestions

Frequently Asked Questions

How to Store Leftovers

Place any leftovers in an airtight container and place in the refrigerator. The leftovers will stay good for about 3 to 5 days.

How to Double Crock Pot Mac and Cheese

You can easily make this recipe to feed a larger crowd. Just double the ingredients and cook as directed. Easy!

Why did it turn out mushy?

When making this mac and cheese, I recommend serving immediately after is finished cooking. You can keep the mac and cheese on warm for awhile but it could result in it being a bit mushy.
The main ingredient you are cooking is the macaroni noodles to al dente and melting the cheese sauce. So checking for doneness after cooking the recipe is key on keeping the mac and cheese from getting to mushy. The cooking time could vary.

Try more Mac and Cheese Recipes

More Crockpot Side Dishes

We love to hear from you. If you make this slow cooker mac and cheese recipe, please leave us a comment or a star review.

Crock Pot Macaroni and Cheese Recipe

4.96 from 122 votes
Now you can come home to a creamy and delicious mac and cheese recipe thanks to this Crock Pot Macaroni and Cheese Recipe.The slow cooker does all the work.
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour 45 minutes
Total Time 2 hours
Servings 6
Cuisine American
Course Main Course, Side Dish
Calories 911

Ingredients

  • 16 oz macaroni uncooked
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 8 oz cream cheese
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoons pepper
  • 3 cups whole milk
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 2 cups sharp cheddar cheese freshly shredded
  • 1 cup pepper jack cheese freshly shredded
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Instructions

  • Place the uncooked pasta in the bottom of the slow cooker. I used a 6 quart crock pot.
  • Cut the butter and the cream cheese over the pasta.
  • Season with salt and pepper.
  • Pour the milk and cream on top.
  • Cook on low for 1.5 hours, or until the pasta is chewy.
  • Stir in the cheeses.
  • Cover and cook for another 10-15 minutes or until the cheese is melted.
  • Add more milk if needed or if you are going to have it sit for a while.

Recipe Video

Recipe Notes

If your mac and cheese is too thick after you add in the cheese, continue adding in milk ¼ cup at a time until the desired consistency.

Nutrition Facts

Calories 911kcal, Carbohydrates 66g, Protein 31g, Fat 58g, Saturated Fat 35g, Cholesterol 185mg, Sodium 1370mg, Potassium 464mg, Fiber 3g, Sugar 10g, Vitamin A 2045IU, Vitamin C 0.2mg, Calcium 631mg, Iron 1.6mg

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About the Author

Hi, I’m Carrie. Welcome to Eating on a Dime!

I’m on a mission to help you cook delicious meals without busting your budget. Together we are going to cook real food… for real families!

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Recipe Rating




Comments

  1. Carrie Barnard says:

    I haven’t tried freezing it yet, so I’m not sure.

  2. Clare says:

    Hi! This recipe looks delicious! Do you know if it freezes well? Currently, my partner buys canned mac and cheese. I would love to find an instant pot version I could sock away in the freezer – cheaper and without in unidentifiable ingredients (delicious, but better as an occasional thing).

  3. David Hwang says:

    5 stars
    I LOVE chicken pot pie and I spent lots of money purchasing precooked frozen pot pies. It was a chilly day in Los Angeles (lol) and I was craving the comforting warm and soothing taste of pot pie. I made this in the afternoon and had it for dinner. It was delicious. and I have plenty left over to take for lunch to the office. So good.

  4. Susan says:

    I believe mac and cheese goes good with just about anything!! It’s the perfect side that everyone loves, even the picky eaters!!

  5. Cathy says:

    We make pretty close to this recipe. We use Monterey Jack instead if Pepper Jack.

  6. Terri says:

    I too make a crockpot mac & cheese, but will try your recipe as for a different take on it. I like to serve it with smothered pork chops, a ham, ribs or various other meats. I usually use a combinnation of sharp and mild cheddar, but sometimes use colby jack as well.

  7. Brenda Higgins says:

    5 stars
    I can’t wait to try this. I serve mine with roast beef and green beans.

  8. Sandy says:

    would add havarti cheese and 1/s c evaporated milk

  9. marjoriefrizzell says:

    5 stars
    I serve ham, or roast, or hot dogs with this, It’s perfect the way the recipe reads, Yummy, love it when it’s so creamy an cheezy

  10. Maria says:

    5 stars
    This mac and cheese looks very good to try, and I look forward to doing it.

  11. Joan Cooley says:

    I can’t wait to try this! I might use sharp cheddar and Gruyere. Love both of them! Thanks

  12. Nikki is says:

    5 stars
    I usually serve my Mac n cheese with a garden salad and grilled chicken. Yummy ?

  13. MelAnn Morales says:

    5 stars
    I want to make this recipe. I will leave out the cream cheese. I will serve it next time I cook brisket!

  14. Karen Briden says:

    5 stars
    Looks delicious. I would serve with steak, meatloaf or chicken.

  15. Brittany says:

    This looks delicious, I can’t wait to try it.

  16. Carrie Barnard says:

    It makes it even creamer.

  17. Carrie Barnard says:

    I don’t think you will. I think that will still taste great.

  18. Sally says:

    5 stars
    I left my comment a little bit ago about the Mac and cheese, I would serve sloppy joes with my Mac and cheese.

  19. Brittni Huff says:

    Yum! Would serve this with pulled pork!

  20. Sally says:

    5 stars
    Yummy, we love a good Mac and cheese and I can’t wait to make this ?

  21. Anita says:

    I can’t wait to try this. My son loves to shred cheese! I’m sure he’d use pepper jack and jalapeno cheese. We serve mac & cheese with ham, sloppy Joes, or barbeque.

  22. Gail Demers says:

    I will certainly try this and I make it for the holidays to go along with turkey or ham. I use Velveta cheese. By using the crockpot frees up the oven for the meat.

  23. Ivy says:

    5 stars
    I usually serve fried chicken wings with this macaroni and cheese. I use sharp cheddar cheese and mild cheddar cheese for this recipe. It has a very rich, cheese flavor.

  24. Amanda says:

    5 stars
    What another wonderful recipe! My family isn’t too fond of spicy so I’d substitute maybe Monterey jack and parmesan cheese.
    Thank you for another proven winner recipe this will go great with chicken strips?

  25. Cherie d dtarkba says:

    5 stars
    I love mac and cheese and when I find a new recipe I try it right away and wow, I loved this way of fixing it and the crockpot to fix it in, I was skeptical due to putting the noodles first but I was very surprised at how it turned out thank you for trying it then putting it out for us to try

  26. Joelle says:

    It’s looks AMAZING! I bet it would be good with Gouda, but pepper Jack & cheddar are my favorites! I’ll be trying this tomorrow.

  27. Catherine says:

    My son’s favorite food is mac and cheese. He requested it for his birthday meal so it’s on our menu tonight! We’ll serve it alongside grilled burgers and hotdogs.

  28. Catherine keck says:

    INSTEAD OF WHOLE MILK I USE HALF AND HALF FOR A RICHER CREAMER TEXTURE ALSO I USE MEDIUM CHEDDAR CHEESE. THIS IS RECIPE THAT MY FAMILY LOVEAS.

  29. Desirae Hart says:

    5 stars
    I like broccoli with my Mac and cheese!

  30. Vicki Abbitt says:

    I usually use Velveeta to make my Mac and cheese but this looks yummy and easy so I will try this out. Usually serve it with fried chicken or meatloaf. Can’t wait to try it!

  31. Lisa Schwartz says:

    5 stars
    Looks fabulous – I think this would go great with ham. Have you tried mixing Sharp Cheddar and Mont Jack? or Colby Jack? Just wondering if it’d miss the little kick from the pepper jack. Can’t wait to make this on Sunday!

  32. Sandra Murta says:

    I like salmon patties and peas with mac and cheese.

  33. Donna says:

    Good recipe, I would replace one cup of the sharp cheddar for smoked gouda. I make a very similar crockpot mac and cheese using smoked gouda and it gets all the raves 🙂

  34. Sondra VanErman says:

    I’ve never used cream cheese in my mac n cheese…what does it add to flavor??

  35. Vanessa says:

    I plan on making that this Sunday, looks so creamy and delicious. I think I would do the Mexican cheese blend as my kids are not a fan of pepper jack cheese. Since my crock pot did all the work, I’m going to make some oven bake pork chops to go along with this and some steamed broccoli. Thanks for the recipe!

  36. Niecie says:

    I am making this Sunday. I’m going to use Vermont cheddar and pepper jack cheese
    We have family dinners so this will be perfect

  37. Sandra Surtees says:

    This looks amazing ? . I would like this with Baked Ham. Classics for the holidays.

  38. Gayle Sojourner says:

    I love Mac and Cheese with fried catfish and Cole slaw. It’s a real southern meal.

  39. Sherry Self says:

    5 stars
    The crock pot Mac and cheese was delicious and easy to make. Too bad there isn’t a lower calorie version. 911 calories is crazy.

  40. Jacob says:

    5 stars
    I love to serve steamed veggies with this Mac & Cheese! So good!

  41. Sonia says:

    5 stars
    It is a family favorite ? Goes well with brisket and baked beans!!

  42. Susan says:

    I love mac and cheese and so does my family. I usually sneak in vegetables (cut in very, very small pieces) along with a little protein like chicken or beef and it’s a complete meal.

  43. Cindy Benson says:

    I don’t like my Mac and cheese spicy so I would probably substitute the pepper jack with Monterrey Jack. But I sure like the idea of making it in the crock pot!

  44. Cheryl Beard says:

    We usually serve something grilled with our Mac n cheese. And we use Velveeta to make ours. I’m sure yours is delicious too

  45. Robert Gurley says:

    This looks like it would make a good lobster mac and cheese or bacon mac and cheese. I’m going to give it a try this weekend.

  46. Morgan says:

    This looks delicious and easy! ? My kids would probably prefer Colby jack instead of pepper jack and I’ll whip up some parmesan green beans to have as a side!

  47. Kim says:

    I serve fish sticks with Mac and cheese. I think the way you made it sounds good. I think I would use Colby jack instead of pepper jack less spicy for picky eaters.

  48. Marjorie says:

    I will add a few different cheeses like sharp cheddar and Havarti. We eat it alone or with a protein of some sort.

  49. Melissa Jones says:

    5 stars
    Never knew Mac and Cheese could be so delicious from the crockpot!! In our home mac and cheese goes with almost any meal, but our favorite way to have it is along side fried chicken with mashed potatoes and coleslaw. The kids and I also love mac and cheese all by itself!

  50. Patty Forcier says:

    I make Hamburgers or Fried Chicken with my mac and cheese. Sometimes hotdogs for the grand children

  51. Scott Hayward says:

    Serve with some sweet pickles. Add taco seasoning and maybe a little bacon on top.

  52. Pamela Smith says:

    Looks good and recipe easy. I would serve steamed broccoli with it.

  53. Bess Ferguson says:

    I serve chicken strips with Mac and cheese

  54. Amanda says:

    This looks so dreamy! I love the idea of adding pepper jack cheese in there. I’d probably (and likely will soon) serve this along with some baby back ribs!

  55. Debbie Bennett says:

    This looks delicious. I think I would have put in some bacon.

  56. shannell smith says:

    5 stars
    My family loves mac and cheese, thanks for sharing the crock pot version! So fun 🙂
    I serve it with Ham Dinner, sometimes a BBQ sandwich of some sort and make it to share at family events/dinners so your crock pot recipe is awesome!!

  57. Lisa VIckery says:

    I serve my mac n cheese with:
    1. Hamburger patties (no bun as we get the carbs from the mac n cheese) and a ranch dressing salad
    2. Meatloaf (instead of potatoes, mac n cheese is an exchange for the carbs and my daughter LOVES mac n cheese) and add a garden salad on the side
    3. Pork chops and baked beans with mac n cheese

  58. Cindy Gallamore says:

    I cannot wait to try this with some homemade chicken tenders!

  59. Angela Turpen says:

    5 stars
    It looks so creamy and delicious! I would serve it with burgers, chicken and even fish – my grandbabies love fish sticks with mac and cheese! I can’t wait to make it!

  60. Shannon Campbell says:

    5 stars
    I did not know hand shredded would mix and melt better vs pre-shredded. A great tip for future use with other recipes too! Hubby is a big cheese eater and would probably add some Velveeta hunks with the cream cheese and butter as his mom has. We have eaten macNcheese with a variety of dinners including philly cheese steak sandwiches.

  61. peggy says:

    5 stars
    would fix this if my husband ate mac and cheese. He is german and they don´t eat that. I would not change a thing in this recipe. Sounds yummy just the way it is.

  62. Rebecca says:

    I have never had or made this mac and cheese but it sounds amazing and will be trying it! My family likes cut up hot dogs or ham chucks in our mac and cheese.

  63. Sarah says:

    This sounds awesome. Will definitely be making it soon. I will probably pair this with pork chops or maybe chicken strips

  64. Kaitlyn Robinson says:

    Love this recipe! I use just shredded cheddar cheese, as it’s my kids preference. For my bowl, I add in some cut up buffalo chicken!

  65. Kara says:

    Looks very creamy! I would serve with garlic toast.
    I would maybe pop it in the oven after with some seasoned breadcrumbs on top!

  66. Jo Stanford says:

    My granddaughter loves mac and cheese! I’m hungry now!!

  67. Christina says:

    I am going to make this great looking Mac & Cheese this weekend with BBQ pork steaks.

  68. Denise Baldwin says:

    I love having Mac and Cheese as a side to delicious cheeseburgers! It’s a wonderful main dish to for a lunch that needs to be quick and easy.

  69. CL Huth says:

    I do basically the same thing but in my instant pot! I definitely recommend hand shredding blocks of cheese, too. I like cheddar and parm in mine. Yummy!

  70. Barbara Sariol says:

    Looks good. Will have to try. I like gruyere and cheddari mxed so that might be good for this one!

  71. Jana Wright says:

    I like to serve pork tenderloin with Mac and cheese or meatloaf! My clan wouldn’t like the pepper jack. I use velveta shreds and Colby Jack on top.

  72. Mel says:

    We’ve been eating a lot of mac and cheese lately, with everything from burgers to chicken (or as a standalone). This is a particularly great recipe when we plan ahead of time, because of the ease of using the slow cooker. I think for the next go around, we may replace the cream cheese (or half of it) with goat cheese. Thanks for all the great recipes!

  73. Jan says:

    Always serve macaroni and cheese with ham, hot dogs or brats. I have not made this recipe yet, but am looking forward to doing so.

  74. Jana says:

    Looks good!

  75. Lauretta Clemons says:

    I serve mac ‘n cheese with meat loaf

  76. Jenny B says:

    This sounds amazing! I would serve with a nice tossed salad for a great meal.

  77. Andrea L blackard says:

    5 stars
    This Mac and cheese is the best it is hard to please my daughter with food especially max and cheese as that us her favorite. But this recipe she loved now I can’t make no other kind. We make it every Sunday for dinner no matter what we are having. There is not one thing i would change. Thank you

  78. Janice I Pintarich says:

    I always have meat loaf with Mac n cheese

  79. Debby says:

    My family loves Mac and cheese. I can’t wait to try this easy recipe. I would replace the pepper jack cheese with Guyere cheese since I am not a fan of pepper jack cheese. Thanks for the recipe

  80. Maria Bushon says:

    I would serve with buttered biscuits!?

  81. Cheryl Jenkins says:

    I have searched for several years for an easy, uncomplicated crock pot recipe for Mac and cheese – this one looks like a winner. I’m anxious to try it.

  82. Peggy Harris says:

    Plant to make this for Thanksgiving dinner, love your recipes!

  83. Karen W says:

    Giving this recipe a try! I’m always on the hunt for a good creamy mac n cheese recipe! I usually prefer colby jack or something milder than pepper though.

  84. Patti says:

    5 stars
    I love love love this recipe!! It’s so quick and easy! We serve it with barbecue chicken, pork chops, hot dogs and hamburgers and it’s ALWAYS served at Thanksgiving!!

  85. Jennifer Lee says:

    5 stars
    We love to have chicken with our Mac and cheese!

  86. Kristi says:

    I love this! It is my go to for pot luck and always a hit!

  87. Justin says:

    5 stars
    This is a quick and very easy and kid friendly recipe. I usually put cut hot dogs or some kinda seasoning in my mine like paprika or chili powder just to give it a lil kick

  88. Kathy Shimata says:

    3 stars
    Too much cream cheese for me. I’ll try it again with half the amount in recipe. Crockpot did do all the work, as advertised. :=)