Slow cooker mac and cheese recipe is an easy slow cooker recipe that makes homemade mac and cheese with just four ingredients! Uncooked noodles make this recipe a breeze.
This was my first time making slow cooker mac and cheese. I’ll admit that I much prefer the blue box to homemade macaroni and cheese. Homemade mac and cheese just takes way too much work. I was curious if I’d like it in the slow cooker better.
If you look at a lot of Crock-Pot mac and cheese recipes you’ll notice many have one thing in common – evaporated milk. My guess is the evaporated milk helps to add the milk creaminess and it can withstand the longer cooking period.
Many of the recipes also call for processed cheese. Instead, this recipe uses two common kinds of cheese – sharp cheddar and Monterrey Jack. If you want to make it fancier try a mix like a fontina and gruyere. You can really use any cheese you want, but you want it to melt nicely and have a good flavor.
This is not a slow cooker recipe you can just set it on low in the morning and come home at night. It only needs to cook for 2-4 hours. It also needs a little watching towards the end. But it’s a great way to make homemade mac and cheese while running an errand or to free up space on the stovetop for a side dish.
Making this slow cooker recipe was also a reminder of why it’s important to pick the correct size slow cooker. I made half of a recipe and used a 4-quart slow cooker and it was barely 1/4 full. This is not the best way to cook in a slow cooker. You want it to be 2/3 full for optimum performance.
If you halve the recipe, use a smaller slow cooker. The mac and cheese turned out fine, but it took under 2 hours. You could double the recipe if you have a larger slow cooker. Or just use a smaller 2-3 quart slow cooker for a single recipe.
The result of this slow cooker mac and cheese recipe is a sturdy mac and cheese that more resembles a casserole or baked mac and cheese. It was delicious! You could definitely add some bread crumbs on top, too. You could also add a little more liquid to see if it gets saucier. But it was still very good – for homemade mac and cheese. And it was super easy, which is a major win for busy cooks.
4 Ingredient Slow Cooker Mac and Cheese Recipe
- 4 quart slow cooker
- 1 lb (2 cups) uncooked macaroni elbows
- 2 12 oz cans evaporated milk
- 2 cups whole milk
- 3 1/2 cups shredded cheese (I used sharp cheddar and Monterrey jack)
- 1/2 teaspoon paprika (optional)
- 1 teaspoon mustard (optional)
- Salt to taste
- Reserve 1/2 cup of cheese and set aside. Put the rest of the ingredients in the slow cooker and stir to combine. Cook on LOW for 2 hours.
- At the 2 hour mark, start checking the pasta every 20 minutes or so to make sure the dish doesn't overcook. The liquid absorbs right at the end of the cooking time.
- Depending on your slow cooker, the pasta may take another hour or two to cook. But just keep an eye on it.
- When it looks like all the liquids are just absorbed, sprinkle the remaining 1/2 cup cheese on top and cook until mac and cheese is done.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 654Total Fat: 37gSaturated Fat: 21gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 12gCholesterol: 115mgSodium: 736mgCarbohydrates: 49gFiber: 2gSugar: 18gProtein: 33g