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.
I looked at a lot of Crock Pot mac and cheese recipes and they all had 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 called for processed cheese, but I just couldn't bring myself to use it. Instead, I opted for two cheeses I already had on hand – sharp cheddar and Monterrey jack. I think I'll try it next time with fancier cheeses like fontina and gruyere. But this time was just to see if it really worked and if I'd like it.
This is not a recipe you can just set on low in the morning and come home to at night. It only needs to cook for 2-4 hours and it needs a little watching towards the end. But it's a great way to make homemade mac and cheese while running an errand or just on a busy day at home.
Making this slow cooker recipe was also a reminder on why it's important to pick the correct size slow cooker. I made half of a recipe and used 4 quart slow cooker and it was barely 1/4 full.
I should have used a smaller one or made the full recipe. The mac and cheese turned out fine, but it took under 2 hours. It's a good thing I was watching it closely! 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 results 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.
I may play around next time by adding a little more liquid to see if I can get it saucier. But it was still very good – for homemade mac and cheese. And it was super easy, which is a win in my book!
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: 654 Total Fat: 37g Saturated Fat: 21g Trans Fat: 1g Unsaturated Fat: 12g Cholesterol: 115mg Sodium: 736mg Carbohydrates: 49g Fiber: 2g Sugar: 18g Protein: 33g
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