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4 Ingredient Slow Cooker Mac and Cheese Recipe

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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.

Evaporated Milk

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.

Crock Pot Mac and Cheese

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.

Easy Mac and Cheese

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

 

Yield: 4-6 servings

Slow Cooker Mac and Cheese Recipe

Slow Cooker Mac and Cheese Recipe
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.
Cook Time 3 hours
Total Time 3 hours

Ingredients

  • 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

Instructions

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. Depending on your slow cooker, the pasta may take another hour or two to cook. But just keep an eye on it.
  4. 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.

Nutrition Information:

Yield:

6

Serving Size:

1

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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28 Comments
  • Judy Johnson
    March 9, 2019

    I would like the nutrition menu for mac and cheese (as well as other foods)…mostly the sodium content. Thank!

    • Camille
      March 11, 2019

      I’ve added the nutrition info, but it’s an automated system so …. Most of the sodium will be in the cheese. If you can find a low salt(ish) cheese, swap that out.

  • Becky
    October 31, 2018

    I don’t know what happened, I followed the directions perfectly, but this was not a hit. It was dry, yet mushy, and lacking flavor. That’s even after I added extra spices. Sorry to leave a negative comment, but I know how I rely on Pinterest comments for recipes so I feel like I should share my opinion. Bummer, it looks yummy.

    • Camille
      November 2, 2018

      I’m sorry it didn’t work for you!

  • Gena
    March 29, 2018

    Dry ground mustard or regular mustard?

  • Morgan
    March 27, 2018

    Wondering if you can use 2% instead of whole milk??

  • Heidi
    March 11, 2018

    I made this mac & cheese today, it was super easy and delicious! I didn’t use the milk (I didn’t have any and this was a last minute decision), so I used butter instead and added 4 cups of water. It took 2 hrs and 40 minutes from start to finish and was wonderful.

    • Camille
      March 12, 2018

      Ooh! Good to know you can skip the milk!

    • Rach t.
      January 19, 2019

      Anyone try almond milk?

      • Camille
        January 21, 2019

        With the evaporated milk or just all almond milk? It may still work, but my guess is that it won’t be as thick. It may end up thin and runny. You could try thickening at the end if it is.

  • Brittany
    November 22, 2017

    Do I adjust the cooking time if I want to double the recipe?

    • Camille
      November 22, 2017

      I would for sure use a larger slow cooker! It will most likely need more time, but I’m not sure how much. Just keep an eye on it!

  • Shanelle
    November 14, 2017

    I’m a bit confused. It says 4 ingredients, but I’m counting 7, two of which are optional.

    • Camille
      November 14, 2017

      All you need is macaroni, whole milk, evaporated milk and cheese – 4 ingredients! The rest is up to you to personalize. Enjoy!

  • Reva
    September 19, 2017

    I wonder if you could use asiago cheese?

    • Camille
      September 21, 2017

      I would blend the asiago with a cheese that melts smoother like a mozzarella or the cheddar. Asiago is yummy, but it has a hard time melting and blending.

  • Miz Helen
    August 28, 2017

    Thanks so much for sharing your wonderful post with us at Full Plate Thursday this week. Please keep our great state of Texas in your thoughts and prayers as we are struggling with the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey. Hope you have a good week.
    Miz Helen

  • Colleen
    August 26, 2017

    This is one recipe that I’ve been wanting to try for a long time now…I’ve always been curious how well crockpot mac & cheese would hold up against stove top or oven mac & cheese. I guess I’m just going to have to do a taste test! Happy Fiesta Friday! – Faith, Hope, Love, & Luck – Colleen

  • Cooking Up Faith
    August 23, 2017

    I’ve been looking for a good mac and cheese recipe to go with BBQ. This looks delicious!
    Cooking Up Faith

  • Donna Reidland
    August 21, 2017

    This could be made with gluten free pasta, too.

  • I am slow cooking beef cheeks as I read your post. Thanks for sharing the recipe with us at #overthemoon. Have a great week!

  • Lisa
    January 15, 2017

    Just an FYI, a pound of pasta usually is 4 cups, not 2. Not sure if the recipe was used with 2 cups, or a pound.

    • Camille
      January 17, 2017

      Thank you Lisa! 🙂 I used a 1 lb bag of pasta. That may be easier!

    • Suzi Kopple
      November 22, 2018

      Ya was just counting like 3 times …im making now

  • Shanna Sorenson
    September 17, 2016

    Yum, my kids would love this!

  • Katy
    June 13, 2016

    I too love the blue box mac and cheese ! I too live in Las Vegas ! I will hve to try this on our hot days!