If your family loves Mac and Cheese you have to try this easy Crock Pot Mac and Cheese that is over the top creamy! Tender macaroni noodles smothered in a cheese sauce. It’s the ultimate, classic comfort food. It’s perfect for a holiday side dish, potluck or weeknight dinner.
Sometimes you just need a big helping of creamy, cheesy macaroni and cheese, am I right? When that comfort food craving hits this crock pot mac and cheese is the answer. It’s a really easy way to make a big batch of cheesy pasta goodness – you are going to love it!
Why I Love Crockpot Mac And Cheese
- The sauce is extra creamy and cheesy!
- I’ve made this recipe so many times and it always works – the pasta comes out perfectly cooked and the sauce has just the right consistency.
- It’s the perfect side dish for so many dinners. For holidays, it’s great with baked ham and turkey! For weeknight dinners, try it with my air fryer chicken legs or baked mini meatloaf!
Ingredients for Crock Pot Mac and Cheese
Crock pot macaroni and cheese is different from ones cooked in the oven, Instant Pot, or stovetop. In order for the sauce and pasta to cook properly, there are a few ingredients that you might not find in traditional mac and cheese but I can promise it’s just as good!
- The sauce gets it creamy texture from sour cream, condensed cheddar cheese soup and milk.
- Butter adds richness and shredded cheddar cheese adds the extra “cheesiness”.
- There’s a small amount of ground mustard that adds just a hint of sharpness that balances out the richness of the sauce. It’s one of those ingredients that makes a big difference even though you can’t really tell it’s in there!
How To Make Crock Pot Mac And Cheese
- The first thing you will want to do is par boil the pasta on the stove first. This gives it a little head start so it ends up perfectly tender when the mac and cheese is done.
- To make the sauce, melt the butter with the shredded cheese on the stove. Doing this first, before you add them to the crock pot, stabilizing the shredded cheese so it’s creamy instead of stringy.
- Once it’s melted, combine it with the sour cream, soup, salt, milk, dry mustard, and pepper in the slow cooker. Add the drained pasta and stir it all together.
- Cook it on low for two to two and half hours or until it’s hot. Stir it occasionally and once the pasta is tender it’s ready to serve. Be sure to check on it because you don’t want the pasta to overcook – it will turn mushy!
Can I use a different pasta shape?
Timing is everything with this recipe and I haven’t tested it with a different kind of pasta. Depending on the shape it may need more or less time so I recommend sticking with elbow macaroni!
Can I use evaporated milk instead of regular?
Some macaroni and cheese recipes have evaporated milk, but for this one we’re using a combination of the condensed soup and regular milk. I can’t say how it would work with evaporated milk so please let me know if you try it!
Will a different kind of cheese work?
I think you could substitute Monterey jack, pepper jack, gruyere, American cheese or other good melting cheese in this recipe. It just depends on what flavors you like. My family loves cheddar so that’s what we always use!
Can I double this recipe?
If you are making this for the holidays or a large group you might want to double it. You can do this and the cooking time will stay the same plus you will be able to fit it all in a 6 quart crock pot.
Can I make it ahead?
I don’t recommend making it ahead because it has a better texture when it is served right after cooking.
I think it tastes best the day it’s made, but you can keep the leftovers in the fridge and rewarm them. The sauce will be thicker so you can add a little more milk to loosen it up.
Why is my pasta mushy?
Be sure to stir and check on it while it’s cooking. I recommend every 30 minutes or so and once the pasta is tender it’s ready to serve. The pasta will get mushy if it’s overcooked. Remember thinner noodles cook much faster so grab a thicker elbow macaroni or one with ridges!
Each crockpot will cook differently so know your slow cooker and how it heats.
How to Store Leftover Macaroni and Cheese
Refrigerator: Allow mac and cheese to cool then place in an airtight container or cover baking dish with plastic wrap or aluminum foil. Place in the refrigerator for up to four days.
Freezer: Place cooled leftovers in a freezer-safe container. Place in the freezer for up to 4 months. When you are ready to use the leftovers let it thaw overnight in the refrigerator.
How to Reheat Leftover Crock Pot Mac N Cheese
The best way to reheat any leftover is in a saucepan on medium heat. We recommend adding a few Tablespoons milk to the pot because the macaroni will have soaked up some of the cheese sauce. Heat it over medium heat, stirring frequently, until it is warmed through.
To warm it in the microwave place it in a microwave safe bowl with a few Tablespoons milk. Heat in 30 second increments, stirring between each one, until it’s heated through.
- There’s just something about pulled pork and mac n cheese! Make it in your Crockpot or Instant Pot!
- The kids LOVE baked chicken legs and mac and cheese so when I serve them together it’s always a hit dinner.
- Another fave is our delicious Smoked Ribs that are finger lickin’ good.
- I know, I know meatloaf gets a bad rap sometimes, but our baked meatloaf is so good! Or try out famous Mini Meatloaves which are always a hit.
Are you ready to treat yourself to some serious comfort food? You should make this mac and cheese for your family this week – I know they’re going to love it! Be sure to try some of these other family-favorite recipes, too!
More Comfort Food Recipes
- Spaghetti Pie will be a new family favorite for dinner! The crust is made of spaghetti noodles then piled with cottage cheese, a meat sauce and shredded cheese. It’s one our family’s favorite dinner meals.
- My Chicken and Wild Rice Casserole is a quick recipe that you can prep in 10-minutes! It’s the perfect casserole recipe for busy weeknights.
- For a warm and cozy dinner on a cold night, you have to try my easy Instant Pot Chili with all of your favorite toppings!
- Crock Pot Chicken Parmesan is so easy to make and delicious served with pasta on the side!
- 2 cups uncooked elbow macaroni
- 4 Tablespoons butter
- 2 ½ cups grated sharp cheddar cheese
- ½ cup sour cream
- 10.75 ounces condensed cheddar cheese soup
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 cup milk
- ½ teaspoon dry mustard
- ½ teaspoon black pepper
- Spray Crock Pot with non-stick cooking spray.
- In a saucepan boil the macaroni in water for six minutes, drain and rinse with cold water. You don't want to over cook this!
- Mix butter and cheese over medium high heat in a saucepan. Stir until it melts.
- In your Crock Pot combine the cheese mixture, sour cream, soup, salt, milk, mustard and pepper. Add cooked macaroni. Stir to combine mixture.
- Cook in Crock Pot for 2 – 2 ½ hours on low, stirring occasionally. Just until it's hot. If you let it cook to long the noodles will turn to mush!