Best Crockpot Mac and Cheese 2023



  • 16 ounces elbow macaroni, cooked al dente
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 6 tablespoons butter
  • 1 (12 ounce) can evaporated milk
  • 2 1/2 cups whole milk
  • 16 ounces sharp cheddar cheese, shredded (reserve 1/2 cup for topping)
  • 8 ounces Velveeta
  • 8 ounces cream cheese


  1. Prep Macaroni:
    • Cook the elbow macaroni al dente according to the package instructions. Drain and set aside.
  2. Prepare Crockpot:
    • Grease the inside of your crockpot with a non-stick cooking spray.
  3. Combine Ingredients:
    • In the crockpot, combine the cooked macaroni, black pepper, butter, evaporated milk, whole milk, shredded sharp cheddar (reserve 1/2 cup for topping), Velveeta, and cream cheese.
  4. Mix Well:
    • Stir the ingredients until well combined, ensuring that the cheeses are evenly distributed.
  5. Cooking Time:
    • Cook on low for 3-4 hours. Crockpot temperatures can vary, so keep an eye on it. If the cheeses are melted and the mixture is well combined before the 3-4 hour mark, you can switch the crockpot to the warm setting.
  6. Top with Cheese:
    • About 15-30 minutes before serving, sprinkle the reserved 1/2 cup of shredded sharp cheddar over the top of the mac and cheese.
  7. Melt the Cheese:
    • Cover the crockpot and let it continue to cook until the remaining cheese on top has melted.
  8. Serve:
    • Once the cheese on top is melted and the mac and cheese is creamy and fully cooked, give it a gentle stir and serve.
  9. Enjoy:
    • Serve the delicious and creamy mac and cheese as a side dish or a main course. It’s perfect for family gatherings, potlucks, or any comfort food occasion.

Note: Keep an eye on the cooking time, as it may vary depending on your crockpot. Adjust the cooking time accordingly to ensure the mac and cheese is perfectly cooked and creamy.

Here are some tips to make your Best Crockpot Mac and Cheese even more delightful:

  1. Cheese Selection: Experiment with different cheese varieties or a combination of cheeses to add depth to the flavor. Smoked gouda, gruyere, or a touch of blue cheese can bring unique tastes to the dish.
  2. Herbs and Spices: Enhance the flavor profile by adding a pinch of nutmeg, a dash of cayenne pepper, or a teaspoon of Dijon mustard. These additions can elevate the overall taste without overpowering the cheesy goodness.
  3. Breadcrumbs or Crunchy Topping: For added texture, consider topping the mac and cheese with crispy breadcrumbs mixed with melted butter before serving. This adds a delightful crunch to each bite.
  4. Bacon or Sausage: Incorporate cooked and crumbled bacon or browned sausage for a savory twist. The smoky and savory flavors will complement the richness of the cheese.
  5. Caramelized Onions: Sautéed or caramelized onions can add a subtle sweetness and depth of flavor to the mac and cheese. Cook them separately and stir them into the mixture before serving.
  6. Fresh Herbs: Add a burst of freshness by incorporating chopped fresh herbs like parsley, chives, or thyme just before serving. The herbs will brighten up the dish and provide a nice contrast to the creamy texture.
  7. Adjusting Consistency: If the mac and cheese seems too thick, you can adjust the consistency by adding a bit more milk. Stir it in gradually until you achieve the desired creaminess.
  8. Customize the Pasta Shape: While elbow macaroni is traditional, feel free to experiment with different pasta shapes. Shells, rotini, or cavatappi can hold the cheesy sauce in unique ways.
  9. Serve with Toppings: Offer a variety of toppings for individuals to customize their servings. Some options include sliced green onions, diced tomatoes, jalapeños, or even a dollop of sour cream.
  10. Garnish with Fresh Parsley: Finishing the dish with a sprinkle of fresh parsley not only adds color but also provides a clean, herby flavor that balances the richness of the cheese.
  11. Use High-Quality Ingredients: Starting with high-quality cheeses, fresh milk, and real butter can make a significant difference in the final taste. Opt for good-quality ingredients to enhance the overall flavor.

Remember, these tips are meant to inspire creativity, so feel free to tailor the recipe to your preferences and make it your own!

Here are some commonly asked questions and their answers related to Crockpot Mac and Cheese:

  1. Can I use a different type of pasta?
    • Yes, you can use your favorite pasta shape. Just ensure it’s cooked al dente before adding it to the crockpot.
  2. Is it okay to use low-fat or skim milk?
    • While whole milk adds richness, you can use low-fat or skim milk if you prefer a lighter version. However, it might affect the creaminess.
  3. Can I make this recipe ahead of time?
    • Yes, you can prepare the ingredients and store them in the refrigerator. Cook in the crockpot when ready, adjusting the cooking time as needed.
  4. How do I prevent the cheese from becoming grainy?
    • Shred the cheese yourself for better melting. Additionally, avoid using high heat, and stir the mixture occasionally during cooking.
  5. What can I do if the mac and cheese is too thick?
    • Add a little extra milk until you reach the desired consistency. Stir well to incorporate.
  6. Can I freeze leftovers?
    • Yes, you can freeze leftovers in an airtight container. Thaw in the refrigerator and reheat gently, adding a splash of milk to restore creaminess.
  7. What if I don’t have evaporated milk?
    • You can substitute evaporated milk with an equal amount of whole milk in this recipe.
  8. Can I use pre-shredded cheese?
    • Pre-shredded cheese often has anti-caking agents, which may affect the texture. For the creamiest results, shred your cheese.
  9. What’s the difference between crockpot and slow cooker?
    • “Crockpot” is a brand name, but people often use it to refer to any slow cooker. The terms are used interchangeably.
  10. Can I double the recipe?
    • Yes, you can double the ingredients for a larger batch. Adjust the cooking time as needed, and make sure your crockpot has enough capacity.
  11. What are some optional add-ins for extra flavor?
    • Consider adding cooked bacon, caramelized onions, or a pinch of nutmeg for additional flavor.
  12. How do I prevent overcooking?
    • Keep an eye on the mac and cheese towards the end of the suggested cooking time, as crockpot temperatures can vary. Switch to the warm setting once everything is melted and combined.

Feel free to use these questions and answers as a reference for your Crockpot Mac and Cheese adventure!

Here are some secrets to help you make the best mac and cheese:

Use a Variety of Cheeses:
Combine different types of cheese for a more complex and flavorful dish. Sharp cheddar, Velveeta, and cream cheese create a rich and creamy texture.

Shred Your Own Cheese:
Shred your cheese instead of using pre-shredded varieties. Pre-shredded cheese often contains anti-caking agents, which can affect the smoothness of the sauce.

Cook Pasta Al Dente:
Cook the pasta just until it’s al dente. Overcooked pasta can become mushy when combined with the cheesy sauce in the crockpot.

Add Evaporated Milk:
Evaporated milk adds richness and creaminess to the mac and cheese. It’s a secret ingredient that enhances the overall texture.

Adjust Consistency with Milk:
If the mac and cheese becomes too thick during cooking, gradually add more milk until you reach the desired creaminess.

Stir Occasionally:
Stir the ingredients occasionally during the cooking process to ensure even distribution of the cheeses and prevent them from sticking to the sides.

Experiment with Seasonings:
Play with seasonings like black pepper, nutmeg, or a dash of cayenne pepper to enhance the flavor profile. Adjust the seasonings to suit your taste.

Top with Extra Cheese Near the End:
Reserve a portion of the shredded cheese to sprinkle on top about 15-30 minutes before serving. This creates a gooey, cheesy topping.

Customize with Add-Ins:
Customize your mac and cheese with add-ins like crispy bacon, caramelized onions, or sautéed mushrooms for extra flavor and texture.

Don’t Overcook:
Keep an eye on the cooking time, as overcooking can result in a dry or grainy texture. Once everything is melted and combined, switch to the warm setting.

Use High-Quality Ingredients:
Start with high-quality cheeses, fresh milk, and real butter for the best flavor and texture.

Garnish with Fresh Herbs:
Before serving, garnish with fresh herbs like parsley or chives to add a burst of freshness and color.

Experiment with Pasta Shapes:
Try different pasta shapes for a unique twist. Some shapes hold the sauce better than others.

Let It Rest Before Serving:
Allow the mac and cheese to rest for a few minutes before serving. This helps the flavors meld and ensures a creamier consistency.

Remember, these secrets are meant to inspire creativity, so feel free to tailor the recipe to your preferences and enjoy your perfect Crockpot Mac and Cheese!

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