Even the pickiest eaters will love easy slow cooker mac and cheese: a combo of sharp cheddar and Colby Jack plus a few surprise ingredients.
Over the years, I've made at least a half dozen homemade mac and cheese recipes, but only a couple have been in the slow cooker. Up until this slow cooker mac and cheese, my absolute favorite mac and cheese recipe was this Instant Pot mac and cheese.
Pretty sure those seasoned bread crumbs put it over the top! (Pretty sure you could top this recipe with those same bread crumbs...)
I'm not exaggerating when I say this mac and cheese recipe is a total keeper.
I adapted this recipe from Taste of Home's Easy Slow Cooker Mac & Cheese by using sharp cheddar and switching out the provolone and fontina for Colby Jack.
I also underestimated the servings and doubled it, which I don't recommend unless you're feeding a small army.
Of course, I currently have a teenage son, which means I'm totally feeding a small army.
I can't wait to make this slow cooker mac and cheese again and take it to our next family potluck. Or maybe I'll whip up a batch of this absolutely divine but not so budget-friendly gourmet mac and cheese.
I posted it in 2012 so don't judge the recipe by the photos...
I could also bring this spinach and tomato pasta toss to any family party and feel super confident it will go quickly. Why? Because my kids liked it—even with the spinach!
Ready to learn how to make this delish mac and cheese? Let's go!
How to Make Slow Cooker Mac and Cheese
Step one: Cook macaroni. Drain (do not rinse) and place into slow cooker.
Step two: Add remaining ingredients and stir until combined.
Step three: Cook on low 2-3 hours, stirring occasionally.
I'm telling you, EASY.
Some "easy" slow cooker mac and cheese recipes aren't that easy. You have to cook the noodles, then make the creamy, cheesy sauce, and then put it in the slow cooker. And all that slow cooker is doing is heating it up (or keeping it warm).
I vote no.
How to Get a Creamy, Cheesy Sauce
Want to know the secret to a really creamy sauce? Freshly grated cheese. Yep! As much as I love and use that pre-shredded stuff, when it comes to macaroni and cheese, you've gotta do the grating.
I suggest buying twice as much as you need for this recipe, grating it all, and then storing the other half so you can whip it up again the next week.
Yes, your kids are going to want it again that soon.
Another secret to a successful slow cooker recipe? A high-quality slow cooker. I recently replaced my old one with Hamilton Beach slow cooker with the flex cook option and I love it! I'd also invest in a solid box grater to make grating the cheese that much easier.
Printable recipe for slow cooker mac and cheese below. Enjoy!
- 1 box uncooked elbow macaroni
- 1 can condensed cheddar cheese soup, undiluted
- 1 cup whole milk
- ½ cup sour cream
- ¼ cup butter, cubed
- ½ teaspoon onion powder
- ¼ teaspoon white pepper
- ⅛ teaspoon salt
- 1 cup (4 oz.) freshly shredded sharp cheddar cheese
- 2 cups (8 oz.) freshly shredded Colby Jack
- Lightly spray a 3-quart slow cooker with non-stick cooking spray. Set aside.
- Cook macaroni al dente according to package directions. Drain (do not rinse) and place into slow cooker. Add remaining ingredients and stir until combined.
- Cook on low 2-3 hours, stirring occasionally.
- NOTE: Please don’t use bagged, pre-shredded cheese. It has a coating on it that can make your cheese sauce gritty and melt poorly.