Slow Cooker Macaroni and Cheese

Macaroni and cheese!  From macaroni and cheese cupcakes to macaroni and cheese soup to macaroni and cheese pizza, there’s pretty much nothing I won’t do or try when it comes to one of my favorite suppers.  And so it was pretty much only a matter of time before my trusty slow cooker got in on the game.  What would happen, I wondered, if I tried tossing all the usual macaroni and cheese ingredients together in the slow cooker, walking away for a few hours and coming back?

Good things happened.  As in, feeling this kind of happy when you take a bite good things.

It’s also the perfect compromise between the consistency of baked mac and cheese and stovetop mac and cheese….not as solid as the baked kind, not as loose as the stovetop kind…but juuuuuuust right.

The only thing about the slow cooker variety is that it’s not the kind of slow cooking that you can start in the morning and leave on all day while you are at work – this recipe only needs about two and a half hours.  If you have a slow cooker that works on a timer you’re all set, otherwise just get someone reliable to turn it on a few hours before suppertime.

As usual, not you.

Once the mac and cheese is all bubbling and delicious and done, I like to give it a good stir, and then serve it up.  This time I served it in ice cream sundae glasses, purely because we just renovated our kitchen and in the process found all kinds of things I forgot I owned, including ice cream sundae glasses.  Whee!

So there you have it – my umpteenth version of macaroni and cheese.  And don’t worry…I still have more ideas!




Slow Cooker Macaroni and Cheese
Serves: 4-6 servings
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 2 cups uncooked elbow macaroni
  • 2 cups shredded cheddar cheese (you can also use a mix of cheddar and jack if you like!)
  • 2 cups whole milk
  • 1 twelve ounce can evaporated milk
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper
  1. Butter the inside of your slow cooker.
  2. Put all ingredients in the slow cooker and stir gently until well combined.
  3. Cover and cook on low for about 2½ hours. The mac and cheese should be gently bubbling at the edges. Remember not to take the cover off and peek - this lets the heat out!
  4. When the mac and cheese is done, give it a good stir and serve at once!


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  1. Tracey says

    I know this is heresy, but do you think it would work with 2% milk? I’m having a hard time telling my diet conscience to get over the whole milk…

    • Kate says

      I do! One of our friends in the comments below made it with skim milk and reported back that it worked just fine – hurray!

    • Uncle JPB says

      I made this yesterday with 2% milk. I don’t know if that was the problem, but this recipe curdled and was an unappetizing mess, lacking cheese. I would throw another 2 cups in. This slow cooker recipe was a big disappointment. The curdling was reminiscent of a recipe using egg.

      • Kate says

        I’m so sorry to hear it didn’t work for you! Did you use the evap milk? That should have prevented any curdling. I’ve never made it with 2% milk, only whole, but a reader below reported good results with skim milk. And extra cheese is always okay!

  2. Julie says

    Making this recipe this weekend! I, too, am curious about the milk. I’d like to use 1% instead of whole milk. Would that work? Also, what size crock did you make this in? Thanks.

  3. Anita says

    I don’t think I did anything wrong, used whole milk and evaporated milk with the amounts given. It was very liquid and tasted like it curdled. Had to throw it out. Very disappointed since I was looking so forward to this meal and have used your recipes before without any problems.

    • Kate says

      I am so sorry to hear this – this recipe always works wonderfully for me! All I can think of is that maybe there are differences in slow cookers…mine is an older model, and maybe the heating has changed over time. But one way or the other, I appreciate the feedback and I hope you’ll still keep coming back.

  4. Nicole says

    Doubled the recipe and it worked great! Great recipe, very easy! Will be making it again for a huge new years party!

  5. Becca says

    I try to use as many organic ingredients as possible, and have not been able to find organic evaporated milk. Can I substitute or add anything in its place?

    • Kate says

      Hi Becca! You could try light cream…I’ve never tried that in this recipe, but I have subbed it for evap milk in others and it has worked pretty well.

  6. Emily says

    I used 1 c 1% milk and 1 c heavy cream for the very scientific reason that it’s what I had in my fridge. Came out delicious!


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