Slow Cooker Creamy Macaroni and Cheese

I know that some people really don’t like macaroni and cheese (especially the kind the comes in the blue box), but I have to be honest . . . it really is one of my favorite foods of all time. I love gourmet homemade versions and I love the easy versions that can be made in your microwave in 3 1/2 minutes that only require you to add water.
I know that some of your are probably totally disgusted right now. Sorry. 🙂
Anyway, the kids wanted chicken nuggets for dinner and I decided that I would attempt to make a simple mac and cheese. I started looking all over the internet and was scared of some of the reviews that I read- lots of people had problems with the cheese curdling. Knowing my luck, I knew that would happen to me!
I probably read over 20 different recipes and settled on this one that I found at Repeat Crafter Me because she seemed to know what she was talking about and her picture looked yummy. 🙂 I followed her directions and 2 hours later, this dish was done. And about 30 seconds after that, it was completely devoured by my family (adults and kids alike!). It was quick, easy, and incredibly delicious. I don’t know if I will ever make any other version of mac & cheese again!

Serves: 6

Slow Cooker Creamy Macaroni and Cheese

My kids' favorite version of mac and cheese - it's so creamy and delicious!

15 minPrep Time

2 hrCook Time

2 hr, 15 Total Time

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  • 2 cups uncooked elbow macaroni
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 2 1/2 cups grated sharp cheddar cheese
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1 (10.75 oz) can condensed cheddar cheese soup
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup milk (I used 1%)
  • 1/2 teaspoon dry mustard
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper


  1. Boil the macaroni in water for six minutes and drain.
  2. In a medium saucepan, mix butter and cheese. Heat over medium high heat and stir until the cheese melts.
  3. Spray your slow cooker with non-stick cooking spray. Combine cheese mixture, sour cream, soup, salt, milk, mustard and pepper in your slow cooker. Add the drained macaroni and stir again.
  4. Cook on low for 2 to 2 1/2 hours, stirring occasionally (I cooked mine for about 2 hours and stirred it twice and it was perfect).

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160 Responses to “Slow Cooker Creamy Macaroni and Cheese”

    • I like this because you can take the crock pot to a picnic and keep it warm. Don't leave plugged up too long or it will dry out. It's also nice to be able to put in slow cooker 2 hours before company arrives and that leaves time to do other prep for guests.
    • My husband and daughter (15months) absolutely love this. Last time I added more macaroni which made it a little less creamy. I liked it better that way, but my husband gave me attitude for messing with "the perfect mac'n'cheese". I have a feeling that I will have to make this at least once every other week.
      • Hi Mari, we have never had that happen. I was reading over the comments from other viewers and this is a great helpful suggestion: A few tips for even creamier Mac and Cheese, we use extra sour cream closer to a cup. And because I love watching Rachael Ray she always puts a coffee cup size of starchy cooking water from the cooked noodles into a recipe I do that as well with this mac and cheese. It keeps the mac and cheese from drying out and makes it a bit more creamier. ***Might be worth trying! :)
  1. I am curious to know why you would need to put it in a crock pot and take 2 hours to cook it when you have already messed up a pan to cook the pasta?? Why not go ahead and cook it in the same pan?? It would be finished in less than 20 minutes and not have to wash the crock pot. Maybe I am missing something.
  2. Thanks for the recipe, this turned out great! I'll have to cut down on the calories next time but it was a winner for sure and I love how I was able to prep it while my kids were napping along with some oven baked BBQ ribs and that allowed me to spend time with the kids during the hour I'm normally slaving in the kitchen!
    • I have tried the Paula Deen recipe and this is definitely not it, unless she has a different one I haven't run across yet. Her's uses eggs and it comes out tasting like a macaroni omelette, yuck! This one gets rave reviews from my kids.
    • This is NOT the Paula Deen recipe, though it is similar. I made the Paula Deen recipe last week and was unhappy with the curdled consistency and thought I would try something like this recipe, that has no eggs in it to see if that made the difference. This recipe turns out smooth and creamy, just the way my teenage boys like it. I appreciate the comments of those who have actually made the recipe. I don't understand why people feel the need to comment on a recipe they have not made.
    • Just click on the "Magic" button under the picture and it will give you all of the nutritional information and facts. This is our new sister site - It has so many FUN features. Stop by and check it out. Add some recipes too. You don't have to have a blog to add recipes and make money. Anyone can do it!!!!
  3. Sarah M
    I made this in a 4 quart crock pot. Everyone absolutely loved this recipe. My sister-in-laws kids went crazy over them. They called them "Bojangles" mac n cheese. I'll take their word for it since I've never been to one. I've made quite a few crock pot mac n cheese recipes and this one is the best! A definite keeper! Make won't be disappointed.
  4. I have tried several Mac & Cheese crockpot recipes and NONE even begin to compare to this! My family loved it so much when I made it for Father's Day, that they've requested it again for the 4th of July! Easy & scrumptious!
  5. Julie
    I made this last night and it was great. My only questions is why melt the cheese and butter separately? It stayed kind of rubbery until it had cooked in the crock pot for about 1.5 hours and then it was nice and gooey. Wondering if it's possible to just add the melted butter and shredded cheese into the crock.
    • I had the same issue with "globiness". I just grabbed my immersion blender, and added the cheese glob and remaining ingredients (except pasta) to the slow cooker and blended away with the stick blender until smooth. Worked great! Then added cooked pasta and finished as directed. Turned out perfect!
    • Here is a link to the foodnetwork website that has homemade substitutes for cream soups- The very last one mentioned is a recipe for cream of cheddar soup. Hope this helps!
  6. Jenny B
    We *love* this recipe! Made it for my sister's 40th birthday party along with pulled pork and a chicken tray and it was a total hit! There were mostly adults at the party and we didn't think the mac and cheese would get eaten, but the whole crock got devoured... and we *tripled* the recipe! I have a 6-qt. crock pot and it just fits when you triple it. Even when I make it for my family of six I triple the recipe because we love the leftovers! One of the best slow cooker recipes out there!
  7. This was fantastic! I made this last night as a side dish for a family gathering and it nearly caused a riot. So creamy and delicious and EASY! I may never make the old-fashion type again! I doubled the recipe (everything except the sour cream since I didn't have enough) and it fed 9 adults with a small amount leftover. They all wanted the recipe before they left! Thanks so much. This is a new family favorite.
  8. Hi girls!! I made this last night without the crock pot- my work schedule is crazy and I needed it cooked right then! I followed the recipe exactly and then popped it into an 8x8 dish and baked it at 350 degrees for 20 minutes. It was perfect!!!! I love this recipe! I will never use the blue box again!
    • Just click on the MAGIC button under the picture. Then click on NUTRITION. This will give you servings and all nutritional info on this recipe. This is our new sister site, Great place to find thousands of great recipes. Hope you'll stop by!
  9. Kensgaltami
    Made this for a family crockpot get together last night(10 adults and 5 children). Doubled it and there was absolutely none left! Everyone loved it. It turned out creamy and delicious prepared just as written! It was the only thing my grandson would eat.
  10. I have made this at least 3 times. I should say up front that I have used plain greek yogurt in place of the sour cream all three times. It seems, if I cook it past an hour it starts to get dry (on a setting of 4 hour cook time). The consistency seems to look a bit curdled. My daughters school has asked that I bring in a 9 X 13 pan of Mac and Cheese. And since this is the only kind I've ever made, are there any suggestions on how I can keep this creamy? I don't expect it to seem truly "creamy", just more similar to oven baked mac and cheese. Any suggestions on making enough to fill up a 9 x 13 foil pan?? And any help on the texture?
    • Krystal
      We love this recipe. I follow it to a T. I cook it on low usually for 2 hours. (or as close to that as i can before I give into the smell and gobble it) and stir maybe every 15-30 minutes (kind of whenever I remember to) I would guess that the yogurt is the problem, or maybe not stirring it up?
    • This recipe serves around 8 to 10 people depending on the serving size. You would need to 5 times the recipe. I would round up some crock pots from your friends and family. You don't want to fill the crock pot to the top. Just watch it carefully that it cooks all the way through and doesn't burn.
  11. I just wanted to say, that I've been looking for the perfect mac & cheese recipe for YEARS. I came across this recipe half a year ago and it is the recipe that I've been looking for. It's so creamy and rich. It just makes me so happy. Mac & cheese is my favorite food, so I am in heaven when I eat this. Thank you SO much for making such an awesome and delicious recipe.
  12. Stephanie
    I made this recipe last night as a trial run (I am bringing this to our family Thanksgiving dinner tomorrow!) and it was wonderful. Thanks so much for sharing. My question is...when I make this tomorrow there will be about a 2 hour window between the time it's done and the time it's eaten, and I don't want it to get clumpy during the drive there. Anything I can do to keep it creamy a couple hours after ready? Suggestions? Thanks again.
  13. Guess I am the odd woman out - why wait 2 1/2 hours after making all that mess? Seems crazy. :) Cook the pasta - drain - stir the butter and cheese back in the same pot with hot pasta. Add a little milk, salt and peppery - dry mustard if you want. ready to eat or pour in casserole dish and bake about 20 minutes until brown on top / some like bread crumbs or parmesan on top. Cheese soup? gag! NEVER! out of the pot = thing to clean up - baked - = two things to wash. Keep it simple. When I bake it add little extra milk or half and half for creamier style.....'
  14. christina
    I am making this for a potluck tomorrow. I am using a 6qt crockpot. I need to make a very FULL crockpot of this lol. Is your recipe still go for that would you say? We have like 70-100 employees! Of course we are going to have plenty of sides but I want to make sure it's a full crockpot of M & C! Also I have about a 30-40 min drive before I get to work. Once this is done, will it be okay for the drive before I can get it inside work and keep it on warm? or is that not a good idea? 1 other question is what about cooking this on high for little over an hour instead of low for 2? I already wake up at 430am I really don't wanna wake up that much earlier lol. But I don't want it to get mushy or ruin before I even get to work! Please help!
  15. We LOVE this recipe in our house, my sister now makes it and my mother in law is making it as well this Christmas. Its a great recipe to make when camping which we do a lot in the summer. A few tips for even creamier Mac and Cheese, we use extra sour cream closer to a cup. And because I love watching Rachael Ray she always puts a coffee cup size of starchy cooking water from the cooked noodles into a recipe I do that as well with this mac and cheese. It keeps the mac and cheese from drying out and makes it a bit more creamier.
  16. Madeleine
    I have used this recipe on numerous occasions now, with one exception, I use a 12 ounce bag of noodles. It has been a huge hit at church functions, birthday parties, etc! My kids were tired of craft macaroni, but I love Mac n cheese, so I starting searching for an alternative, found this recipe, my kids love it! Thanks so much, you saved my life! ;)
  17. I love making this! It's so good. My husband and sister raved about how good it is! I'm actually going to make this for my daughter's birthday party. I was wondering how many serving this recipe is for? I'm making it for 35 people.
  18. I made this a month ago and it was absolutely delicious!! I was never a boxed mac and cheese fan...or even a mac and cheese fanatic. However, my husband is a HUGE love of mac and cheese. I decided to give this recipe a try. WOW! This is so yummy! If I could, I would eat this everyday! My husband LOVES this mac and cheese and its become a request for both lunch and dinner almost daily. He won't let me cook the blue box mac and cheese anymore - he only wants this mac and cheese. I'm a fan, my hubby is a fan and my family is a fan! Thank you so much for this recipe. It has quickly become our favorite mac and cheese dish.
    • Hi Teresa, Just click on the MAGIC button under the picture, then click on NUTRITION. This will give you all the nutritional info on our recipes. It's our sister site, It's a great place to search for delicious recipes. Over 30,000 recipes out there!
  19. Do you think there is any way to cook this in the crockpot way longer? I leave home at 7am and don't get back until 5 or 6pm most weekdays. Do you have any suggestions for cooking this longer? More liquid? My crockpot can be set to cook on low and then change to warm after any number of hours that I set.
    • Hi Kalyn! This recipe cooks for 2 to 2 1/2 hours on low. Stretching it our to 10 or 11 hours probably wouldn't work very well. I'm afraid it would be burned or very mushy. You can always make it the night before and then reheat before eating. We have never experimented stretching the cooking time to that length. Let us know if you get brave and how it all turns out. I just don't want your ingredients to go to waste if it doesn't work. Thanks so much for stopping by our blog! Have a great day!
    • Condensed Cheddar Cheese Soup Substitute 3 tablespoons butter 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour 1 cup milk 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese salt, to taste Melt butter in a saucepan over medium-low heat; add flour and whisk until smooth and bubbly. Remove from heat; gradually add milk, whisking to keep smooth. Return to heat and bring to a gentle boil, whisking constantly until thickened. Add cheese and stir until melted. Add salt.
  20. Karen Fry
    This is so, so good! I have made this mac n cheese several times since finding it and each time it has turned out creamy and cheesy. My family and co-workers absolutely love it! It is so easy to make and have found it usually only takes 2 hours to make. Since I get off work at four, I can put this together and we will still be eating by 6:30. So glad I found this recipe.
  21. ...Hello, I would like to make this for a Christmas Eve dinner that we are going to and was wondering if the Six Sisters or any or the commenters that made this already used the already shredded cheddar cheese in the bag or did you shred your own cheddar cheese? I had read once that the already shredded cheese in a bag has an extra ingredient to prevent clumping and that it makes a difference in recipes. Please let me know and thank you! :o) ...Happy Holidays to you & yours! ...Peace & blessings.
  22. Still in the crock pot with 40 minutes left (I put in for 2 1/2 hrs) but the kids were starving so I scooped out a bowl for my picky 2 year old (especially about his mac and cheese...only Kraft original for this one) and my almost as equally picky 5 year old. They are both devouring it right now. They love it!!! Will definitely make it again. I added 1 cup of sour cream instead of 1/2 cup and poured in about 1/2 cup more milk after an hour when I stirred it. Thanks for the great recipe! (I didn't have the dry mustard and used bagged shredded mild cheddar and it still tastes great)
  23. I would like to make this for a pot luck tomorrow. Do you suggest making the night before, putting in fridge, and then reheating (how many minutes before the pot luck starts)? Any substitutes for mustard and also can we use whole milk?
    • You will be fine to just leave the dry mustard out if you don't like it. You can definitely use whole milk. That should make it creamy. You just need to be sure it is heated through and thickens up a bit. 2 hours in the slow cooker was just right. If you are starting out with it really cold, it may take a little longer to cook. Just watch it closely.
  24. Stephanie
    I doubled this recipe for a get-together and it was a hit! I used 4 cups sharp cheddar and 1 cup regular cheddar, and I also toasted some panko bread crumbs in a tablespoon of butter on the stove and sprinkled on top before serving. Thanks!!
    • We haven't had any problems with it being gritty. You could use a little extra sour cream closer to a cup. We have also heard of using a few tablespoons of the starchy cooking water from the cooked noodles in the recipe. It keeps the mac and cheese from drying out and makes it a bit more creamier.
  25. I made this for my wedding a few years ago, it was a huge hit. Since then it has become a go to for family events, parties and work. So many people have asked for this recipe and one I give it to them it becomes a staple in their family as well.
  26. hownowbrowncow
    Alterations: Doubled recipe and it worked beautifully, added 1/2 tsp garlic powder and 1/2 tsp paprika. Pros: creamy, not eggy, kept well in a crock pot for several hours in advance of a potluck. Good. Cons: Cheese clumped and would not melt per other users' comments (I solved this by using the mod suggested in the comments, blending the globby cheese and other sauce ingredients), cheese taste was a bit one-note due to the use of only one cheese. You don't have to add a million different kinds of cheeses, but it's amazing the difference in flavor several can make.
  27. We have made this several times have its always a hit! The only thing I do different is I don't melt the butter & cheese beforehand. I add the melted butter to the noodles. Add shredded cheese to sour cream, milk etc & pour it over the noodles. Done in 1 1/2 hrs. So creamy & delicious! Making a double batch now.. & that works well in my 6 qt crock pot.
  28. I made this for a work party got many compliments and requests for the recipe I followed the recipe except that I substituted 1/2 cup cheddar with 1/2 cup cream cheese. I made three batches and it filled my 6-quart crock pot. I recommend using a Crock-Pot liner so the cheese doesn't get stuck.
    • Hi Vanessa, You may want to make this as a double batch and repeat it a few times. It might be best to cook it in 2 slow cookers. It is one of our favorite side dishes and the kids and adults both devour it. We even had it last Thanksgiving for the kids! Cooking time should be about the same. You mainly just want to be sure it is heated through.
  29. Boy do I have a bone to pick with y'all! This recipe is so easy, and so delicious, that it has ruined me for any other version. I took it for Thanksgiving as a triple batch and the crock was cleaned out before I made it back for seconds. Now I've been told that this is the dish I'm supposed to bring for all family functions until further notice.
    • I read your first line and thought "Oh no! They had a recipe go way wrong!" But then I finished reading and it sounds like the Mac and Cheese was a huge success. We also had it on Thanksgiving and some of us prefer it over mashed potatoes. It's so good. Thanks for leaving a sweet comment. And sounds like you have a lot of Mac and Cheese in your future!
  30. Christine @ myblissfulmess
    The title of this recipe is no joke. This macaroni and cheese comes out beautifully creamy, and oh so tasty! It was exactly what I was looking for. I served this at our Christmas dinner as a side dish. There was only just enough left for one person to maybe have for lunch the next day, and my son immediately called it! Definitely making this again. It's so easy you don't have to wait for special occasion.

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