No Boil Slow Cooker Mac and Cheese

No Boil Slow Cooker Mac and Cheese is so creamy and packed with flavor…it’s the perfect pasta recipe everyday dinners, entertaining or a game day dish!

No need to boil your pasta before making this EASY Crock Pot Mac and Cheese! Super creamy and done in just a few hours!

I use my Slow Cooker on a pretty regular basis, and have a bunch of slow cooker recipes here on my website. On weeknights, especially in the fall when my family seems to be going in different directions all the time, the Crock-Pot slow cooker is a life saver. Sometimes we can’t all be home to sit around the dinner table together, which is definitely a shame. But, the next best thing in my mind is having a warm meal ready at home for everyone, so depending on what time we all walk through the door we can make a plate.

No Boil Slow Cooker Mac and Cheese is creamy, easy and delicious!

This easy Crock Pot Mac and Cheese recipe is a little different from your average slow cooker meal… this one only takes a few hours, which makes it perfect for entertaining, game day, or whipping up in the afternoon when you forgot to plan your dinner ahead of time!

I have tried macaroni and cheese recipes in the Crock-Pot slow cooker before, but they always require you to boil the pasta ahead. I feel like if you are going to do this step, it’s just as easy to bake the mac and cheese…why involve the slow cooker? So, my idea was to develop a recipe that you could throw all your ingredients in the Crock-Pot slow cooker, turn it on and walk away.

I’ll tell you, it was a super success. Like I am so freaking excited to tell you how to make crock pot mac and cheese!! Let’s go!

No need to boil your pasta before making this EASY Crock Pot Mac and Cheese! Super creamy and done in just a few hours!

Not only is this No Boil Slow Cooker Mac and Cheese recipe completely creamy and cheesy, it doesn’t take all day either, which is perfect for entertaining, kids sleep-overs or game day parties.

All you do is pour a pound of elbow macaroni in your Crock-Pot slow cooker and top it with cubed butter…

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Next grated some cheese. I like to use sharp cheddar and Monterey Jack, but please feel free to adapt this and play around with cheeses you like best. The only non-negotiable here is using Velveeta. I know the world has a love/hate with Velveeta, but honestly nothing can match the creaminess it brings to your mac and cheese.

NO BOIL Creamy SLow Cooker Mac and Cheese

Sprinkle this cheese on top of the uncooked pasta…

NO BOIL Creamy SLow Cooker Mac and Cheese

Then whisk together some milk, evaporated milk, salt, pepper and paprika. You could add in a little garlic powder…or really any other spice you like! Nutmeg, is a fun option to add to the flavor, or even ground mustard or little steak seasoning to make it interesting! Use your imagination!

Slow Cooker Mac and Cheese

Pour this on top of the cheese and stir it up.

NO BOIL Creamy SLow Cooker Mac and Cheese

That’s it! Just put the lid on your slow cooker, turn it on low heat and set it for 2 hours.

Tips on Making This No Boil Mac and Cheese Recipe

Easy No Boil Slow Cooker Mac and Cheese is a very easy recipe, but there are a few tips to getting it right.

  1. First, make sure you don’t overcook the mac and cheese. Slow Cookers can vary in cook time, and since this is a pasta dish, make sure you use my cook times as a guideline.
  2. Make sure to grate your own cheese, and don’t use pre-grated. The mac and cheese will be much creamier this way!
  3. Note that the cook time might vary based on pasta brand/shape. I used Elbow Macaroni (Barilla brand). Other brands or shapes could take up to 3 hours to cook, so just be aware of this variation.
  4. Also, you will need to stir the mac and cheese half way through cooking to make sure that all the pasta is in the liquid, and none is stuck on top dry and sad.
  5. The one consistent negative review I get on this recipe is that it turned out mushy…this is absolutely due to overcooking the pasta. While this is a slow cooker recipe, it’s not necessarily a “fix it and forget it” recipe. Too long in the slow cooker, and the pasta will definitely be overdone.
NO BOIL Crock-Pot Mac and Cheese! No need to boil your pasta!

Do You Have To Use Velveeta Cheese in this Mac and Cheese Recipe?

Velveeta is an ingredient in this recipe that people love or hate. We don’t eat Velveeta very often at all, which is why I don’t mind using it in this recipe. The creaminess it adds to the mac and cheese just can’t be duplicated. BUT I will say that I have had many people make this recipe and tell me that they have used cream cheese in place of the Velveeta with great results. I, personally, have never done this, but I like to give options in case you aren’t down with Velveeta.

This EASY Crock Pot Mac and Cheese is so creamy and you don't need to boil your pasta first!

So creamy, so cheesy and so so delicious.

Print

No Boil Crock-Pot Slow Cooker Mac and Cheese

  • Author: Cookies & Cups
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 2 hours
  • Total Time: 2 hours 10 minutes
  • Yield: serves 6 1x
  • Category: Pasta
  • Method: Slow Cooker
  • Cuisine: Dinner

Description:

This Creamy Easy No Boil Slow Cooker Mac and Cheese Recipe is great for entertaining!


Ingredients:

  • 2 1/2 cups milk
  • 1 (12- ounce) can evaporated milk
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon fresh ground pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika (I used smoked paprika)
  • 1 pound elbow macaroni
  • 1/4 cup butter, cubed
  • 4 ounces Velveeta, cubed
  • 8 ounces sharp cheddar cheese, grated
  • 4 ounces Monterey Jack cheese, grated

Instructions:

  1. In a medium bowl whisk together milk, evaporated milk, salt, pepper, and paprika.
  2. Pour the uncooked macaroni into your 5 quart Slow Cooker. Top with butter and all cheeses.
  3. Pour the milk mixture on top and stir to combine.
  4. Do your best to press all the macaroni into the milk mixture. It won’t be completely covered, this is ok.
  5. Cover your Slow Cooker and cook on low for 2-3 hours, stirring once after one hour.
  6. The mac and cheese will be done when all the liquid is absorbed and the pasta is cooked.

Notes:

Note – Cook time can vary from 1 1/2 – 3 hours based on type of pasta and slow cooker. Keep an eye on the pasta at about 1 1/2 hours and continue cooking accordingly.

Also note, I recommend only using freshly grated cheese. The pre-grated is coated so it won’t stick in the package, which will affect the creaminess.

I used Barilla brand pasta*

Keywords:: slow cooker, crock pot, mac and cheese, pasta recipe, cookies and cups, dinner recipe, tailgate

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Slow Cooker Mac and Cheese


Hi! I’m Shelly and I’m an addict. Of the buttercream sort. I started this site a few years ago as a way to justify my sugary, buttery obsession with desserts. It has worked out well for me so far, because as it turns out you guys all love sugary, buttery desserts too! It feels good to know you're not alone, doesn’t it?

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278 Responses
  1. Pauline

    Just made it and my boys went back for seconds last night and fought over leftovers today! Mine took 2 1/2 hours on low for about 1 1/2 lbs of elbows (I multiplied the rest of the ingredients accordingly). I added a little truffle oil at the end and got rave reviews from all. Used gouda and sharp white cheddar with the Velveeta as that’s what I had on hand. Added more milk at the end to thin the sauce as it was very thick. I used skim milk and 2% evaporated milk to balance out all the calories in the cheese and butter (lol!!). For hardly any work and a dinner that cooks in one pot, I will definitely make again. Thanks for a great recipe!

  2. Erik Hughes

    Just made this recipe, i will never make box mac and cheese again! Added hamburger to make it more of a stand alone meal and its blowing my mind, hooray for crockpots and hooray for who ever came up with this recipe

  3. Tami Shelton

    Made this for dinner tonight and it turned out bad. One of the cheeses became mealy like it separated think it was the cracker Barrol cheddar cheese. No one liked it. It wasn’t creamy it looked oily. What should I do?

    1. L.J.

      Did you use pre-shredded cheese?some of the pre packaged cheeses have added oil. Next time use blocks and shred yourself. That may help.

  4. Turner

    Just made this exactly as written and it came out great. It was done in my slow cooker in 1.5 hours. Not sure why but no biggie!

  5. Greta

    I doubled this recipe and took it to church along with a crockpot of sloppy joes for the volunteers at church for our 4 Christmas Eve services. It was a huge hit! I shared your recipe with several others! Thanks!

  6. April

    I’m making this when I went to check after 30min and it was all stuck on the bottom. I moved it around and will continue to check but did anyone else have this issue?

  7. Cheryl

    I just made this exactly as written. It came out REAL good. I have always made Mac and Cheese with a white sauce, this is much easier. It wasn’t ready at 2 hours, but 3 hours was a tad too much in my crock pot. I will definitely make this again. Some crisp bacon would make this divine….

  8. Taylor

    I made this mac and cheese last weekend and OH MY GOSH IT WAS DELICIOUS. I have tried other recipes before and this was by far the easiest and tastiest. Thank you so much!!

    1. Kristen

      Curious how yours came out. I am looking for a good crock pot mac and cheese recipe for my son’s birthday party next month. I am worried about making it for the first time for the party and not sure i’ll get a chance before then.

  9. elia

    I am making this today, but I noticed that I have a lot of milk mixture compared to yours. I followed the measurements. Should I be worried that it will come out to runny or soggy?

    1. Laura

      I almost didn’t make this recipe because of the bad reviews. I made the recipe, step-by-step, omitting nothing, adding nothing, and it turned out great! The whole family loved it! Doubled the recipe in my 6-qt cooker. Not sure what went wrong for anyone who didn’t love the results.

      1. Shelly

        The only thing I can think is that people have overcooked it, which is why it gets clumpy. I have never had that issue and am SO glad you had great results!

        1. CherEl

          Different crock-pots may heat at different temperatures. I tried a small quantity of pasta in my 20-oz crock-pot (food warmer) and after an hour it was one solid clump. Today I left it just 20 minutes or so and the pasta was only slightly overdone. There’s nothing wrong with the recipe, each person just has to work with the time based on the way their individual crock-pots heat.

  10. Kristen

    I know it says only two or three hours, but if I put it in the crock pot in the morning and left it, would it still be ok or would it turn into a soggy mess?

  11. Molly

    I’m going with Velveeta (technically it’s an off brand) but have another recipe similar to this that uses cream cheese (neufchatel). I haven’t tried that one myself, but it might work those who can’t get Velveeta. I’m using Halloween pasta shapes, I hope it turns out!

      1. Christine

        I made this yesterday with Gluten-free pasta, and it turned out pretty good. My only complaint was it did turn out a hair on the dry side. (I used 16oz of Ronzoni pasta 1 full box, and measured out 4 oz from a second box to equal 16 oz of pasta). Everything else I kept the same. There wasn’t much of a ‘sauce’ to it. Next time I make it, I’m going to try increasing the milk to 3 cups vs. 2.5 cups to allow for the difference in pasta makeup. Just wanted to let others know if they were curious about the GF pasta issue. 🙂

    1. Shelly

      There isn’t anything out there that can mimic the creaminess of Velveeta for this recipe, but I have had some readers use cream cheese and they said it worked!

    1. AmyBeth

      Hello, I made this once with velvita and it was delish but I didn’t have any velvita on hand wanted to make this again, I used 1/2 more cheddar cheese and 1/2 package of cream cheese. Came out pretty similar. not quite as good but a VERY close second place.

  12. This looks amazing! One thing I did notice that you might want to change – it’s residing under “Fun Sweets”, instead of “Dinners” on your site. Thanks for always posting super yummy recipes!

  13. Cari

    I have a 4 quart and a 6 quart crock pot — no 5 quart — would you recommend using the larger one or the smaller one for this dish? It looks great — I’m sure my kids will love it!

        1. Rosemary Caputl

          I just added a toppings bar: crumbled bacon, toasted bread crumbs, crushed potato chips, French fried canned onion rings.

    1. Laura

      I doubled this for a pot luck yesterday and it worked great. I did cook it on high for 3ish hours and then it sat as we traveled in the car. It may have come out a bit less creamy but it got lots of compliments and I think it tasted great! I wouldn’t double it unless you at least have a 6 qt crockpot…it was quite full!

      Thanks for this great recipe!

      1. Leslie

        Directions say low 2-3, you doubled and cooked on high for 3? I’m making this weekend and am trying to coordinate all cook times!! Just wanted to verify!
        Thx

Leave a Reply

Shelly Hi! I’m Shelly and I’m an addict. Of the buttercream sort. I started this site a few years ago as a way to justify my sugary, buttery obsession with desserts. It has worked out well for me so far, because as it turns out you guys all love sugary, buttery desserts too! It feels good to know you're not alone, doesn’t it?

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