No Boil Slow Cooker Mac and Cheese

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

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!

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…

NO BOIL Creamy SLow Cooker Mac and Cheese

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.


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


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


  • 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


  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.


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


278 Responses

        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!

  1. 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!

  2. 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!

    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.

    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!

  3. 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. 🙂

  4. 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?

    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.

  5. 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. 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.

  6. 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!!

  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. 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?

  9. 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!

  10. 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!

  11. 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.

  12. 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

  13. 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!

  14. Kim

    I followed the recipe to a “T”. I never thought I would say this about anything, but it was way too cheesy! My kids, who are mac and cheese fanatics even thought it was too cheesy. I think I would use about half of the cheese that it called for.

    1. Shelly

      I always recommend you grate the cheese for mac and cheese…it makes the end result creamier. The pregrated has a coating that prevents it from clumping in the bag, but also changes the texture of the melted cheese.

  15. Gayla

    Thanks for this Awesome
    Recipe! It was Relish!
    It wasn’t only a great dish to my meal but it was easy to make and cost barely nothing because I used my coupons! ?
    I love new recipes!

  16. Alecia

    This turned out awful :/ I followed the directions accordingly, but even from the get-go it seemed that everything stuck together. When it was time to serve to a family of 12, it was gooey, starchy and clumped together that everyone asked me “what is this”? I was disappointed in this recipe. I will stick to my oven baked mac + cheese.

    1. Roma

      Same exact thing happened to me when I made it last night. My fiance said it tasted more like gnocchi than mac and cheese. I think because all of the starch just made it pasty and disgusting.

      1. Shelly

        That’s a very strange thing! I have made this so many times and haven’t ever had that problem. My guess would be the type of pasta. I typically use Barilla. SO sorry you had this experience!

  17. Steph

    The recipe is flavorful and rich. I love rich food but even this was too heavy for me and not to mention a million calories

  18. Cindy Canestrari

    Hi! I just made this tonight, exactly as your recipe states, and the flavor is OH MY GOODNESS! I’ve always made mac & cheese on my stovetop and then baked in oven. I just have one question…my pasta tasted slighty gummy. Mine was done in 2 hours, I wonder if I did something wrong or that is the texture in a slow cooker?

  19. Tristen

    Tried this.. Followed the directions exactly. Turned out kinda icky.. The noodles ended up kinda grainy. The consistency made me want to gag a bit. Thanks though.

  20. Caroline

    I just threw this together and it’s in the crock pot right now! The pictures look absolutely amazing and I hope mine turns out just as delicious! I didn’t have Velveeta and I didn’t really want it in there anyway, lol, so I just used about 3/4 cup more of cheddar cheese and almost a whole package of cream cheese. I only used cheddar cheese (3 cups of it besides the 3/4 cup) and also added onion and garlic powder into the milk mixture. It’s been cooking for an hour now and it looks a little runny but I’m sure all the noodles will soak it up. Anyway, it smells great and it’s a great recipe! I’ll be sure to update when it’s done and tell you how good it looks and tastes. Can’t wait! 🙂

        1. Hope

          I cut the recipe in half, used all cheddar plus velveeta, and found that I had to add more milk at the end. It made plenty for the two of us and I actually liked it two days later reheated in the microwave. Because I had a half can of evaporated milk left over, I diluted it with an equal part of water and used it as part of the milk. Twelve ounces of evaporated milk plus 6 ounces of water makes two ounces more liquid than the recipe calls for, and even so I ended up adding about a half cup milk towards the end.

  21. Mike

    Hi there! What milk (1%, 2%, or skim) do you use for the recipe. I see some used skim as a calorie cutting effort. Always like to stick to original recipe my first try. Thanks! Looks tasty!

  22. Jean

    I prefer pre-cooking the pasta, I’ve decided, despite the convenience here, because using the uncooked pasta leaves a far starchier taste and texture that interferes with the creaminess of the finished product. If you boiled the pasta first, a lot of the starch would leave with the water.

  23. Denise

    My question is….my crock pot has a low setting 8 hours or 10 hours. Should I put on 10 hours which obviously would be lowest and be done in 2-3 or 8 hours

    1. Shelly

      i would go with the 10 hour setting for 2-3 hours. The problem that people have with it getting sticky is they are cooking it too long, I would guess, so just check it after 2 hours 🙂

  24. Louisiana girl

    3 hours was too long – probably about 2 and 1/2 would have been better. I added more seasoning for my family and used whole milk with Half & Half rather than evaporated milk. Also added a bit more butter at the one hour mark.

  25. Tiigie Cat

    I so wanted this to be true but sadly it was not. The whole thing looked like and had the texture of macaroni that someone had already, eaten, and thrown up. It was just horrific and I threw the whole pot out. The texture literelly made my daughter gag. What a waste of so much butter milk and cheese. Boooooo.

    1. Shelly

      So sad that you had this experience. My guess would be that it cooked too long. I have never had a bad experience making this recipe.

  26. Tori

    I made this recipe in my dorm room at college with my 4 quart crock pot, I didn’t have to alter the size of the recipe at all. It fit perfectly and was done in three hours! I stirred every half hour while studying for finals… this is a perfect dorm recipe because I don’t always have a way to cook pasta and I’m always short on time. Super delicious and soooo cheesy, thank you!

  27. Martin HHI

    I followed this recipe almostly exactly, but cooked it on “high” setting for 1 hr 45 min (not a minute longer). It came out exactly as the picture shows. I stirred it twice. I have tried doubling it in the same crock pot but it doesn’t come out the same & too unwieldy to manage in a single pot.

  28. Kacie Campbell

    I tweaked this last night and made No Boil Slow Cooker Pasta Alfredo, Shelly, you’re a slow cooker genius! I only needed to exchange the kinds of cheese, I used pecorino romano and a bagged 4 cheese Italian blend; and the velveeta for some jarred alfredo sauce! I used Barilla rotini and it cooked in the same amount of time. Thanks for this awesome recipe that has now given me two easy, last minute, lazy dinners that taste like i spent a whole evening on them!

      1. Jan

        You are a saint Shelly. You are answering every question. Gonna make this for a Memorial Day BBQ. Will double it and sure it will turn out great. Thanks for all your tips. I think just keeping an eye on things is important. This will be my first time using uncooked pasta, but it’s will be so much easier and here in Miami its important to keep down the heat in the kitchen!

    1. Gail

      I know this is a reply to a year-old post, but for whomever else might see this, I LOVED this recipe! This may be the only way I ever make mac ‘n’ cheese from now on. It was so easy, and it didn’t heat up the kitchen in nearly 100-degree weather. But the next day, I was disappointed in the leftovers, which were no longer creamy. The taste was still good, but the texture wasn’t great. Then my beloved thought of adding a little butter when reheating it, and it was PERFECT again, really re-activated the creamy cheesiness!

      1. Shelly

        Thank you so much for the comment! I agree that this isn’t as creamy leftover, but what a great tip! I have made this so many times with amazing results!

  29. Rebekah

    Ignore the negative reviews! This recipe is fantastic if done right! I think the key is stirring half way through the cook time. This brings the liquid and cheeses together into a creamy sauce. Also, don’t overcook! Mine was done in about 1 hour and 45 min. For those looking for a velveeta substitute, Muenster worked great for me. I also didn’t have evaporated milk, so I used heavy cream. Wow. Creamy, flavorful, and perfectly aldente!

  30. Brenda P Gilliam

    I tried this recipe this morning and absolutely love it. I made just a few alterations to it, instead of 1 can of evaporated milk I used 2 – this made it super creamy. Plus I had to use the cheese that I had on hand. I used 2 – 4 oz. packs of velveeta cheese sauce, 2 cups of mozzarella cheese and 1 cup of taco blend cheese, other than that everything was the same. Also I stirred it more than recommended and it turned out wonderfully. I will definitely be using this recipe again.

  31. DougieSue

    I signed up to bring mac-n-cheese for our Occasional Friday office “lunch-in” potluck. Commuting to work with a full hot crockpot can be messy and dangerous. So, this morning, I brought all the ingredients into the office break room and had it cooking in no time. I used a slow cooker liner, followed the directions, and set the pot to be ready at noon. For side garnishing, I brought extra cheese for sprinkles and hot paprika and mustard powder for those wanting a kick. A huge success! Even the liner got a good spoon scraping!!

  32. travelball-mom

    Looks great! Planning on making in the RV for the July 4th weekend. I will shred all my cheeses in advance and place in a zip bag and plan to throw together while enjoying a beach weekend with Travel Baseball! Wish me luck, hope a pile of teenage boys love it!!!

  33. Marty\'s Mom

    I’ve doubled it every time. Turns out great. Since we live at 7000 feet, I add an extra cup of milk. Also, 1 full container of Bueno Autumn Roast green chili. Yum.

  34. Alecia

    I made this tonight for supper and it was amazing! I used Barilla gluten free elbow macaroni and it only cooked for 1hr and 15mins. Thrilled that I found this one!

  35. Heather

    Yeah taste is there but what complete mush!! Not one noodle looked like a noodle. It all became one giant mushy lump. I followed recipe exactly to a t.

    1. Shelly

      Sounds like it cooked a little long. It really depends on your slow cooker, I am learning. I wrote the recipe exactly how it works in mine, but I have had readers tell me theirs was done in only 1 1/2 hours! Sorry you had a bad experience!

  36. Natalie J

    Made this today for an office potluck. Huge success! Everyone went back for seconds, if not thirds!
    Doubled the recipe and cooked on low for 2 1/2 hours with a 25 minute car ride. Only ingredient that did not have was paprika, added garlic powder in lieu.

  37. Alex

    Tried this tonight because it looked so good! The texture of the pasta and the cheese sauce were fantastic, but I thought the taste was very bland. I only did the recipe as written at the bottom of the page because whenever I try something new I do it as written before I tinker with anything. But I see up in the description you encouraged the addition of other spices and seasonings like garlic salt or nutmeg… do you feel like the other spices are necessary to complete the dish? And if so, in what quantities?

    All in all I give it a B- as written. It was very good, but I felt like I had a culinary blank canvas that needed something added to it to complete it. I served it with some toasted bread crumbs on top after each bowl was made for a little added flavor and texture.

    When I try it again I might do all sharp cheddar cheese, or substitute pepper jack for monterey jack, to give it a little oomph. Or if I’m feeling more adventuresome, a tablespoon of soy sauce mixed in with all the liquid ingredients to provide a subtle flavor throughout. Or perhaps a roughly chopped onion to provide an aromatic component.

    I also see some people added hamburger meat… I’ve always liked Italian Sausage with mac and cheese for a unique and bold flavor, so perhaps I’ll try that.

  38. Angie

    OMG! I came back to the recipe to see if I missed anything because my mac and cheese was really thick and the noodles were not getting cooked… I ONLY added the evaporated milk and not the 2.5 cups of regular milk! I think I saved it – it had been an hour so…. LOL following directions is important Duh

  39. Gina M

    I followed directions exactly and this came out good. It was very thick, so I might try again with less cheese next time. Thanks for the easy recipe!

  40. ARIElle hoffer

    I just made this and didn’t have velverta so i used a small amount of cream cheese and added in mild chedddar cheese!! hope it turns out ok

  41. Val

    Made this recipe today for a church potluck tomorrow. I doubled it in my crock pot. I cooked it on my slow cooker’s WARM setting to avoid curdling/mushy noodles. The noodles were done after about 5 hours on warm. The sauce was SUPER (almost too) cheesy and still a little runny so I cooked another box of elbow noodles to stir in and the proportions were perfect. Added a little seasoned salt and a lot more pepper. It tastes awesome and is a good consistency right now. Hoping it re-heats well tomorrow! Thanks!

  42. Ryans Mom

    This recipe is amazing. Added a few cloves of minced garlic and a minced shallot and a nice size squirt of sriracha and it was a massive hit- even with my picky family. Will use this again and again!

  43. Tiffany

    No Velveeta for us and I whisk some eggs with the milk and add an onion, shredded. It’s like a hug in a meal on a cold snuggle up day.

  44. Brooke

    Holy crap! I made this today for a work potluck and it was a HIT! I didn’t change anything other than double the recipe for my 7 qt crock pot. BRAVO!

  45. Theresa

    I was wondering if you use the “Ready Pasta” from Barilla, or just the regular pasta? I want to make this for my son’s Birthday. I’m a little nervous about the raw pasta in the slow cooker. Afraid it won’t cook.

  46. theresa

    I’d like to make this for thanksgiving. But my Thursday is pretty filled up. Do you think this is something I can make a day or two ahead, refrigerate and just put it on the warm setting the day of?

  47. Tamara

    This was amazing! I made this for my office “Potluck” everyone loved it! I followed the direction an it came out perfect! I will def. make this again.

  48. Theresa

    I really wanted to like this recipe. I followed it exactly. It was gummy and my family didn’t like it at all. They wouldn’t eat it past a trial bite.

  49. Tamara Hawkins

    Not sure I’ll make this again. Turned out as soggy mushy. The pasta was unrecognizable. Any pointers on making this so that the pasta doesn’t mush into oblivion?

    1. Shelly

      Sounds like it cooked too long. Since all slow cookers are different I recommend that that you check it after an hour and a half or so and gauge the pasta.

  50. RIta

    My family loves this dish but no one makes it – they always go buy it or have it catered but this time I told them – I would make it for Thanksgiving – my family was shocked….to be honest so was I because I have never made mac and cheese before. I was nervous and said a small prayer before making it. I followed the instructions the same aside from the following:

    For the cheese I used mild cheddar 8 oz and 8 oz of Colby & Monterey jack and grated them myself. I also added 1/2 cup of light sour cream.

    I cooked it on low in the crock pot, stirred at about 55 minutes and then checked back in about 40 minutes later and it was almost done and looked exactly like in the picture. I then just turned it off and let the heat do its work and it looked great and tasted amazing!

    I was pretty surprised because I am not a chef at all and all my family (some who don’t even like cheese) and my fussy cousins ate the mac and cheese as well – there was none left – all gone – I wish I had made more but I wanted to see how it would turn out – I will be sure to make this again. My brother has now asked me to experiment by already asking me to make lobster mac and cheese and truffle mac and cheese 🙂 I think I may be in trouble. Thank you Shelly for posting this recipe – because of you I am now the official person to make Mac and Cheese for the family. Keep up the amazing posts and recipes. Happy Holidays!

    1. Shelly

      Love hearing this! Thanks for posting your cook times, because since all slow cookers are different I think that’s where some run into trouble, by over cooking it and causing the pasta to get mushy!

  51. Kathy

    Thanks so much for the awesome recipe, followed it pretty close and had great results, crock pot completely empty at work lunch function

  52. Drew

    I made this for my company’s pot luck and it went over like gang busters! It’s really really tasty! I did a double batch and started it out on high for the first hour. It began to stick to the sides, so I dropped it to low. I’m pretty sure low for 3 hours would work on a double batch. I also changed up the cheese a little bit, I got a fancy three cheese variety of sharp cheese (2 bags) and a swiss/gruyere blend (1 bag). I had multiple people ask for the recipe.

  53. Kathleen

    Just mixed a double batch for my family Christmas part. Used half and half instead of milk, Frankenmuth Chicken Seasoning instead of salt, added smoked paprika, onion and garlic powders. Cant wait to try it!

  54. Andiamo Adamo

    I have made this Mac and Cheese twice now. The first time, I tested it before making it at work for a Pot Luck. Being in high altitude (4000 feet) I added an extra half cup of milk, and a half cup of Crema con Sol (Mexican Sour Cream), and it was AMAZING. Only took 1.5 hours for a single batch, and 2.5 hours for a double batch. Everyone wanted the recipe. Highly recommend it. 🙂

  55. Pamela

    With so many comments saying it turned out poorly due to overcooking, you should truly consider adding a note to your recipe about the importance NOT OVERCOOKING and adjusting time. My partner made this without reading the comments and ended up overcooking it after just 2 hours. Now looking at all the good and bad comments, I can’t help but feel really frustrated with this recipe. What are we supposed to do with a pound of grainy macaroni? To be fair it does taste good.

  56. Ken

    For those of you that ended up with a bad texture I’m wondering if you used pre shredded cheeses. Pre shredded cheeses are sprayed with wax and or food grade silicones to keep them from sticking together even at room temperature. Fresh grated cheese makes a huge difference in dishes like this. My wife and i just made this and it turned out really well and took 2.5 hours on low.

  57. Sonja

    ??? We tried making this tonight for a party….we’re only 45 mins in on low and it looks like a fail 🙁 I have no idea what went wrong….we doubled the ingredients (so I expected even more cook time based on the comments) but at 45 minds the pasta has this really odd, chewy consistency — I can’t see how cooking it longer would fix it, and I have no idea who 45 mins on low could possibly be “overcooked” ? I’m Using an all-clad slow cooker if anybody is wondering. sigh…

  58. Linda

    I have made this several times. The first time I followed the recipe exactly, but the pasta (Barilla elbows) was not cooked and all the liquid had been absorbed, so I now double the milk and use 2 ounces Velveeta, 12 ounces white American Cheese, 4 ounces Cheddar, and 4 ounces of Mozzarella. It comes out very yummy!! Thank you =0)

  59. Samantha Ward

    If we want to add broccoli or cauliflower to it, do you think we should boil it 1st before adding it in or just add it into the crock pot?

  60. Michelle

    This is not a good recipe. Over cooked pasta and flavorless. I spent a good amount of time searching for a recipe and this was a total disappointment and waste of time. Ick

  61. Shari BMc

    Made this tonight for a basketball team dinner. It was a huge hit! They were scraping the pot! I multiplied the ingredients by 1 1/2, used 1 can of low fat evaporated milk and 1/2 can of regular, used 2% milk, not whole, used 8oz of extra sharp cheese and 4 oz of sharp cheddar. Everything else was exactly the same multiplied by 1 1/2. I followed the suggestion of not using bagged shredded cheese and grated my own – I think this is very important in how the final product turns out. The only thing I would do differently is I would add more macaroni. I used 1 1/2 lbs, but it was super cheesy and could have easily taken more pasta, so I will try 2 lbs next time. All the boys loved it and it was the first thing gone at the team dinner!

  62. Erin

    Have made this several times – alter it a bit for my 17 yr old mac and cheese lover – add 1/2 block of cream cheese and leave out the Monterey Jack. Her favourite!
    Any idea how to modify for Instant Pot?

  63. Ashley

    I am another person that will tell everyone to ignore the bad reviews! She is not wrong in the fact that a lot of people are overcooking this dish. Not all crockpots are going to cook at the same speed or temperatures on low. It even has nothing to do with the quality or brand of your crockpot. I have two and they both cook things differently. Any time you’re making a recipe like this, esp. with cheeses, you have to keep an eye on it. Also, I agree with her and others when they say to use freshly grated cheese. It makes a huge difference. I followed her recipe almost exactly, other than realizing after the fact that she uses 2% milk (I only buy skim). It still turned out yummy and it was done in about 2 hrs.! I will definitely make this recipe again! Thanks for sharing!

  64. Ashley Gerritsen

    I doubled the recipe in my 6 qt Crock Pot (I was kind of afraid it wouldn’t fit!) and it was actually all done on high for about 3 hours. Coworkers loved it and boyfriend says it’s the best mac and cheese he’s ever had.

  65. Linda

    Don’t know what went wrong. Increased recipe by 1 1/2 and, after just an hour and it turned to mush. Tastes good but can’t serve at pot luck. Might be too much cheese? Will try again some time but for now very disappointed. ?

  66. dq

    Hi have now made this twice and the result was a brick of cheese and mushy pasta… first time low for 2.5 hours and second time high for 1 hour and low for 30 minutes same result…Not trying again

  67. Marti

    I have made this a few times and it always comes out perfect. I added bacon bits once. Another time I added diced jalapenos. Both were awesome. The original recipe is perfect as is, however. It’s definitely my go-to for mac and cheese.

    1. Kizzy

      I actually cooked this in my slow cooker on high but just cut the total cook time down to btwn 1:45 to 2 hours and it was perfect! I stirred after the first 45 minutes, then 30 and 15 minutes, respectively. I LOVE LOVE LOVE this recipe and now need to increase my exercise frequency (HAHA) but it’s so worth it! Thanks for sharing!!!

  68. Julie

    Wasted my ingredients on this recipe. I followed it exactly and it is a pile of dried out pasta mess. Very disappointed. Would never recommend this recipe to anyone.

  69. Cimi C

    Hi. I tried this recipe last night. Followed instructions perfectly. At 2 hours it looked perfect. So I switched the pot off. But the sauce had curdled by the time I went to serve. It tasted nice anyway. Any idea what went wrong? Would you know if i can do anything to revive it?

  70. I think if you eat it at exactly 2 hours it might be ok as it looked really good right at 2 hours…but it turned into a very pasty mushy mess for me as well, like many said. We had company over for dinner and they were delayed two hours so the mac n cheese stayed in the crock pot and it was in a horrible state when they arrived. We ended up chucking it. It was just super mush and grainy. I followed the recipe exactly and used elbow macaroni.

  71. Allie

    I made this recipe for my coworkers today, and they absolutely loved it! I doubled it and tweaked it just a tad. I used all 2% milk and didn’t use the evaporated milk. Instead of Velveeta I used muenster cheese. OMG it turned out SOOOO good. The longer you let it cook in the crockpot you risk letting the pasta get mushy. Mine started to get a little mushy, but it was still delicious, and very rich!

  72. Disappointed

    My mom and I were so excited to try this! We were thinking it would be something good to throw together on a day when we’d be out and about so we wouldn’t have to worry about dinner so much. We followed this recipe exactly, and it was just…..awful. Because the noodles weren’t actually boiled, and instead just sat in hot liquid, they got this weird texture of being overdone but rubbery. We used real butter and real cheese yet things still separated, and never really got gooey. Maybe using real american cheese in place of velveeta was the issue? If it is we’ll never know, because we don’t use velveeta. And yes, american cheese is just a bunch of other cheeses put together but there is still real american cheese and processed cheese food american cheese(Land O Lakes, for example). I’m sure this recipe would be excellent if you cooked the noodles first and then either mixed it on the stovetop or baked it, the baked mac&cheese recipe I use includes the same spices listed here so I know the combination should be more delicious than what we ended up with!

  73. Nicoleta

    I just finished adding all of the ingredients together into my CrockPot and want to kindly suggest that you add the note about not recommending pre-grated cheeses to the ingredients list above the instructions. I didn’t see your note until after purchasing and combining the ingredients, whoops! It’s a bit easy to miss if you’re like me and just read the first portion before diving into the rest. In two hours I’ll know how it turned out so giving an estimate star rating for now.

  74. Pingback : Unconventional Dishes You Can Make In Your Crock-Pot – Bainbridge Today

  75. BRIAN


  76. LIsa

    I was hesitant to try, but glad I did. I cooked on low 1hr, stirred, 30 min more, stirred, 15 min more, stirred, 15 min more, stirred, and it just didn’t seem right. The family didn’t care for it, BUT THEN, I cooked for about 15 more with the lid off and it was like a different dish! Flavors changed for the better, texture totally changed for the better…..I’ll definitely make again. I’ll replace evaporated milk with whole milk to reduce sweetness

  77. Judy Peters

    This is my third time to make this recipe. Mouthwatering! The next time had no packaged macaroni so I used the box mix Cracer Barrel’s following your instructions. Yes added your milks cheeses and time. My kids grandkids and other members for Thanksgiving loved it and thought it was from Cracker Barrel. Can’t beat that for a complement. For this Thanksgiving doing the same recipe using same mix only adding crispy fried onion rings on top. This recipe is easy and a WINNER.

  78. Laura

    Absolutely delicious!!
    I substitute the velveeta for Monterey and it is perfect! We have always used blocked cheese to be grated and a tid bit of pepper jack cheese for a fun kick.

    I usually end up adding more milk as well.

    Highly reccomend!

  79. Frank

    This mac n’ cheese is tasty, but quite heavy (at least with the variations I made). I changed the ingredients to make use of what you can buy at any German discount grocery store. Also, I cooked it in a 3,5 liter slow cooker and .there was plenty of room, so no scaling was needed (except to grams, milliliters, etc).

    – Instead of Velveeta, which isn’t readily available here, I used Schmelzkäse, which is very creamy.
    – Instead of Monterey Jack cheese (also not really available), I used a young Gouda cheese. I would imagine this is an upgrade vs. Monterey Jack, at least for my taste.

    If I would make it again, I would use a lower-fat milk. The Schmelzkäse may have contributed to the heaviness though, so it may not happen if you use the ingredients as specified. There are plenty of leftovers just because it doesn’t take much to fill you up.

    Unlike some other reviewers, I had no problem at all with starchiness or globules or whatever other issues people had. The pasta came out fine and the cheese sauce, while thick, also had a quite good consistency. Very gooey (in a good way) in my case. It required a little elbow grease to clean out the pot afterward.

  80. Jennifer

    I just got done making it. I was a little worried because of the conflicting reviews. It’s very good and creamy. If you don’t like starchy, creamy mac and cheese and prefer the more dry baked ( with eggs), crumb topped you won’t like this. I read reviews on other similar recipes and here’s what I came up with. I think it’s REALLY important to grate your own cheese, the powder put on the bagged pre shredded cheese I think adds to the clumping and starchiness. I also stirred it every half hour. I made a double batch on low, I used whole milk ( in addition to the evaporated milk) and added an extra half cup. I hope this help! 4 stars for me! Thanks again

  81. KC

    I used Barilla gluten free elbow pasta and 2% lactose free milk (tends to be slightly thicker than regular milk). After two hours on low I added maybe about a 1/4 more milk since gluten free pasta tends to be gritty. After 30 minutes I checked the pasta again and added another 1/4 cup milk. 30 minutes later it was perfect.
    I loved and most importantly my family loved it.

  82. Monica Martin

    I was so excited to try this! No boil? Heck yeah I’m there! I followed the recipe exactly and it came out perfect! Nice and gooey and it only took 2 hours and I stirred halfway through so after an hour and every half hour after that to be safe. It was really good. It didnt have the boiled pasta feel to it but it was done. If I were to describe it…its like al dente but not? Next time I might use a mild cheddar instead of sharp because it was pretty strong for my taste. I have read other reviews who say it didnt turn out. I’m not sure why if you follow it. I didnt double though either. I used name brand pasta and Velveeta but otherwise I used Great value cheese I grated from Walmart. It turned out for me and my husband loved it! Thank you!

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