Creamiest Crock Pot Macaroni and Cheese

Creamy Crock Pot Mac and Cheese from 101 Cooking For TwoA creamy tasty mac and cheese recipe that is slow cooker simple. Good enough to make my “in-house mac and cheese expert” go back for seconds and talk about variations we can try with glee in her voice.


UPDATE Jan 13,2013: Newer version available with even less work and just as creamy. Creamy Crock Pot Mac and Cheese with Uncooked Macaroni

This is my third try at this. I was inspired initially by a Trisha Yearwood show on Food Network. Very interesting. Then a Paula Deen recipe. Then many more. I made charts of ratios of cheese and milk to pasta. I listed spices, I saw cooking times from 2 to 5 hours. Basically, they were all over the place.

I started with the Paula Deen recipe since it seem to be the most popular. I made a number of changes but mainly it was more of a cut up casserole due to the eggs. My wife had a small serving but ultimately it was trashed. Taste adequate, texture very wrong. She wanted creamy and cheesy. Nothing else would do.

So I read comments and looked more. I decreased the egg and a few other changes. Still a no go but improving. THE EGG HAD TO GO! Almost everyone had the egg. This is basically the Paula Deen recipe without egg with some simplification.

Rating

rating system 4

This is a 4 or a 5. My wife gave it a 4.5 as it stands. She has plans… See the notes.

Notes: My wife and I both agree with some Cayenne so I did add that is an option. We will be trying other cheeses with the next batch. Vary the spicing to match your favorite stove top or oven recipe. Add a meat. Be creative. I’m thinking some browned Panko bread crumbs and parmesan sprinkled on top at serving.

About crock pots. These can vary in temperature greatly so as they say, “your mileage may vary” in cooking time. I defined the end time as starting to get some browning. This was a little under two hours for me. The Deen recipe is at 3 hours. Can you say burnt?

If you do a variation, please share in the comments.

ingredients for crock pot mac and cheese

Start with a pan of hot water over high heat.

cook pasta

Once the water is boiling add 2 cups (about 8 oz) and cook for about 2/3 of the minimum time. Mine said 9 minutes so I cooked for 6 minutes.

add the can of soup

Combine in a medium crock pot: 1 cup milk, 1/2 cup sour cream, 2 1/2 cups cheese ( I used sharp cheddar and a little Cojack. Use what you want/have), 4 T butter cut into several pieces, 1/2 t salt, pepper and dry mustard and one can (10 3/4 oz) cheddar cheese soup.  Option of 1/4 t Cayenne pepper.

add the pasta

Drain the pasta well and combine in the slow cooker. Mix well. Turn on low.

Creamiest Crock Pot Macaroni and Cheese

Stir the pot about 20 minutes into cooking when the butter is melted. Mix very well. Stir again several more times. Just a light stir is good. It’s done when you are getting some browned cheese on the side of the pot and some light browning of some of the pasta on the edge.  About 2 hours.

Creamiest Crock Pot Macaroni and Cheese
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
The creamiest mac and cheese is now slow cooker simple. Good enough to make my in house mac and cheese expert go back for seconds.
Author:
Recipe type: Pasta
Cuisine: American
Serves: 8 servings
Ingredients
  • 2 cups Pasta
  • 1 cup milk
  • ½ cup sour cream
  • 2½ cup shredded cheese (your choice)
  • 4 T butter
  • 1 10¾ oz can cheddar cheese soup
  • ½ t salt
  • ½ t pepper
  • ½ t dry mustard
  • optional ¼ t Cayenne pepper
Instructions
  1. Start with a pan of hot water over high heat. Once the water is boiling add 2 cups (about 8 oz) and cook for about ⅔ of the minimum time. Mine said 9 minutes so I cooked for 6 minutes.
  2. Combine in a medium crock pot: 1 cup milk, ½ cup sour cream, 2½ cups cheese ( I used sharp cheddar and and a little cojack. Use what you want/have), 4 T butter cut into several pieces, ½ t salt, pepper and dry mustard and one can (10¾ oz) cheddar cheese soup. Option of ¼ t Cayenne pepper.
  3. Drain the pasta well and combine in the slow cooker. Mix well. Turn on low.
  4. Stir the pot about 20 minutes into cooking when the butter is melted. Mix very well. Stir again several more times. Just a light stir is good.
  5. It’s done when you are getting some browned cheese on the side of the pot and some light browning of some of the pasta on the edge. About 2 hours.

Updated
September 5 2014

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Comments

  1. says

    I have to keep this one in mind because our go to recipe for mac and cheese is labor intensive and messes up a boatload of pans.

  2. says

    Ah, you validated my suspicion about eggs in the mac and cheese. Thank you! I made a recipe with eggs and really didn’t like it at all. Next try is your recipe/the Paula Dean recipe. Thanks.

  3. says

    I just did an experiment this morning working on a new version. I did not precook the pasta and it worked fine. (not the same recipe) This has failed for me before. I think the “but” here seems to be this time I didn’t add the cheese until near the end after the pasta was done.

    My previous tries of not precooking were with the cheese going in at the start. I think the cheese way over cooked by the time the pasta was reasonable.

    Also I don’t really like using things like the soup in this. That will be gone in the new version.

  4. Sandi Lugo says

    I used your recipe at our New Years dinner for the family (8 people) and everyone was pleased. Last week I tried the new version and could not get the texture of the noodles quite right, they were gummy- for lack of a better word. Saturday I made this recipe for my daughters Engagement Party (50 folks, 6 x recipe and added 1/2 cup dried noodles per batch when boiling, made 2 batches in each crock pot, 2 hrs cook time) and it turned out perfect! Everyone there raved over the mac and cheese and wanted your recipe. The only thing I did not double per crock pot was the cayenne, because I knew some would think it too spicy. It was wonderful to spend a few minutes boiling noodles and dumping a few things in the crock pots and not having to worry about it for 2 hours. I used the crock pot liners that reynolds has out now and cleanup was a breeze.
    Thanks for the work you put into your recipes!!

  5. Angela says

    Delicious. I quadrupled the recipe for my son’s 3rd birthday party. It was ALL GONE!! Everyone loved it. NO EGGS!! :) Thanks for the recipe. I’m making this for my daughter’s 1st birthday in March now. :)

  6. Patricia Donkers says

    I had the best lobster Mac and Cheese at a restaurant in Santa Monica, CA where I live and keep dreaming about it! What do you think Dr. Dan? I have a feeling you have cooked lobster tails before!
    Please email me your updated version (minus the cheddar cheese soup) and if you devise a lobster-Mac version!
    Patricia Maria
    Go LA Kings!

  7. Dee says

    Recipe sounds good. I plan to make it for our family reunion this upcoming weekend. I was looking for a recipe that I could make in a crock pot and put together in our room at the lodge for a carry in meal. I will be using gluten free macaroni.
    Do you have any “gluten free” recipes?

    • says

      I don’t cook gluten free but most of my recipes are meat… And gluten free products can frequently be substituted as you know in many of the other recipes. I have no experience with gluten free pasta and think I should try it just for experience some day.
      Thanks for the note.
      DrDan

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