Use real ingredients to make simple creamy slow cooker mac and cheese dinner. No pre-cooking required, just dump and set!
Ok, so who didn’t grow up on macaroni and cheese? Everyone I know had this staple at their house. We often made it if my sister or I had friends over. We all ate it and it was quick and easy. Of course, that was the prepackaged boxed mac and cheese. Now, my favorite is delicious homemade slow cooker mac and cheese.
There was always the debate of which was better between Velveeta and Kraft. Personally, I only like the Velveeta because I never wanted the taste of the Kraft cheese or the elbow noodles they had. I prefer the shell-shaped noodles.
Velveeta cheese began to taste fake to me as I got older and started cooking more often. Don’t worry, I will still chow down on some Velveeta cheese when it’s in something like my Chili Nacho Dip. But overall, I prefer the real stuff.
When we wanted to make mac and cheese for dinner, I decided we needed to try something a little different. We’ve been trying to cook with real foods and more nutritious foods than that fake cheese product. I scoured through a few recipes I found online and took the best ideas from each to make my own.
One common factor in so many of the recipes is to use the slow cooker. Which of course I love because it makes dinner that much easier! For most of the recipes, the noodles didn’t even have to be cooked ahead of time. Just dump everything in the slow cooker, turn it on, and you have dinner in a couple of hours!
Since most mac and cheese is made with elbow noodles, I did that to start with. Next time I may try to buy the mini shell noodles since I usually prefer those as I mentioned. But the elbow noodles still worked pretty well in this recipe.
Step by Step
This recipe couldn’t be more straightforward. I use noodles (whichever shape you prefer), milk, half and half (to make it a little creamy), cream cheese (to get the right texture), cheddar cheese, salt and pepper, paprika, mustard (sounds strange but adds some tang), and butter.
Dump all of the ingredients into the slow cooker.
Stir up the ingredients, then set the slow cooker to low for about 90 minutes. Check if the noodles are soft and the cheese completely melted. Mine took just over two hours.
Once everything is warmed through, and noodles are cooked, stir gently and serve warm.
Originally Published On: April 3, 2019
Last Updated On: November 26, 2019
Slow Cooker Mac and Cheese
- 8 oz macaroni noodles (uncooked)
- 2 cups milk
- 4 oz half and half
- 2 oz cream cheese
- 2 cups cheddar cheese (shredded)
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 3/4 tsp pepper
- 1/4 tsp paprika
- 1/2 tsp yellow mustard
- 4 tbsp butter
- Add all ingredients to a slow cooker and stir
- Cook on low for 90 minutes and check doneness of noodles
- If noodles aren't done, continue cooking for another 30 minutes on high
- Stir gently and serve warm garnished with paprika
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