Creamy macaroni and cheese is super easy to make in a crock pot. Cooked pasta, Velveeta and cheddar cheese along with evaporated milk make a rich and delicious side dish for any occasion!
Our Crock Pot Mac and Cheese is a family favorite and is also know as liquid gold for good reason!
Crock Pot Mac & Cheese with Velveeta
This is the easiest mac and cheese that I’ve made for our family and everyone loves it! I love making this crock pot mac and cheese with Velveeta recipe because it is fuss-free! Simple ingredients that we always have on hand mix up quickly and easily.
Just cook the pasta and pour all of the ingredients in the crock pot. Stir a couple of times as you cook on low for about 2 hours.
Macaroni and cheese is a canvas that is to easy to customize to so many preferences.
We are fans of a plain version, but there are so many ways to amp up this recipe, whether it’s adding more pepper, smoked paprika, minced onion, or bacon bits. Our loaded Chicken Bacon Ranch Mac and Cheese recipe is another way to take elbow macaroni to the next level!
Great for Holidays, Parties and Hosting Guests
My sister-in-law shared this recipe and I’ll admit that it was my first time making macaroni and cheese in the crock pot. There are so many benefits! The crock pot version holds so well and stays warm at a party, potluck or family gathering when you don’t know exactly what time the food will be served. This recipe is similar to our classic Creamy Crock Pot Chicken Pasta.
After an hour the cheese is all melted and there is a lot of liquid. Over the next 30 minutes to an hour the pasta absorbs extra liquid and a perfect, creamy consistency remains.
Turn to keep warm when the pasta hits the texture you prefer. Stir often for best results. Just remove the lid and enjoy at your convenience!
This allows you plenty of time to clean up and get ready for the party or travel to an event.
Can Mac & Cheese Be Made in a Slow Cooker?
Cooking macaroni and melting the cheeses in a slow cooker is the easiest hands off way to make Mac and cheese for a party or crowd.
I love being able to do the prep ahead of time and just stir the pasta, cheeses and milk together a couple times and almost like magic an easy warm side dish is ready for the potluck, barbecue, cookout or family dinner!
Can This Recipe Be Doubled?
Yes, a double batch of mac and cheese can be made in at least a 6 quart crock pot. Using a 7 or 8 quart will give you more room to stir.
I cook on high for 2 1/2 to 3 hours and stir about every 30 minutes. Then turn to keep warm once cheese has melted and continue to stir often until all of the dish is served.
There is a lot of liquid that will seem soupy. After the Velveeta fully melts and the pasta has time to absorb more of the cheese it will all firm up. Turn the heat up one setting to help firm up more quickly, but continue to stir frequently.
I actually prefer to make a double or triple batch in a crock pot, but if you need to feed 50 to 100 people our Mac and Cheese in a Roaster is a great option.
What Can Be Added to Slow Cooker Mac N Cheese?
This mac n cheese would taste great with bacon bits sprinkled on top or small cubes of ham stirred in about 30 minutes before serving.
A reader shared that seasoned salt really ups this recipe.
Cooking dried minced onion into the macaroni adds a more robust flavor, but can easily be omitted for more mild palates of kids and picky eaters.
Serve with freshly ground pepper and smoked paprika just like we do with our Farmhouse Baked Mac and Cheese for an extra flair of flavor at the dinner table!
The recipe calls for 1 1/2 cups shredded cheddar cheese, but you can easily use more types of cheese that equal 1 1/2 cups to make a triple mac and cheese!
What’s Needed to Make Crock Pot Mac & Cheese?
- Cooked pasta – we like elbow pasta, but shells, cavatappi and orecchiette also work well
- Velveeta cheese – makes the pasta super creamy, American cheese can be substituted
- Shredded cheddar cheese – mild or sharp work fine, choose your favorite flavor
- Milk – helps keep the pasta moist
- Evaporated milk – makes a richer sauce. Fat equals flavor and there isn’t very much fat or protein in milk. Milk is mostly water. So evaporated milk evaporates a lot of the water off and leaves the flavorful fat, protein and other nutrients.
- Vegetable oil – keeps noodles from sticking together
- Butter – diversity in rich flavor profiles
- Salt – flavor
- Pepper – optional, sometimes my kids act weird about pepper, other times they don’t even notice it
- Dried minced onion – optional, most adults love the flavor, but sometimes it throws kids
This crock pot mac and cheese recipe is made rich evaporated milk, so it can be without eggs and no flavor is sacrificed.
How to Make Mac & Cheese in the Crock Pot
- Cook pasta and toss with oil
- Pour pasta into lined or greased crock pot
- Measure milk and stir in salt, pepper and minced onion
- Pour regular milk and evaporated milk into the crock pot
- Sprinkle cheddar cheese over the top
- Slice or cube Velveeta cheese and spread over the top
- Cover and cook on low for 2 – 3 hours, stir 2 – 3 times and again just before serving
- Can turn to keep warm for up to an hour while serving
Step By Step Instructions
Cook macaroni 1 – 2 minutes less than the time recommend on the box. Drain well in a large colander.
Add cooked macaroni to a large slow cooker with a liner. Pour vegetable oil into the crock and stir with a large spoon to ensure all of the noodles get a light coating.
Add regular milk and evaporated milk to the pasta.
Sprinkle salt, pepper and minced onion over the top.
Full flavor lovers will enjoy 2 tablespoons of minced onion and pepper, my picky eaters prefer a small amount of those ingredients.
Cut Velveeta process American cheese into cubes that will melt a little more quickly than a large chunk. Spread over the top of macaroni noodles.
Add melted butter. Then sprinkle cheddar cheese over the top.
Use a large, long handled serving spoon to stir all of the cheese, seasonings and spices well together.
Place lid on the crock and cook on low for 2 to 3 hours. Stir a couple times to help the mixture cook evenly.
Once all of the cheese is melted and mac and cheese reaches desired consistency serve warm and enjoy!
How To Keep Velveeta Mac and Cheese Warm
The key to keeping mac and cheese with Velveeta warm in a crock pot is to stir often, keep the crock covered with a lid to maintain heat and add a splash of milk as necessary.
Stirring helps distribute the heat evenly and keeps the cheese and other ingredients evenly covering the pasta.
Can This Recipe Be Made Ahead of Time?
I have cooked the pasta the day before and after draining poured into a crock pot liner in a large bowl. Then add pats of butter and vegetable oil and stir well.
Fasten with a twist tie and refrigerate until you’re ready to make the full recipe in the slow cooker.
Other Easy Meal Ideas for Picky Eaters
- Pierogies and Kielbasa
- Crock Pot Sloppy Joes
- Sausage Egg Casserole
- Air Fryer Pizza Sliders
- Instant Pot Mac & Cheese with Sausage
Printable Crock Pot Mac & Cheese Recipe
Crock Pot Mac and Cheese
- 8 ounces macaroni cooked
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 12 ounces evaporated milk
- 1 1/2 cups milk
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon pepper optional
- 1 tablespoon dried onion flakes use up to 2 T. for maximum flavor
- 1 1/2 cups Velveeta cheese 12 ounces
- 1 1/2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
- 4 tablespoons butter melted
- In a crock pot toss cooked macaroni with vegetable oil.
- Stir in remaining ingredients.
- Cover and cook on low for 2 – 3 hours. Stir a couple times and enjoy!
- This mac n cheese would taste great with bacon bits sprinkled on top or small cubes of ham stirred in about 30 minutes before serving.
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Originally published May 29, 2020 with pictures updated on March 16, 2022 and updates made on October 2, 2023.