Macaroni and cheese does not get any easier than this slow cooker mac and cheese (or crockpot mac and cheese). It’s as simple as placing all of the ingredients in a slow cooker, giving it a good stir and then sitting back while the cooker works its magic!
This macaroni and cheese is perfect for a weeknight dinner, especially when served with a leafy green salad and possibly even some crusty buttered bread. It’s the perfect family friendly meal, and it’s even freezer friendly.
Why you are going to love this mac and cheese
- It’s made in the slow cooker, making it a one bowl, mostly hands off meal. You simply add the ingredients to the slow cooker and leave it to do all of the work.
- It tastes way better than box mac and cheese. This mac and cheese is just as easy as reaching for a box of mac and cheese, and because it’s made from scratch it tastes way better!
- It can be customised. You could add cooked bacon, cooked shredded chicken or even roasted pumpkin to this mac and cheese.
- It’s freezer friendly. Make a big batch and freeze some for another day.
More slow cooker meals
Ingredients and substitutions
- Elbow pasta – Use elbow pasta for a traditional macaroni and cheese, or substitute for any other variety of short pasta.
- Butter – Salted butter was used in this recipe, but unsalted butter could also be used.
- Plain flour – Use plain (all purpose) flour in this dish, which will help thicken the sauce.
- Milk – Full fat milk was used in this recipe, which will give the best flavour, but lower fat varieties of milk can also be used.
- Chicken stock – The chicken stock can be substituted for vegetable stock to make this a vegetarian mac and cheese.
- Grated cheese – Use your favourite variety of grated cheese, or even a combination of a few different cheese varieties.
- Dijon mustard – The Dijon mustard can be substituted for 1 teaspoon of mustard powder, or omitted all together.
- Onion powder – The onion powder gives this dish a nice little flavour boost, but can be omitted if preferred.
- Salt and pepper – After cooking, season the mac and cheese to your taste.
- Fresh parsley – The fresh parsley is used to garnish the mac and cheese, and is completely optional.
Step by step instructions
Place the pasta, melted butter and plain flour in the bowl of a slow cooker. Mix until well combined.
Add the milk, stock, cheese, Dijon mustard and onion powder to the pasta mixture. Mix until well combined. Cover with the lid and cook on high for 1 1/2 hours, stirring every half hour.
Garnish the mac and cheese with fresh parsley (if using) and serve the pasta while hot.
Can I use other varieties of pasta?
Elbows are traditionally used in macaroni and cheese, but any short varieties can be used instead.
Can mac and cheese be frozen?
Mac and cheese freezes fantastically. Freeze in an airtight container for up to 3 months. Thaw in the fridge overnight, before reheating until piping hot using the microwave or stovetop.
Baked macaroni and cheese
This mac and cheese can easily be transformed into a baked mac and cheese. After slow cooking, transfer the pasta to a baking dish. Top with panko breadcrumbs and grated cheese, then bake at 180c for up to 30 minutes. Alternatively, grill until the cheese is golden.
Store this macaroni and cheese in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days. Reheat using the stovetop or microwave.
This macaroni is suitable for freezing. Freeze in an airtight container for up to 3 months. Thaw in the fridge overnight before reheating according to the above directions.
- 500g elbow pasta
- 45g butter, melted
- 1/4 cup plain flour
- 3 cups milk
- 2 cups chicken stock
- 1 1/2 cups grated cheese
- 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- salt and pepper, to taste
- Fresh parsley, for garnishing (optional)
- Place the pasta, melted butter and plain flour into the bowl of a slow cooker. Mix until well combined.
- Add the milk, chicken stock, grated cheese, Dijon mustard and onion powder to the pasta. Mix until well combined.
- Cover with the lid and cook on high for 1 1/2 hours. Stir the pasta every 1/2 hour. Keep an eye on the pasta toward the end of the cooking time, and only cook until the pasta is al-dente. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
- Garnish the pasta with fresh parsley (if using) and serve while hot.
- Keep an eye on the pasta toward the end of the cooking time. It may take slightly less or more time to cook the pasta, depending on your slow cooker.
- Store leftoever pasta in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days.
- Freeze leftover pasta in an airtight container for up to 3 months. Thaw in the fridge overnight.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 6 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 443Total Fat: 20gSaturated Fat: 11gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 7gCholesterol: 56mgSodium: 478mgCarbohydrates: 46gFiber: 2gSugar: 8gProtein: 19g