This Crockpot Macaroni and Cheese makes a deliciously creamy macaroni with the use of a crockpot.
When I think of macaroni and cheese, I tend to think of children. I mean seriously, who requests this food more than kids? It is a dish most of us grew up eating and I do realize that a boxed type was often one that was fed to us. At least in our neighborhood. Friends’ moms (and my mom) would pack the pantry with those boxes.
But let’s talk about real macaroni and cheese. Becauselet’ss face it that boxed stuff doesn’t belong on our dinner tables as adults. Sorry to everyone I have just offended. But I can’t stand the stuff. Likely the result of having it much too often.
Back to real food. Real cheese most importantly. I have had all sorts of macaroni and cheese in my adult experience. My favorites are the classic kinds that are made from cheddar or white cheddar variety with elbow macaroni. None of this fancy noodles business because when we change out the noodles we have a different dish. I am sorry but it is true.
Not until writing this, did I realize just how finicky I was about a thing like macaroni and cheese. Who knew?? Certainly not me. But here I am. Telling you (or insisting) on what a real macaroni and cheese should consist of.
However, I am not going to sell you on the idea that this one should win any awards. No sir (or ma’am), I have had insanely delicious macaroni and cheese that would put this one to shame. Although, I must tell you this one is pretty dang good. Especially when you consider, the small amount of work it entails. And we all know that some days we need a recipe to bail us out.
And yes, as much as I love to cook somedays the crockpot can be a best friend in the kitchen. It feels like someone is making food for you or at least it is the closest thing to that without actually having a person in your kitchen. All we have to do is add the ingredients and leave them to our trusty crockpot to cook. This recipe is exactly that sort of crockpot cooking we know and love.
Like most kids, my daughter loves macaroni and cheese but the whole boiling then baking can be a bit more time-consuming than some days allow. This is a great one for a side dish or even a dinner. Adding a veggie like broccoli or a side salad can turn it into the main entree. I added some variations below however, the classic stands up just as it is. Or at least I sure think so.
What You Will Need To Make It
3 cups of whole milk
4 cups shredded cheese white cheddar or yellow cheddar (using freshly shredded is best, see note)
1 tsp salt
4 tbsp butter
1- 16 oz package of macaroni noodles
1 tbsp dijon mustard
2 eggs beaten
Spray your crockpot with a nonstick spray (I use olive oil spray, but use what you like). Pour in the dry macaroni noodles. Then pour in the milk and beat the eggs in a separate bowl before adding. Sprinkle the salt and add the dijon mustard. Give the entire contents of the crockpot a good stir to combine. Then place the butter on top before putting the lid on to cook. Cook on low for 1 hour or until the macaroni is soft. Be sure not to overcook as the macaroni will begin to dry out.
- It is best to use freshly shredded cheese from a block or from the deli. Prepackaged shredded cheese is coated with cellulose which is an anti clumping ingredient that can cause the macaroni and cheese to be more gritty.
- Make sure to set your crockpot on the low setting as overcooking the pasta will result in a mushy macaroni and cheese
- It is a good idea to spray your crockpot with a nonstick cooking spray before adding the ingredients in. It makes for easier clean up later.
- Check the macaroni and cheese after 45 minutes to make sure its not done faster than the time specified here. I have two crockpots and for some reason one of mine cooks just a tad bit faster than the other. Of course we all are using different crockpots and so cooking times can vary.
- It is a good idea to turn the crockpot off instead of on warm as the macaroni tends to dry out if it sits in the warm crockpot too long. I serve when ready and then turn off the crockpot, allow the leftover macaroni to cool then place it in a Tupperware and store in the fridge.
Variations for Crockpot Macaroni and Cheese
Hot Sauce-Adding a few splashes of hot sauce like Tabasco will give the macaroni and cheese a bit of a kick.
Garlic-Shaving in a couple cloves of garlic before cooking will give it a more in depth flavor and works wonderfully when using a white cheddar. Creating a white cheddar garlic macaroni and cheese for a more grown up variation.
Crispy Bacon-If you are in the mood to spruce up the macaroni and cheese, you can garnish it with a bit of crispy bacon when serving. Simply cube and fry up some bacon prior and have it ready to garnish.
Ground Beef- This is my daughters favorite way to have macaroni and cheese. When serving this crockpot macaroni and cheese with ground beef. I brown a 1 lb package of ground beef in a skillet (drain if using a higher fat content beef) and when the macaroni is ready, I dump the ground beef into the crock pot then mix to combine right before serving.
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- 3 cups whole milk
- 1 tbsp dijon mustard
- 4 cups white cheddar or yellow works too
- 4 tbsp salted butter
- 1 tsp salt
- 2 beaten eggs
- Spray your crockpot with a nonstick spray (I use olive oil spray, but use what you like).
- Pour in the dry macaroni noodles.
- Then pour in the milk and beat the eggs in a separate bowl before adding.
- Sprinkle the salt and add the dijon mustard.
- Give the entire contents of the crockpot a good stir to combine.
- Then place the butter on top before putting the lid on to cook.
- Cook on low for 1 hour or until the macaroni is soft. Be sure not overcook as the macaroni will begin to dry out.
*Make sure crockpot is set to low, over cooking will result in a mushy dry macaroni
Nutrition Information:Yield: 8 Serving Size: 1 cup
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 373Total Fat: 30gSaturated Fat: 17gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 10gCholesterol: 132mgSodium: 844mgCarbohydrates: 6gFiber: 0gSugar: 5gProtein: 19g
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