Dreamy Slow Cooker Macaroni and Cheese

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Creamy, golden-colored macaroni and cheese sits in a white serving bowl with a wooden spoon resting the beside it. The bowl sits on a blue and white checkered kitchen towel.

As a food blogger who regularly shares about my love of Southern comfort food, it may be an interesting fact for some that I have a well-established top five list of favorite comfort food recipes. This is a list that rarely (meaning never) changes in substance or rank, and it features recipes that I know my love for will never wane. I’m excited to tell you that the recipe I’m featuring in this post today is a long-standing member of that very short and delicious list!

This decadent, Dreamy Slow Cooker Macaroni and Cheese is crave- worthy, y’all. In fact, craving it is what I’ve been doing for the last three weeks!

We’ve had a hectic run of events lately around the house, and honestly we’ve eaten at restaurants or picked up take out meals more times than I care to count in the previous month and a half. I mean it, we set a record with dining out or hitting up the drive thru lane at various establishments! I just did not have the time or more accurately, the energy to cook some days.

Over the course of 8 weeks, we’ve had a family wedding, a family funeral, multiple out-of-town family birthday celebrations. Also, my mom took a horrible fall at her home earlier this month and she was hospitalized. Ultimately, she had two surgeries over 10 days after the accident. It was so bad, y’all. She broke a hip and had huge, painful gash on the back of her head that was treated with staples. Of course, she underwent surgery to have the hip replaced the very next morning after her fall. Shortly after I got the news, I drove to my hometown and I stayed with her for two nights of her four night hospital stay. My sister, who lives much nearer to Mom, was there with her for the rest of the time. She seemed to be recovering very well, and she was released a few days after the terrible ordeal.

My sister took Mom to her house to recover there, but after just two days she was rushed back to the hospital, via ambulance, as she began having some serious complications. Mom underwent a second emergency surgery for an aggravated hernia in her abdomen. It was causing an obstruction that could have been fatal had she not been treated in time. Needless to say, it’s been a very scary and stressful time for mom, first and foremost, and for the rest of us too.

My petite firecracker of a mother is 86 years old, and her birthday party was one that I traveled to attend at the very end of March. I’m so very happy to tell you that Mom’s doing much better, and she is steadily on the mend now. She’s sounding more like herself every time I talk to her. She’s still at my sister’s house for a little while, but she’s working hard to be able to get home soon to her five cats! My sisters rotate going to Mom’s house to look after them during the week for now, and my younger brother has traveled home for the last three weekends to cat sit.

Back on the home front, it would be amiss not to mention the science fair projects, Easter events, field trips, school dances that are on scheduled for my kids (and me) during the spring months too. We have absolutely been hopping at my place, y’all and now my son’s prom is just around the corner!

I want to say thank you to all my readers who stick around here, even when I fall off the map for a little while to deal with life at home. It means the world to me to have you here! ❤️

For the time being, our lives are moving at a mercifully slower pace although I never know how long it will last. This past weekend, I finally had the time and motivation to make us a good, homecooked meal. The menu consisted of this creamy homemade slow cooker mac and cheese, baked pork chops, and steamed broccoli. I was even feeling a bit extra, and I made a batch of homemade skillet dinner rolls to go with it!

It was a comforting meal that we enjoyed very much! Perhaps knowing that everyone we love is doing well, and that we were seated at our own table for the first time in a long while made it just a bit tastier.

There really is no place like home. 💛

Smooth, golden homemade cheese sauce coats tender cooked elbow macaroni. The slow cooker macaroni and cheese is in a white serving bowl.

How to make slow cooker macaroni and cheese

As it’s written, this recipe makes a large amount of mac and cheese, at least 8 servings. You’ll need a 5 or 6 quart slow cooker to get this cheesy goodness started!

The recipe requires two cups (16 oz) dried elbow macaroni, three cups of assorted shredded cheese (I use a combination of Swiss, Colby Jack and American), one can of condensed cheddar cheese soup, salted butter, sour cream, milk, white pepper, onion powder and just a pinch of salt.

I often use a measure of Velveeta (American Cheese product) in this recipe, we love American cheese in all forms at my house y’all. I know many folks try to avoid Velveeta or other processed cheese products similar to it on the the shelf, but I consider American cheese a key ingredient in this recipe. It’s what gives the ultra-smooth consistency to the cheese sauce and that’s really what makes this version of mac and cheese special. If you prefer, purchase eight ounces of American cheese from a grocery store deli-counter and don’t use Velveeta, but I don’t recommend completely skipping it for this recipe.

Cooked macaroni is smothered in a golden, rich homemade cheese sauce. It's ready to serve in a white ceramic bowl and rustic wooden spoon. The white slow cooker crock with the lid on is slightly blurred in the background.

I highly anticipate that my slow cooker will be in constant use during the upcoming, sweltering summer months. I also highly anticipate that I will love using it! This slower cooker mac and cheese will be on the menu more than once or twice as it’s one of our favorite side dishes to accompany many things hot off the grill!

We hope y’all love it too, if you try it! Happy crocking, y’all. 🧀❤️

Dreamy Slow Cooker Macaroni and Cheese

Recipe by Marcelle at A Little Fish in the Kitchen Course: Lunch, DinnerCuisine: AmericanDifficulty: Easy
Servings

8

servings
Prep time

20

minutes
Cook time

90

minutes

We think this Dreamy Slow Cooker Macaroni and Cheese is comfort food gold! It’s wonderful as a main dish or a delicious side dish to go with nearly any protein!

Ingredients

  • 1 can (10-3/4 oz) condensed cheddar cheese soup
    (I used Campbell’s brand)

  • 1 cup milk (I used 1% milk)

  • 1/3 cup sour cream *see notes (I used light sour cream)

  • 1/4 cup salted butter

  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder

  • 1/8 teaspoon salt

  • 1/4 – 1/2 teaspoon white pepper (to taste)

  • 1 cup (4 oz) shredded colby jack cheese

  • 1 cup (4 oz) shredded swiss cheese

  • 1 cup cubed or shredded American cheese, (I used Velveeta brand)

  • 2 cups dried elbow macaroni

Directions

  • Combine soup, milk, sour cream, butter, onion powder, salt, pepper and all three cheeses in the crock of a slow cooker (first 10 ingredients). Give all the ingredients a quick stir and cover the crock. Allow the cheese sauce to cook on high for 30- 45 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  • While the cheese sauce is crocking, transfer uncooked macaroni to a Dutch oven or large saucepan. Cover macaroni with water and bring water to a boil on the stove top. Cook the the macaroni to al dente (no more than 7-8 minutes). Drain the cooked macaroni and rinse it with cold water. Set it aside.
  • At the 45 minute mark, reduce the slow cooker heat to low or warm setting. Transfer the cooked macaroni to the slow cooker crock and gently fold it into the cheese sauce. Allow the slow cooker macaroni and cheese to continue to simmer for no more than 30 minutes on low or warm, stirring occasionally.
  • Remove the crock from the heat and place it on a rack.
  • Enjoy the cheesy goodness any way you see fit!

Recipe Video

Notes

  • Substitute 1/3 cup plain Greek yogurt for sour cream, if preferred.
  • Recipe from A Little Fish in the Kitchen blog at www.alittlefishinthekitchen.com. All content is owned by Marcelle G. Bolton. Please contact the author for permission to republish

11 Comments

  1. I love mac and cheese. It’s interesting how many different ways there are to make it! Yours is the first recipe I’ve come across that uses condensed cheese soup. That alone sounds interesting. Thanks!

  2. Pasta is one of our favourite things in our family. We tend to prefer Italian ways of cooking, so mac & cheese is not a common thing for us. But I must admit this version looks ultimately delicious and inviting (so much cheese – who can resist?!) And I wish a speedy recovery for your mom, too!

    • Hi Ben, thank you! I hope you enjoy it, it you try it. This mac and cheese is so good with some chicken and broccoli mixed into your bowl. 🙂 Mom is improving everyday, thanks so much! ❤️

  3. O my goodness; it’s my first time here and I’m sorry to hear about your mum having such a bad fall! That sounds like it’s been a scary ordeal and glad to hear she’s doing better.
    Now as for the Mac&Cheese… that looks so good and creamy. I live in the Netherlands so I can probably not find American cheese here, but since we’re called the cheese country I’m sure I can find some sort of alternative. Would love to try this!

    • Hi Simone, I’m so glad you stopped by! Thank you, Mom is doing much better every day, so thankful! The mac and cheese is really tasty, Muenster cheese may be a good substitute to achieve the meltiness that American cheese gives this recipe! 🟡

  4. Marcelle, I hope as you read this comment on your post your mom continues to get better, and life continues to slow down so you can catch your breath.

    There are times in our lives that only comfort food will do-And Slow Cooker Mac and Cheese is a score!

    Velva

    • Hi Velva, thanks so much! Yes, we just need a little breather lol Mom is doing much better everyday 🙂❤️

  5. Would have never thought of using slow cooker to make mac and cheese…it turned out looking really great.

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