Crock pot mac and cheese recipe is made with alfredo sauce, sour cream, Velveeta for ultimate slow cooker mac n cheese. The problem with mac n cheese is sometimes I just don't want to take twenty to thirty minutes to make it when we want to eat as soon as we walk in the door.
Most nights we are not eating supper till after 8:30. Between swim or basketball practice, dance, or cheer. This means most normal crock pot meals are well past done by this point. I have started making meals that I start after school or when I get home to work. So, this slow cooker mac and cheese is perfect as it is ready when we all get home and isn't burnt to smithereens.
Crock Pot Macaroni and Cheese Ingredients
To make the ultimate comfort food with this mac and cheese in the slow cooker you will need an interesting combination of dairy products to keep the pasta dish creamy and not dried out.
The ingredients for this ultimate mac and cheese recipe are:
- Macaroni - Traditional macaroni pasta is best for this. Of course, any shape will work, but this shape is the best to fill with cheese sauce.
- Butter - Creamy, 100% real dairy butter. Stick butter is what I recommend for this macaroni and cheese recipe.
- Milk - Whole milk is what I like to have on hand for this recipe. 2% is fine as well. I do not recommend skim milk. Evaporated milk will also work for this recipe.
- Sour Cream - Full fat sour cream. I know it seems crazy, but you need all the richness the sour cream gives.
- Alfredo Sauce - A jar of alfredo sauce is perfect. If you don't have this on hand, cream cheese block with parmesan cheese and additional milk will work as a substitute. You will want to use 8 ounces of cream cheese, one cup of milk, and ½ cup of parmesan cheese. Melt those three ingredients together in the microwave and mix to combine. Also, add a teaspoon of garlic powder.
- Velveeta - Before you hate on this recipe because of this ingredient, know you can just buy regular American cheese from your grocery store deli as well for this recipe.
- Colby Jack Cheese - This is my go-to shredded cheese. Cheddar-Jack can also work for this crock pot mac and cheese recipe.
- Paprika - Just a hint of paprika gives this recipe an interesting flavor.
- Onion Powder - Onion powder is also a great compliment to the cheese flavors. Fresh minced onion can also be used in this recipe.
- Dry Mustard - I use the concentrated flavors of dry mustard. Traditional liquid mustard can also be used as a substitute. Just use double the amount in liquid form.
How to Make Crock Pot Mac and Cheese
This is a boil your macaroni recipe. I have seen some with no-boil options, but this one, I boiled. but I boiled about 2 minutes shy of done. This helps the pasta from becoming mush. I also reserved half of a cup of the pasta water for the recipe. As soon as you drain the pasta, add butter to the pasta and toss to keep the pasta from sticking together.
To the buttered pasta add the cheesy goodness. The regular thoughts - milk, cheese, sour cream, and alfredo sauce. Yes, you read that right. Alfredo sauce. I am telling you, it was a fluke using it, but it was so good. Feel free to use sharp cheddar or even Monterey jack cheese if you like those flavors combined, but I like the more mild combination of Colby-Jack cheese.
I also added some diced onions. Mainly because I had some on hand and love onions in everything. Add the reserved pasta water and the seasonings including dry mustard and onion powder. Stir to combine and cook on low for 2-3 hours.
The ability to have creamy crockpot mac and cheese on a weeknight while you are busy chasing kids is all possible thanks to the use of Alfredo sauce. Now, if you don't like jarred Alfredo sauce, make your own. You could also substitute another cup of milk with a block of cream cheese too.
And if you are wondering about what appears to be oversize elbow macaroni noodles, it is the cellantani shaped pasta. I love these shapes. Gets more cheese stuck in every single piece.
Tips for Making Crock Pot Mac and Cheese
- Undercook that pasta. Seriously, do not cook the pasta full time.
- Don't want to use a jar of alfredo sauce? Mix in one 8 ounce block of cream cheese with ½ cup of parmesan cheese and one more cup of milk. Also, add a teaspoon of garlic powder.
- Velveeta is controversial. If you don't want to use Velveeta, find a white or orange American cheese at your deli. American cheese melts well and makes the macaroni and cheese velvety smooth.
- Colby Jack or Marble Cheddar are my go-to cheeses for traditional mac and cheese. For an interesting variation, check out the smoked mac and cheese recipe.
Mac and Cheese Recipes
Crock Pot Mac and Cheese
- 1 pound macaroni
- ½ cup reserved pasta water
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 1 jar alfredo sauce
- 2 cups milk
- 1 cup sour cream
- 2 cups shredded colby-jack or cheddar cheese
- 8 ounces velveeta
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- 1 teaspoon dry mustard
- 1 teaspoon paprika optional
- salt and pepper to taste
- Cook pasta for 2 minutes less than package recommendations so the pasta is still somewhat hard.
- Drain and dump pasta into a crock pot lined with a crock pot liner. Stir in butter to keep pasta from sticking to each other.
- Pour rest of ingredients over pasta. Stir to combine. Add salt and pepper to your taste.
- Cook on low for 2-3 hours on low heat.