Make the best Slow Cooker Mac and Cheese with only minutes of prep! This recipe is made without evaporated milk and there is no need to boil the pasta- the uncooked noodles cook up in the slow cooker!
This Slow Cooker Mac and Cheese is creamy and comforting and made without any canned or processed ingredients. This recipe does not use any canned soups, evaporated milk, or Velveeta. It manages to achieve a creamy texture using healthier ingredients you probably already have in your fridge and pantry!
Is there anything better and more comforting than a bowl of mac and cheese? Pasta is my favourite dish for cozying up and unwinding after a stressful day. Add some creamy cheese on that and I am in heaven! Who’s with me??
I am no stranger to making mac and cheese and enjoy it whatever way its made. Stove top, baked, or slow cooker, I am always down for a bowl! I have come a long way from my love of the boxed variety I grew up with. It was rare for us to eat anything out of a box as my mom I is an amazing cook and always whipped up yummy, homemade meals for us. On occasion though, we would open up a box of mac and cheese and my sister and I would get so excited!
While I wouldn’t turn down a serving of boxed mac and cheese if offered one, nothing beats the creaminess of the homemade version!
A Healthier Mac and Cheese
I love making mac and cheese in my slow cooker as it yields a super creamy dish. Many of the recipes I encountered online used ingredients I wasn’t a big fan of. Canned cheese soup? No thanks! Velveeta? I’d rather not use processed cheese and much prefer the taste of a sharp cheddar.
Wanting to simplify my mac and cheese and come home to a ready made meal, I decided to play around with my stove top recipe and voila! This recipe was born! And boy am I in love with it!
This recipe uses ingredients I already have on hand most of the time and none of them are processed and yucky! I also love that I don’t have to precook the noodles. While the sauce is started on the stove top, it takes just minutes. Then I dump everything in my slow cooker and go about my life, running errands or getting things done around the house. You really can’t beat a recipe that doesn’t require any babysitting!
Modifications for Slow Cooker Mac and Cheese
I have made this recipe many times and on occasion successfully switch things up depending on the ingredients I have on hand or dietary requirements. I have had success switching up the cheese used in this dish. The same rules apply here as they do with stove top and baked versions. As long as you are choosing a cheese that melts well and becomes creamy, you will have no issue substituting it here! Marble cheese, Gouda, and Monterrey Jack are all cheeses I have swapped successfully here.
I have also made this dish lactose-free with great success! If you follow me on Instagram or read my blog regularly, you may already know that I suffer from digestive issues and a number of food sensitivities. I am in the midst of a flare up and not sure what is causing my issues. This last week I have tried to go lactose-free in an effort to see if that is what is bothering me. If you know me, you know that life without milk and cheese is not something I can do. Being lactose free wasn’t going to stop me from enjoying mac and cheese and I have been craving it for some time. It really works well! I swapped the milk, butter and cheese for lactose free versions and it tasted just as delicious!
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Slow Cooker Mac and Cheese
- 1/3 cup butter + 1 tablespoon (to grease slow cooker)
- 1/3 cup flour
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon paprika
- 1/4 teaspoon turmeric powder
- 1/8 teaspoon mustard powder
- 5 cups milk
- 3 cups white cheddar grated (can sub regular cheddar or your favourite melty cheese)
- 2 cups elbow macaroni uncooked (or pasta of choice)
- Grease slow cooker with 1 tablespoon butter.
- In a saucepan over medium-high heat, melt remaining butter and add flour, salt, pepper, paprika, mustard powder and turmeric powder. Whisk to create a roux Whisk in milk and continue to whisk until it begins to bubble. Remove from heat and stir in grated cheese and macaroni.
- Transfer everything into a slow cooker and cover with the lid. Cook on low heat for 2 hours or until the pasta is cooked.