On busy oven days or during the holidays when cooking space is limited, this Slow Cooked Three Cheese Mac and Cheese recipe is a tasty option. When it comes to slow cooking macaroni and cheese, there are literally 1000's of recipes. What do they have in common? Lots and lots of gooey cheddar cheese and this slow cooker variation is no exception.
Easy Slow Cooked Three Cheese Mac and Cheese Recipe
Do Slow Cookers Really Cook Macaroni and Cheese Differently? Oh yes, short answer is, they do. Cooking times can vary depending on the shape, size and age of the slow cooker you're using. The slow cooker I use to make this slow cooked mac and cheese, is a little different from the average slow cooker. The difference, is that the heat source is only on the bottom of the slow cooker. So, in the interest of full disclosure, I wanted to show you. When cooking in a conventional slow cooker, which is the type I most often use, the heat source is located on the bottom and the sides of the slow cooker. I've also prepared this in my conventional oval 6 quart slow cooker and it required very little to no adjustment in the cooking time.
How to Make the Best Slow Cooked Three Cheese Mac and Cheese Recipe
Because I make a special effort to make sure all of my recipes are presented in a way that you can be successful recreating my dishes, I wanted to mention a couple of differences between the two types of appliances.
- Ingredients you'll need: Elbow macaroni, sour cream, melted butter, sharp cheddar cheese, 1 cup sharp cheddar cheese, 1 cup medium cheddar cheese and 1 ½ cups white cheddar cheese, one can of cheddar cheese soup for creaminess, evaporated milk, butter, dry mustard, salt and black pepper and large eggs.
- Kitchen gadgets you'll need: Slow Cooker, mixing bowls, whisk, measuring cups and spoons, cheese grater, and pot to cook the macaroni.
- In this recipe I use combination of three cheddar cheeses. You can use a package of shredded cheddar cheese blend for a shortcut.
- How do you make crockpot mac and cheese? In this slow cooker with the heat source on the bottom only, my mac and cheese cooks in around 2-2 ¼ hours on low.
- So, in a conventional slow cooker, I recommend you cook on low for 2 hours, and check the center for doneness. It may be completely cooked in that time.
- After testing a tiny bit from the center sprinkle the remaining cheese on top and keep warm until it melts.
- If the macaroni and cheese isn't completely cooked, you may need to increase the time by 30 minutes to 1 hour, based on how your slow cooker cooks.
More Slow Cooked Mac and Cheese Tips
- When making this dish, you can certainly shake-up the flavor of the cheeses used.
- If you'd like to add a bit of heat, use pepper jack in place of one of the cheddars. You can also create your own flavor combination using your favorite types of shredded cheese.
- When whisking together the ingredients for the sauce make sure it's well blended and use a quality full fat sour cream for the best results. Don't be tempted to keep stirring or the sauce will break.
- Store leftover macaroni and cheese chilled in the refrigerator for up to 4 days. Reheat in single servings in the microwave.
More Easy Slow Cooker Recipes to Make
- Easy Cheesy Slow Cooker Grits can be served at any meal.
- You can throw down a shrimp boil any night of the week with this recipe for a Slow Cooker Shrimp Boil.
- Slow Cooker Three Meat Lasagna for Italian night at home.
- Slow Cooker Queso Blanco Dip for snacking and game day.
- Slow Cooker Potato and Ham Soup will warm you up from the inside out.
- For your sweet tooth Crockpot Applesauce from Skinnytaste.
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Helpful Kitchen Items:
Slow Cooked Three Cheese Mac And Cheese
- 2 cups dry elbow macaroni
- 1 12 oz can evaporated milk
- 1 10 ¾ oz can cheddar cheese soup
- 8 oz sour cream Full fat works best
- ½ cup butter melted
- 3 large eggs
- 1 teaspoon dry mustard
- ¼-1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper adjust to taste
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese
- 1 cup shredded medium cheddar cheese
- 1 ½ cups shredded white cheddar cheese
- (You can also use 3 ½ cups of a packaged shredded Triple Cheddar Cheese Blend)
- Set your slow cooker on the low setting, and spray the inside with cooking spray.
- Parboil the macaroni in salted water for 6 minutes. Meanwhile, shred cheese and toss together to combine.
- While the macaroni is cooking, in a small mixing bowl, whisk together, the melted butter, evaporated milk, cheddar cheese soup, sour cream, eggs, ground mustard, black pepper and salt. Whisk together until fully combined.
- After cooking the macaroni for 6 minutes, drain well. Add to the slow cooker.
- Pour the cheese sauce over the macaroni along with 3 cups of shredded triple cheddar cheese blend. (Reserve final ½ cup to sprinkle on top.)
- Stir all of the ingredients together until the macaroni is coated and the sauce is evenly distributed.
- Cover and cook on low for 2 hours. After 2 hours, remove the lid and check the middle for doneness. If needed, add additional cooking time in 20-30 minute increments or until the macaroni is tender. (Time may vary slightly depending on how your slow cooker cooks)
- Sprinkle the remaining cheese on top. Replace the lid and continue to cook for an additional 15 minutes to allow the cheese to melt.
- Keep warm until serving.
Norman Allan MacNaughton
Can I ask you what type of dried mustard do you mean in this recipe is it english mustard
It's dry ground mustard found on the spice aisle. You can omit, if desired.
Mary Ann Kelley
MY family loves this recipe and has become a favorite for holidays and special celebrations.
That's wonderful, Mary Ann, thanks so much for letting me know.
I've made this twice and while it is very tasty, both times the cheese has clumped up during cooking. I followed the instructions exactly, what am I doing wrong?
It's important when making this to whip the sauce ingredients fully and not to stir once you've mixed it into the macaroni at the beginning. Also, the sour cream in the sauce can change texture a bit simply from the cooking process. You may prefer a sauce that doesn't have sour cream in it.
Linda Edge Hudson
Has anyone tried without parboiling the macaroni, using it straight from package? To avoid soiling another pot...