Slow Cooker Macaroni Cheese


   
This slow cooker macaroni cheese is so easy to make. Dry macaroni (that's right, no need to pre-cook the pasta!), milk, cheeses and a few other secret ingredients go in, and after a few hours out comes a creamy cheesy slow cooked macaroni cheese. Preparation time is less than 10 minutes.

Slow Cooker Macaroni Cheese

EASY MAC AND CHEESE IN THE SLOW COOKER

This slow cooker macaroni cheese requires no pre-cooking of the pasta (like so many other recipes do). It's a chuck it all in, give it a stir and leave it kind of dish, which is music to my ears.


The other benefit of this recipe is that it only takes about 2 hours to cook on high, so you could pop it in the slow cooker when you get home from the school run and be eating it by 'tea time'.

Slow Cooker Macaroni Cheese

CAN I MAKE THIS SLOW COOKER MACARONI CHEESE ON THE HOB?

Unfortunately this recipe isn't suitable for the hob as it has been specifically developed for use in the slow cooker. If you'd like to make a traditional macaroni cheese then I suggest you follow my recipe for Cheeseboard Macaroni Bake which uses a classic white sauce.

Slow Cooker Macaroni Cheese

WHAT PASTA TO USE?

Macaroni is the best pasta shape to use for this dish as it cooks quickly in the slow cooker. If you can get hold of elbow macaroni that would also work. Avoid large pasta shapes like Penne or Rigatoni as they would require a change to the liquid quantities in the recipe.

Slow Cooker Macaroni Cheese


OTHER MACARONI CHEESE RECIPES YOU MIGHT LIKE

  • Hawaiian Macaroni Cheese is basically my favourite pizza in pasta form. So there is sweet pineapple, ham and creamy mozzarella bound up in a cheesy pasta bake. It's delicious!
  • Pressure King Pro Macaroni Cheese is made in my electric pressure cooker in a matter of minutes. Great for a quick mid week meal.
  • Honey Ale Macaroni Cheese has quite an adult taste given the slight bitterness of the ale. Hubby and I absolutely love it with gammon.
  • Sweet Potato and Feta Macaroni Cheese has an amazing flavour contrast between the sweetness of the sweet potatoes and saltiness of the feta cheese. One of my personal favourites.

Slow Cooker Macaroni Cheese



TOP TIPS FOR MAKING SLOW COOKER MACARONI CHEESE

  • Vary the cheeses. Gruyere would work well and if you were cooking this for adults some crumbled blue cheese would taste fab too.
  • If you like things with a bit of heat add half a teaspoon of cayenne pepper at the same time as the smoked paprika.
  • Unfortunately this macaroni cheese isn't suitable for freezing. It's best eaten straight from the slow cooker.
  • The macaroni cheese will look thin with the butter floating on top until the last 20 minutes or so of cooking. Give it a stir after an hour and a half and you will be rewarded with a glossy thick cheese sauce at the end of cooking.
  • Every slow cooker is different. The recipe took 2 hours on high in my slow cooker but I suggest checking after 90 minutes. Be careful, the dish can go from cooked to overcooked quite quickly!

Slow Cooker Macaroni Cheese

HOW TO MAKE MACARONI CHEESE IN THE SLOW COOKER

Place your uncooked macaroni in the bottom of your slow cooker basin, making sure the basin has been buttered.

Uncooked macaroni in slow cooker
Pour in the milk (I used whole milk but semi skimmed would also work) and the tin of evaporated milk and give it a quick stir.

Macaroni and Milk
Then it's time for some cream cheese. I suggest using full fat if possible.

Cream cheese in slow cooker
Now it's time for some slightly unusual ingredients!

MARMITE - THE SECRET INGREDIENT

Whether you love it or hate it, Marmite is one of the secret ingredients in this slow cooker macaroni cheese that takes it to the next level of yumminess. We're very much a Marmite loving household and I add it to a lot of my recipes - french onion soup, bolognese and my kids favourite meal is Marmite pasta. When Engravers Guild sent my kids and hubby a personalised solid silver marmite lid they were over the moon. It's a great idea for Valentine's Day don't you think?

Personalised Marmite Jar from Engravers Guild
As well as Marmite you also need to add cider vinegar (it really helps to bring out the cheesy flavour), garlic granules, smoked paprika and Dijon mustard. Then it's time for some butter.

Slow Cooker Macaroni Cheese
 Finally add your cheese. I used grated extra mature cheddar and some Parmesan. Gruyere would also work well.

Cheese in the slow cooker

Give everything a good stir and pop it on high for about 2 hours, but check after 90 minutes and give it another stir.

Slow Cooker Macaroni Cheese ready to cook
The macaroni cheese is now ready for serving! I usually serve it with some veggies or salad and garlic bread. You can also sprinkle some chopped parsley on at this point if you wish.

Slow Cooker Macaroni Cheese ready for serving



SLOW COOKER SWEET & SOUR CHICKEN

Slow Cooker Sweet and Sour Chicken


SLOW COOKER MACARONI CHEESE


Slow Cooker Macaroni Cheese
Slow Cooker
Pasta
Yield: 4

Slow Cooker Macaroni Cheese

prep time: 10 minscook time: 2 hourtotal time: 2 hours and 10 mins
This slow cooker macaroni cheese is so easy to make. Dry macaroni, milk, cheeses and a few other secret ingredients go in, and after a few hours out comes a creamy cheesy slow cooked macaroni cheese. Preparation time is less than 10 minutes.

ingredients:

  • 300g Macaroni
  • 400g tin Evaporated Milk
  • 200ml Whole Milk
  • 100g Cream Cheese
  • 50g Butter, cubed
  • 1 TSP Marmite
  • 1TSP Dijon Mustard
  • 1 TBSP Cider Vinegar
  • 1 TSP Smoked Paprika
  • 200g Extra Mature Cheddar, grated
  • 100g Parmesan, grated

instructions:

  1. Put the uncooked macaroni in the bottom of a buttered slow cooker basin.
  2. Pour over the evaporated milk and whole milk and give it a stir.
  3. Add the cream cheese and give it another stir.
  4. Now add the butter, Marmite, dijon mustard, smoked paprika and cider vinegar.
  5. Finally add the cheese, give it a stir and cook on high for 2 hours. 
  6. Check after 9 minutes and give it a good stir. Don't panic if the sauce looks separated, it will come together during the last bit of cooking.
  7. Serve with garlic bread and salad.

NOTES:

Calories and nutrition are for 1 serving
calories
714
fat (grams)
28.2
sat. fat (grams)
17.2
carbs (grams)
71.3
protein (grams)
43.3
sugar (grams)
14.7


MORE RECIPES

For more family friendly recipes have a look at my recipe index which has hundreds of quick and easy recipes to try.

DISCLOSURE: I was gifted a solid silver Marmite lid from Engravers Guild.
Beth Sachs (Jam & Clotted Cream)
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