The Most Decadent Slow Cooker Mac and Cheese Recipe!
Cheeses for Slow Cooker Mac and Cheese
This recipe has a variety of cheeses which not only provide different flavor profiles but also different melting textures and tastes. The main cheeses I decided to use are:
- Cheddar Cheese
- Gruyere Cheese
- American Cheese
What a crazy variety right? Cheddar is an amazing cheese that you will find in most slow cooker macaroni and cheese recipes. Cheddar is so rich and deliciously buttery sharp flavor that lends itself well to pasta noodles. You can also decide on your sharpness here. The sharpness of cheddar comes from how long the cheese is aged. The longer it is aged, the sharper it will taste. You will have two other cheeses to help balance your flavors if you decide to go a bit sharper here. You can also split the amount and do a mild or medium and sharp here to vary flavors.
Gruyere is a fave of mine whenever I make Slow Cooker macaroni and cheese. It is a hard Swiss cheese with a yellow tint. It has a mix of salty and sweet nutty flavors that helps to balance the sharpness of the cheddar. As it matures and ages, there are several more complexities of flavor that happen which is amazing! It also has a creamy texture which is a wonderful balance with the cheddar.
And finally good ole American cheese is the final cheese. More about this below?
Tip: Make sure you buy blocks of the cheese instead of already shredded cheeses with loads of chemicals. They will taste more flavorful, and you can easily shred them yourself!
Is Velveeta a Must for Slow Cooker Macaroni and Cheese? No!
The answer here is no. You will find Velveeta in a lot macaroni and cheese recipes but here, we are replacing that processed cheese with American cheese.
American cheese has similar properties but has a richer yet milder flavor in my opinion. American cheese has a low melting point which is great for the low and slow cooking method of a crockpot. It is also a staple in most American homes so it is one less thing you have to add to your grocery list.
It’s gooey and ooey and it doesn’t overpower the Cheddar and Gruyere here. It let’s those cheeses shine but assists with adding a very lovely melting creamy texture.
How To Make Slow Cooker Mac n Cheese Perfectly
Why I love this Slow Cooker Mac and Cheese Recipe
What To Serve Slow Cooker Mac and Cheese with!
For a fantastic Southern meal, pair this mac and cheese with these favorites:
Check out some of the best slow cooker recipes Grandbaby Cakes has to offer below.
If you like traditional baked macaroni and cheese, try my SOUTHERN BAKED MACARONI AND CHEESE or this BUTTERNUT SQUASH BROCCOLI MAC AND CHEESE!
Slow Cooker Macaroni and Cheese
- 2 1/4 cups dry elbow macaroni
- 1 cup cheddar cheese shredded
- 1 cup Gruyere cheese shredded
- 8 ounces American cheese thinly sliced and roughly chopped
- 1 1/2 cups milk
- 12 ounces evaporated milk
- 1 1/2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
- 3/4 teaspoon dry mustard
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 2/3 cup panko crumbs
- Prepare inside of your slow cooker with a non stick spray coating all parts.
- Next add macaroni, all cheeses, and both milks to the slow cooker and stir together to combine. Once thoroughly mixed, turn on slow cooker and cook for 3 hours on high or 4 hours on low.
- When 25 minutes are left for cooking the macaroni, stir in the final ingredients and allow to completely cook.
- Finally add butter to a skillet on medium heat and allow to melt. Next add panko crumbs and cook to golden brown color. Sprinkle toasted crumbs over macaroni and cheese and serve.