Best Crock Pot Macaroni and Cheese Recipe – Just in Time for New Year’s Dinner!

Just in time for New Year’s dinner, I’m popping in quickly to share the best crock pot macaroni and cheese recipe ever. Over the past 10 years, it has become a Thanksgiving staple in our home and I can’t think of a more perfect side to accompany those greens and black eyed peas on New Year’s Day! Last month when I was whipping up a batch at 6:00 a.m. for my husband’s office (they always request it on potluck lunch days), I had a influx of recipe requests. If you didn’t see my Insta-stories, it really is delicious. This is a modified Paula Deen recipe, (original HERE), that I’ve tweaked over the last decade since I first stumbled across it.

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Favorite mac and cheese recipe in the slow cooker

The key is- DON’T OVER-COOK the pasta and DON’T OVER-COOK the final dish. Check on it often. You must be home and “present” while this one is cooking 😉

5 from 6 votes

Creamy Crock Pot Macaroni and Cheese

A family favorite and holiday dinner must, modified version of Paula Deen's original recipe

Course Side Dish
Prep Time 12 minutes
Cook Time 2 hours
Total Time 2 hours 12 minutes


  • 2 cups uncooked pasta (elbow macaroni but I like to use rotini sometimes, too)
  • 3 cups shredded/grated sharp cheddar cheese
  • 3/4 cup sour cream (I use light)
  • 4 Tbsp butter
  • 1 cup milk (whole is preferred)
  • 1 can Campbell's cheddar cheese soup
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 1/2 tsp dry mustard


  1. Boil pasta for one minute UNDER the "al dente" option on the box. Using the elbow macaroni, the lucky number is typically "5". (If you boil too long, the pasta will become mushy in the crock pot).

  2. While the pasta is boiling, cut the butter into smaller pieces for quicker melting. Add the  butter, along with the sharp cheddar to a non-stick sauce pan and melt over medium heat, stirring often. (If you do not use a non-stick pan, the cheese clean up will get very messy)

  3. In the crock pot, add sour cream, can of soup, milk, salt, pepper, and dry mustard and stir together.

  4. When the melted sharp cheddar/butter mixture has melted, add to the crock pot. Drain the cooked (approx. 5 min.) macaroni and add it to the crock pot. Stir all ingredients well.

  5. Cook on low. Depending on your crock pot, you will likely need to cook it anywhere from 1 1/2 to 2 1/2 hours. After 20 minutes of cooking, start revisiting and stirring every 20 minutes or so and make sure the make and cheese isn't getting scorched. You will know it is finished when the white in the sauce mixture isn't white anymore and has married together to form to form one uniform sauce.

  6. Serve and enjoy!

Recipe Notes

I double this batch often and it works like a charm. When I double the batch, it usually takes about 30 minutes longer to cook perfectly.

This is what the mixture will look like when everything is combined and stirred, before it begins to cook.

Slow cooker mac and cheese recipe - thanksgiving and new years dinner side dish ideas

And here is a glimpse of the final dish.

Paula Deen Modified crock pot mac and cheese- so easy and delicious!

Scroll & Tap to Get the Look

It’s so easy to pull together, especially for holiday dinners and backyard barbeques during the summer. Let me know if you make it this weekend; I would love to hear from you! Wishing you all a wonderful and safe New Year’s! If you aren’t already, subscribe to my emails below to make sure you don’t miss a thing in 2018. We have some fun projects ahead 😉

Creamy and delicious slow cooker mac and cheese recipe- the perfect side for a dinner party

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  1. 12.30.17
    Gretchen Thomas said:

    5 stars
    This is the best! Would be a perfect addition to New Year’s dinner as an accompaniment to anything!

    • 12.30.17

      Nan, I’m so glad we added it to our repertoire all those years ago!

  2. 12.30.17

    5 stars
    Oh. My. Word! This looks and sounds amazing. I’m definitely making it this weekend! Thanks for sharing. Happy New Year! Toodles, Kathryn @TheDedicatedHouse

    • 12.30.17

      Kathryn, it is a favorite in our house! Please let me know how you like it! Happy new year!

      • 12.31.17

        5 stars
        Good Morning, Kelley! I’m in the middle of making this for today’s festivities…does the milk go in the crock pot along with the sour cream on step 3? I didn’t see it in the steps section. Let me know when you get a moment. Toodles, Kathryn

        • 12.31.17

          Never mind! Just saw it! Good Lord, I think I need more sleep!

          • 1.1.18

            Kathryn, it wasn’t you! I started getting messages and realized I forgot to add when you add the milk! Let me know how it turns out. Happy new year!

  3. 12.30.17
    Gaile said:

    I make this as well! However I never make the cheese sauce first. I throw in the cheese shredded. Mine certainly looks different than yours when finished lol. Have you every tried just throwing the cheese ? I think I may have to melt it with the butter and milk now!

    • 1.1.18

      Gaile, I never have; the pre-melted butter/cheese mixture gives such a distinct texture, I don’t know that it would be the same? Let me know if you try it this way and if there’s a difference. Wishing you a wonderful New Year!

  4. 12.30.17
    Caitlin said:

    When do you add the milk?

    • 1.1.18

      Hi, Caitlin! I updated the recipe yesterday when I realized I left that out. So sorry! You mix it with the soup, sour cream, etc.

  5. 12.30.17
    Karen said:

    5 stars
    Thank you for sharing this recipe. We will be adding it to our New Years dinner. Thank you again. Pray you have a Happy and Healthy 2018.

    • 1.1.18

      Karen, let me know how it turns out! Happy new year to you!

  6. 12.31.17
    Tara Barker said:

    Morning Kelley – Love you. Your decorating & cooking always inspire me! I’ve been making this dish for years as well. I’ve typically just increased the elbows & ingred’s a bit instead of doubling receipe. When you double you just cook 30mins extra & completely double everything? Ps. your corn dip has been a huge hit with my friends & family!

    • 1.1.18

      Hey, Tara!! I do. And 30 extra minutes usually does it. I just keep an eye out for it but doubling the recipe has the same result 😉

  7. 12.31.17
    Amanda said:

    Hi Hi, just wondering if you use salted or unsalted butter. Thanks so much!

  8. 12.31.17
    Alicia Mellor said:

    I’m making this right now!!! Can’t wait to take it to our New Year’s Eve potluck tonight. Thanks for sharing the recipe!!!

    • 1.1.18

      Yay, Alicia! You’ll have to let me know the outcome!

  9. 12.31.17
    Tracey / Porch Daydreamer said:

    5 stars
    First of all, YUM. Second of all EASY! My crockpot cooks hot so only an hour for me.

    Added about a half a stick of butter and a full teaspoon of salt plus a little more milk. Made it creamier, which is how I like it. SO GOOD. Thanks for sharing!

    • 1.1.18

      Tracey, that sounds perfect- I’m so glad y’all loved it!! Happy new year!

  10. 1.1.18
    Christina said:

    5 stars
    Made this today for our New Year meal! It was soooo good especially along with our smoked brisket. I shared the recipe with my sis who is a Mac n cheese fanatic lol

    • 1.4.18

      Christina, it’s perfect with brisket!! I’m so so glad you liked it. Save that baby for summer bbqs, too 😉 xo