Photo: Hector Sanchez; Styling: Caroline M. Cunningham
Hands-on Time
25 Mins
Total Time
4 Hours 25 Mins
Makes 8 to 10 servings

Classic cafeteria-style goodness, this recipe yields enough to serve as a side for a crowd, or it could be dinner for a family of four. Recipe by Pam Rawlinson, North Augusta, South Carolina.

How to Make It

Step 1

Cook macaroni according to package directions. Stir together cream, next 5 ingredients, cooked macaroni, and 2 1/2 cups cheese in a large bowl.

Step 2

Pour macaroni mixture into a lightly greased (with cooking spray) 6-qt. slow cooker; sprinkle remaining 1 1/2 cups cheese over macaroni mixture.

Step 3

Cover and cook on HIGH 3 hours; reduce slow cooker to LOW, and cook 1 hour.

Ratings & Reviews

Can't wait to try this, but...

July 02, 2017
What size crock pot do I need for this? Or if I want to make it in a conventional oven, how should I adjust the recipe?Many thanks!

May 18, 2017
I am Pam Rawlinson, the person who submitted this recipe. Feel free to add more cream or evaporated milk to make sure this is creamy.

November 01, 2015
This is Pam Rawlinson and this recipe has been cooked in my family for at least 30 years.  I have always used a large slow cooker and it has never been bland.  Did you butter or spray the inside of the cooker?  Did you think about using a crock pot bag that covers the inside plus makes clean-up easier?  You can always add more salt and pepper.  And I have often added a teaspoon of powdered mustard.  This has been a staple for our family gatherings for years.  Now, as a kitchen manager, I use this exact recipe and cook it in 4-in. pans for 150, 200, and even 300.  And your idea to use different types of cheese, as long as it is white and not orange [cows milk is close to white in color; orange means that there are dyes/chemicals in the cheese], is something that I have done on a few occasions.  White, Irish, extra sharp, pepper jack, mozzarella, etc. - go to town and have fun.  Let me know how it turns out.  

Just like Mom's

September 03, 2017
I made this for Christmas last year and loved it! This is the type of mac & cheese I grew up on, not the stuff in the blue box. My extended family thought it was strange, but ate some. The next day they asked for more!

JanMoore1's Review

January 14, 2015
Just like the cafeteria style. Family loved it...


August 30, 2015
The slow cooker gives it nice, crispy edges.

Hmm good idea, but...

September 06, 2015
I never thought you could cook Mac n Cheese in a slow cooker so I was very interested in trying this recipe. To me it seamed a little bland and cooking it on high so long just doesn't "crisp" the crust, it burns it and makes it seem like you are eating bark from a tree. It also makes a huge amount. I think this is a unique way to cook Mac n cheese so here's what I will do next time. Half the recipe and cook in a smaller crock pot on low. You can always put it on high for a bit if you feel the outside not brown enough Mix a few different cheeses, perhaps even some pepper jack to give it some pop. Also I would decrease amount of butter, it was a little greasy.

Best I have tasted

November 12, 2015
Oh my! Totally yummy.

Will make again, but . . .

May 22, 2016
This was very good. 4 out of 5 people like it. Which in my house, is outstanding. However, next time I think I will just bake it. I also would have liked it to be a little creamier.