Home Recipes Trisha Yearwood Crockpot Mac and Cheese Recipe

Trisha Yearwood Crockpot Mac and Cheese Recipe

Trisha Yearwood’s crockpot mac and cheese is the ultimate comfort food!

It’s creamy, cheesy, and perfect for potlucks, family get-together’s, BBQ’s, football games, and holidays.

Plus, it’s super simple and so much better than any boxed mac and cheese.

Trisha Yearwood Crockpot Mac and Cheese Recipe
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Creamy Crockpot Mac and Cheese

This macaroni and cheese recipe is my go-to when I want something super simple and impossibly cheesy.

Slow cooker mac and cheese lets you throw everything in a crock pot and let it work its magic.

Yes, that even includes the uncooked noodles!

The addition of cream and butter with sharp cheddar cheese creates a perfectly smooth cheese sauce.

Every noodle delivers a hearty dose of cheese, and I couldn’t be happier.

And while it’s a perfect weeknight dinner idea, you’ll likely want to share this recipe at your next potluck or holiday party!

Trisha Yearwood Crockpot Mac and Cheese with Melted Cheese

Ingredients

No fancy ingredients here! Just cheese, noodles, and some cream.

Aside from the evaporated milk, you likely have everything you need right now for this delicious dish.

  • Cooking Spray: Spraying the pot before adding the ingredients so nothing sticks.
  • Elbow Macaroni: This is the classic pasta, but feel free to change it up. Just remember, different shapes and sizes will cook differently and at different times.
  • Evaporated Milk: This is your secret ingredient to a lusciously smooth cheese sauce and a boost of creamy flavors.
  • Whole Milk: To thin down the sauce a bit so it can properly ooze over those macaroni noodles.
  • Butter: A little butter adds to the richness of this recipe and delivers a hint of nutty flavors.
  • Sharp Cheddar Cheese: Always use a block of cheese and never the pre-shredded stuff. Pre-shredded cheese won’t melt as evenly.
  • Salt and pepper: A dash of salt and pepper is all you need to amplify those flavors.
  • Paprika: Topping your mac and cheese with paprika is entirely optional. But it just looks so pretty!

Note: Trisha’s original recipe calls for 2 whole eggs. They’re beaten and mixed into the mac and cheese, so it sets kind of like quiche.

I don’t care for the texture, so I leave them out. But feel free to add them!

I’ve listed 3 egg yolks instead of whole eggs in the recipe card below because they’ll give you extra richness, and they’re less likely to curdle in the slow cooker.

Close-up of Cheesy Mac and Cheese in a Bowl

How to Make Crockpot Mac and Cheese

Honestly, the hardest part is gathering the ingredients. Once you have everything ready to go, the rest is easy peasy!

Check out how easily this scrumptious dinner comes together.

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1. Prepare. Grease the crock with cooking spray and get all the ingredients ready.

2. Mix. Gently stir everything in the pot, then add the rest of the cheese on top.

3. Cook low and slow. Set the crockpot to low, and cook for 3 hours and 15 minutes.

4. Serve. Stir, serve, and enjoy!

Substitutes and Variations

Crockpot mac and cheese is the perfect dinner, but you can always make it better!

Here are a few of my favorite ways to jazz it up:

  • Try other types of cheese. If you don’t have cheddar, you can easily swap it out! Velvetta, Cheddar Jack, or something smoky like Gouda, all work well.
  • Give it some crunch. Toast some breadcrumbs with butter and salt, then sprinkle them over the finished dish.
  • Dial up the creaminess. For an extra creamy mac and cheese, swap the whole milk with heavy cream.
  • Make it spicy. Add sliced jalapeños or red pepper flakes to the cheese sauce. Or serve with a dash of hot sauce. Yum!
Cheesy crockpot mac and cheese in a bowl sprinkled with paprika powder on top.

Recipe Tips and Tricks

Trisha Yearwood’s recipes never fail to impress. But I feel like this mac and cheese recipe is one of her best!

The key is to use the best ingredients and tinker with them to make it your own. Here are a few quick tips and tricks to get you started:

Always use freshly grated cheese. Pre-shredded cheese contains anti-clumping chemicals that hinder its melting process. Fresh off the block is best!

Brands matter. Not all brands of pasta are the same. Cheap brands release more starches as they cook, which can result in limp/mushy noodles.

Be gentle. When stirring, always be very gentle. Those noodles are very delicate, and aggressive stirring will mash them.

Never lift that lid! The steam helps cook your noodles, and you’ll lose a lot of that steam when you lift the lid.

What to Serve with Crockpot Mac and Cheese

Everyone will go to bed happy with a belly full of mac and cheese and nothing else.

But if you want some scrumptious sides (that may deliver some extra nutrition), here are some great suggestions:

Mac and cheese is a terrific main event. But it also works so well as a side. So serve it with burgers, pork chops, grilled chicken, and more!

Frequently Asked Questions

Why was my mac and cheese mushy?

Mushy noodles are often overcooked. Check the noodles around the 2-hour mark to ensure they aren’t cooking too quickly.

Avoid over-stirring, which releases starch.

Why was my mac and cheese gritty?

Gritty mac and cheese happens when the cheese cooks at too high of a heat.

Make sure you turn off the heat at 3 hours and 15 minutes, or reduce it to the warm setting.

Using pre-shredded cheese can also create a grainy texture.

Can I use different types of noodles?

Absolutely! While traditional mac and cheese uses elbows, you can use whatever pasta you prefer.

I love shells because they’re like little cheese-filled bowls. Just remember to get a decent brand.

Should I cook the pasta first before putting it in the slow cooker?

Nope! As long as you place your crock pot on the low setting, the noodles will cook perfectly right inside the crockpot. No boiling and draining is required.

More Mac and Cheese Recipes To Try

Ina Garten Mac and Cheese
Kraft Mac and Cheese
Old Fashioned Mac and Cheese
Cracker Barrel Mac and Cheese

Trisha Yearwood Crockpot Mac and Cheese Recipe

Course: DinnerCuisine: American
Servings

12

servings
Prep time

10

minutes
Cooking time

3

hours

15

minutes
Calories

431

kcal

Trisha Yearwood’s crockpot mac and cheese is the ultimate comfort food! Creamy, cheesy, and perfect for potlucks, family get-togethers, BBQs, and more.

Ingredients

  • Cooking spray

  • 8 ounces elbow macaroni, uncooked

  • 1 (12-ounce) can evaporated milk

  • 2 1/2 cups whole milk

  • 1/4 cup butter, melted (1/2 stick)

  • 2 (10-ounce) bricks sharp Cheddar cheese, grated (about 5 cups)

  • 1 tsp salt

  • Dash pepper

  • Dash paprika

  • 3 egg yolks, optional

Instructions

  • Spray the crockpot with cooking spray.
  • Add the macaroni, evaporated milk, milk, butter, salt, pepper, and all but 1/2 cup of the grated cheese. Mix in the egg yolks, if using, and stir until well combined.
  • Spread the left over cheese on top and sprinkle with paprika.
  • Cover and cook on low for 2 hours. Check the pasta and stir everything well. Depending on the size of the crockpot, it may be ready to serve. If not, cook for another 30-60 minutes.
  • Stir, serve hot, and enjoy!

Notes

  • Always use freshly grated cheese. The pre-shredded stuff contains anti-clumping chemicals that hinder its melting process. Fresh off the block is best!
  • Trisha uses whole eggs in her recipe to give it an almost custard-like finish. We have egg yolks listed because they’re less likely to curdle. And they’re optional. The dish will be just as tasty without them.

Nutrition

  • Calories: 431kcal
  • Carbohydrates: 33g
  • Protein: 20g
  • Fat: 24g
  • Saturated Fat: 15g
  • Cholesterol: 71mg
  • Sodium: 558mg
  • Potassium: 266mg
  • Fiber: 1g
  • Sugar: 3g
  • Calcium: 457mg
  • Iron: 2mg
Trisha Yearwood Mac and Cheese Recipe

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author avatar
Kim - InsanelyGood
Hey there! I'm Kim. I love running, cooking, and curling up with a good book! I share recipes for people who LOVE good food, but want to keep things simple :)

16 thoughts on “Trisha Yearwood Crockpot Mac and Cheese Recipe”

  1. I love Mac & Cheese and this looks Insanely Fabulous!!! Getting the ingredients tomorrow morning and making it tomorrow afternoon!

    Reply
  2. My family realy liked this! If I'm in a hurry I use some already grated cheese and have used part mex blend to make up when I was a little low on the sharp cheddar and it was still fantastic! The first time I made it I accidentally left the melted butter in the microwave and it was still delicious then the second time I made it I added the butter and we decided we actually liked it better without all the butter better.

    Reply
  3. I would like to try this recipe, however, I need to know what size crockpot was used. It doesn't say in the recipe. I only have a 6 qt would it work in this?

    Reply
    • Hi Sue! Trisha uses a 4-quart slow cooker.
      You could double the recipe for a 6-quart, or (if your larger pot has a wider base), reduce the cooking time slightly.
      Since there's more surface area in a larger pot, check the dish after an hour and then go from there.
      You may find it only needs 90 minutes.
      Hope this helps!

      Reply
    • Hi Callie, you can double it as long as your slow cooker will accommodate it. More food might mean opting for the longer end of cooking time ranges. Since this recipe cooks for 3 hours and 15 minutes, it will go for at least that and could potentially be a tiny bit longer. Just monitor it closely and adjust as needed.

      Reply
  4. I am not sure where I went wrong with this recipe.
    My crockpot had this recipe done in 1 hour. When I looked after 1.5 hours, it was done & dusted. The liquid had dried up and it was slightly burnt. I added another 400ml of milk and let it sit until it was time to heat up again. But the milk soaked in and was no good, and couldn't heat up.
    Maybe my lowest setting on my stove top is too high. After 15 mins, it was bubbling, not simmering, hence why I checked after an hour.
    I was disappointed personally...and the pic looked so good.
    Wish I could have replicated.

    Reply
    • Hi CJ! I'm sorry to hear that it didn't turn out as expected.

      You mentioned that your pot was bubbling on the stove top. Did you by chance use a traditional stovetop pot instead of a slow cooker? Sometimes, even the lowest setting on a stovetop can be much higher than a slow cooker's low setting.

      On the low setting in a slow cooker, there shouldn't be any bubbling. It doesn't usually get hot enough to do anything more than a low simmer.

      If you did use a slow cooker and encountered these issues, it's possible that your slow cooker runs hotter than most.

      If you want to try the recipe again, I recommend adding an extra cup of milk and checking the slow cooker after 30 minutes. Give it a good stir and see if it's cooking too quickly. It could be that your slow cooker only needs an hour to finish this one.

      Another option is to try this mac and cheese recipe instead: https://goodrecipes.one/ina-garten-mac-and-cheese/

      It's super rich and cheesy and after baking in the oven, it's nice and thick!

      Hope this helps!

      Reply
    • Hi Jay! You're right, Trisha's recipe does include eggs and it makes the final dish almost quiche-like.
      We've included egg yolks as an optional ingredient because the recipe tastes just as good without them! And yolks are richer and less likely to curdle than whole eggs.
      Feel free to add them if you want a thicker, custard-y texture 🙂

      Reply
  5. I definitely give this delicious dish ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️! I’ve been serving, Trisha Yearwood’s Crockpot Mac and Cheese, for many years. My family absolutely loves it! A few years back, one of my daughters had taken a dish of Mac & Cheese to work, to enjoy for her lunch. Her manager happened to walk by, catching the aroma from the heated dish, and asked to try it. She absolutely loved it, and she finished it off! 😋 My daughter now gifts, Trisha Yearwood’s Crockpot Mac and Cheese, to her manager for Christmas, every year! 🧡😋🎁

    Reply
    • Hi Robin, thank you so much for the kind words. This is one of my favorite recipes as well. And it's so fun to hear about your daughter's success, too!

      Reply

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