Make-Ahead Slow Cooker Mac and Cheese

Make-Ahead Slow Cooker Mac and Cheese
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Prep Time

< 30 minutes


Total Time

< 3 hours

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Fork and knife



Per Serving


3 cups shredded Cheddar cheese, divided

2 cans (12-ounce each) evaporated milk

1-½ cups low-sodium chicken broth, divided

1 large egg, lightly beaten

2 teaspoons kosher salt

½ teaspoon ground black pepper

1 pound cavatappi pasta or pasta of your choice

½ package (8-ounce) cream cheese, cubed and room temperature

Crispy Bread Crumb Topping

3 tablespoons unsalted butter

1-½ cups panko (Japanese bread crumbs)

¼ teaspoon kosher salt

2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley


  • 1.
    In a 6-quart slow cooker, stir together 2 cups Cheddar cheese, evaporated milk, 1 cup broth, egg, salt, and pepper. Stir in pasta. Cover and cook on low for 2 hours, stirring halfway through. Turn slow cooker off.
  • 2.
    Prepare Crispy Bread Crumb Topping
  • 3.
    In a medium skillet, melt butter over medium-high heat. Add panko and salt, stirring until well combined. Cook, stirring constantly, until golden brown, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat, and transfer to a small bowl. Stir in parsley. Let cool. Use immediately, or store in airtight container until ready to use.
  • 4.
    Stir in cream cheese, remaining 1 cup Cheddar and remaining ½ cup broth until smooth in slow cooker. Let stand, covered, for 30 minutes. Sprinkle slow cooker mac and cheese with Crispy Bread Crumb Topping just before serving.
  • 5.
    Tip: This dish is great for a large crowd during the holidays. If the Mac and Cheese gets too thick while standing, add ¼ cup warm milk to thin it out.

Nutrition Facts

Per Serving

Total Fat31g
Trans Fat1g
Saturated Fat18g
Dietary Fiber2g