Creamy Garlic Mac & Cheese

My favorite mac and cheese recipe you can make in a crock potOh man, you guys. I LOVE macaroni and cheese. It’s got to be one of the all time best comfort foods in the world. It makes sense that it tends to be a kid’s menu favorite. Kids know what’s up when it comes to macaroni and cheese. 

You’ll notice that this particular macaroni and cheese is made in a slow cooker. Although my slow cooker doesn’t appear to be turned on. 

WHAT IS THIS?? WITCHCRAFT???

Guys, it’s not witchcraft. Everyone calm down. After this was done cooking, I unplugged my slower cooker and moved it by a window to take this photo because my kitchen was super dark. It was raining outside, which made it the best time to eat some mac and cheese.

Best slower cooker mac and cheese This mac and cheese is thick, creamy, super garlicky and so good. You’ll eat so much, you’ll end up needing a nap afterward. You have been warned. 

Secret ingredient for creamy mac and cheeseCreamy Garlic Mac & Cheese, serves 5-6.

16 oz. macaroni noodles
4 tablespoons butter
4 cloves garlic, finely chopped or minced
4 oz. cream cheese
3 cups whole milk
2 cups shredded cheese (cheddar, colby jack, or a mixture)
2 eggs
salt + pepper
chives to serve with (optional)

Cook the noodles according to the package directions for al dente. You really want the noodles to be slightly undercooked (as opposed to overcooked) because they will absorb more moisture while they cook in the slow cooker.

Slower cooker macaroni and cheeseIn a large sauce pan, heat the butter over medium heat. Add the garlic and cook for one minute. Now add the cream cheese, 2 cups of the milk and the shredded cheese. Stir until well combined and the cheese begins to melt. Remove from heat.

In a bowl, whisk together the eggs and remaining 1 cup of milk. Add a little bit of the hot, cheesy liquid to this bowl and stir. This will help to temper the eggs so they don’t cook too quickly. 

Now add everything to a slow cooker. Season with salt and pepper. Give it a stir. Place the lid on top and cook on low for 1 hour.

Best slower cooker mac and cheese While that cooks, you could steam some broccoli to serve alongside this and make yourself feel better about all the cheese and carbs you’re about to consume. Also, steamed broccoli is delicious. Top with chives and maybe a little more pepper. If you have leftovers, warm them up the next day for lunch. Don’t waste good mac and cheese!!!! xo. Emma

Credits // Author and Photography: Emma Chapman. Photos edited with A Beautiful Mess actions

5 from 1 vote
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Creamy Garlic Mac & Cheese

Ingredients

  • 16 oz. macaroni noodles
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 4 cloves garlic finely chopped or minced
  • 4 oz. cream cheese
  • 3 cups whole milk
  • 2 cups shredded cheese cheddar, colby jack, or a mixture
  • 2 eggs
  • salt + pepper
  • chives to serve with optional

Instructions

  1. Cook the noodles according to the package directions for al dente. You really want the noodles to be slightly undercooked (as opposed to overcooked) because they will absorb more moisture while they cook in the slow cooker.
  2. In a large sauce pan, heat the butter over medium heat. Add the garlic and cook for one minute. Now add the cream cheese, 2 cups of the milk and the shredded cheese. Stir until well combined and the cheese begins to melt. Remove from heat.
  3. In a bowl, whisk together the eggs and remaining 1 cup of milk. Add a little bit of the hot, cheesy liquid to this bowl and stir. This will help to temper the eggs so they don't cook too quickly.
  4. Now add everything to a slow cooker. Season with salt and pepper. Give it a stir. Place the lid on top and cook on low for 1 hour.
  5. While that cooks, you could steam some broccoli to serve alongside this and make yourself feel better about all the cheese and carbs you're about to consume. Also, steamed broccoli is delicious. Top with chives and maybe a little more pepper.
  • 5 stars
    This recipe is in our recipe rotation. We do a lot of cooking ahead so I’ve modified the recipe to be baked rather than cooked in the crock pot. The added bonus is the browned cheesy top! Thanks for the recipe.

  • I have a question…how do you make sure the cheesey sauce doesn’t become crumbly once it goes in the crock pot for one hour? I made this last night and it was soooo yummy but since my sauce was crumbly, it didn’t look as pretty!

  • I guess I don’t really get why you bother with the slow cooker rather than just using the [already dirty] pot you used to cook the pasta?

    The pics are gorgeous, though, and make me hungry for mac’n’cheese. Too bad my kids detest it [although they love mac and pretty much any mild cheese … go figure]

  • These delicious images have definitely got me craving a bowlful of mac and cheese – look SO creamy. The perfect comfort food.. pinned!

  • Hi guys, thanks for the AWESOME recipe. I am an ardent Mac n Cheese connoisseur, I’m always looking for new variations. I was wondering, though, if you would consider looking into a ‘easy print’ plug-in for your website – it would make it so much easier for those of us who like to print out recipes and file them for dinner ideas 🙂

    Thanks! 🙂

  • so delicious!! I used 2% milk and low fat cream cheese and it was still creamy and amazing. all of your recipes are great!

  • I`ve never made mac&cheese but I’m going to cook this recipe as soon as possible!!

  • Do you know, I’ve never actually eaten mac n cheese? I know, I know, I’m sorry, but I’m at 38 year old English woman, it just wasn’t a staple of my childhood. That being said, I’ve been meaning to try it for a while, and this recipe may just tip me over that edge, you had me at garlicky! Looks so yummy!

  • I can’t wait to make this next week for dinner! I LOVE Mac N Cheese – I am part water part cheese. Thanks for sharing Emma! This is going to make my DAY! Have a great one – Iva

  • I’m a sucker for pasta, especially mac n cheese! This looks so delicious and easy! Love the crockpot recipes!

    www.jjfaust.com

  • Emma, I very much love this recipe. I recently blogged about creamy garlic linguine, and it was so good! It’s a a great way to spice things up a bit. -Victoria

    http://scissorsandsage.com/2014/10/06/creamy-garlic-linguine/

  • I’ve tryed mac and cheese before, it was ok
    but mac and cheese with garlic sounds way betterI
    i’ll have to try it someday
    thanks 🙂

    http://simplyhazel1.wordpress.com/

  • This is way way way way way too amazing!!! I HAVE TO MAKE IT RIGHT NOW
    Thank you so much for this brilliant recipe! I’ll have to do it gluten and diary free, but thanks for giving me the tools to do so! Oh SO MUCH LOVE
    xoxo

    http://loveyenrose.blogspot.com/

  • Can’t wait to try this!

    Mark and Cindy
    s/v Cream Puff

  • This looks and sounds so good, it makes me want to run out and buy a slow cooker!

  • Sounds amazing! I am practically addicted to mac & cheese so will be trying this!

  • This looks so delicious! I don’t have a slow cooker, so I hope I can pull this off in the regular way!

    daisychurchward.co.uk

  • Oh man, if there’s one thing I really miss, it’s homemade mac & cheese (I can’t have any type of grain or dairy due to dietary issues). This looks amazing, and I might have to save it for a cheat day sometime when I’m okay with feeling like crap afterwards!
    xo
    Kristina
    www.eccentricowl.com

  • Here’s my recipe of the Garlic and Gnoccci Kale bake I made off your site – it’s a favourite now 🙂
    bit.ly/1ADJiWN

  • ohhhhhmygosh Mac n Cheese is one of my favourites. YUM Emma.. You’re a champion! I also love your garlic gnocchi bake too. I’ve made that 4 times!

  • This look delicious. The garlic sounds like a perfect addition to a childhood favorite.

  • This is cooking in my slow cooker right now. I am also planning on adding some bacon too it. I already tried some of the cheese sauce and it is just delicious!!! Thanks for a great recipe!! 🙂

  • I just made, and we just ate, it and it was YUMMY…..plenty left over for my lunch tomorrow, thank goodness!!!! THANK YOU!!!!

  • I don’t have a slow-cooker. Is there a way I could do this anyway? In a pot on a low flame for two hours? Thanks!

  • This looks SO GOOD. And easy enough for a failure in the kitchen like me to make! 😀

    http://itsjpei.wordpress.com/

  • Oh myy! This looks amazing! I never would have thought to combine garlic with mac and cheese. I can’t wait to try it! 🙂

  • Mac & Cheese is my favorite. OMG this looks amazing. I love using shells because they trap chunks of cheese inside the noodle 🙂

    Theresa
    http://honesttrees.wordpress.com

  • This looks really simple and delicious 🙂

    Cheryl
    http://daisycandle.com

  • A girl after my own heart! I have a board on Pinterest specifically for Mac n Cheese recipes ONLY!! No joke!

    This looks amazing, going to try it tonight! Thanks for sharing.

  • I love the recipe !!
    I love macaroni and cheese !!
    Kisses dear

    http://mapetitebyana.blogspot.com.es/

  • The recipe looks really, really simple. What exactly is your inspiration for this recipe? Because I thought garlic is common in mac ‘n cheese (or at least for most recipes I’ve seen). And what is the inspiration behind the slow cooker paragraph in the intro?

  • Now I need Mac n cheese! It is 100% the number one comfort food. I like to put breadcrumbs on top of mine and pop it under the grill. I’ve never made it in a slow cooker before so will be giving this a try. Thanks.

  • *Sigh* I really need to make getting a slow cooker a priority…my life will be made 10 million times easier. This mac looks amazing

  • Love pasta recipes, this one must be tasted!

    http://mykitschworld.blogspot.com.es

  • I’ve never thought of putting garlic in homemade mac & cheese. Guessing it’s kind of like cheesy garlic bread. That can never be a bad thing! 😉
    -E

    http://amie-eo.blogspot.com

  • OH how yummy! We love a good homemade mac-n-cheese over here and you bet your bottom dollar I will be making this for my family. Thanks for sharing…

  • mac n cheese? yum
    slow cooker? double yum
    Thanks for sharing
    Debbi
    -YankeeBurrow

  • This was a perfect post for today. I’m in Texas and it is the first day that has been chilly and windy, time to finally break out the crockpot for nothing better than mac and cheese. I would love to see what kind of chili you make!

    www.akacompletemess.com

  • Emma.. Stop. This looks so good. I’m considering making this today, but adapting it with so jalapeño peppers, because a cafe close to where I live makes them that way and ugh… so good. Okay thanks. I’m off to go buy cream cheese. <3

  • Yes, cream cheese isn’t a super common ingredient for mac and cheese but I’ve found it works well when you make it in a slow cooker. Adds thickness and a creamy texture, similar to eggs but too many eggs can make it kind of grainy/lumpy.

    Can you tell I make mac and cheese too often? 🙂

    -Emma

  • It’s a great side dish. We had some left over (since this makes so much) so I warmed it up the next night along side a big kale salad and it was a great dinner. Both indulgent and healthy. 🙂

    -Emma

  • It’s been super rainy and gloomy here, too! I’ve been craving mac & cheese all weekend but I’ve just settled for peanut butter & honey sandwiches instead. My mac & cheese never turns out as creamy as I’d like, so this is a real lifesaver. Emma knows what’s up! xx

  • I seriously need to make this as soon as possible. Mac and cheese is my favorite dish – I can’t keep it in the house or it’ll be gone within a few days! I’ll have to make an exception this time 😉

    http://www.bohochiccafe.com

  • Hi Tanya! Sorry about that. Could you send us an email at support AT redvelvetart DOT com and let us know what browser you’re using? -Jacki

  • This looks super yummy, but I can’t see all the directions or ingredients. When y’all switched over the new design, which is gorgeous by the way, parts of your text fields started disappearing randomly throughout your posts. I read your blog through BlogLovin’, so I don’t know if that is part of the problem. I just figured I would let y’all know in case I’m not the only person having issues.

  • This looks so good! But I know that it’s bad 😀 I want a bowl anyways!!

    Lisa – AT LEAST BLOG

  • this sounds so, so delicious!

    becky :: http://accooohtrements.wordpress.com

  • OH MY Goodness! This looks so amazing! There are few things I love more in this world than mac & cheese. I’ll be trying this immediately. XO

    Anna
    alilyloveaffair.com

  • Why do you do this to me. I can NOT resist Macaroni cheese, and now I JUST HAVE TO HAVE ONE! NOOOOOO!!!!!

    Haha great recipe though! 😉

    Josie XOXO
    Fashion Mumblr

  • That looks really delicious! I always love your simple, tasty recipes!

  • That just looks amazing. I’ve never thought of using cream cheese, but I bet that makes it super creamy. And I do agree that a rainy, dark day is the perfect day to make macaroni and cheese:)

  • This meal sounds so sinful…..but delicious!!. Yea, I better cook that broccoli. Lol.

  • I LOVE garlic. That looks great! Thanks for sharing 🙂

    Love from Italy,

    http://lasagnolove.blogspot.it/2014/10/make-it-happen.html

    Bambi

  • This sounds great! I love trying different mix-ins for mac and cheese, like different kinds of veggies and spices. We’ll have to add some fresh garlic sometime soon, and I bet chive mac and cheese would be tasty too.

  • This looks so delicious! And sounds so easy! I have been searching for some new side dishes and this is perfect! Thank you for sharing!

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