Slow Cooker Macaroni and Cheese

Slow Cooker Macaroni and Cheese

Imagine a healthier version of Macaroni and Cheese that actually tastes good! Couldn’t you just squeak with excitement?

We believe there is room in anyone’s eating plan for a special treat on occasion. ย So enjoy this as a side dish with a serving of lean protein and a nice big heap of veggies and you’ll have a nicely balanced meal.

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Slow Cooker Macaroni and Cheese

Slow Cooker Macaroni and Cheese

Yields: 3 cups | Serving Size: 1/2 Cup | Calories: 244 | Total Fat: 8 g | Saturated Fats: 5 g | Trans Fats: 0 g | Cholesterol: 16 mg | Sodium: 198 mg | Carbohydrates: 24 g | Dietary fiber: 4 g | Sugars: 4 gm | Protein: 11 g | SmartPoints: 8 |


  • 1-1/2 cups, 1% milk
  • 2 egg whites
  • 2 tsp. cornstarch or tapioca starch
  • 4 oz. 2% sharp cheddar cheese (get the block and grate 1 cup full. That's about 4 oz.)
  • 2 cups dry, penne whole wheat pasta


  1. Whisk together the milk, egg whites and cornstarch in your slow cooker insert. Be sure to whisk well.
  2. Stir in the grated cheese and pasta shells.
  3. Cook on low for 1-1/2 to 2 hours.
  5. After the first hour, stir the food on a semi regular basis. About every 15 minutes or so. This will do 2 things. It will allow the pasta to cook evenly. It will also allow you to keep any eye on the pasta and see when it's done. Every slow cooker is different, so the timing for this recipe may be slightly different on this for you. Pasta goes from "cooked" to "mush" very quickly. So be sure to keep stirring on occasion to keep an eye on things.
  6. This was made in a 3 quart slow cooker. Should you wish to double the recipe, double everything except the cornstarch (use 1 tbsp.) and cook in a 4 or 5 quart slow cooker (we used a 5 quart for doubling the recipe). Time and temp does not change when doubling the recipe.
  7. Also, if doubling the milk, you will most likely end up with extra sauce. This sauce is wonderful over a side of veggies.
  8. For a crispier top, place under broiler oven for 3-5 minutes.
  9. Note: We recommend penne pasta with this slow cooker version. Smaller shells don't hold up well in the slow cooker.

Click here for theย Top 10 Slow Cooker Recipes on SkinnyMs.

42 Comments on "Slow Cooker Macaroni and Cheese"

  1. Valerie Patterson  January 22, 2012

    Hey, I ordered your cookbook from QVC over two weeks ago. I actually ordered it before it was previewed. Is there a problem with shipping?

    Thanks, Valerie Patterson

    • Skinny Ms.  January 22, 2012

      Valerie, Thank-you! No problem with the shipping…first orders will ship before the end of Jan.

  2. Sandy  April 25, 2012

    I just wanted to let you know that I made this last night at 9:30 so that we could have it with your sloppy joes for dinner tonight and when it was done cooking, my husband and I tasted it to see how good it was, and we could not stop eating it!  Thank you so much for another fabulous recipe!!!   

    • skinnyms  April 25, 2012

      Sandy, You are so welcome!! We're happy both you and your husband enjoyed! My husband loves it too! ๐Ÿ™‚

  3. Mrsreading  May 31, 2012

    Thanks! This would be great to bring to a cookout as well so the kids have something to enjoy! Does rotini hold up?

  4. Fitnesschic1979  June 10, 2012

    Yummo!! Ultimate favorite dish!!

  5. Denadp  June 10, 2012

    Slow Cooker Mac and cheese…decadent indulgence:)

  6. Ejc0782  July 26, 2012

    My kids even ate this, usually they will not eat the whole wheat pasta, thank you!

  7. Rlscan  August 18, 2012

    Can this be frozen for another meal?

    • Skinny Ms.  August 19, 2012

      Riscan, Sure…of course, it's always better fresh. You may want to add a little additional milk when rewarming.

  8. Terri  August 18, 2012

    What is your opinion of Dreamfield Pasta? I'm not a fan of Whole Wheat Pastas, the texture just isn't right But Dreamfield is delicious. Tastes just like regular pasta

    • Skinny Ms.  August 19, 2012

      Terri, It's funny you ask. About a year ago I was flying to visit my daughter and sat next to a lady who knew the doctor that created this pasta. I couldn't find it at the time but will look for again. I read about it on their website just now…it sounds healthy.

  9. Val  September 3, 2012

    Does anyone know if this can be made on the stovetop instead of the crockpot? If so, how? Sounds yummy, but would like to make it as a side for another crock pot meal!

    • Skinny Ms.  September 4, 2012


      Sure! Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Just cook the pasta according to directions on the box. Combine the remaining ingredients in a medium bowl and pour over pasta. Add all ingredients to an appropriately sized casserole dish. Bake uncovered until cheese is melted and bubbly. Enjoy!

  10. Kelly D  September 11, 2012

    Is there anyway to replace the egg whites with something else? Egg sensitivity ๐Ÿ™

    • Skinny Ms.  September 12, 2012

      Kelly, Just add 2 tablespoons milk for one egg white.

  11. job  September 11, 2012

    Can unsweetened almond milk, or even skim milk, be used instead of 1%?

  12. JimmyM  September 11, 2012

    Similar (and simpler) recipe is 1cup dry pasta any type, 2 cups milk or soy milk, and two cups cheese. Distribute evenly in a 9 x 9 baking pan. Bake 50 minutes at 350, covered.
    If you want the top toasted, or if too fluid for your taste, uncover under broiler for a "few" minutes – obviously you have to watch it at this point.I often add meats like bacon, ham, sliced sausage, or veggies broccoli, cauliflower or favorite squash to turn the whole thing into a casserole. Double if you wish, same time and temperature, larger pan.

  13. KM  September 12, 2012

    What if you wanted to add chicken to this, any tips?

  14. gwen  September 12, 2012

    will this work with gluten free pasta? a lot of it turns into mush very quickly =/ i have celiac… wheat kills me =(

    • Skinny Ms.  September 13, 2012

      Gwen, Never tried it with gluten free. Maybe try doing the gluten free version on the stovetop. Keep us posted!

  15. Heather M  February 17, 2013

    Mmmmmm! Mac-N-Cheese, can't go wrong with that. : ) LOVE IT

  16. Melissa  February 20, 2013

    If I have to stir this every 15 minutes, what is the advantage to using the slow cooker over just making it on the stovetop?

    • Skinny Ms.  February 24, 2013

      Melissa, Maybe the stovetop will work best for you. Many people love this recipe and don’t mind stirring.

    • Angela  July 23, 2013

      Read my mind Melissa!

  17. Kim  May 8, 2013

    Does anyone know if you can use glueten free pasta???

  18. Katie  June 13, 2013

    I know you stated that doubling the recipe would result in extra sauce but my results were just noodles and soupy/barely-cheesy milk ๐Ÿ™ None of the cheese stuck to the noodles and I'm really bummed! I did use skim milk as it was all I had on hand. Could that have been the cause?

    • Skinny Ms.  June 15, 2013

      Katie, Oh no!!! I can’t say for certain, but using skim milk can effect the outcome. I use 1% milk without problems.

  19. Tracy  August 1, 2013

    Making it again as we all loved it the first time. Added Grilled organic chicken breast and a salad. Yum! Thanks !

  20. Stephanie  November 17, 2013

    Made this tonight for my hubby and myself… It was DELICIOUS!!!! We added some bacon, green onion, and red pepper flakes to spice it up. LOVE your recipes!!!

    • GaleCompton  November 18, 2013

      Stephanie, Thanks so much! ๐Ÿ™‚

  21. Maribel  September 30, 2014

    I just made this and I'm not completely thrilled. I think next time I'm going to use regular penne rather than whole wheat. The pasta texture is just off.

  22. Nikki  November 21, 2014

    This might be a stupid question- is dry pasta uncooked pasta?


    • SkinnyMs  November 21, 2014

      Nikki, Yes the dry pasta is uncooked pasta:).

  23. Jackie  April 30, 2016

    I doubled the recipe as instructed and I too (like an earlier post) ended up with runny not thick at all sauce. I did everything the same (used 1% milk) except used 7 oz reduced fat sharp cheddar cheese. Any ideas what I can add to the sauce to fix this?

    • Gale Compton  May 1, 2016

      Jackie, Add additional cheese and that should do the trick. I just created a new recipe for the slow cooker that doesn’t required pre-boiling the noodles. It’s easy and delicious. Would you like to me to email you when it’s on the site? If so, send me a quick email letting me know. ๐Ÿ™‚

  24. Bianca  January 21, 2018

    Do you just add dry pasta out of the box or is it pre cooked? Never used pasta in a slow cookers before

    • Jennifer Hanford  January 22, 2018

      Hi, Bianca. You’ll use dry pasta for this recipe. Just note that pasta goes from “cooked” to “mush” very quickly. So be sure to keep stirring on occasion to keep an eye on things.


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