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Slow Cooker Beer Mac & Cheese

Mac and Cheese is amazing on it’s own, but when you add your favorite beer you end up with a grown-up comfort food you’ll want to make again and again. Even better? Slow Cooker Beer Mac & Cheese!

Overhead photo of Slow Cooker Beer Mac & Cheese on a grey towelAttention grown-ups!! You never have to eat mac and cheese from a box again! Why? Because using your slow cooker to make delicious homemade mac and cheese, and more specifically Slow Cooker Beer Mac & Cheese, is so easy that once you try it you will never go back! Plus, what packaged mac and cheese that you know of comes with beer? Beer mac and cheese. A real thing. A real good thing.

Overhead shot of Slow Cooker Beer Mac & Cheese

Did I mention how simple this is to make? Just 5 ingredients into the slow cooker will get you started! Some nice lean stew meat makes this a delicious beefy meal that will be plenty filling even for hearty appetites! A simple seasoning blend makes for an all in one option that makes prep even that much quicker. Could this recipe possibly get any better??

Overhead photo of ingredients to make Slow Cooker Beer Mac & Cheese

Yes it can! Let’s add some beer!! I used an oatmeal stout and that’s what I would recommend for this recipe. That’s not to say another beer wouldn’t work, but I haven’t tried it. It can be easy to go wrong when adding beer to recipes and they can give off a flavor that doesn’t work with your food, so if you get daring and try something else and love it, be sure to let me know!!
Pouring the cheese sauce into the noodles and beef to make Slow Cooker Beer Mac & Cheese
Once your meat is all cooked you will add the pasta to the slow cooker. That takes anywhere from 20-45 minutes to cook depending on the type of pasta you use. I like the Pronto! pasta from Barilla, it cooks up quicker and stays more firm in the slow cooker. While that’s happening, you can move over to the stove to whip up a quick homemade beer cheese sauce. Stay with me here… homemade cheese sauce is much easier than it sounds, I promise!
Piping hot Slow Cooker Beer Mac & Cheese in the slow cooker
 Stir it all together at the end for the most delicious mac and cheese your grown up mouth has ever tasted!
If you love Mac & Cheese check out some of my other recipes!
Slow Cooker Beer Mac and Cheese

Slow Cooker Beer Mac & Cheese

Jennifer Draper
Slow Cooker Mac and Cheese is amazing on it's own, but when you add your favorite beer you end up with a grown-up comfort food you'll want to make again and again.
3.74 from 30 votes
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Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 3 hours
Total Time 3 hours 10 minutes
Servings 6
Calories 531 kcal

Ingredients
  

For pasta:

  • 1 pound beef stew meat
  • 1 cup beef broth
  • 1 cup stout beer
  • 1 tablespoon worcestershire pub burger seasoning
  • 14.5 oz can fire-roasted tomatoes
  • 8 oz pasta noodles for later (see note)

For cheese sauce:

  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • 1/2 cup stout beer
  • 2 cups milk
  • 2 cups shredded cheese

Instructions
 

  • Add all pasta ingredients except for noodles to slow cooker
  • Cover and cook on high for 3-4 hours or low for 6-8 until meat is cooked through
  • Stir in pasta noodles and return slow cooker to high for 15-45 minutes (see note) until liquid is absorbed and noodles are al dente (add more liquid 1/4 cup at a time if needed)
  • In the meantime, melt butter in saucepan over medium high heat
  • Whisk in flour until smooth
  • Slowly whisk in beer (keep whisking so you don't get lumps) and let simmer for 2-3 minutes
  • Slowly stir in milk while continuing to whisk and then let simmer while whisking occasionally until thickened (about 4-6 minutes)
  • Stir in cheese and remove from heat
  • Add salt and pepper to taste if desired
  • Stir cheese sauce into finished pasta and serve

Notes

Note about pasta: use an elbow noodle for best results. I recommend the Barilla Pronto! noodles for the best result in the slow cooker.
Cooking notes: I cooked this on low for 7 hours then on high for 25 minutes with the pasta noodles

Nutrition

Calories: 531kcalCarbohydrates: 40gProtein: 37gFat: 22gSaturated Fat: 11gCholesterol: 109mgSodium: 632mgPotassium: 434mgFiber: 1gSugar: 7gVitamin A: 780IUVitamin C: 1.7mgCalcium: 323mgIron: 3.2mg
Tried this recipe?Mention @slowcookergourmet or tag #slowcookergourmet!
Important nutritional disclaimer

 

 

Mac & Cheese in the Slow Cooker is amazing! Try out these other delicious recipes too!!

Slow Cooker Buffalo Chicken Mac & Cheese

Slow Cooker Buffalo Chicken Mac and Cheese

Slow Cooker Mac and Cheese with Garlic Chicken

Slow Cooker Mac and Cheese

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38 Comments

  1. 3 stars
    I have tried to make this recipe twice now and both times I can’t seem to get the cheese sauce to get to the right thickness and then when I pour it in with the pasta, the sauce breaks and gets gritty. The first time i used pre-shredded cheese and the second time i bought block cheese and shredded it myself and it didn’t make a difference. Any suggestions?

    1. It might be getting too hot/over-cooked. Try turning off the heat sooner and letting the residual heat melt everything. Or you could also try subbing cornstarch for the flour.

  2. Hi! I’m about to make this, however, I do not have worcestershire pub seasoning. What can I use as an alternative? I do have Worcestershire.

  3. 4 stars
    I made this yesterday, and it’s really good. I actually have too much of it; had to freeze some for later. I think any really mild stout would work best. I used a Lagunitas stout; I love their beer, but almost all of them are fairly potent. Some of the bitter beer flavor kinda lingered. I think I will try something like a mild red ale, Guinness, or an oatmeal stout next time.

    I also changed to bowtie pasta, because it seemd fun. And it still worked just fine! Good recipe!

    1. Awesome!! We also love Lagunitas beer, but I agree this is great with something like a milder oatmeal stout. Freestate makes one that is really tasty!!

  4. 2 stars
    I made this on Sunday was totally bummed. The noodles fell apart, it was gross. Flavor wasn’t bad but ugh, what a mess. I followed recipe exactly. If I made it again, which I might, I would drain most of the liquid, cook the noodles separately and then put it all together. Then it would probably be good. Maybe worth another shot.

    1. We don’t recommend ground beef in this particular recipe, but chicken would be a good alternative.

  5. Can this recipe be doubled and still cook okay? I’m wondering if there would even be enough room in the crockpot though.also..they do not sell the pronto noodles at my walmart. How would I need to adjust if I’m just using regular elbow noodles, and should I use the regular sized ones or large?

    Thank you

    1. My best guess would be that yes, you could double it if you have a 7 or 8 quart slow cooker. If using regular noodles (of any size) they will just take a bit longer to cook and you may find you will need to add a bit more liquid if they start to dry out.

  6. 5 stars
    I’m looking to make this for 2 people. Would just cutting the amounts in half work? Also, do you cook the pasta before putting it in the slow cooker or do you let the pasta cook in the slow cooker? Thank you!

    1. Hi Jen! Yes, you could easily cut this recipe in half and it will still be more than enough for 2 people. You don’t need to cook the pasta first, but for best results look for the Barilla Pronto! noodles. I’d suggest a 3 quart slow cooker for 1/2 size of this recipe.

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