How can you make mac and cheese better? Add barbecue chicken and bacon, of course! This decadent dinner develops its flavors as it spends the day simmering in your slow cooker.

Source: Better Homes and Gardens


Credit: Andy Lyons

Recipe Summary

20 mins
6 hrs(low) or 3 hours (high) + 20 minutes (high)
5 mins
9 cups


Ingredient Checklist


Instructions Checklist
  • In a 4-qt. slow cooker combine first five ingredients (through mustard). Stir in half of the bacon.

  • Cover and cook on low 6 hours or high 3 hours. If using low, turn to high. Stir in pasta. Cover and cook 10 minutes; stir. Cover and cook 10 minutes more; stir again. Turn off cooker. If possible, remove crockery liner from cooker. Top mixture with cheese (do not stir). Cover and let stand 5 minutes. Stir in enough of the milk to reach desired consistency.

  • Drizzle servings with barbecue sauce and top with red onion and remaining bacon. If desired, sprinkle with parsley.

To Make Ahead

If your slow cooker has a warm setting, you can hold the macaroni and cheese up to 2 hours. If mixture begins to look dry, stir in up to 1/2 cup additional milk to reach desired consistency.

Nutrition Facts

194 calories; total fat 8g; saturated fat 4g; polyunsaturated fat 0g; monounsaturated fat 1g; cholesterol 42mg; sodium 452mg; potassium 124mg; carbohydrates 20g; fiber 0g; sugar 5g; protein 11g; trans fatty acid 0g; vitamin a 184IU; vitamin c 1mg; thiamin 0mg; riboflavin 0mg; niacin equivalents 2mg; vitamin b6 0mg; folate 44mcg; vitamin b12 0mcg; calcium 146mg; iron 1mg.


Rating: 4.0 stars
4 stars, good, but not our cup of tea. Maybe a handful of cheddar would have helped. I used 3/4 of a box of the Creamette fast-cook (but it's the kind you're supposed to drain) rotini & it worked fine.
Rating: 3.0 stars
Good, easy to make & it makes a ton! But the American cheese didn't really hit the spot, maybe add a handful of cheddar.
Rating: 3.0 stars
Good, easy to make, and makes a ton! But the American cheese didn't hit the spot, maybe add a handful of cheddar. I used 12 oz Creamette fast cook pasta (which says to drain it) and it still worked just fine.