You'll love this delicious and easy crock pot ham and cheese macaroni casserole - the creamy sauce is full of chunks of ham, spinach, and gooey cheese. A weeknight dinner idea that will leave your family begging for more!
- Why You'll Love Crock Pot Ham and Cheese Casserole
- Ingredients Needed to Make Crock Pot Ham and Cheese
- What To Substitute For Velveeta Cheese in Ham and Cheese Crock Pot Casserole
- How To Make Crock Pot Ham Mac and Cheese Casserole
- How to Serve Crock Pot Ham and Cheese Macaroni
- Slow Cooker Tips
- 📖 Recipe
- 💬 Comments
Why You'll Love Crock Pot Ham and Cheese Casserole
This ham and cheese macaroni casserole is creamy and cheesy. The pasta softens, the cheese melts, the ham flavors blend together into something wonderful!
Kid favorite. Your kids and family will love this dish! Think upscale lunchroom creamy Mac and cheese (with added veggies that Mom snuck in) and the perfect amount of ham bites.
It's Easy. Blister the macaroni and start the onions softening in the microwave. Dump the next ingredients into the pot - including the dry noodles! Then, after pasta is tender add the dairy and cheesy and all the creamy good bits. Enjoy!
Ingredients Needed to Make Crock Pot Ham and Cheese
Here are the ingredients you will need to make this crock pot ham and cheese casserole:
- Onion: I used a yellow onion, but white or red onions may be used. Red will lend a sweeter taste. Substitute 1 tablespoon of dried minced onion or 1 teaspoon of onion powder.
- Ham Steak: leftover ham, a cooked and cubed ham steak, or purchased cubed ham are all fine to use.
- Velveeta Cheese: using Velveeta or a similar store brand ensures that the pasta is extra creamy.
- Baby Spinach: baby spinach is used because it is very tender and easily cooks.
- Sour Cream
- Dijon Mustard
- Shredded Cheddar Cheese
- Fresh Parsley
- Chicken Broth
- Elbow Macaroni Pasa:
For exact ingredient quantities, please see the recipe card below!
What To Substitute For Velveeta Cheese in Ham and Cheese Crock Pot Casserole
The closest in flavor and texture to Velveeta is American cheese and Cheez Whiz. If you want to move to a less processed cheese variety, then freshly grated cheddar cheese, gouda, or mozzarella would all work well. The latter three options are not as creamy, so add a bit of butter and a small amount of milk, cream, or evaporated milk.
How To Make Crock Pot Ham Mac and Cheese Casserole
Here's how to make this easy crock pot ham and cheese casserole:
Mix oil, pasta, and onion in a micrwave safe dish. Microwave until half the pasta is blistered, about 5 minutes on 30% power. Stir frequently.
Add the ham, broth, spinach, Velveeta, and macaroni to the pot. Cover and cook on high 2 to 3 hours, - or until pasta is just tender.
Add cheddar cheese, sour cream, dijon mustard, and parsley to the crock pot and stir to combine. Continue cooking until the cheese is melted.
Salt and pepper to taste. Top with optional crumble ritz crackers.
How to Serve Crock Pot Ham and Cheese Macaroni
There are several ways you can serve your delicious crock pot ham and cheese dish:
Adjust seasoning before serving. Garnish with fresh parsley and additional shredded cheese.
Meal idea! Serve with a tossed green salad with breadsticks, rolls, or crusty bread.
Here are some suggestions for customizing your dish:
- Substitute rotini, bow tie, ditalini, or other pasta.
- Other cheese may be added or swapped out like smoked gouda, regular gouda, swiss cheese, mozzarella, etc.
- Add a small can of drained diced tomatoes.
- A pound of cooked bacon can be substitute for the ham.
Slow Cooker Tips
Tip #1: this recipe cooks in about 2 to 3 hours, so it isn't something you can start in the morning and leave for work all day. I used to save this for the weekends or when my husband could start it in the afternoon, 3 hours before dinner time.
Tip #2: if meal prepping, don't add the dry pasta with any liquid. Blister the pasta, cook the onion, and keep it separate.
Tip#3: for a recipe that slow cooks for only a few hours, the onion won't have time to soften.
Cheddar cheese, processed American cheese, gouda, swiss, and mozzarella all go best with ham.
Refrigerate in an air-tight container for up to 4 days. Or freeze for up to 4 months.
Reheat individual portions in a microwave on 50% power for 1 to 2 minutes or until heated through. Stir halfway through.
Crock Pot Ham and Cheese Casserole
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 8 ounces dry elbow macaroni
- ½ cup onion (diced)
- 1 pound ham steak (cubed into bite-sized pieces)
- 2½ cups low sodium chicken broth
- 2 cups baby spinach
- 8 ounce block of processed cheese (cut into cubes)
- 1 cup sharp cheddar cheese (shredded)
- ½ cup sour cream
- 1 tablespoon dijon mustard
- 2 tablespoons fresh parsley (chopped)
- In a microwave-safe dish, stir pasta, onion, and 1 tablespoon olive oil together. Microwave for 2 to 3 minutes on 30% power, stirring frequently. Cook until half the pasta is blistered.
- Add the ham, broth, spinach, Velveeta, and macaroni to the pot. Cover and cook on high 2 to 3 hours, or until pasta is just tender.
- Add cheddar cheese, sour cream, dijon mustard, and parsley to the crock pot and stir to combine. Continue cooking until the cheese is melted.
- Salt and pepper to taste. Top with optional crumble ritz crackers.
- Don't miss all of our helpful hints, substitution ideas, cooking tips, and other delicious recipes that can be found in our post. Check it out!
- NOTES: Use leftover ham or a ham steak!
- VARIATIONS: Swap out cheddar cheese for another favorite cheese to vary taste. Try smoked gouda, pepper jack, or mozzarella.
- SERVING SUGGESTIONS: Crumble ritz crackers over the top for a crunchy topping. Garnish with fresh parsley and additional cheese.
© 2023 Slow Cooked Eats
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