CrockPot Macaroni and Cheese Recipe

Macaroni and Cheese is pure comfort food. This is a fantastic recipe that has the noodles cook right along inside the crockpot with the milk and cheese.

It calls for using 1% or 2% milk instead of evaporated milk -- I wanted to find a way to make macaroni and cheese from scratch using the stuff I already had in the house! :-)

So here you go: a completely homemade macaroni and cheese made in the crockpot with NO condensed cream soup or evaporated milk! Since we are gluten free, I used gluten free noodles with no problem.


[photo updated via deposit photos @bhofack2 5/15

Originally posted during my Year of Slow Cooking.]

Day 181.

This is the best macaroni and cheese, ever. 

Ninety-seven days ago, when I made the crockpot ziti, my buddy Alison wrote in the comments her recipe for macaroni and cheese.

I waited too long to make it----this is a superb recipe.

I wouldn't recommend putting this in the crockpot unsupervised. 

There is a lot of liquid and the noodles cook VERY quickly. 

 Our pasta was perfectly cooked and al dente after about 90 minutes on high, but I left it on and accidentally fell asleep on the couch when I should have been folding laundry. 

 An hour later, the pasta was still amazingly delicious, but it got mushy.

I tell you this so you can *learn from my mistake!* :-)

The Ingredients.
serves 6

1/2 pound uncooked macaroni or hearty pasta (I used a gluten free pasta)
4 cups of milk (I used skim cow's)
1 egg 
4 cups shredded cheese (I used all cheddar * )
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper

1 teaspoon dried mustard

* I am usually a bagged shredded cheese girl, but for this recipe I recommend shredding your own. I'm sorry. But the bagged stuff sometimes has an anti-caking agent which will keep it from melting as nicely as when you use block cheese.

Don't shoot the messenger; I'm only trying to help!! :-)

The Directions.

Use a 4-quart slow cooker for best results.  If you only have a 6-quart, that is okay, but for reals pay attention -- your noodles will soften even faster.

Spray crock well with cooking spray. In a mixing bowl, whip egg and milk together. 

Stir in spices.

Add cheese and noodles, and stir well to combine. 

 Pour the mixture into the crockpot.

It will be very liquidy.

Cover and cook on low for 2-5 hours, or on high for 1-3. 


---> [ Trust me! this still beats having to watch the stove and drain water and mix in the cheese sauce ingredients. I promise. You can fold laundry, watch Gossip Girl, take a bath, etc. Just check after an hour so you can judge the cooking time correctly.] <--

 The cooking time will vary depending on what size crockpot you are using, and how quickly it heats and cooks. 

 I was quite surprised at how quickly our pasta got fork-tender.

The Verdict.

Woah. This tastes like macaroni and cheese should taste. 

 The cheese on top was bubbly and brown and had the neat texture it gets when baked in the oven. The pasta was perfectly cooked.

Until I fell asleep.

The kids each ate 2 bowls, and my three-year-old has requested that I make this every single day for lunch from now on. In the crockpot.

I was a little surprised that the ingredients called for only a half-pound of pasta. 

This was more than enough food for 6 people to eat. The pasta swelled and completely filled a round 4qt.

Thank you, Alison! xoxox

Pure comfort food!! I love this crockpot recipe for macaroni and cheese -- it is perfectly seasoned and uses regular milk instead of evaporated milk. I like how it browns and gets a bit crispy on top, the same way it would in the oven but you make super simple by using your slow cooker.

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Posted by: Stephanie O'Dea | A Year of Slow Cooking at June 29, 2017

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What they say about this article

  1. sounds delicious!

    in a 6qt, do you think it could handle a full 16oz of pasta? with the same amount of other ingredients or would the ratios be off?

    (it just seems like an awful lot of cheese for only 1/2 lb of pasta)

    by the way, I made the Mongolian Beef last night using london broil (much cheaper cut than the flank) cut into strips and it came out incredibly yummy!! I doubled the recipe in my 6qt, and it cooked beautifully in 6 hrs on low

  2. yayay! We eat a lot of London Broil, too. Great idea---I'm so glad it worked out well for you!

    I think you could cut the cheese, but not the amount of milk. The pasta really swells and takes on the milk. I was super surprised at the ratio of pasta to milk, but it worked.

    If my 6qt wasn't soaking in the sink, I would have used it. I DO think that a whole bag of pasta would fit in the 6qt, but you would need to make sure to add more milk so you don't end up with crunchy pasta. And definitely double the spices--this was *perfectly* seasoned. I was hesitant about adding so much mustard, but it rocked.

    Alison rocks.


  3. GF macaroni and cheese? In the crockpot? Using little energy and not heating up the entire apartment in the summer? If I wasn't already engaged, I'd bet that C would have proposed just based off of this recipe. :) And I love that it looks cheesy enough where I could add in some vegetables and have them steam/cook in the cheesy goodness - diced peppers, broccoli bits, and peas. YUM! Thank you!! Oh, and if you ever come across a vegan version of m&c, I'd love to see that too!

  4. Um, yum. This sounds easy and fact, I went out and bought some cheese & eggs pretty much as soon as I read this entry.

  5. Anonymous6/29/2008

    Just this week I was looking for a crock pot mac n cheese recipe that didn't call for evaporated milk. This will be perfect! (I ended up doing stovetop, which was much less convenient than CP). Thanks!

  6. I just stumbled upon your blog. What a great idea! I can't wait to try some of your recipes.

  7. Thanks for sharing - I can't wait to make this one!

  8. I have mac and cheese on my menu plan on Wednesday so I think I will give it a try. Thanks for posting this.

    I have link to your site on my blog.

  9. Anonymous6/29/2008

    Oh no...I have to go shopping again tomorrow to get these ingredients. This sounds delish! This weekend we made the frito/pretzle/nut chocolate candy recipe and everyone loves it! Thanks for sharing!

  10. Anonymous6/29/2008

    This sounds fantastic: a yummy sea of cheesy goodness. Nirvana!

    Now if you can get Adam to shape up, you're all set!

  11. I was just thinking about trying to do mac and cheese in the crockpot - I'm so glad you posted this and I don't have to do any guesswork! Thank you! :-)

  12. This looks really wonderful.

    Thanks for the idea! It is going on this week's menu!


  13. Anonymous6/29/2008

    Thanks for posting this! Am I understanding correctly... you don't cook the noodles beforehand, right? Just wanted to be sure. Thanks! Can't wait to try it!

  14. Anonymous6/29/2008

    My kids favorite Mac N Cheese is the stuff out of a box...I'll have to try this instead.

    I miss Mac N Cheese.

    And I still can't find rice pasta at TJ's...Grrrr. Oh well. I'll get it from Whole Paycheck. =)

  15. Was the cheese supposed to be grated or cubed or?

  16. teri, yup, the noodles are uncooked and crunchy.

    calico cat, I did grate the cheese. Thanks for letting me know I didn't put that in the directions.I'll do it now.


  17. This looks like a great recipe, I am eager to try it. I buy pasta in bulk, could you give me an idea of how many cups of pasta half a bag would be?

  18. Hi Tami,

    Alison's recipe called for a 1/2 pound of macaroni, which was half of a bag of the pasta I had on hand. I'm out of pasta right now---but I would guess it to be about 2 cups. The pasta will pretty much double in size.


  19. I wish you had one of those fancy "print this recipe" buttons. I have no idea how to do it, myself, but it would be nice... I copy your recipe to Word and then print it from there to avoid getting all the frames. Is there a better way?

  20. Anonymous6/30/2008

    Stephanie, I made this tonight and it turned into a curdled mess! I used 3 cups of 2% milk and 1 cup of F/F (because I ran out of the 2%). Could this be why? I'm going to try it again later this week - it sounds so good and it was smelling great! Any advice you could give would be much appreciated! :) Thx!

  21. Lucy, OH NO! I hate that, I am so sorry. I have read many times not to cook with milk in the crock because of the curdling. I have been lucky, so far, if I use 2% or lower and keep an eye on it.

    I don't know anything about evaporated milk, but know that many have good luck with it. I hate to tell you to try it again with only fat free----did you cook on low? for how long?

    ick. I'm so sorry.


  22. Looks pretty taste. Does Crockpot Mac and Cheese get that crispy topping that you get from the oven?

  23. Anonymous6/30/2008

    I'm sitting here eating a bowl of this as I type. While the texture isn't as smooth as I would like, the taste is pretty good. Overall, I give it a C.

    I love your blog, thanks for posting all the great recipes!

  24. Holy cow I've missed a lot of good ones.....:)

  25. I think I'll have to try this.......but maybe not until Fall.

  26. Anonymous7/01/2008

    How do you clean your crockpot? It always seems like I'm left with food stuck around the edges that has to soak for a long time. My little crockpot has a hot spot that cooks faster and always ends up with food cooked to it that is hard to get off.

  27. Hi anon, I get some icky cooked on stuff sometimes, too. Spraying the crock with cooking spray really helps. If I have a bad spot, I soak overnight in the sink with a bunch of liquid soap, then run the crock through the dishwasher. They do make crockpot liners you can buy in the foil aisle at the grocery store, but I haven't personally tried them.


  28. I have been really working on getting my kids to cook more (trying to increase the slave labor around here) and I hade the bright idea to look here for crockpot recipes they can easily do. This is perfect and I think I will have Pablo make this tonight.

  29. Anonymous7/02/2008

    New TV Star,
    I left a comment about my curdled mac & cheese a couple of days ago...well I tried it again today and again it curdled! Maybe it's the cheese I'm using? It's the pre-shredded bagged cheese....oh well, who knows! I don't think I'll try it again, though. Don't worry, it's not your fault. I'm still a devout follower! :)

  30. ick, Lucy. That still totally stinks. I'm sorry.

    I have no idea why. I haven't tried it out again. One weird thing about this year is that I'm not having the opportunity to tweak and perfect the recipes the way my OCD side wants to...


  31. Anonymous7/02/2008

    I tried this today--using soy milk because that's what we use around here...and there was a brief period where it not only tasted great but looked creamy and lusciousm, just like in the picture...and then within about fifteen minutes it had curdled. It tasted very bland, even though i had used the spices in the amounts in the recipe. :( My kids were polite about it, but I ended up making boxed mac and cheese for dinner! Bah humbug.

  32. Pablo made this for dinner tonight and it was a huge success (which is hard to come by in our home). I did add to the spices. I added regular yellow mustard, table salt, and lowry's season salt with the other seasonings till it tasted right. Then we topped with bacon and it was dynamite! Thanks for helping Pablo feel like a super star.

    Oh, and mine curdled a bit but with stirring and longer cooking it evened out.

  33. I made this last night, and it turned out really good -

    I used a 14.5 ounce box of corkscrew whole wheat pasta, and was nervous it would be too much pasta but not nervous enough to measure out 8 oz. :)

    I also used 1% milk, 2 blocks of Cracker Barrel chedder (again, didn't measure, just shredded both blocks), and 2 eggs.

    Admittedly, I am a peeker - so I think every 30 minutes I went and peeked and stirred. It was between 1 1/2 and 2 hrs from start to finish, and it was great.

    It was a bit more custardy than usual mac & cheese (eggs will do that) but I thought the flavorings were bold enough to satisfy my husband and myself, yet bland enough to pack in my kids's lunchboxes.

    and thanks for the tip of spraying the crock first. A simple first step I often forget,and one my husband ends up regretting as he is the dish-washer.

  34. I just wanted to say I made this last night. The texture was unusual to say the least. It wasn't unpleasant, but I have to say as I can make a cheese sauce no problem I think I will stick to my regular recipe.

    Thanks for posting this though, its always good to try something new :0)

  35. bwhahahaaha, Gill! Thank you for giving it a go and for being so kind in your report back. ;-)


  36. Anonymous7/05/2008

    I tried this and even though I stopped the cooking while the past was still al dente (or even a bit less), it turned itself into a mushy crock of cheesiness. I used some really flavorful New Zealand cheddar (got it whilst picking up the pasta at Trader J's - I tried the same as you used) and the taste is great, but the texture is sort of like cheesy potato casserole, rather than mac&cheese. Don't know where I went wrong, but I still haven't triumphed over the pasta-in-the-crock meltdown issues...
    Fun to try this recipe, though! I'll move on to one of the meat recipes this week :)

  37. Made this for a 4th of July party and it was a HUGE hit. I doubled the recipe and used a few tablespoons of dijon mustard since I didn't have dry. So yummy. Kids and adults alike gobbled it down.

  38. Anonymous7/07/2008

    Our milk (2%) curdled as well. And too much mustard. I wasn't sure if I should put it in, because I'm not a mustard fan, but I did. Big mistake.

    I'm seriously bummed that it didn't turn out. Oh well, live and learn.

  39. I made this last night (wheat pasta, pre-shredded cheddar, fat free milk) and added smoked sausage and canned roasted red peppers. This was dynamite and a wonderful meal for my family. No curdling and not mushy since I checked it often. I LOVE your blog! Thanks!

  40. Love, love, love your blog. Can't wait to see you on Rachael.

    I have tried the crockpot liners and they work GREAT! Just like lining pan with parchment.

  41. I made this with 2% milk, the 1 egg, mustard, etc., and a mix of cheddar and greuyer (sp?) cheese, cooked on low for about 3 1/2 hours. It was AWESOME. The liquid was mostly all absorbed, and the cheese was a little gritty, but the pasta was perfectly cooked and it tasted delicious! It even got a little crusty on the bottom...mmmn! I've been telling everyone about this recipe!

  42. maybe i was impatient, but this didn't work for me. i used skim milk, two 8 oz. blocks of cheese (medium cheddar and monterrey jack), and barilla plus macaroni. i think it was the pasta, it had a really strange texture. i use this pasta a lot so i know that its texture is already a bit different, but this was weird! the sauce also never got thick. my pasta was totally done and verging on falling apart and the sauce was super thin. sad.

  43. Anonymous7/10/2008

    I just saw you on the Rachael Ray show. I love your blog! This is so much fun! I had to comment that the crock pot liners are awesome! I love them. I never wanted to cook in the crock pot because I hated the clean up. Having the liners makes me want to use my crock pot. In your case, you may want to buy stock in them. If you use one every day it might get expensive. They are $2 for 4 liners in my area. To me they are totally worth it. I would have been happy to pay someone .50 to clean out MY crock pot. With these liners I can just wipe out the crock pot with a damp paper towel or wash cloth. I can't wait to try your recipes!

  44. Anonymous7/10/2008

    I haven't left a comment yet, even though I've been reading your blog all summer and absolutely love it!

    I must say something about this mac and cheese, though...

    I made this recipe when I first found your blog- ironic, isn't it- to make your friend's recipe first, anyhow...

    I totally destroyed it! I cooked it for way to long and never stirred it... I was sooo disappointed and literally came to tears.

    When I saw that you had made it and had been successful, my courage was restored and I tried again.

    I made this last night and it was wonderful. I used whole grain macaroni, cheddar cheese, and 2% milk.

    I don't think the troubles come with the ingredients, but rather time. With this recipe, you MUST watch it closely and stir it.

    I cooked mine on low for 2.5 hours. I let it do it's thing for an hour and then stirred every 20 minutes or so after that and it was wonderful.

    So, if you tried this and it didn't work the first time. Please try again.

    It is very, very yummy : )

  45. oh gentledru, I hate it that you (or anyone else!) would have tears over this!

    I'm so so sorry. I posted an edit to proceed at your own risk; I sure hope everyone reads all the comments.

    This is a rather advanced crock-pot dish...


    thank you for reporting back, and I'm thrilled that your second attempt worked beautifully!


  46. This comment has been removed by the author.

  47. Wow! Tried this tonight and loved it! I tweaked it a little bit, but it was still great. I used a full pound of macaroni and 2 blocks of Cracker Barrel cheese and the 4 cups of milk and cooked on high for 2 hours. I did not use the egg simply because I didn't have any in the house! But it still came out great! Also happy to report that no curdles!!!! And it did not turn out mushy either. Love your blog and can't wait to try more recipes!!

  48. Anonymous7/11/2008

    Thanks for your empathy : )

    I'm eating the 2nd attempt's leftovers right now -- and they are still marvelous...

    I'm glad I didn't give up : )

  49. Anonymous7/15/2008

    I made this last night. Husband says mmmm mmm mmmmmmm mmmmmm mmmmmmmm WHAT IS THIS? Poor guy has not had mac and cheese before. Needless to say I had success. I, of course, read recipe, tossed everything into 2qt. crock, and set it to go. THEN I read to check the comments *gulp*. So I did. Fear came upon me with visions of pasta exploding from the borrowed crock. Then some lovely poster mentioned the stir method. It made me feel better knowing that I would see the eruptive qualities of the mixture! :) Thanks for the tip 'gentledru'. I cooked mine (whole wheat pasta - thank goodness it didn't expand as much as expected) 60 min. then stirred each 30 min for at least another hour. I kept testing the pasta to liquid ratio and of course the pasta doneness taste test (couldn't wait) with each stir. Truly yummie dish and a real blast from the past! Try it you'll like it!

  50. I doubled the amount of pasta and milk (as mentioned in the comments), but decreased the amount of cheese. The cheese was perfect, but I think I could have used less milk - the pasta was perfect, yet there was still a ton of milk in the crock. By the time it cooked off, the pasta was mushy.

    It still had an excellent flavor and I'll definitely give it another try (with modifications to the milk!).

    Thanks for the great blog, I have a few others on my menu list upcoming.

  51. I know this is an older post, but I thought I'd comment on a great and EASY way to clean a burned on crock pot! I do some thick casseroles in mine that always burn around the sides just at the top of the food line.

    When I've emptied the crock pot, I fill it with hot water above the line of the burned food and sprinkle in about a 1/4 cup of baking soda and turn on high for an hour or two. If it is really stuck hard, 'cook' this for a couple of hours and then turn off and leave overnight. By morning the worst burned on stuff will simply slide off the sides and wipe clean - promise!

    I had to come up with something since they don't do crock pot liners over here in the UK! :o)

  52. Anonymous7/19/2008

    I'm going to try this today! Thanks!

  53. I'm so glad I saw you on the RACHEL RAY show, that's how I came across your website.

    I have used CROCK POT liners ever since I discovered them at the grocery store. I will never use my crock pots without them. They fit round and oval crock pots. Clean up is a breeze. I will be trying out this receipe tomorrow.

  54. IFWIW, haven't tried this recipe, but from my experience with cheese soup and "curdling" or the separating of fat from solids some cheeses, like cheddar, I would suggest substituting monterey jack or another good melting cheese for some of the cheddar. I suggest monterey jack because it has a similar taste profile to cheddar and a lot of flavor. Also, I almost always have better luck when I shred my own cheese when melting it into a sauce. I may have to give this recipe a try sometime so I can try out my own suggestions.

  55. Anonymous7/24/2008

    I got a CrockPot for Christmas last year, and I have enjoyed your blog so much this year! I live a wheat-free diet, and I was very excited about trying your macaroni and cheese recipe last night. It took a little bit longer than I expected for all the pasta to get tender, but it was quite yummy and really satisfied that comfort food hunger I was feeling. I used what I had in the way of cheese, which was about 3 cups of mild cheddar and 1 cup of an asiago, mozzarella, and parmesan blend. In retrospect, it would have been better had the cheddar been sharp rather than mild.

    Thanks for the recipe; this will be a repeat!

  56. I've read the comments....I love a challenge! I'm going to give this a try!

  57. came out sooo good!! Hubby loved it and he is not a pasta person at all!!!

    I made a small batch, half of all of the ingredients listed, using 1% milk and shredded colby/cheddar cheese.

    Definetly yummy and definetly going in my cookbook to make again!

  58. Hi everyone, I know this is an older post but as there is a note to look in the comments I will add my 2cents. I would check the kind of mustard that people are using when they are getting the curdling problem. If the mustard is high in vinegar (or acid in general) it will cause the milk to curdle no matter what the other variables are. Adding acidic elements to milk are how cheesemakers get the curd to separate from the whey. I would try replacing the prepared mustard with a mustard seed or powdered mustard to get the taste without the acid.

  59. Anonymous8/14/2008

    Just wanted to double check that this is really supposed to be 1 tablespoon (T) of dried mustard. I looked at the original recipe you referenced, posted under the baked ziti comments, and it was listed as 1 tsp. Sorry if this has already been answered in other comments!

  60. anon, thank you so much for your detective work. I've edited the original post.

  61. Ok, so this is the first recipe I am going to try from your blog and the comments are a bit scary, curdled milk? Yikes? But I have confidence in my crock and my FF milk and my stirring arm, and I am gonna say a prayer before I get started. Here's to a goo dinner on Thursday this week.

  62. Anonymous9/07/2008

    Hmm, I'm in the process of making this mac and chesse. We are on hour 2 on low. I have stirred 3 times so far, and tasted the macaroni(it tastes good so far!) THe only thing I'm concerned about is it seems to be making scrambled eggs..... LOL strange! I used 2 eggs instead of one, shoulda stuck with one...I'll let you know how it turns out in the end :)

  63. I hope it ends up being okay, Heather! I think this mac and cheese recipe is my Achilles heel...


  64. Anonymous9/07/2008

    Definitely had a strange consistency, but tasted very good (to me). My husband said he likes boxed mac and chesse better (it hurt my Soo, it sounded good but I don't think we'll be trying it again! I have made other recipes from your blog and they have turned out VERY good! Don't worry too much about this one :)

  65. Anonymous9/12/2008

    I just started my mac n cheese on my lunch break at home. I added some yummy stuff I had to make it a full meal for my hubby and six yr old daughter tonight. Pieces of chicken (abo 1 c.) from a whole one I boiled to make soup the other night, crumbled crispy bacon, onion and fresh mozzarella! Everything else I kept the same as recipe. I found great advise on other crock-pot site and that is to use a timer where you plug in you pot. I love it because nothing gets overcooked and mushy on me! Thanks for your time....

  66. I gave this a go today (using Alison's original submission) and it was delicious! I put it on high for 4 hours and turned off the crock pot at 3 1/2. I used strong cheddar cheese and 1% milk. YUM! I have given credit where credit is due on my blog, as well as a review :) (Check back on Tues, Sept 23 to see it).

  67. i've made this twice so far - it came out better this time around. i used 5 or 6 cups of 2% milk (i can't remember how much...i lost count! it was enough to cover the pasta in the crockpot), 4 cups of assorted shredded cheese (colby, mont jack, asiago, cheddar, mozz), 1 egg, 1 lb Tinkyada pasta and less than 1 t (eyeballed) amounts of salt & pepper.

    this cooks very fast. i used a 6 qt and it was done in about 2-2.5 hrs. as suggested by other readers, i let it do it's thing for the first hour and then stirred it every 25 minutes.

    i think next time i might try using a little less cheese but warm it up before i add it to the milk and pasta. it seems like there were some clumps that somehow didn't quite melt.

    i didn't have any problems with curdling either time i've made this...maybe it's because i didn't use the mustard? either way, i think this recipe is good so tweak some things try it again if it didn't work for you the first time!

  68. Anonymous10/02/2008

    So I just made this for a work potluck - you know, because there's no better time to try a new recipe (but how many recipes can you "cook" at your desk?). I used 24 oz macaroni, a half gallon of milk (whole: I know, naughty), and slightly more than 8 cups of pre-grated cheddar (2 cups of sharp, 6-ish of medium). 4 eggs and just one teaspoon of dried mustard. It is now all gone except for some cheesy goo in the bottom of the CP. It cooked on low about 3 hours and has been on warm for 2, with stirring every 20 minutes after 1 hour. No curdling, a little grainy, but that's real cheese for you. I will def. make again, probably with less milk!

  69. I just tried this recipe in my small (1.5 q) crockpot; I cut the recipe in half so that it would fit.

    I used half cheddar and half monterey jack cheese; the flavor is excellent, but it is not as creamy as I would like. Next time, I am going to add everything but the cheese, cook for an hour, then add cheese and cook until it thickens up (maybe another half-hour)...I'm thinking this might result in a creamier sauce.

    Thanks for the recipe; I'll let you know how version 2 turns out!

  70. Anonymous10/26/2008

    I just made this recipe tonight and we all thought it was superb! My 3 year old cleaned his bowl in record time.

    I used a 7 qt crockpot, since I didn't think it would fit well in my smaller one. I found that 8oz of pasta wasn't enough and ended up boiling 4-5 more oz and tossing it in. I followed the directions of some of the other commentors and cooked on low for 1 hour and stirred every 30 mins for a total of 2 hours. The noodles were cooked perfectly and the sauce was creamy (I used sharp, extra sharp and swiss.) I also tossed in some cubes of ham I had left over.

    I say this is one for my recipe book!

  71. I made this tonight because on Voting Day I have to make chili, mac & cheese and brownies to take to the kids' school as a fund raiser - you know, grab a bowl of food while you vote sort of thing.

    I had never made mac & cheese in a crock pot, so had to find a recipe to test first.

    I never eat mac & cheese myself, because the kids only like the boxed stuff, and the cheaper the better. Really. Like the stuff that is 33 cents per box.

    I used skimmed milk. I used about 2 tablespoons of Grey Poupon mustard vice the dry mustard. I used cheddar cheese. I used two cups of elbow macaroni. I cooked it on high for about 2 hours, stirring frequently. I used a 4qt crock pot, and I think about one & a half recipe would fit. (3 cups of macaroni, 6 C of cheese, 6 C of milk - you get the point)

    We had already eaten dinner. I didn't make this for dinner, just as a test. I believe it may be a small miracle if there is any left by morning. Despite being totally full from dinner, I keep stealing forkfulls of this as it cools on the counter. It is SO good! Yes, the cheddar cheese ends up making a sort of 'grainy' cheese sauce. But it has some umphf to it. That's what I hate about boxed mac & cheese - the cheese sauce seems 'slimy' to me. The Grey Poupon mustard gives the cheese a sort of 'welsh rarebit' sort of taste - a real comfort memory food from my childhood.

    This recipe is a keeper, and I know it will be a huge hit on Nov 4th! Thanks so much!

  72. Anonymous11/02/2008

    Ive got everything in the crockpot right now! I cant wait until its done to see if it worked for me or not! I used 2% reduced fat milk then mild cheddar cheese. I was going to ask a question if thats okay - is ground mustard the same as dried mustard? I am no professional! I guess that is why I love my crockpot so much! :)

  73. Anonymous11/03/2008

    Okay back the next day to report that IT TURNED OUT DELICIOUS! I am going to make this from now on for the holidays! It reminds me of a deli-style macaroni and cheese! Yummy! Thanks for posting this!

  74. Anonymous11/15/2008

    I made this the other night, and I used half sharp cheese and half cheddar. My husband said that it was the best mac and cheese he had ever eaten, and he makes it alot with different recipes. I was a little nervous about not cooking the macaroni first, but it came out great. I keeper in my house, now I need to get more crockpots so I can have more than one thing going at a time!!!

  75. Anonymous11/15/2008


    I seem to have a problem with my macaroni tending to be semi hard/soft and I get frustrated and throw it out... This is after about an hour on high...

    What in the world am I doing wrong?

    I want to cry. :(

  76. hi Kian's mommy, oh please don't cry. I'm so sorry. I have no clue. There is no rhyme or reason to this recipe, and I'm tempted to pull it, yet so many people have gotten it to work. you're not doing anything wrong. it's just screwy.


  77. Anonymous11/15/2008

    Hi again Steph,

    Just been reading through your blog! You are making me hungry! lol! Can you give me some tips for doing pasta in a crock pot and it not turning mega crummy or mushy... or weird?

    I have a Hamilton Beach Crock Pot, I have no idea how big it is... but it's oval shaped.

    Thanks :)

  78. Anonymous11/24/2008

    I'm trying the first recipe from your blog, the mac & cheese. BUT, I'm using nonfat powdered milk mixed with water of course, and about 12 slices of Velveeta type cheese as that is what I have on hand. Has anyone else substituted either of these? I'll let you know if it works. Margaret

  79. Anonymous11/24/2008

    It worked beautifully!...using nonfat powdered milk and Velveeta type cheese. Maybe I used a little too much cheese but my husband loved it and it is creamy and not curdled after about 3 hours at the low setting and stirring frequently. Can't wait to try more of the recipes!

  80. ok i know it's not all-natural, but sub velveta for this recipe and OMG it's good. i use about half and half (real cheese/plastic cheese!) also put in a can of rotel tomatoes and jalepenos, sometimes an onion, sometimes not, depends if i have one. everyone in my circle asks, "can you bring your mac and cheese." crock pots RULE. :)

  81. oh sorry, and i also put in a can of evap milk and no eggs. :)

  82. Anonymous11/27/2008

    I was also a failure with this recipe! I was so excied to try it! I used light cheddar and 1%milk. The pasta cooked WAY earlier than the liquid thickened. It turned into a big pile if mush - very very tasty mush, but the look and texture has MUCH to be desired. Thanks, though! I've tried a few and the rest of your recipes are wonderful!
    ~Andrea in BC

  83. I made this dish today for a potluck. I found that there was no curdling when it's on low and using finely shredded packaged cheese. I too used one egg, but I drove the ingredients to work. So I thought to myself, curdling happens when dairy ingredients are not tempered. If you have a stellar crockpot like mine that heats in like 30 seconds, the stuff right from the fridge might have just been too much of a shock to the dairy. So for what it's worth, we used 1 tsp of mustard, I could have gone for 2, but that is totally a personal choice. I think this is the most awesome thing ever as I thought pasta was off limits in a crock unless it was the last 30 minutes of cooking so I am now forever changed. I must admit, I will be sad when the 365 challenge is up, but will use this as a reference in my meal planning going forward! Thanks for sharing your obsession!!!

    I give this 4 stars!!!

  84. Anonymous12/23/2008

    I have just tried this today. used a 6quart crock and 2 cups of elbows. used 4 different kinds of cheese - because that's what I had, lol. shredded them from block.

    The taste is good but the appearance, well, it looks like what we cleaned up when the boys were sick last week. .. This is definitely going to be tweaked - using my personal favorite mac/cheese recipes til I get it right.

  85. Anonymous12/31/2008

    This recipe sounds fantastic! I can hardly wait to try this out! (: One extra comment though, for people substituting yellow mustard - wouldn't that assist with the "curdled" milk that's going on with some reports? The vinegar in yellow mustard would curdle even large amount of milk easily?!

  86. Anonymous1/04/2009

    Tried it. Loved it. Could eat it every day!

  87. Anonymous1/05/2009


    It was awesome. I increased the pasta to 3/4 lb, and started it on low for 30 min, but then switched it to high for 60 min. For the last 15 minutes, I propped open the crockpot with a wooden spoon. I think that helped some of the excess liquid evaporate while the pasta was perfect. I also cooked up a bunch of bacon (actually, maybe too much, if there is such a thing) and added that in. Sensational!

    Next up, we're going to try adding chicken & broccoli and seeing how it goes!

    HOWEVER - this is definitely a recipe that calls for a crockpot liner!!! $.50 is well worth it, in my opinion!

  88. Anonymous1/09/2009

    Ooh...we made it again and added chicken and broccoli to the bacon...WAAAAY yummy. But my husband used cheddar cheese instead of colby jack, and it definitely had a different texture. The cheddar made it a lot grainier. We'll use colby jack or monterey jack in the future!

  89. Delish! I omitted the egg, just because the thought of it wasn't doing it for me. I checked it at 3 1/2 hours - not quite done. At 4 hours it had gone mushy! I will watch closer next time but the taste was fantastic!

  90. I was a little nervous to make this after the mixed reviews, but... I figured I'd give it a go ... and it was fine!!
    Here are my mods:
    3 cups mix of evap milk; whole milk and water (I ran out of milk!)
    1/2 box of medium shells
    Cheese = 1 cup cheddar; 5-6 slices American, 1 cup ricotta (whole milk)
    1/2 tsp paprika
    Otherwise, I followed the recipe.
    I don't know if mine curdled, b/c of the ricotta - so then, if it did, it all still looked like ricotta! haha!
    Cooked on low 2.5 hours, stirring several times. Used bag liner - perfect b/c I had a couple sticky shells and now I won't have to work to clean up!
    It tastes pretty much like when I make it in the oven, but I like this better b/c it's creamier and in the oven I usually get dried edges (which I know everybody else says they like but I do not!)
    I'd probably go with a tad more salt and paprika next time.
    Keep trying this recipe all you out there - it'll work! :)

  91. Wow. How else can this cheesy dish be described? I followed it mostly as written w/ the 1 egg but w/ about 5 C of milk and 16 oz sea shell pasta. It cooked about 3 hours in my Rival 4 Qt crockpot. It cooked perfectly. I wouldn't call it grainy but it certainly wasn't velveeta smooth. Real cheese just has some texture to it which is a good thing. I think I'll try adding the broccoli and/or chicken to it (with it?) next time. The kids ate it up. It doesn't get as creamy when reheating in the microwave BUT still tastes GREAT! THANKS!!!!!

  92. Anonymous3/09/2009

    I saw this recipe and wanted to try it since there was no evaporated milk in the ingredients. I used 1 pound penne pasta, used 1% milk, 2 cups water and 2/3 cup dry skim milk. I also substituted part of the cheddar with Velveeta. It turned out delish! The real TRICK is keep stirring. I put mine on high and stirred every 15 minutes and more frequently when it was closer to being done. The texture was great. It did barely begin to curdle, but the frequent stirring took care of that. Great for the crockpot, but not a recipe to leave all day. Will make again!

  93. I made this a few weeks ago! It was amazing. I made it in a six quart, though, and added about three cups of pasta to speed the process up. I didn't let it get brown on top, but it was AMAZINGLY good!!! Thanks for the recipe. In the six quart, it only took about two hours to cook. :)

  94. Thanks so much for the recipe! I made this last night, using orecchiette as the pasta and a white cheddar, and it turned out so good - al dente noodles and a rich, smooth sauce. I added a pinch of nutmeg to this, too. I think the reason that my sauce was not grainy was because I was using the good stuff: full fat everything!

  95. Anonymous3/26/2009

    I have a mac & cheese recipe on my recipe site; but this is the first crock pot recipe I have ever found for mac & cheese. I am going to get this started right away. My family really likes mac & cheese and if this turns out right it will be a keeper for us. Thanks for sharing the recipe!

  96. I didn't see the addition about mixed reviews until a few min ago (after adding to my menu and pulling out ingredients lol) so I'm really hoping this works for me! We're going w/ whole milk though (cross your fingers it doesn't curdle) because we don't believe in any less than whole milk lol. (kidding somewhat) I'm being optamistic though... And I'll be back to let ya know how it turns out!

  97. Here is one more item I can offer my kid for their tiffin. This would be healthy for them too.

  98. My family LOVES this mac and cheese!! We added some swiss cheese to it and it was soooo good!!!

  99. Anonymous5/21/2009

    I have a recipe that has you add dijon instead of dried mustard, and it is SO good!


  100. I just had my first bite and all I have to say is MMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMM!!

    I used 2% and no mustard. The 2 year old love it as well.

    I will be making it again and again!


  101. This mac and cheese turned out delicious. My husband said he wasn't a fan because the cheese wasn't smooth and creamy enough, but he still ate two bowls! I told him that this tasted different because it wasn't full of processed preservatives. :-)

    I made 1/2 pound of elbow macaroni with all ingredients and used all shredded cheddar, and I used ground (or dried) mustard. I had no curdling whatsoever, and so I'm going to say pretty confidently that the curdling problem likely stemmed from substituting regular yellow mustard, which has vinegar. I cooked on high for 60 minutes and then stirred every 15 minutes until it was done (total start-to-end cook time was 1 hr 45 min). I let it sit for about 10-15 minutes and stirred every few to let the mixture set. YUMMY! We have great leftovers and I'm definitely going to make again.

  102. Anonymous6/29/2009

    Just to make sure I spray the crock before every dish, I keep a can of spray stored in the pot. No more "wish I haddas" at cleanup time.

  103. I just discovered a great way to clean my crockpot after struggling for years with stuck on food. Now after the meal is over I just scrape out any leftovers fill with water a big squirt of dish soap and set back on to cook on high for a few hours. Then before bed I unplug it and let it sit overnight. The next morning it just rinses right out. The best part of all is my crockpot isn't taking up my sink room.

  104. I tried this tonight using 3 cups elbow macaroni, 1 egg, 1 tsp dried mustard, 4 cups 1% milk and 4 cups cheese (Cheddar and Monterey Jack). I cooked on high for 1 hour and then stirred every 15 minutes after that. It seemed too have too much liquid so I added one cup of macaroni cooked on the stove top. The texture was a little grainey. I put it in a casserole dish, sprinkled cheddar cheese on top and baked for 20-30 min at 350. That helped quite a bit with the texture - much smoother and my family liked it.

  105. I tried this recipe last night, its been so hot here and I had been wanting to make mac n cheese but I didnt want to heat up the kitchen. I used Wacky Mac cork screw noodles and I would have to say that choice was a mistake. In 2 hours the pasta had literally melted so I ended up throwing in some elbow macaroni that I cooked to al dente an the stove top and then it was fine. I also added 1/2 tsp. garlick salt and paprika and it tasted just like it always does when I bake it. I will make this again, but not with the wacky mac.

  106. for those of you having issues with the milk curdling its probably cause your crock is getting to hot for the milk.. id suggest trying it on a lower heat setting will take longer to cook but you can still get the top if u use higher heat at the end.. btw the egg will sometimes give a curdled look even tho its not actually the milk thats curdled... also the texture change can be due to to much seasoning, the egg or even the type of pasta used or the type of cheese used so try a dijon or gouldons mustard or a different brand of cheese for a more creamy texture...and blandness can be from not using enough salt in your recipe to season the pasta.. when u make a normal mac n cheese you boil the pasta in salted water and this adds flavor to the pasta and is the only time u can truly season the pasta.. so dont skimp on the salt... course dont go crazy with it either... also if u like the crunchy topping one yer mac n cheese you can mix bread crumbs and Parmesan cheese and bake it in the oven just till browned and sprinkle it on top of the plate when serving.

  107. Anonymous8/17/2009

    needed a quick meal for a friend who had surgery. saw this read the reviews. they loved we are now having it for supper so i can try it too!

  108. Oh my goodness, our family LOVES this recipe! We have used it SOOOOO many times and it's perfect every time. I tend to set it low, and then bump it up to high if we're nearing dinner time and it's not quite ready. I LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE this!!!! Ours' ends up creamy, and we've never had curdling problems, but I think it's because we're at a high altitude. A lot of my baking, and even crock potting is effected because of it. But, obviously, with this dish, it helps!

    On another note, I just had a friend (military wife) move to Korea. They don't have ovens there, so I think I'll be buying the book to send her way. Maybe she'll get hooked on the crock pot like I am!!!!

    Thank you for doing this, you rock my socks!

  109. OMG my husband and I loooove this recipe I cooked it on low for about 4 hours but 30 mins before it was done I topped it with more shredded cheese, when I scooped it out the cheese was stretchy and so good. I did add 1/2tsp of garlic powder because I love garlic and I used a half a pound of macaroni pasta. This is definitely a comfort food and I will never again make mac n cheese in the oven this was so quick to put together all I can say is Thank you thank you stephanie for putting this site together! I am going to try the fried rice tomorrow night.

  110. Well I dont know what I did wrong but I followed the recipe exactly except that I doubled it. I kept thinking that I should know when its done cuz most of the milk would be absorbed but that never happened so after about 2 hrs the pasta was complete mush but there was still way to much milk in it so it looked pretty much like cheese soup. I did use regular pasta and regular milk, so I dont know if that makes a difference or not...

  111. Anonymous10/25/2009

    Absolutely the BEST Macaroni and Cheese I have ever made!

  112. I just found this recipe and I love it! I did find that I liked it better as left-overs than the first go with it though.

    I do use a pound of pasta without doubling the milk, two eggs, and no mustard. I really think it's all about tweaking to individual tastes.

    Thank you!

  113. Alicia from Michigan10/29/2009


    I made this as a last minute dinner on a Sunday when we found out another family was stopping by to visit.

    I increased the recipe by 1/2 for the added dinner guests.

    It cooked in my 5qt. oval crock pot on high and was done exactly in 1 1/2 hours...I served it with a big salad and corn bread.

    Thanks so much for this recipe!

    It saved me "Big Time"

    Take Care, Alicia

  114. Just made this last night for three people, and it's all gone! I made it healthier--used an entire box of Dreamfields low-carb pasta, which actually was impossible to tell apart from regular pasta, and I also used reduced fat (50%) cheddar. I added another cup of milk in my six quart Crock-Pot, and additional spices to taste, as well as some more cheese. It turned out fine--and I am in heaven knowing I can do this dish with reduced carbs.

  115. my 7 year old remembers a similar recipe I did before and was so excited about this when I dished it up. Ran over to me to thank me enthusiastically. It's a hot with whole family and one I will be doing again and again. Recipe I had before asked for the macaroni to be precooked which took more time than Ihad some days. Will be sticking with this one in the future. thank you :o)

  116. I'm new to slow cooking. And I've always been really scared and reluctant to modify recipes. Can I ask what the mustard is for? Can I omit it?

    I'm scared! Help me through it :)

  117. Morgan, the mustard is for flavor only, you can omit it with no over changes to the dishes structure

  118. For those who found the sauce consistency to be grity or generally not smooth enough, try this recipe. While it's slightly more labour intensive than Stephanie's recipe, it's the best crockpot mac and cheese I've ever found:

    1 cup milk
    1 tsp Dijon mustard
    1/2 teaspoon salt
    4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) butter, cut into pieces
    1/2 cup sour cream
    1 can condensed Cheddar cheese soup
    2 1/2 cup (about 10-ounces) grated sharp Cheddar cheese
    2 cup uncooked elbow macaroni (an 8 ounce box isn’t quite 2 cups)
    1/2 teaspoon pepper

    Boil the macaroni in a 2 quart saucepan in plenty of water until just tender, about 7 minutes. Drain and set aside.

    In a medium saucepan, mix butter and cheese. Stir until the cheese melts. In a slow cooker, combine cheese/butter mixture and add the sour cream, soup, salt, milk, mustard and pepper and stir well. The cheese will likely clump and look scary, but this is okay. It will all smooth out later!

    Add drained macaroni and stir again. Set the slow cooker on high setting and cook for 45 minutes, stirring occasionally.

  119. Well it's happened, this recipe has unseated my heart attack in a baking dish mac and cheese.

    My SO which is a cheese whore and mac and chees oofianoado had declared this recipe THE BEST EVER! That is no small honor.
    I made it exactly as written only I doubled it. Lived dangerously. It took 2 hours and 20 minutes to absolute creamy, silky, cheesy, perfection! I even used the full T of dry mustard per recipe. It was delicious!
    Don't change a thing.

  120. First and foremost, I would just like to tell you how AMAZING your blog is! It is like the Mecca of Crock-Potting! After years of using my mom's or roommate's crock pots, I finally got my first crock pot (6qt) for Christmas. Determined not to let it stow away, unused in my basement, I tried this recipe; since I absolutely LOVE mac and cheese. I mean, who doesn't? I was a little unsure about the recipe, since I read your disclaimer. But I read a lot of the comments that people posted and proceeded with caution anyway. I followed the recipe, pretty accurately, except instead of 1/2lb of pasta, I added a full lb. (It was still deliciously cheesy.) I also added some red peppers and broccoli, which made it that much more delicious. I am so glad I read the comments before I started because I'm not sure it would have turned out so well if I hadn't been stirring every half an hour after the first hour. My boyfriend and I ate it all within 1 day (and I even got him to eat the vegetables, which is a major accomplishment!)

    I have since made pulled pork, beef stew, and garlic drumsticks in my crock pot. Every time I want to make something now, I automatically come read your index section to see if you've already made it. Thank you for taking the guess work out!

  121. Great flavor, but just too grainy to repeat as written. Just read my latest Cooking Light which recommends adding some flour or cornstarch when you heat lower fat milks (I used fat free because that's what we drink) to give it more consistency and stop the curdling/grainy texture from happening. Cooked it on low, stirred every 1/2 hour or so, but it still got grainy. Will try to add a stabilizer (like flour or cornstarch) to see if it gets creamier because I did like the taste.

  122. I have had past success with this recipe and now I am so totally bummed it didn't work. I made the recipe as listed (as I've done in the past with excellent results). My cheese went immediately from the stringy to the clumpy.. there was no in between. It was quite mushy after 4 hours I had to seek help to get past it's texture tho. It's flavour was yummie :) I was so looking forward to a yummie dinner at a reasonable hour and ended up with mush at 10:30. The only thing I did tonight that I'd not done before was use frozen grated cheese. I think there was a comment about tempering dairy and I think the frozen cheese was the issue. Hopefully this will help another.

  123. Tried this for the first time today. Followed the recipe exactly; used my ancient crock pot (35 years old, round 4-quart, which does not have a removable crock and is a lovely burnt orange color).

    I used all finely-shredded sharp cheddar, Barilla macaroni, skim milk and dry mustard. I was diligent to stir every half-hour, and it took about 2.5 hours on low. Toward the end, the pasta was al dente and the sauce a bit thin, so I took the lid off and stirred for the last half hour. About 3 hours total.

    Photo of the finished product here:

  124. shoot! mine is one of the curdley looking ones. I used 2% and shredded colby/jack. Tastes ok though, a little grainy. If I try it again, which I might, I will try velveeta.

  125. Anonymous3/11/2010

    At work we have Soup Thursdays. I'm always out of luck because of my gluten-freeness. I always make a soup but I wanted to show the office it wasn't that scary to make something else. I'd made a different mac and cheese before but didn't love it. I read this one and thought I'd give it a whirl. Everyone loved it. I used Fat Free organic milk, colby/jack mix, and brown rice pasta. I also put in the mustard but totally forgot the egg. It took a while to thicken but in the end, it was perfect. I stirred every hour and all together it took 3 hours on high. I even doubled the recipe and it was fine. I feel like I could've used more pasta though.

    My husband works with me and he is a mac & cheese snob. He didn't love the other one I made in the crockpot but this one he raved about.

    THANKS! Love the site. Found it just in time!

  126. ADD 1/4 tsp GROUND NUTMEG
    and 1/4 tsp CAYENNE PEPPER!

    Adds an extra kick, and tastes amazing!


  127. Amanda in WI4/05/2010

    I tried this tonight and I came up with a theory about the "curdle" factor I started this late but let the milk rest to get to room temp (about 45 minutes). Then I left out the egg (we were out) and put the rest of it in the cooker on high. After an hr I got some clumps. I stirred it and reduced the heat to low. I think that on this recipe my 4 qt was too hot for the cheese causing the clumps. I would make this again in a heart beat, but might throw a better melting cheese in for the creamy factor (velveeta?) as part of the cheese

  128. Melissa4/14/2010

    I see an issue with the milk and cheese curdling and I think that probably has more to do with the LACK of fat in the milk (lower fat tends to seperate more than the higher) no one seemed to mention the fat in the cheese. That would matter too. AND every crockpot keeps roughly the same temp BUT they heat differently. If your crock has one small heat element then it will super heat the dairy, if that small amount seperates at all, the rest is gone! That's probably why frequent mixing helps :o) Never made this but just thought I'd add my 2 cents!

  129. We definitely loved this! I used corn elbow noodles, decreased the milk to 3 cups and cooked for 2hrs. It was still a bit runny and my pasta a little too soft. My family loved it although my hubs says my baked mac and cheese can't be beat. I will try this again to get it just right!

  130. Mine turned out great. I mixed 2% and skim milk and probably only used 3.5 cups or so. It cooked pretty fast, but I have a 7-quart crock.

  131. Yup...curdled mess! Tastes ok...I think I'll stick to the traditional way of making non-boxed mac n cheese. Thanks for the post! Love your blog!

  132. Anonymous6/06/2010

    With the milk and egg, you are basically slow cooking a custard with cheese and noodles. Perhaps finding a replacement for the egg would solve the curdling problem.

  133. Anonymous6/15/2010

    Figured it out ! I substituted 1/4 cup of mayo for the egg. Perfect.

  134. Anonymous7/08/2010

    I just made this for a 4th of July pot luck and it was awesome!! The only things I did differently were that I only had 3 cups of milk, so I used one water. Plus it was pretty much done in about 2-3 hours. I think I might start making this once a week (but it might make us all fat! haha!!). Yum yum! Thanks for another great crock pot recipe!

  135. Anonymous9/21/2010

    I see how this is your achilles heel.
    I have been following your blog since it's inception and this was my 1st try at this recipe.
    i threw some dijon mustard and a can of diced chili's and stirred evrey 1/2 hour.
    Stirring helps blend the cheese and milk i noticed (used 1%).
    2 hours later it seemed like it was going well but...
    I caught just as it was begining to curdle so I dumped it into a dish and put under the broiler to finish.
    Still good but a challenge in the crockpot.
    Oh well.
    I will try again at some point

  136. I must say that I was pleasantly surprised by this recipe. It was delicious. Even my two picky eaters liked it. The only issue I had with it was that the noodles on the bottom were mushy. Next time I might try some sort of thicker noodle like a penne. By the way, I love your blog!

  137. We LOVED this recipe!! I didn't have any curdling problems, I noticed that the cheddar cheese get a weird (not smooth) texture when it melts, but I expected that. Super tasty though and even better the next day!

  138. Ok, totally intimidated but determined to try it.....

    Will let you know how it goes.....

  139. First time commenting here although I have tried many of your recipes with great success. I have a friend who makes a super yummy Mac and cheese recipe but I don't like that the noodles have to be cooked ahead of time. Since I unexpectedly have the day off today, I decided I would give this a go. I am using a full pound of pasta since I have 5 children as well as dh and I. I used about 5 cups of milk, enough to cover the pasta, and about 5 cups of Mexican blend shredded cheese that I had leftover. I'll post later and let you know how it goes!

  140. Ok, so this was definitely not my favorite recipe. I liked it ok, though it tasted better after I tossed it in the microwave, not sure why. The kids didn't like it though so I don't think I'll be making it again. Luckily I have so many other things to make in the crockpot that this one loss won't really affect our life negatively. Lol.

  141. Just wanted to let you know how much I love this recipe!! I did it on a very large scale for a student film shoot I was working on (those kids get hungry!) And even the lactose intolerant director tried some after everyone else was raving about it!

    Mine didn't curdle, but here's two tips about dealing with the mushy pasta/funny look of the stuff. First, if it seems too mushy when the sauce is just right, cook some more pasta the regular way and stir it in... this at least makes the texture seem intentional :) And if you are worried about the look, bake up some bread cubes and throw them on for the last 10 or 15 minutes and it'll hide the smushy look!

    Thanks so much for your blog!

  142. Anonymous12/13/2010

    I just made this for lunch & it was YUMMY!!!! I edited the ingredients after reading everyone's comments... the comments were a great help.

    We have been gluten free since October, so this was a VERY great treat & surprise for the kids, who have been asking for mac & cheese.

    I used:

    1/2 bag rice fusili pasta (the same you used)
    1 8oz block finely shredded sharp cheddar
    1/2 tsp fresh ground sea salt
    1/2 tsp fresh ground pepper spice mix
    2 1/2 c rice milk

    Next time I will double the recipe & use the same amount of cheese & rice milk... it was WAY too soupy... I knew to watch for that ahead of time, & even though I only used 2 1/2 c of the rice milk, it was still way too much, so I ladled some out. The total cooking time was 1 hour, in an 8qt crock pot, on high. The kids LOVED it & it was ALL GONE =).

    I left out the egg & mustard, & had no curdling issues... not sure if that was why, but I will make it w/out them from now on too.

    Thank you for your recipes... I LOVE them & recently bought your book... I will be buying the next one too =).

  143. Getting a little nervous reading some of the comments. I ran out of milk so I used plain yogurt 8-S 2 cups milk 2 cups yogurt. Thinking it's probably going to curdle. I was so excited about it too. Hm...we'll see. I'll have to try it again if it doesn't turn out. I was pretty excited to find this recipe! This whole blog infact! It's GREAT!!!

  144. This is fantastic - we make it almost weekly since I found this recipe. It could not be any easier! Love it!

  145. Doing this now, can't wait to eat it for dinner tonight!!!

  146. Sorry I keep leaving 2 comments - I'm too excited and impatient! This turned out great... I used vanilla almond milk and quite a bit more pasta shells but it was creamy and SO filling... bf and I could only have one cup each! I used some white cheddar and only wish I had used a yellow cheese to make the color a bit more exciting :)

  147. Anonymous2/28/2011

    I adapted some of Andy's suggestions and used 1lb elbow mac, 8 oz sharp cheddar, 8 oz velveeta, 5 cups 2% milk, 2 eggs, and 1 can of rotel tomatoes with chiles. OMG delicious! I would cut back on the milk (it is very runny right now) but it finished cooking in just under 2 hours on low and I stirred every 20 mins after the first hour. It is so filling but so delicious that I want to eat it all! LOL how many people is this supposed to serve again? Color, texture, and taste are all great!

  148. Do I need to use egg? My son is allergic.

  149. The egg is supposed to help keep it together, but I would imagine you could use a little corn starch to thicken it up.

    I have made this several times over and our whole family loves it. I have never had the "curdling" issue and I think its a great recipe! :)

  150. This turned out to be a yummy goodness!!! The only thing I omitted was the egg. For some reason the egg scared me. But I used 2% milk, and shredded monterray jack. (LOTS) Also used low card pasta (dreamfields) Love the texture of this pasta and always a plus less carbs. But mine did not curdle like some others. This became a yummy cheesy goodness. Will totally make this again and again. Super easy.

  151. Anonymous8/01/2011

    So, I know I'm really late to the game on commenting on this recipe, but I just found it and gave it a try. I had issues with the texture of the pasta, the amount of liquid, and the milk curdling. I managed to (mostly) salvage it by removing some excess liquid, adding a bit mroe cheese, topping with breadcrumbs and tossing it in the oven at 425 for 15 minutes. My boyfriend and his pal loved it.

  152. Stephanie,
    I have a deeeep southern Mac n Cheese for you to try also. If you dont like it so "southern" you can omit the egg.

    2 cups uncooked elbow macaroni (an 8-ounce box isn't quite 2 cups)
    4 tablespoons (1/2 stuck) butter, cut into pieces
    2 1/2 cups (about 10 ounces) grated sharp Cheddar cheese
    3 eggs, beaten
    1/2 cup sour cream
    1 (10 3/4-ounce) can condensed Cheddar cheese soup
    1/2 teaspoon salt
    1 cup whole milk
    1/2 teaspoon dry mustard
    1/2 teaspoon black pepper

    Boil the macaroni in a 2 quart saucepan in plenty of water until tender, about 7 minutes. Drain. In a medium saucepan, mix butter and cheese. Stir until the cheese melts. In a slow cooker, combine cheese/butter mixture and add the eggs, sour cream, soup, salt, milk, mustard and pepper and stir well. Then add drained macaroni and stir again. Set the slow cooker on low setting and cook for 3 hours, stirring occasionally.

  153. melissa beaudry9/20/2011

    came out great! my daughter chowed it down and it was much easier than the one i usually make on the stove for her. so i think i will be making this on a weekly basis :)

  154. This recipe did not work out at all. Way too much liquid. It didn't separate but the the pasta was over cooked and starchy... I wanted to make this for a pot luck, mabe I will try again with less milk.

  155. Just made this today and I was pretty nervous after some of the comments. Mine came out great and was a crowd pleaser!
    The only thing I changed was the cook time.
    I cooked it on high for a little over an hour. I then switched it to low and stirred it about every 20 minutes for another hour.
    Turned out great, no curdling, and the pasta was perfect.
    I did notice the "strange texture" issue, but that's what happens when you use real cheese vs. velveeta--and kids didn't seem to notice at all!

  156. Wow, I was truly amazed at how yummy this was. I made it last night for a halloween party. I put red food coloring and tomatoes in it so they would look like brains :) It looked so disgusting, I was on the verge of scrapping the whole meal and bringing something else to the party. But after all that and cooking it all day I figured I should at least give it a taste before throwing it out. My oh my this is a very tasty recipe. I was surprised at the awesome flavor. Oh I also added a bit of garlic powder. Which, in my opinion, really added to the flavor. Thank you very much for sharing this wonderful recipe. It will be a family favorite from now on.

  157. I love your site :)
    My 5yo daughter and I made the mac and cheese the other night. We used whole wheat ziti noodles, and a mix of cheeses. I stirred it every 30 minutes, then when it seemed close to being done, I started stirring every 10 minutes. As soon as the noodles where were I like them, we turned it off. While we were not super crazy about it the night of, we really like it left over with ham in it. Thanks!

  158. Low Carb Version -- success!!! I followed your recipe except for: substituting about 24 oz frozen cauliflower for the pasta (I did oven-bake the cauliflower first to enhance taste; I don't think I'd bother again); and about 3 cups half-n-half and milk (what I had in house); and mostly American cheese for my picky kiddos.

    AND for those working-out-of-the-home types, I cooked this on low for about 8 hours.

    Husband and I loved it, kids mediocre. For cauliflower, need to cut on the salt. But it was soft, not mushy, cheesy, not curdled, and a GREAT low carb "macaroni and cheese". We're doing it again. More cheddar for the grown up tastes next time. Eventually the kids will have to eat it.

  159. Hi
    I am the mom of a blind yr old child. Due to texture sensitivities, he mostly likes creamy foods and macncheese is the top of his list. He used to love regular EZMAc, but my mom bought deli mac n chese at the grocery store and now that is all he wants. I'd like to try this, but I wondered if it is freezable. I'd like to be able to cook it, portion it and freeze the individual portions for quick meals for him. Would appreciate any assistance with this.

  160. Anonymous1/21/2012

    I made this twice. I have a 6 quart crock pot.

    First time, I used 5 cups of shredded Monterrey Jack and Cheddar cheese, and 5 cups of Almond Milk. After two hours of cooking it on low, the liquid didn't appear to be changing much, so I tried setting it on high for the final hour. That was a mistake, as it cooked too fast and dried quickly. It was still good though, just dry. Flavor was good.

    2nd time: I cooked it on low for 3 hours. 3 hours is a bit too much, I think 2:30 is about right, maybe even a little less. It appears like there's more liquid than there really is IMO. This was a little dry again. But, I think I also liked the flavor more the first time. I think I had a little more black pepper, and it gave it a little kick.

    I also used hot mustard powder both times, but I'm not sure anymore how it impacts the flavor, since I know I used more of it the 2nd time, but I enjoyed the flavor more the first time.

    Overall, I would not say this is the best macaroni and cheese ever. It wasn't that much better than any other one I've had, especially the 2nd time. But I did enjoy making it, and will make it again in the future from time to time. It is good enough to add in the rotation.

    I'm also going to try medium shells next time, instead of macaroni.

  161. Anonymous1/21/2012

    Karen: It's freezable.

  162. This is super delicious - I've made it a couple times already, including for my son's christening luncheon. Thanks for sharing!!

  163. found this online :

    says not to cook on high, and on another site read that mustard helps milk not curdle

  164. I know this is an old post, but I wanted to add a bit of advice: Do NOT to use use pre-shredded cheese for recipes where the cheese will be saucy because pre-shredded cheese is coated with various powders to prevent clumping in the package, which can also contribute to leaving your cheese sauces separated and/or stringy. Freshly shredded cheese will yield the creamiest cheese sauce ;)

    1. I use pre shredded cheese it cameout fine maybe it depends
      on the brand

  165. this came out perfectly everybody loved i used cheddar cheese& reconstituted whole milk nothing curled I can't wait to make it again I stirred it's a lot and did not over cook it

  166. I used the mac n cheese recipe from this link, but tried it in the crock pot. First, I melted the butter in the crockpot, then added the flour. I added 1 cup of warm milk and made sure there were no lumps, then added 4 more cups of milk (cold). Then I added the rest of the ingredients. I stirred occassionally. Then, watched it closely for the noodles to get tender. When they were almost done, I turned off the crock pot and removed the lid which helped with excess liquid. This turned out JUST like the oven version, which requires tons of pots and utensils and it a mess to make. PERFECT!!! Thank you for the "how to" that got me to try the crockpot with mac n cheese!!!

  167. Barbara T6/02/2012

    Just found this today -- used 2% milk and 2% shredded cheddar (both "store brand" from the big box) -- 5 hours on low was too long, but still very tastey. Will try it again with a little less pepper and a shorter cook time (when I can be home to monitor). Thanks!!

  168. Laurie M7/07/2012

    I've stumbled upon your blog a few weeks ago and finally planned a weeks worth of recipes to try. This was my first and it was AMAZING!! Can't wait wait to try the rest! Thanks!

  169. Nicole9/02/2012

    I tried this today and mine curdled! It only cooked for 2 hours on LOW! I think it's because of all the milk, I used 1% but I think I would use half milk, half water next time or just make it like a previous comment, and not leave it... stirring often.

  170. In the crock now - 2 cups elbow mac, 3.5 cups milk, 2 cups cheddar, 1 cup mozz (fresh shredded on both), seasoned salt, red pepper, sazon (yellow rice seasoning for color), nutmeg. No egg. DH, the chef, swears it's going to curdle, but am going to use the stir method and prove him wrong! (I Hope...). I 'll post back in a few as to how it turns out.

  171. I forgot...using SKIM milk.

  172. Made this today and omitted the egg (allergies) and the mustard (didn't have any). I used 2% milk, a combo of Comte and sharp white cheddar, and radiatori shaped pasta (kind of a corkscrew). I cooked on low for an hour, then stirred every 20 minutes for the next hour, then switched it to the warm setting. It came out good - not great. It seemed like the was not enough pasta for the amount of sauce and the pasta was very soft. It was perfect for the audience - two year olds attending my daughters birthday. But I wouldn't serve something this mushy to adults. Maybe it had to do with the shape of pasta I used or keeping it on the warm setting too long?

  173. YUM! Just made this today. Needed an easy no-fuss dinner with things already on hand because my little was very sick.

    I accidently doubled the recipe by grabbing the 1c measure and using it like a 1/2c measure. Whoops! I only had one egg and one can of evap milk so I added 1 cup of heavy cream instead. I used a mix of jack and cheddar, a little velveeta, a little cheddar. I also added a sprinkle of garlic and onion powder (cause I put it in everything but dessert!). Cooked on low for 3h then cranked it to high for about 30 min to finish it off in time for the hungry family! I did stir it 2-3 times as I didn't want crunchy edges.

    I'm actually really glad I doubled it because between my pregnant self, my hubby (with a teenagers appetite), and my usually picky 5 yo, it's almost gone! I have just enough for the baby to try it when he is well. =)

  174. Followed this recipe as directed with the addition of a couple drops of truffle oil and it was cooked to perfection! I cooked on low for 60 or 90 minutes and then turned it up to high for another hour. Served this with leftovers from your meatballs (not your mother's!) on top and it made a great meal.

  175. I have been making this recipe for a year now and love it. But then I've got the time down exact in my pot. Andy hates mustard so I don't use it. I've added Buffalo Chicken Wing sauce, Hot Sauces, Tuna and Peas (definitely add the extra moisture like is recommended when you're using meat)

  176. this looked so yummy and easy to do - but what a FAIL!!! it curdled :( and finished off like scrambled eggs!!! darn it what went wrong :(((

  177. My son LOVED this last night. My husband let it cook too long, but ironically that is what my son loved best about it. (Weirdo). Anyway, thanks for a great new family recipe. I don't think the recipe is a problem, but rather how different crockpots heat, what the inside liner or container is made from, etc. that will give us all different results.

  178. Just made this as the first experiment in a new Crock Pot. Used 1 egg, equal amounts of Colby Jack and Cheddar, and rotini pasta, cooked on low for about 2.5 hours, stirring every 20-30 minutes. I don't think the sauce turned out quite was pretty thin with a few bigger gobs of melted cheese here and there. Wonder if another egg would have helped thicken things up a bit? Tasted great, though!

  179. Hi, this recipe sounds really good, but I don't have all the ingredients and have already used up all the grocery money for the month. Will the recipe still work as well without the ground mustard and with regular or sea salt instead of kosher salt? Thanks!

  180. I have made this multiple times and really enjoyed it! I use jarred mustard instead of dry mustard. My toddler loves it as well. My dad recently had mouth surgery and can only eat soft foods and so I made him a bunch of items (one of which was this mac and cheese) and this was his absolute favorite of all the things I made for him!