9/14/11

One-Pot Mac and Cheese

Macaroni & Cheese Recipe

Well, I have to say, I LOVE this version of  Slow Cooker Mac and Cheese!   Why?  You put the noodles in dry, uncooked!!! Yep, you read that correctly!  For me, dumping in the ingredients and starting the crock pot is the whole point!! I don't like crock pot recipes that require other cooking steps first.   This one is truly a one-pot dish.  I got it many years ago from the newspaper.  It is a tried and true one. 
Photo Credit: 1bg.blogspot.com


 Crock Pot Macaroni and Cheese

Ingredients:
Cooking oil spray
2 cups skim milk
1 (12 oz.) can evaporated milk
1 egg
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
1 1/2 cups pre-shredded sharp cheddar cheese
2 cups uncooked elbow macaroni

Directions:
Spray the pot of the slow cooker or if using a liner bag, spray the bag well.  In a mixing bowl whisk together milk, evaporated milk, egg, salt and pepper. Pour milk mixture into the crock pot.  Add cheese and uncooked macaroni. Stir gently to mix.  

Turn slow cooker on low and cook 3-4 hours, or until the custard is set and the macaroni is tender.  (Do not cook more than 4 hours, or the sides will begin to dry out).  Serve at once.  

Jans tips:  between the 3-4 hour mark on low, the edges start to get that crispy, cheesy edge. My kids love that part, but if yours don't you'll want to make this when you know you can cut it to warm or serve it at about the three hour mark.  

The original recipe called for 1/4 tsp. salt , but I increased it for my own taste preferences. You can cut it back down if you prefer.  

  Update: May 16, 2012: I've had a few people try this and report back some mixed reviews on the recipe.  Although I've never had the same issues, I wanted to you to be aware. I think most of it comes from being unfamiliar with the Southern custard style mac-n-cheese, which is meant to be so thick that you can cut the leftovers out of the dish like a brownie.   Read some of the feedback below from fellow readers, who have great ideas to play around with!

Update: July 12, 2012:  I don't know why it never occurred to me before to remind y'all to cook it on low! Some people have mentioned the cook time is too long and it never occurred to me to ask them if they cooked it on low or high. So just a reminder to cook it on LOW! 

January 2013: Sorry folks, I've been forced to close out any new comments on this post, it just can't hold anymore! Please feel free to take advantage of the many wonderful additions and changes to the recipe made by your fellow readers!

271 comments:

  1. Anonymous4/23/2012

    How do you think this would do doubled? How would you adjust the cook time?

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    1. hmm. I'm trying to remember if i've ever doubled it. I think I have and it did fine. I always cook mine closer to the four hour mark, and doubled would need it for sure. I think it'll work, but not 100% positive, let me know if you try it!

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    2. actually I know I've doubled it. I took it to work for a potluck and started it in the breakroom first thing in the morning, and doubled it. It did fine. It cooked from about 7:30 am to 11 or 11:30 and was wonderful and fed the crowd.
      Jan

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  2. Anonymous4/23/2012

    How many servings does this recipe make?

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    1. It serves 6 as a side dish or 4 as a main dish.
      Jan
      (although my family of 5 (2 adults and 3 teens) have never eaten the whole dish as a side dish or a main dish, always a serving or two left over for us.)
      Hope that helps.

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  3. Can something be substituted for the evaporated milkÉ

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    1. jennyt: Your timing is interesting, I just wrote a post about making your own evaporated milk, but hadn't published it yet, so I'll try to move up the publishing on that one! Evaporated milk is regular milk with about 60% of it's water reduced. You can use regular milk but it may affect the thickness of the mac n cheese (it'll be thinner/runnier). You can put in about half the called for amount, so 12 oz. evaporated put in 6 oz. (3/4 cup) regular, but once again it may affect the consistency. You can reduce or evaporate your own milk in a saucepan, simmer just under the boiling point till it's the reduction/thickness you desire. or mix your own with powdered milk and use only 40 % of the water called for on the box. Hopes this helps.
      Jan

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    2. Plus, I seem to recall having read a couple of places that the evaporated milk prevents curdling with the egg and long cooking time.

      I've been looking at the crockpot mac & cheese recipes for awhile, but hadn't tried any yet because, like you, I wanted a true crock pot dish. One that didn't require boiling macaroni first and/or preparing the sauce first. Otherwise, I'd just pop it in the oven for an hour...why wait a few hours for something I've already done so much work on, lol?

      I want my crock pot foods to be more of the "fix it and forget it" variety, where I can put stuff in and walk away, letting the slow cooker do all the work!

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    3. Great point MiracleMommy! Thanks!
      Jan

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  4. Anonymous5/01/2012

    Sounds great! Can you use whole milk instead of skim?

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    1. yep, whole milk should do just fine!

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  5. I wonder if this would work with gluten free pasta? Hmmm Ill have to try. Both our 18 month old daughter and myself have Celiac disease.

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    1. Great question! I wasn't sure but found a great resource, I don't think the gluten free pasta will work well, this link says it turns to mush pretty quick so I'm thinking you'll come home to mush, but let me know if you try it, I'd love to hear.

      http://www.pccnaturalmarkets.com/basics/tips/pasta_tips.html

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    2. I would love to know too - we're a gluten free family --- I am going to try it with Tinkyada pasta. I have used it in other crock pot meals, and it seems to cook more quickly than regular recipes call for --- but still turns out well!

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    3. Robin, I went digging around and found a few experienced people definately have good things to say abut the Tinkyada Pasta in the crockpot saying to choose a very sturdy brown rice pasta, the thicker the better and be prepared to cook this on the least amount of time required so they don't get gloppy. Worth a try for sure. Please let me know if you have success, so we can pass it along!

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    4. I just made this with heartland gluten free pasta. It turned out pretty well. I think I need to increase the liquids with it and use my bigger crock pot. I used my 2 qt one and I had to keep mixing it every so often. I think I may also try a couple different pastas to see which GF one holds up best.

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    5. Thanks for the feedback on the gluten free pasta!
      Jan

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    6. you could also try with a gluten free quinoa pasta. i can't remember off the top of my head the particular brand i'm thinking of though. it would them be gluten free but you would add plenty of good protein too!

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    7. I am going to have to look for Quinoa pasta, I haven't heard of it! Thanks for the suggestion!
      Jan

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    8. I made this with a gluten free pasta for a pot luck at work. At 3 hours, it was good; at 4-5 hours, the pasta started breaking down some and made it super thick. No one knew it was gluten free, and my huge crockpot was scraped dry! I was lucky to get a few bites! (I used Ancient Harvest pasta. It is a blend of quinoa and corn flours.)

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    9. Sonia, I am so intrigued with this pasta, I am now on the hunt for it! Thank you for sharing your cook times and the consistency with us, there have been alot of questions about it, this will help! Plus, I am so glad it turned out great!
      Jan

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  6. Anonymous5/06/2012

    Do you think this would work without using the egg?

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    1. I believe it can be made w/out egg, but the egg helps turn the milk and cheese into more of a cheesy custard filling than say, just a thinner "sauce" type mac-n-cheese. If you decide to give it a whirl, just go with the idea that it's worth the trial effort to get it just right for you, so don't give up if the first trial doesn't work, keep the concept and try tweeking something else to get what you want.

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    2. the milk may curdle abit without the egg, but for vegetarians, vegans,or egg allergy people, worth playing around with the recipe to get a sauce that works while not precooking the noodles.

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    3. I have found that it is creamier without the egg, this is same recipe my girlfriend gave me. We love it, I OMIT the egg always because my daughter won't eat dry mac. I also add some dry mustard & onion powder for some flavoring too. Very yum. Mine does not curdle without the egg but I also cook lower time because I like my pasta with bite.

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    4. I am glad to hear that without the egg you have found it nice and creamy with no curdling! And that cooking it for less time works to retain the noodle's integrity.
      Love the feedback, thanks!
      jan

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  7. Anonymous5/06/2012

    I have been making this for years except I add 1 egg for every cup of elbow noodles and a can of cream of cheddar so it is creamy....Love crock pot macaroni and cheese...

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    1. That sounds yummy! Someone is asking if you use both the cheddar soup and shredded cheese too?

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    2. I do add both...Sorry took so long to get back..

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    3. Thanks for the information, lots of my readers have been trying your suggestion and loving it! Stop by anytime!
      Hugs,
      Jan

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  8. Anonymous5/07/2012

    You use the soup instead of the cheese? Or un addition?

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    1. I bet she/he uses the soup and the cheese. It sounds delish!

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    2. I think you'd need both. I used to make a baked tatertot casserole (I'm a comfort food junkie) and though it worked with just the soup, it tasted MUCH better with shredded cheddar added.

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  9. Anonymous5/09/2012

    would this turn out with whole grain noodles?

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    1. The whole grain elbow noodles have done fine when I've used them.

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  10. Not sure why, but when I checked mine at 2.5 hours it had all turned to mush! Darn! It was still very yummy though, just didn't have very distinct noodles :) I boiled some extra macaroni to add some texture. Thanks for the recipe :)

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    1. Sorry to here that! Thanks for the feedback, it's always helpful!
      Jan

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    2. I have tried this recipe in two different crock pots, the first one it turned out wonderfully within the 3 hour period. Second time, with different crock pot, it was ready at 2 hours. It was yummy either way and I can't wait to try some of the other variations people have suggested!

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    3. Sarah, thanks for coming back to send us the feed back! That was great of you to try in 2 different crockpots, I appriciate it! Let me know what you think of all the fun variations!
      Hugs,
      Jan

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  11. Anonymous5/14/2012

    I made this tonight...I loved the easy preparation, but it was rather dry, all stuck together and very bland. I cooked it on low for 3.5 hours.

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    1. sorry to here that. It is more of a southern custard style mac-n-cheese. Thanks for the feedback.
      Jan

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  12. I do one that's very similar but I have always had to cook the noodles first. I can't wait to try it your way! My family asks for it at every single BBQ and I'd love to cut my prep work down! Excited to add your blog to my reading list :-)

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    1. Hope you like it. I think the concept and getting your liquid to pasta ratio just right so the pasta will cook is worth the experiment.

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  13. Anonymous5/16/2012

    Can u add canned chicken or Tuna

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    1. I would think cooked chicken, tuna or ham would be delish! I wouldn't add it raw to cook with it though, as the broth from the meats as they cook may mess with the cheese part.

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  14. Anonymous5/16/2012

    I just made this Mac and Cheese, but the noodles turned to mush and it looks like it curdled... Any tips??

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    1. Not sure. This recipe is more like a southern custard style mac-n-cheese, so it's more likely that is the texture of the "sauce" that you are seeing. I'm not sure on the noodles, i've never had that problem, but them I'm used to the recipe so maybe mine are too, and I'm just used to it.

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    2. You over cooked it.

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    3. Mine curdled too :( It curdled at about the 2 hour mark and was set on low.. hmmmm

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    4. I've never had mine curdle and wondering if it's just the look and texture that comes with the southern custard style mac-n-cheese, that may not be familiar. custard style mac-n-cheese is a true southern style, once cooled can be cut into squares like a brownie. I appreciate your trying the recipe and coming back to share your experience with us! It is always helpful !
      Hugs,
      Jan

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  15. I have been searching for a recipe like this for YEARS. I'm SO excited to try it....

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  16. Slow cookers can cook at vastly different rates. The "low" on some cookers is really not very low! Perhaps those who are overcooking their noodles (turning them to mush) have cookers that cook too warmly, even on low?

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    1. Thanks Becky! I needed the input, my brain just sort of froze up, and I couldn't think how to respond! (I think I'm too tired.) I appriciate your wisdom!
      Hugs,
      Jan

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  17. both my crockpots cook at different temps....the older one is much much less hot cooking....

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    1. Thanks for the confirmation on that!
      Jan

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  18. I just found this on Pinterest and I'm excited to try it. I have to say I think Becky has an excellent point. I know my slow cooker seems to cook quite hot and so I have to cut down on cooking times, even when its on low. :) Thank you for sharing this!

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    1. Amy, I hope it works out and you love it. Let me know how it goes, I'd love to hear!
      Thanks
      Jan

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  19. I have made a similar recipe before- to rave reviews.... I would add some dry mustard, and add bacon, panko, and shredded asiago to the top of the mac and cheese.

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    1. Ok, that sounds amazing! I am going to try that on my next batch! I can't wait!
      Thanks for sharing,
      Jan

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  20. I just made this and it was SO easy and really delicious!! Even my picky 2 year old cleaned his plate! It tastes just like the mac & cheese my grandmother used to make. The only thing I changed was that I added more cheese (who doesn't like more cheese?!) and cooked on low for 2.5 hours. Thanks for the wonderful and easy recipe. It's going to become a new staple in my house!

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    1. Jennifer, I am so glad your 2 year old approves! I was a very picky eater as a child, and so I completely understand where they are coming from! It was torture to try new foods! I am happy to hear it met their approval, I am honored!
      Smiles,
      Jan

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  21. I would like to make this recipe this weekend, but do you have any recommendation for adjustment at high altitude (above 7500 ft)?

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    1. I did a little research and it seems the consensus is generally a crockpot needs more cooking time in most recipes, I think however in this one recipe where you are not cooking meat to a specific temperature or softening beans that you'll be fine with the time. Check it at the 2 1/2 hour mark and again at the 3 hour mark and see what you think. It shouldn't have runny milk anymore when its' done. Hope this helps.

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    2. Let me know how it turns out if you do try it we'd love to hear about your higher elevation cooking!

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  22. Made this yesterday! Awesome! sooooooo good!!! I did leave out the salt though..not a good idea for me. Tastes better with salt. ;0) Thank you for the recipe!!!

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    1. I'm glad you liked it! I agree about it needing salt. I increased the salt because I thought it really needed it, but I am trying to not automatically salt every thing I cook now, although I agree, this yummy dish isn't the same with out the salt. Thanks for letting me know how it turned out!
      Jan

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    2. What about adding a salty cheese to increase salt without increasing the salt? Parmesan is pretty salty. ???

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    3. Ok, I love this idea! Everyone try adding a bit of parmesan, that sounds perfect! Keep the ideas comming Shannon, you are brilliant!
      Jan

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  23. It's the whole reason I have several crock pots! I have one that cooks much much hotter on the low setting than the others...so I'll definitely use the "less hot" one when I try this over the weekend. Thank you for posting the tips and feedback! Uber helpful!

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    1. You are so welcome on the tips/feedback. I hate wasting time and money, so I think the feedback is very useful in deciding if something is worth trying or not. I have a crockpot obsession. I have 2 broken ones and want like 10 different kinds! Thanks to you, I now feel no need to justify my wanting several different types! Woo hoo! Thanks, Jan

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  24. I made this for my family yesterday. My slow cooker tends to cook at a higher heat so I checked it at almost 3 hours and the noodles were really overcooked and I didn't enjoy it so much. I topped it with a cajun seasoning and shredded parmesan cheese. When I got out the leftovers for lunch today I warmed it in the microwave and then threw it in the toaster oven at 425. I really really enjoyed the leftovers prepared this way. It tasted like a savory noodle kugel. Very good! I'll make the recipe again in this manner. Thanks for the inspiration!

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  25. I am going to make this tonight and double the recipe and add a can of cream of cheddar soup. I will make sure to check at the 2.5 hour mark. Will keep you all posted!

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    1. Oh,please do let me know how it goes! I've wondered how the soup would do in it so can't wait to hear from you!
      Thanks, Marcella!
      Jan

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  26. What if you cooked it on "warm" setting for the crock pots that tend to cook hotter? Maybe for closer to the 4 hour mark? Has anyone tried to do this?

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    1. If I here of anyone's success or failures I'll let you know, I think it is a great idea!
      Jan

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  27. Well, it's in the crockpot now! I used Penne, hoping to avoid the mush (Penne is more substantial than elbow mac). I also added an extra egg (mine are medium). I added extra salt and pepper and some paprika, and I also added about 1/4 cup of Campbell's Fiesta Nacho Cheese soup, as it was leftover from a recipe earlier this week. I'll make a salad to go with this. *fingers crossed* for a great supper in about two hours or so!

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    1. I love your changes! Will you let us know how it went? I'm wanting to try the soup next time too and would love to know if you liked it.
      Thanks for sharing1
      Jan

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    2. How'd it turn out?!

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  28. It's the evaporated milk that prevents the curdling, not the egg. I have tried a similar recipe to this with Whole wheat macaroni, and didn't like it, it just looked weird too with the Whole wheat. Going to try again with Velvetta, which melts very nice. I think the turning to mush can depend on your brand/type of macaroni too... Hoping to master this one, because it's a great idea...

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    1. Thanks Cyndy! The velveeta sounds divine and I agree it's worth tinkering with!
      Send along your thoughts when you try the velveeta I'd love to hear how it worked out!
      Jan

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  29. The Velvetta(2%) made it very creamy... maybe half cheddar and half velvetta next time. Used small shells because that's what I had in the house, and had tons of sauce, could have added 2 1/2-3 cups of pasta. I think alot depends on crockpots, because while it was perfectly cooked after 4 hours on low, it wasn't brown in the least bit around the edges. Of course if I let it stay on warm longer it might have absorbed more sauce...I stirred once during and once at the end to break up the clump of pasta......I'm glad it worked out because I think this is a great easy side dish when you are having a BBQ or having people over...

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    1. Cyndy, you are a gem to post this! I am going to give these directions a try! PLease feel free to leave feedback anytime!
      Hugs!
      Jan

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  30. I'm a college student who loves to cook, and this was my first crockpot recipe to try. It turned out perfect! DELISH! And so simple. I think I will really like using the crockpot. Put the food in, go to classes, come home and bam, food is ready to eat. My roomates also loved it, as well as the kids we were babysitting in our apt. Thanks! P.S. The only thing I did was add a 1/2 C more cheese. You can never go wrong with a little more cheese!

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    1. Heather, I had to recheck who sent this, 'cause I thought for sure it was my daughter! You sound just like her! I am so glad you liked it and yes, you can never go wrong with more cheese! Thanks again!
      Jan

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  31. I can't wait to try this, but I'm wondering if there is a sub for the cheddar cheese? I know cheddar tends to get a little on the oily side. Maybe do partial cheddar and partial something else? Any suggestions?

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    1. I'm wondering if Gouda would be good. I'm not really familiar with it, but I think it melts pretty creamy. Does anybody know if Gouda would be a good choice here? Thanks for the great question!
      Jan

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    2. I was thinking the same thing. Gouda sounds great, or a little blue cheese and add some cooked chicken and a little Frank's hot sauce for a Buffalo Mac and Cheese

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    3. I have a few people at my house who will love this idea! Thanks for sharing!
      Jan

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    4. I have another crock pot recipe that calls for Cheddar and I noticed it would get oily; after many attempts with different types of cheese, I found that finely shredded Cheddar or finely shredded Colby Jack works better.

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    5. My daughter would love the Colby Jack combination! Thanks for the tips, they are great!
      Jan

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    6. I've made this several times since stumbling across it on Pinterest. :)
      The first time, I followed it exactly, but added the cheddar cheese soup and it was great. I've used several combinations of cheese (whatever's on hand!) and it was great every time. My best batch was with mostly Cheddar and Gouda, and then some Colby Jack, and I put Parmesan on top to make a little crust. (Cleaning out the cheese drawer!)

      I've also added little extras, like leftover taco meat, peppers and salsa or leftover grilled chicken and broccoli. As long as there was enough liquid and cheese initially, it came out great! It's an awesome dish to help solve the too-many-different-leftovers-but-not-enough-for-a-meal problem!

      Sorry for the long post. :)

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    7. Emily: Don't apologize, your feedback is more than welcome! I love all the options you've posted here! You'll be getting everyone's minds turning in all sorts of directions! Great ideas!
      Jan

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  32. I just found this recipe on pinterest. I love the idea and worried the noodles would be to mushy but I am always willing to try it to find out. I love your blog and am now following it. when you have a chance come by and check me out at www.questfordelish.blogspot.com

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    1. Andrea, Thanks for stopping by! I would love a chance to visit your blog! I am in a whirlwind couple of days, but will stop by for a browse mid week, thanks!
      Jan

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  33. I've made one similar to this from Taste of Home but it also has a can of cheddar cheese soup in the recipe. We love crock pot macaroni at work potlucks!

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    1. Thanks, Renee! I haven't made this dish in a while, since it's just my hubby and me, but next time I do, I'm adding int he cheese soup! Thanks for the feedback!
      Jan

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  34. My sister-in-law told me how to make this. She didn't have an exact recipe but her method was very similar to this, except she also added sour cream. She passed away last summer and I think of her whenever I make it. =)

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    1. I love "Memory" food! So sorry to hear of your loss, but happy you have something physical that is such a reminder of her for you! What a blessing. Put's a whole new meaning to the phrase "comfort food".
      Jan
      P.S. Yummo on the sour cream!

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  35. I made this tonight. With a few changes of course :)

    I didn't have any evaporated milk so I used a can of coconut milk instead. Worked great! I grabbed what I thought was a box of macaroni but it was rotini so I used it instead, thinking it might hold up better in the long cooking. It was a little on the mushy side. I had a little (about 1/2 cup) of cottage cheese so I tossed that in. Yum! I also added a little dijon mustard, garlic powder and Worcestershire sauce to the sauce. And I had to stir it once. Because I can't NOT stir! It turned out pretty yummy. I think I might try saving a little cheese to sprinkle on top next time. And maybe some toasted, buttery bread crumbs if I am feeling ambitious.

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    1. Nina! This sounds divine! You cracked me up about the stirring! I know what you mean! THanks for the suggestions, everyone's going to love them! Stop by anytime and tweak away!
      Hugs,
      Jan

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  36. For those wondering about omitting the egg: Have you tried adding cornstarch to the milk mixture? That will thicken the sauce much like the egg does....

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  37. Just tried this recipe but used 2 cups cheddar cheese and checked it at the 2.5 hour mark...it was still a bit milky but it had begun to curdle. Mixed it well and turned off the crock pot. I used my older, round one on low. After 1/2 hour, the milk had absorbed, pasta was not mushy and the curdling had stopped! Yay! It was even better a few hours later when it set more and the flavors/spices had time to sink in!

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    1. Dorothy, what great feedback! Your comments were most helpful to anyone thinking of trying the recipe! Thank you for taking the time to send it to us!
      Jan

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  38. YUM!!!!!!!! I found you on Pinterest! I am your newest follower :)

    I'd love it if you stopped by my blog too!

    http://bishopsfamilysite.blogspot.com

    :) Blessings,
    Janiene

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    1. Thanks for the invite, I'll try to stop by and visit after work today!
      jan

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  39. Trying this right now :) I am excited. I used a little more cheese and lactose free milk (Milk bothers me, but cheese doesnt, thankfully!!!). I don't think that will change anything (it usually is fine in all the recipes I've used it for). I love crock pot meals! I am a new mom and it is great to prepare dinner while my little one is sleeping and then my hubby has a hot meal when he gets home! So great!

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    1. Thanks for the idea! I'd love to know how the lactose free milk worked out for you! Thanks for the feedback!
      Jan

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  40. Can you freeze leftovers? Or will the noodles be gross? thanks

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    1. I don't think it will freeze well, the noodles would need to be al dente or they would be mush and the cheese filling I dont' think will freeze well either.
      Jan

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    2. I have had success freezing mac and cheese. If you are home while it's cooking, you could pull some out early to avoid the mush, but really, with the high fat content this would reheat in the microwave very quickly so the noodles wouldn't have much opportunity to actually cook - just defrost it first! I freeze in individual serving packets and send them with my daughter to daycare for lunch.

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    3. Thanks for the info on freezing the mac-n-cheese! That is great news for many of us! So handy. I am glad you took the time to share with us!
      Jan

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  41. I LOVE THIS!! I have wanted to find something like this where I wasn't having to cook the pasta or rice ahead of time. And I now have a bazillion variations running through my head... here are a few items to look into using:

    Sriracha (instead of Franks Hot Sauce)
    Tyson Grilled'n'Ready diced chicken
    Cream of Mushroom soup (or the like, instead of cheese soup)

    I'll try to remember to come back and report if try these!!

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    1. My son would love the sriracha for sure! Great ideas! Let me know how some of them turn out!
      Thanks!
      Jan

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  42. I made this for a family get together last night and the LOVED it! I did over cook it a bit but it was devoured anyway. I doubled the recipe and I belive next time I'll cook it about 2.5 - 3 hours and not the 4 as it came out overcooked. Pinned this on Pinterest because it will be a go to recipe for the future. Thanks again!

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    1. I'm so glad your family liked it! THanks for the feedback, especially on the cook time!
      Jan

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  43. Hello, Do you think that this recipe would work with just egg yolk? My daughter is under 1 year old and isn't supposed to have egg whites but I would love for her to be able to try this recipe with the rest of thr family!

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    1. I bet it would be just fine. If you try it I'd love to hear how it turned out for you.

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  44. I was looking forward to making this, but it didn't turn out that well. I followed the directions exactly, but it still wasn't anything to rave about. the dish ended up having little flavor, even after adding more salt, pepper, and cheese. Also was really dry and sticky (even after adding more milk too). I'll have to keep trying different things to see if we can improve. Good to start, but def needs some customizing.

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    Replies
    1. Sorry to hear that! Hope if you find something that works for you that you'll let us know! Thanks for the feedback!
      Jan

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  45. Tip Garden
    Hi :)
    I love the idea of this recipe and I plan on making it this week. I also wanted to ad that I love your blog! Great material. I am new to blogging and I am just getting my blog going. If you get a chance stop by and let me know what you think. I would love to have your opinion. tracilyn71.blogspot.com

    Have a blessed dayl :)

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    Replies
    1. Traci,I'd love to stop by your blog! Thanks for the invite! Thanks for the kind feedback! Made my day!
      Jan

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    2. I don't normally do cooking blogs but stumbled across this and had to stop. {I'm usually hanging around writing / writers blogs. But writers have to eat sometime.]
      Thanks for the yummy looking recipe. And all the yummy sounding suggestions / additions!

      Delete
    3. I'm glad you stopped by! I think most of us non-writers really wish we had that gift!

      Stop by anytime you have a writers block!
      Jan

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  46. I made this recipe today, and it was very tasty... But I'd like to clarify your measurements... for pasta, are you using two cups full, or 16 oz? The same for cheese? I used 16 oz of pasta, and 12 oz of cheese, grated, and felt that it came out a bit dryer than I'd like. Also, as an aside, I used the Tinkyada Gluten-Free pasta shells and they held up very well! Thanks again for posting this!

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    1. Great question! The truth is I have been making the recipe so long that I'm not really in the measuring mode anymore, The recipe in the newspaper I got it from has the pasta and cheese listed by ounces, but I'd say in general when I did measure "back in the day" I probably measured by the cup full. I'm glad you shared your feed back on that for everyone! And I am thrilled to hear the Tinkyada held up, I've had lots of questions about that!
      Thanks again for sharing your experience with us!
      Jan

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  47. 7-4-12....Okay, have to say, I just made this and sorry to say that I don't care for it at all. Way too mushy for my liking.....cooked it on low for 2 hrs and the macaroni was already too soft, all the cheese had not even melted yet. That's ok tho, you don't know if you don't give it a try!! Thanks anyway!!!

    ReplyDelete
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    1. Lana, sorry to here that it didn't work out for you! All the feedback is helpful to others, so I appreciate you coming back and sharing!
      Hugs,
      Jan

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  48. What about using plain soy milk along with the evaporated milk? We drink so little cow's milk that I rarely have it on hand, but soymilk and evaporated milk are staples for me. Thanks.

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    1. Elaine, I'd love to hear if you try it, I'm just now learning more about Soy milk, and have never even tasted it, but have heard good things about it. I'll try to do some research and see how it "bakes" up. Thanks for the suggestion!
      Jan

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  49. Thanks, Jan. This came up on Facebook when my daughter posted a link to your recipe, and a friend who is a very good cook told me she routinely subs plain soy milk for cow's milk and it should work fine. I'll let you know when I try it. Thanks again.

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  50. I will be trying this gluten free and corn free and will let you know how it comes out please check for blog on http://tammyehoney.wordpress.com and on facebook as I will post on both...cant wait to try as this is one of my favorite comfort foods

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    1. Best of luck to you! I'll watch out for you!
      Jan

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  51. This looks great! I will be making it tonight with a couple of additions - some cured bacon (for extra saltiness) and shredded organic carrots and organic broccoli to 'healthify' it.

    If you like spicy then Pepper Jack would be great!

    Thanks so much for posting this recipe as mac & cheese is my all time favorite dish!

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    1. Dawn, your additions sound yummo! My son would love the pepper jack! Hope it turns out for you!
      Jan

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    2. It came out fantastic! Will def make again!

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  52. Ok- I am SUPER excited about trying this...I am the same way about having to do one or more "steps" before putting something in the crock. What's the point in that?? LOL- I am excited AND nervous to try this, considering my crock pot seems a bit "crazy" at times. With some recipes it seems to cook HOT and quicker than normal and other recipes it ends up not cooking in the timeframe listed....so I'm worried about getting the timing JUST RIGHT with this one! LOL. Wish me luck!

    Amber

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    1. Amber, I'm crossing all my fingers for you! Hope it turns out and that you like it! Best of luck!
      Jan

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    2. My hubby LOVED this Mac & Cheese. Seriously...he held the leftovers hostage for his lunch today. I did sort of a "compromise", lol... He loves the "baked" mac and I prefer saucier mac. So I added a can of cheddar soup. As always I was nervous about the cook time, and in my crock it was ready at 2 1/2 hours and of course my hubby wasn't home yet, so by the time we got to it, it was a little mushy- But I will know how the time it better the next time around. Thanks for sharing!!

      P.S.- I used this as a main dish, so I added about 12 oz. of cubed (precooked) ham and it was delicious! I also threw in some seasoned salt, garlic and onion powders for flavor :-)

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    3. Amber,I'm so glad it turned out well, and that it was worth tinkering with! Thanks for taking the time to come back and share! I still am determined to add the cheddar soup, but trying to encourage my hubby (and me) to eat better, so haven't treated us to this dish for a while. It may be time!
      Hugs!
      Jan

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  53. I made this to serve with sausage and veggies for dinner. I LOVED it!! My picky kids like the Velveeta and cream sauce version of mac-n-cheese better, but I liked this...the clean up, or lack of, may win them over though! Crock pot bags are a wonderful invention =)

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  54. Believe it or not,my grown or nearly grown children like both the velveeta sauce but also the old powder cheap kind! I can't stand that old powder cheap kind! I love the idea of the sausage and veggies.
    Thanks for trying it and the feedback!
    Jan

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  55. Ok, so I tried this today. Wasn't as great as I wanted it to be. However, it did get me to thinking about something else. The thick cheesy sauce really made me think of O'Charley's cheesy potato soup. So, next time I make it instead of pouring in macaroni, I am going to slice up some potatoes and try that. I hope it turns out great!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I love that idea! Sorry the mac didn't turn out as hoped, but love the potato idea!
      Thanks for the feedback
      Jan

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  56. I just now started this in the crockpot! Thanks for the recipe; I'm not a fan of recipes that require cooking before putting things in the crockpot. Too many steps for me.

    ReplyDelete
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    1. Hope it turns out well for you, Thanks for stopping by!
      Jan

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  57. I have this in the crockpot right and its not turning out like the pic. It looks very pasty, and was sticking to the pot at 1.5 hours. I followed everything exactly. What did I do wrong?

    ReplyDelete
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    1. Sorry to hear the difficulties! As far as sticking to the pot, you do have to spray the pot with non stick cooking spray before putting everything in. I'm wondering if your crockpot runs hotter than mine, and if the cheese choice makes a difference. Not sure, but I am sorry to hear it. Thanks though for stopping back and sharing. If you do try again and vary the recipe, I'd love to hear if you had more success.
      Hugs,
      Jan

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    2. I sprayed it very heavy, and I used sharp chedder. The only thing I did differently was use whole milk, and I know that doesn't affect it. Still has a little longer to go, and I'll see if I can salvage it.

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    3. Crossing my fingers for you!

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  58. I made this recipe a few weeks ago...and followed it exactly :) And it came out perfectly! My Hub's Mom makes a mac n cheese that has a "curdled" effect and I have never been able to duplicate this...even following her recipe! Well this one was JUST like hers...and I am not sure that it was "curled" after reading some of your replies...which makes me happy! My family loved it and I wouldn't change a thing! Thanks!

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    1. Your feedback made me very happy! I feel alot better, and appriciate your taking the time to come back and tell me!
      Hugs,
      Jan

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  59. I made this for dinner tonight in between jobs, and it was amazing!I actually ended up cooking it on high for one hour and low for one hour in the interest of time, and it came out very well. I also omitted the egg because I prefer a creamier, more "saucy" mac and cheese, and it didn't curdle at all. Perfect for a no fuss, set it and forget it dinner! Thank you :)

    ReplyDelete
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    1. Shannon, you sound as busy as me! I love the idea of low for an hour, high for an hour and omitting the egg! Great idea, thanks for coming back and sharing!
      Jan

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  60. This is perfect for deep fried mac-n-cheese. Just cut into desired sized pieces, dip in egg, roll in flour (season with a little salt & pepper or Lawrey's), let sit a minute so flour can get a little gooey, then fry till golden & crispy.....Mmmmmmmm.

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    1. Oh Mylanta! That's all I have to say.
      Jan

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  61. What size slow cooker do you use?

    ReplyDelete
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    1. I believe mine is the 6 qt. The biggest oval slow cooker size.
      Jan

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  62. This was amazing! I love that it was so thick and rich! Thank you so much for sharing such a great recipe!

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  63. K, I'm trying this recipe today, pretty basic, but I added several types of cheese equaling about 2 cups. 2 3/4 c. milk and no canned milk. 1 egg, some seasonings, including some dry mustard powder, garlic an dehydrated onions.

    I put it on low for 4 hrs (I'll be checking it of course) in my Hamilton Beach Set and Forget Crockpot (the irony is not lost on me ;)

    I'll let you know what happens :) I look forward to many variations, adding veg like broccoli while cutting back the milk/other liquids and various leftover smoked meats like bacon, ham etc.

    I foresee this becoming an easy favourite.

    ReplyDelete
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    1. Your recipe sounds so amazing! I will cross all my fingers and toes that it comes out like I'm imagining it! That is so funny about the set & forget. This recipe is probably the one and only exception to that rule! Send me over a bowl when your done! (Ok, so just let me know how it turns out!
      Jan

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    2. so, everyone loved it, we ended up taking it to an impromptu potluck.

      the cheeses I used were colby jack and this strong cheese that's made locally, called alpendon and I sprinkled some parmesan on top.

      i used only milk... and it was done by 2 -2.5 hrs... but not... set, i wanted it more casseroley. so i let it go for a bit longer, I'm going to try it on warm next time.

      IF i make it with any veg i will cut the milk back to 2 1/4 cup ...

      the additions were really good... about 1 tsp of dry mustard, 2 Tbsp of dehydrated onion flakes, 1/2 tsp of cayenne, and 1 tsp salt.

      I used the organic gnocchi (not true gnocchi) pasta and it was a bit softer than how I would usually cook it but I didn't mind it as it was less a pasta dish and more a casserole/comfort food for us. Also, that's great for young kids too... and so much healthier than boxed mac and cheese.

      it got et up really quick :)

      another thing i want to try sometime is just with 2 cups of milk for an hour or so and then a can of diced tomatoes and some frozen peas. I think that would be good too.

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    3. I can't believe I forgot! about an hour in I remembered i had some homemade cottage cheese in the freezer and threw about a cup of that in! yes, it was lovely and cheese heavy :)

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    4. It sounds like it turned out super delish! I'm intrigued by the organic gnocchi! I've never seen it, but may have to go looking for it! Thanks so much for taking the time to come back and share with us! Stop by anytime and share such yumminess again!
      Jan

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  64. I made this last night with fat free cholesterol free evaporated milk, no egg, 2%sargento shredded cheddar cheese, and added cheese soup. It tasted great! I cooked on low for 2 1/2 hrs. The noodles were just slightly overcooked. I will make again!

    ReplyDelete
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    1. I am so glad it turned out and did so well! Thanks for letting us know how you made it! I I am glad the fat free milk did well, too!
      Jan

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  65. I made this last night for my family and they loved it! I doubled the recipe..I used 2% milk, added an extra cup of cheese and added 1 can of nacho cheese soup mix for a little kick. Turned out great and it was all gone! Will be making this again. Thanks!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Becky, I can't find Nacho cheese soup anywhere! I've been wanting to try it,but have had no success, so I am now inspired to not give up looking for it! I am so glad your family liked it and it turned out! Great feedback!
      Jan

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  66. FINALLY got the recipe right for us. Here's what I did and it turned out perfect with lots of flavor!

    Cooking oil spray
    2 cups uncooked elbow macaroni
    2 1/2 cups milk (I used Vanilla Soy and it still was awesome!)
    1 (12 oz.) can evaporated milk
    1 tsp salt
    1 tsp. Garlic Powder
    1/2 tsp. Onion Powder
    1 1/2 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese
    3/4 cup shredded cheese and about a 2in block of Velveeta, cut up into smaller squares

    Cooked it for around 4 hours for our Crock pot and the noodles could have cooked a tad more, but it still was great.

    ReplyDelete
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    1. Thanks so much for coming back and posting your awesome version for us! I have a feeling many people will be printing yours off and using it! You are very much appriciated!
      Jan

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    2. Your welcome! I was determined to tweak the recipe to fit us and it finally worked! Still a great starter recipe Never would have been able to figure it all out on my own. LOL Thanks for your awesome blogs!

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    3. I just noticed I had both lines of the cheese amounts on there still... The second, with the 3/4 shredded and 2in of Velveeta is what I used.

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    4. I was really excited and optimistic about this recipe, and I followed the recipe exactly. Adding the cheddar soup, like some have mentioned, might have saved this dish. I get the whole Southern custard as I live in the South and have made that kind in the oven. My results were more like bland macaroni concrete. I suggest really monitoring this closely the first time and being ready with more liquid. It was too far off the mark to try again, but it's a great idea, and I wish others better luck.

      Delete
    5. Sorry to here of your experience, but am grateful you came back to share it, so others can benefit. Glad you stopped back over!
      Jan

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  67. I looked at your picture of the Marconi and cheese and your cheese looks smooth. When I followed your recipe exactly and cooked it for 3.5 hours the cheese looks clumpy or texture-y.....how did you get yours to be smooth?

    ReplyDelete
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    1. Thanks for asking. If you pulled a big spoonful out it would be thick not smooth. I think what you may be thinking is smooth sauce, is just the top coating of shredded cheese I sprinkled your seeing that melted that way, there is thick, southern custard underneath that. Sorry if it threw you off a bit from your expectations!
      Jan

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  68. I made this last night for dinner. My whole family loved it. My teenage son finished it for lunch today. This recipe is a keeper for my family.

    Sue

    www.arainbowofteaching.blogspot.com

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    1. Yeah! Thanks Sue, for letting me know y'all loved it! I appriciate you taking the time to stop back by and let me know!
      Jan

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  69. I tried this recipe today. It came out pretty good. I cooked it for about 3 hours. I think next time I will add a little more cheese and some dry mustard but I will make this recipe again!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That sounds really yummy! I like the additions!
      Thanks for letting us know!
      Jan

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  70. I cooked it on warm. Our crock pot cooks 3lb roast on lower in 3 hours so I knew it would cook the noodles too fast on low and still be too saucy.
    Typically I do mine baked, make a cheese sauce add cooked noodles top with 1lb cheese and bake. Comes our nice and firm just like thus recipe. Thanks so much for giving me comfort food in 100 degree weather without heating my oven.

    P.S we loved it.

    ReplyDelete
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    1. I think I fell in love at the mention of the 1 lb. of cheese topping! :) I'm glad it turned out! Yeah, I'm a bit tired of the 100 degree heat + humidity. Bring on fall!
      Thank you so much for taking time to come back and let us know how it turned out!
      Hugs,
      jan

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  71. I tried this the other night and it was wonderful! I ended up taking out the egg completely. Also, About one hour into cooking I added a jar of salsa con queso and about 1/4 to 1/3 cup of sour cream (I didn't measure) I loved being able to cook this in a crock pot and the sauce was thick, creamy, and delicious. I am making a giant batch for my daughter's first birthday party!

    ReplyDelete
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    1. Ok, Kayliene, you have just elevated this thing to a whole other level! I must now try this! I am so glad it turned out so delish for your family!
      Thanks for coming back and sharing it with us!
      Jan

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  72. I have to say, I had really high hopes for this dish, but I made it for dinner tonight and was sorely disappointed. It was tasteless and bland. the noodles lost their shape and turned into a spoonful of mush.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I am sorry to hear that, but am glad you took the time to come back and share your experience, so others can benefit from it.
      Jan

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  73. I made this today. O yum, O yum, O yum!!! This is close to Shapiro's Mac 'n Cheese! I added an extra egg and another 1/2 sharp cheddar. My crockpot cooks fast, so it was ready in 2.5 hours. Mike gave it a 9 out of 10. Glo gave it a 10. I gave it a 12! The milk doesn't curdle. The milk, egg and cheese becomes a custard. This is wonderful! Thanks!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Your report back, made my day today! I am so glad to hear how well it turned out! THank you for taking the time to come back and share with us!
      Jan

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  74. I forgot to get skim milk but I have 2%.....do I have to use skim or will it turn out just as good with the 2%?

    ReplyDelete
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    1. Michelle, it should work just fine! Crossing my fingers for you!
      Jan

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  75. Can i freeze this? Would love to make single serve portions for my toddlers to bring for lunch.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I have never frozen it, but one of my readers shared her tips. Read comment # 40B. She says that because of its high fat content, it should freeze fine, then just reheat and serve. I haven't heard back from anyone who's tried it yet, so if you do I'd love to hear how it goes for you!
      Thanks for asking!
      Jan

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  76. Woo-hoo. Excited. My family should love this.

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  77. I loved seeing this recipe here! This recipe came with my West Bend Slow Cooker may years ago, make it as written,it works,it is a delicious recipe,pay attention to cooking times on low..Delicious each and every time!

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    1. Bonnie, thanks for the info! I'm glad to know where the recipe originated from, and that you've had success with it!
      Jan

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  78. found this on pinterest this week and made it today. amazing! thank you! this will become a staple in our house. i also like to add ground mustard and a variety of cheeses for flavor. very nice to be able to make this in the crock pot!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Sarah! I'm glad you liked it! I am determined to try the ground mustard (which I ALWAYS forget to use!) How much do you think? 1 tsp? I haven't used mine is so long I ought to throw it out and by a fresh batch!
      Jan

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  79. I just want to point out that the difference between high and low on the slowcooker isn't the temperature, it's the time it takes to get up to full temperature. Low takes an extra hour to get up to cooking temp. If you use high temp, shave an hour off the cook time, with same results. Most people use low so they can let it sit all day while they're at work.

    The pasta will probably be done in less than 3 hours, so if making a double batch, cook for the full 4 and add extra time to get the crispy edge, you'll have to watch for it.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. There aren't enough Thank-you's in the world for taking the time to share you knowledge with everyone! You've given us a much better understanding of our slow cookers! Yeah! Stop by anytime and share again!
      Jan

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