Crock Pot Mac and Cheese

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Crock Pot Macaroni & CheeseUltra creamy Mac 'n Cheese.. this is one of my favorite recipes of all time. I've made it so many times!

Crock Pot Mac and Cheese is a family favorite recipe! Tender macaroni noodles smothered in cheese is one of our favorite comfort food dishes.

This easy mac and cheese recipe requires just minutes of prep and comes out of the slow cooker perfect every time!

Two white bowls of crock pot mac and cheese
Creamy Crock Pot Mac and Cheese

Macaroni and cheese is my personal favorite comfort food recipe (although, what do you expect from a girl who served mac ‘n cheese at her wedding and totally skipped the prime rib!).  It’s not completely from scratch, but it is completely delicious! To make it even easier, this extra cheesy mac and cheese is cooked in the slow cooker!

Some people wonder why you would cook mac & cheese in the slow cooker…  there are lots of good reasons!

  1. Crock Pot Mac and Cheese is perfect for camping or potlucks, basically anywhere you don’t have an oven to bake macaroni.
  2. No need to heat up the oven on a hot day.
  3. Can fill your oven with things like a 15lb turkey and stuffing and cook this on the side.
  4. Ummm, it’s freaking delicious (just scroll down and read the comments, you’ll see what I mean)!!

Cheese and macaroni ready to be cooked in the Crock Pot.

How to Make Crock Pot Mac and Cheese

This slow cooker macaroni and cheese takes less than 10 minutes to get into the Crock Pot and then it’s ready to go!  Fast, easy and beyond amazing!

While I’ve tried several times to make a no boil mac and cheese (using uncooked pasta), I find that they never turn out quite as good as this recipe! Boiling the macaroni about 2 minutes less than indicated on your package (so it’s quite al dente) keeps it from getting mushy.

I prefer macaroni without evaporated milk or velveeta.

While some of the ingredients in this recipe may seem odd, they really make an amazing dish!  Here’s the thing about cooking dairy in a slow cooker.  A traditional cream sauce or cheese sauce doesn’t hold up well in the slow cooker, they tend to curdle and/or separate. Please don’t don’t let the addition of mayo freak you out.  It’s good, I promise (read the reviews on this recipe below) …  it just subs out some of the dairy.  I usually use a light mayo type dressing.

Cooked Mac and Cheese in a Slow Cooker

I don’t make it very often because when I do, I can’t stop eating it.  In fact, I wake up and eat it for breakfast too if I’m lucky enough to have any left!  If you’d like to make it into an entree, feel free to add in some ham and broccoli or cooked chicken and leftover veggies!

How to Double Crock Pot Mac and Cheese:

I have successfully doubled this recipe in a 6QT slow cooker.  Cook on high for 2 1/2 hours, stirring after 1 hour and 2 hours.  (When stirring, try to do it as quickly as possible to keep the heat inside).

Note:  Slow cookers can vary in temperature greatly!  You may have to slightly adjust the time for your slow cooker.  If your Crock Pot Mac and Cheese is done early, you can turn your slow cooker onto warm.

More Macaroni Recipes You’ll Love

Crock Pot Macaroni and Cheese
4.76 from 82 votes
Review Recipe

Extra Creamy Crock Pot Mac and Cheese

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 2 hours
Total Time 2 hours 10 minutes
Servings 6 servings
Author Holly Nilsson
Course Casserole
Cuisine American
Extra Creamy Crock Pot Mac and Cheese. Macaroni and cheese is one of our favorite comfort food dishes, a smoothy cheesy sauce with perfectly tender pasta. This easy recipe required just minutes of prep and comes out of the slow cooker perfect every time!


  • 2 cups uncooked macaroni noodles
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon dry mustard powder
  • 10.5 oz cream of chicken soup condensed
  • 1/2 cup sour cream regular or light
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 3 cups cheddar cheese
  • 1 cup gruyere cheese

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  1. Boil macaroni noodles according to directions to make them very al dente. (I cook them for at least 1 minute less than directed on the bag. Mine boiled for 5 minutes). Drain and rinse under cold water.
  2. Combine all ingredients in the slow cooker and cook on high for 2 hours or low for 3 hours, stirring once or twice.
  3. Serve hot.

Recipe Notes

Be sure that your macaroni is cooked al dente before you put it in the slow cooker so it doesn’t become mushy. If you prefer or if you are short on time, you can bake this in the oven (and I have many many times!) Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Bake 30 minutes covered and 30 minutes uncovered.
If you do not have gruyere cheese, you can use 4 cups cheddar instead.
*Nutrition information provided is an estimate and will vary based on cooking methods and brands of ingredients used.
Nutrition Information
Calories: 464, Fat: 47g, Saturated Fat: 21g, Cholesterol: 105mg, Sodium: 917mg, Potassium: 203mg, Carbohydrates: 31g, Fiber: 1g, Sugar: 2g, Protein: 27g, Vitamin A: 1000%, Vitamin C: 0.2%, Calcium: 665%, Iron: 1.5%

(Nutrition information provided is an estimate and will vary based on cooking methods and brands of ingredients used.)

Keyword crock pot mac and cheese, crockpot, Hot Fudge Slow Cooker Brownies

Repin this Easy Recipe!

Extra Creamy Crock Pot Mac & Cheese served in a white bowl

Crock Pot Mac 'n Cheese.. this is one of my favorite recipes of all time. Rich and creamy and easy to make (don't let the unusual ingredients scare you away)! Perfect for potlucks and you're going to want to add it to your camping recipes too!

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Beef & Cheese macaroni casserole



Crock Pot Mac and Cheese is one of our favorite slow cooker side dishes. A smooth cheesy sauce with perfectly tender pasta. This easy recipe required just minutes of prep and comes out of the slow cooker perfect every time! #spendwithpennies #slowcooker #crockpot #easyrecipe #pastarecipe #simpledinner #classicrecipe

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About the author


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Holly is a wine and cheese lover, recipe creator, shopping enthusiast and self appointed foodie. Her greatest passion is creating in the kitchen and making deliciously comforting recipes for the everyday home cook!

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  1. I have made this about 5 times now and it is always a huge it. The flavors are amazing together and it is so easy to make. Thank you. for sharing.

  2. Best Mac & Cheese, ever! I’ve made it a few times and have had people request the recipe time and time again. Thank you. But a quick question, I wanted to make a double batch to split in two meals to bring an easy “reheat” meal for my daughter and her family. Can this be kept in the freezer after being made until she’s ready to use it. Again, thanks for the recipe.

  3. Do you think if I doubled the recipe, and used one can of condensed cream of chicken, and one can of condensed cheddar soup, it would be good?

  4. This was a hit on Christmas Eve. I doubled the recipe and it was almost gone entirely. If your crockpot runs hot, cut back on cook time. I definitely also recommend grating your own cheese for a creamier result. This is also the perfect base to add components like chicken, broccoli, etc. It’s a keeper.

  5. This recipe at first seemed a little odd to me as I read the ingredients, but after reading the reviews I decided to give it a shot. I was glad I did! It’s incredibly cheesy and so delicious. This mac & cheese has great flavor. I love the Gruyere cheese in this. I think it really pumps the flavor up and makes it special. This is a very indulgent recipe as most good mac & cheese recipes are, and that’s why I prefer to serve it as a side dish because that means smaller portions. Even if I could just eat the whole thing, one must have self-control! It pairs perfectly with any kind of meat. I served it with meatloaf.

  6. Made this for a work party and it was a big hit!! Everyone said it was the best they’ve had! Subbed Gruyere with just cheddar and still delicious!

  7. I have made this three times for work potlucks. Each time I made it, I prepped everything the night before. The noodles I boiled and put in a ziplock and then mix the rest of the ingredients in a bowl. Throw everything in the crockpot in the morning and let it go. One of the batches I added a cup of smoked gouda instead of the gruyere and that’s the way I’m making it from now on. There were lots of leftovers after the last potluck except for the mac and cheese!

    This recipe is super easy and sooo delicious. Thank you for sharing!

  8. I’m looking forward to trying your recipe. Will I get the best results if I use a block cheese and hand shred it, or is bagged shredded cheese just as acceptable? Do you get the best results when the pasta is boiled right before….or is it possible to boil the pasta the night before, al dente, refrigerate, then mix it all in a slow cooker the next day?

    1. Pre-shredded cheeses have additives to keep them from clumping which means they often don’t melt as well. I would suggest shredding the cheese yourself.

      You can absolutely boil the pasta the night before and then mix it all together the next day.


    I made as written but just used a basic Swiss cheese instead of gruyere. I doubled the recipe and it barely fit in my crockpot. Lol. But omg do good. Totally worth it!!!

  10. Excited to try this recipe but accidentally forgot to cook the pasta before adding in everything. I really don’t want to toss the whole batch. Is there any way to save it? Can I just add some water or milk to the mix so I can cook the pasta in the crockpot? I did a double batch. :(

    1. Oh no, that’s too bad! I would definitely try that JP, add some extra liquid as the noodles will soak up more being uncooked. Let us know how it turns out. Our fingers are crossed for you!

  11. Hi there! Making this for an office potluck this week. Would it be ok if I tossed all of the ingredients in the crockpot the night before and then turn it on the morning of the potluck? Or will that mess up the recipe and not come out correctly?
    Thanks in advance for any input!

    1. Hi Taylor,
      You can prep this the night before, but if you have a ceramic or porcelain crock you may want to allow it to sit on the counter for 45 minutes or so before turning it on to avoid cracking the crock.

  12. I made this for a work potluck. I can’t believe how good it was! My large crockpot was full to the top (doubled the recipe) and was completely empty within an hour. I used all cheddar cheese.

  13. Hi Holly! Happy Thanksgiving! I had a quick question about this dish. It calls for condensed cream of chix soup which I can’t find in Europe. If I use Campbell’s Cream of Chix soup, would that work?

    I have also googled a condensed cream chix soup recipe… do I need to use that? Or will the regular cream of chix work? Thank you!

    1. This one uses Campbell’s Cream of Chicken soup as well (but for the one in North America, you add one can of water or milk to the soup to serve as soup). Is the texture soupy or is it fairly thick, more similar to the consistency of pudding?

      I worry that with the homemade, dairy can sometimes separate in the slow cooker.

  14. We absolutely love this recipe. We have been asked for the recipe so many times I printed out extra copies to keep on hand.

    Of course, per usual, we changed it up slightly. First, we do about 2-2.5 cups of cheddar and replace the other amount with Monterey Jack. Second, We specifically used use Applesmoked gruyere brand, gives it a really nice Smokey flavor almost as if bacon was in it. Third, after everything is mixed in, we add about 2 tablespoons of cream cheese and 2 tablespoons of velveeta on top. We cut them in cubes. We do not mix in. This helps the creaminess. Fourth, we save some of the water from cooking the noodles. Just in case we have the crockpot going on warm while waiting for other food to be finished, this water will keep it moist.

  15. I have made this once and it was amazing! I have a question though. After I put all of the ingredients into the crock I did not mix them up before turning the crock pot on. Should I stir everything around before turning on the crock pot or just layer them and stir later? I did the double recipe and it came out great, but I felt as though I was playing catch up when it came time to stir.

    1. Hi Alan, we mix up the sauce before adding it into the crockpot then give everything a good stir once it’s all in there. While cooking we stir it once or twice to make sure it is all combined.

  16. I’m vegan and I can’t use condensed chicken soup. Is there a vegan alternative? I REALLY want to try this recipe! :) Thank you!

    1. Hi Wendy, other readers have subbed in cream of mushroom, cream of celery, or cream of onion soup to make a vegetarian alternative. I am not sure if there is a vegan version of those soups that you could use to make this recipe! I hope you are able to find something!

  17. This crock pot mac n cheese was SO SO good and super easy to make. Thank you for sharing the recipe! Will def be saving this recipe to make again and again.

  18. Have you ever added panko or some type of topping to this and when and how did you do so for best results. I wanna add a panko/Parmesan topping and want it to be crispy…Broiler afterwards for a few?


  19. Hi! If I’m making a double batch in the over, what size pan should I use? Also, does the pasta have to be cooked first if doing it in the oven?

    1. The pasta will still need to be cooked al dente (not too soft, it’ll cook a bit more in the oven). If you’re doubling this recipe, I’d suggest two 9×13 pans. If you have a large pan and it fits you can use that but might like to stir it part way through cooking (and will likely need to increase cooking time).

  20. Hi There,

    Can you tell me how to go about this recipe with 2 (16oz) boxes of cavatappi noodles? Do I essentially quadruple the recipe? 16 cups of cheese and 4 cans of condensed soup seems like a lot. I’m making this for about 20 (plus leftovers) in my large crock pot.

    1. Hi Sarah, we have never quadrupled this recipe but if you have a big enough crockpot it should turn out delicious!

        1. Hi Naylline, you can bake this in the oven by preheating the oven to 350°F. Bake 30 minutes covered and 30 minutes uncovered. Or if you want you can just mix all the ingredients in the crockpot overnight and then turn it on the next morning letting it cook according to the recipe directions.

  21. My son is in love with White Spot (it’s a Canadian Restaurant) Mac’n’Cheese. I have been trying to make him an at-home version. This recipe did the trick. Super yummy! I melted the cheese mixture in a pan and combined that sauce with the cooked macaroni in a crock-pot to make things go faster. A hit!

  22. I followed everything exact, except I used ditalani pasta, one cup gruyere, one cup double smoked cheddar, and two cups sharp cheddar and added paprika. It is delicious!! However it has become very very oiley and a little granulated. Anything you can think of to fix this? Thank you!

    1. This would likely mean that it got too hot which can cause the dairy to separate. If it became oily in reheating, I would suggest heating over a low temperature and perhaps adding a touch of milk. If it became oily in the slow cooker, perhaps your slow cooker runs a little bit hotter than mine so you could try it on the low setting next time (if yours was on high). I hope that helps!

  23. So glad to find this recipe! My oven is on the fritz and I can have it replaced for another two weeks. :-( I have left over ricotta. Can I use it in this recipe?

    1. Miracle Whip can be used in place of mayonnaise, but keep in mind that it has a tangier flavor. Let me know if you try it!

    1. Karen, this crock pot mac and cheese recipe makes 8 servings. You can find the number of servings for each of our recipes on the recipe card right near the recipe title. Enjoy!

  24. I had this at a friends Halloween party and it was amazing! I got the recipe and I plan to do for a Friendsgiving this Sunday, but one friend is gluten free, do you think it would be as tasty with GF pasta or should I make a small batch for her with GF pasta and full batch with regular pasta for the rest of us? I don’t cook GF ever, so I don’t want to ruin the whole batch.

    1. Hi Jessamy, we have only tried this recipe as written. My only concern would be that gluten-free noodles need way less time to cook so I am not sure if they would hold up well in the crockpot. Maybe another reader has tried it out and offer some advice!

  25. I made this last weekend and I won’t be making any other recipe we all loved it, made it for my neighbors and it is the best I have ever had love it :) Thank you

  26. Could use Campbell’s condensed cheddar soup instead of cream of chicken? I’m making it for a potluck and want to skip meat. Also want to avoid things like cream of mushroom/celery etc in case there are picky eaters.

    1. Hi Niki, we have only made the recipe as listed but that should work. It will change the flavor but still sounds delicious. Let us know how it turns out!

    2. I made this for a thanksgiving feast today at church, serving 53 . I doubled it and then a little more for the pasta and still had room for stirring in my 6Q crock. I did cream cheddar soup so it was meat less and added a half block of velveeta because we had it. Carmelized 1 medium diced onion in stead of powder and I had to use mustard instead of powder. I was put off by the mayo and sour cream but it was awesome! So creamy. The cook time was perfect on high with 2 stirrings in the middle. Will be doing this one again!

  27. Hi! I have not yet made this recipe – I have some questions before getting started, if that’s ok! I’m excited to make it, especially based on all the great reviews! We have a “Friendsgiving” gathering next weekend, so I’m hoping to wow the gang! Questions:

    1. If I will be making this the night before the event, what changes should I make to the recipe (if any), and should I just reheat it on warm when party time is nearing?
    2. Based on the comments, is it recommended to shred my own cheese rather than buying shredded cheese?


    1. Hi Catherine, to keep your noodles from getting soggy you are going to want to wait until ready to bake before combining the sauce and the noodles. You can boil your noodles the night before though and have the sauce ready in a separate dish though. And you are right, we recommend shredding your own cheese.

  28. I have made this recipe a number of times now for various groups and occasions, and there is ALWAYS at least one person who asks for the recipe. So many people say it is the best mac and cheese they’ve had! We love it for our family too, and my daughter’s (5yo) fave food is mac & cheese, so that’s high compliments coming from her!
    I have subbed the gruyere with shredded Swiss on occasion, and it works just as well.

  29. I made this for a potluck with friends. I used Campbell’s cream of bacon, instead of the cream of chicken soup. Also, since for adults, added spice with ancho chili powder, and flavor with smoked paprika. It was delish and loved by all. Will definitely make again in the future!

    1. I am thrilled that your friends enjoyed the mac n cheese Deb! I think cream of bacon sounds like a delicious addition!

  30. It was delicious and so easy!!~I would add a bit of salt but that is what our team’s feedback was. Thank you for these wonderful recipes

  31. Just made a triple batch of your mac & cheese. . I have to tell you it is the creamiest mac & cheese I’ve ever made. Love the flavors all together. Thank you

    1. Ooh! Cream of bacon soup sounds like a delicious addition to this soup. I don’t know that I have ever tried cream of bacon, what brand did you use? I need to find some of this Patrice!

      1. Amazon has it! I stock up when I have an Amazon prime pantry order. I make this Mac and cheese for my coworkers. They love it!

  32. I could definitely taste the Mayo in this. It tastes more like pasta salad than Mac n cheese. It’s not terrible but I won’t make it again.

  33. I just made this recipe today for a Mac & Cheese Cook-Off at work, and I won! Not only was I able to prep all of the ingredients this morning before I left for work (I shredded the cheese the night before), but this recipe was also so easy to make. As the mac & cheese was cooking, it started to look a little too oily so I kept stirring occasionally and opened the lid about an inch which allowed the oil to soak in. Other than that, this recipe was perfect! Multiple co-workers requested I share this *secret* recipe with them.

  34. I made this macaroni and cheese for a church potluck thinking I’d be bringing home leftovers. I was wrong! I tripled the recipe and it was all gone! People kept telling me how good it was! I’ll definitely be making this again. In fact, this is the only macaroni and cheese I ever plan to make from now on.

    1. Hi Julie, that will depend on the size of your box of macaroni. To be safe I would scoop out four cups of pasta when doubling this recipe.

  35. I am looking at this recipe for my daughters birthday party. I need to feed 16 people at least. How much of every ingredient would I need?

    1. You may want to double or triple this recipe Michelle to feed that many girls. Plus leftovers are always a hit with this recipe!

  36. I normally do not write reviews however, this Mac & cheese is the best I’ve ever had! I made it for the first time yesterday and it was such a hit with my family I had none left so it’s in my crockpot again now! I will never use another recipe. Whoever gave this recipe a bad review I’d have to say either didn’t follow the directions properly or did not use the exact ingredients! Thanks for this awesome recipe!

    1. I have only tried the recipe as written. While I haven’t tried it, I’d suggest that you cook it for 2 hours, then turn it to keep warm.

  37. Fabulous Mac & Cheese. Made it while camping this summer and it was enjoyed by everyone. Have made it 3 times since. I used an extra cup of cheddar instead of gruyere cheese, as suggested in the recipe as gruyere is too expensive. Stirred after the first hour as directed but it didn’t take the full 2 hours to cook. Delicious.

  38. Hello,
    Just a quick question. Is it 3 cups of shredded cheese or if I use block cheese do I just get 24 ounces of it? Can’t wait to make it for my husbands birthday party!

    1. 8 oz per cup is a liquid measure while you would want a weight measure for this recipe. 1 cup of cheese weighs approximately 4 oz (so you would need approximately 12 oz of cheddar).

  39. Made this for a gathering last night and it was a hit. Followed recipe as is, except used all cheddar and sharp cheddar, and only cooked on high for about 1 1\2 hours before switching to ‘keep warm’. Made a double recipe for about 20 people and it was all gone and everyone was commenting on how good it was. My only negative was I didn’t care for the small bits of chicken in the pasta and a couple of people asked why there was chicken in the mac&cheese. Flavor and consistency was great though and I’ll be making it again for future gatherings. Thanks for the recipe!

    1. I’ve made this with cream of onion soup instead of cream of chicken to make it a vegetarian dish. I leave out the onion powder. I made this for a ski weekend and it was absolutely perfect on a cold day! The kids all said it was the best ever.

  40. I am not a star in the kitchen, however this recipe made me look like one! Made for a birthday party to go with my Brother in laws smoked ribs. My brother in law said he felt like he was eating grown up mac n cheese. I bought apple wood smoked Gruyere cheese. The smokey flavor was perfect!

  41. Very disappointing. I was hoping to use this recipe for an upcoming party and wanted to test it out first (and I’m glad I did as I won’t be using it!). I made the recipe exactly as described and it was dry, pasty, and fairly bland. About an hour into cooking everything seemed dry and I even added some more sour cream (milk probably would have been better but I didn’t have any on hand). After a couple of hours I even added some crumbled bacon on top, but everything was just disappointing. I was hoping to have something new for the upcoming party but will go back to an old standard as this recipe is something I don’t feel would impress my guests.

    1. How disappointing Paul, I”m sorry to hear that! I can’t say for sure what went wrong, I’ve made this countless times and have never had it dry out (and most readers have had great success). Did you measure the dry macaroni noodles using a measuring cup (vs. weight etc). Did you use pre-shredded cheeses (which can sometimes contain starches and don’t tend to melt as well). Were any of your products low fat/light?

  42. This was hands down the best mac and cheese I have ever tasted. I’m curious about using cauliflower instead of pasta. Cook al dente?

    1. I would suggest al dente if trying this recipe with cauliflower. Ensure you drain it very well so it doesn’t get watery!! Let us know how it goes.

  43. This was delicious. The creamy texture was incredible. Made it for the first time a couple of weeks ago for a church picnic. Son’s family enjoyed the left-overs. Doubled the recipe and it was still good. Making it again tomorrow for In-Laws! Used only cheddar cheese, that came shredded. Worked just fine.

    1. Sorry you didn’t enjoy it, it’s one of our favorites. That being said, it’s not intended to be a southern mac and cheese. :)

  44. So excited to make this recipe! I was wondering if I could use cream of mushroom soup instead of cream of chicken for a vegetarian in the family?

  45. My first time EVER to cook mac n cheese and this recipe’s just perfect!!!
    I was pressed for time, so I baked it instead.
    I’m gonna try the slow cooker next time.
    Thank you!!!

    1. I’m so happy to hear that you loved it so much Joan! And great idea to bake it when you were short on time.

  46. This sounds so tasty and simple. I can’t wait to try it! You mentioned that you use a light mayo-type dressing. Do you mean something like miracle whip or a light mayo?

    1. When I saw Guryere in this recipe, I knew the taste would be be a little bit better than most but I think using the smoked version will really kick it up!

  47. Hi Holly, I made this awhile back and it was outstanding! I am making it again for a large group of people. Question: Can I use Gluten Free Pasta? If I omit the mayo, do I need to replace it with something else?

    1. Hi Kristen, we have only made this recipe as listed so I can’t say for sure! But do let us know how it turns out for you.

  48. Wow, this recipe is magical despite having some unconventional ingredients. I followed everything exactly (except for adding 1 tsp garlic powder) because I wanted to test before doubling it for a potluck over the weekend. It’s great! I think you might want to check it every 30 mins on low like I did to make sure you can scrape the sides down and prevent sticking. I also only needed about 2 hours in the crock before it got nice and creamy. Thanks for sharing!

  49. If we are omitting the gruyere, would we use 4 cups of cheddar total or 4 cups in lieu of the gruyere in addition to the 3 cups of cheddar? I’m guessing 4 cups total but I just want to be sure. Also, I may have missed this but what is the low heat time for a double batch?

    1. To replace the gruyere, use 4 cups of cheddar total and no other cheeses. You just want the recipe to heat through and the cheese to melt. Check it after 3 hours to see if it’s heated through. Enjoy!

  50. My mac & cheese also got pretty greasy and the cheese started to separate. When I make this recipe again I will sub Cream of Chicken for Cream of Celery (just to try it) and lessen my cooking time to two hours on low!

    1. Good idea King, often if cheese overcooks it can separate creating an oily layer. Your crockpot may run a bit hotter than mine as well! Good luck, let us know how it turns out!

        1. I haven’t tried making this recipe with beer cheese Liz but I think that sounds delicious! Let us know how it turns out.

    1. You just want the recipe to heat through and the cheese to melt. Check it after 3 hours to see if it’s heated through.

  51. This recipe looks interesting, however having to cook the pasta prior to putting it in the crock pot seems to be defeating the purpose of using a crock pot. I have seen other mac and cheese crock pot recipes that do not require boiling the pasta prior to putting it into the crock pot. Do you think that would work with your recipe?

    1. I have only made this recipe as written Gary. If you try it please let us know how it works out for you!

  52. This is the BEST Mac and cheese I’ve ever had. I had my doubts about the mayonnaise but I’m glad I tried it. THANKS, HOLLY!!!

    1. As long as the recipe fits in your casserole dish, it will be fine to bake. You’ll just want to ensure it is hot in the middle. Enjoy Kathy!

  53. I want to try this recipe to bring to work. Can I make it in the evening and turn the crock pot to warm the next day to eat?

    1. Yes it can. It can also be prepared the night before and cooked while you’re at work the next morning if that works better for you. Enjoy Meghan!

  54. I’ve made this recipe several times over the last month for my kids’ ski races. I always double it. I have modified it a little. I use 1/2 of the onion powder. I found it to be too strong and it was all I tasted. I was more generous with the cheese – I really squished it down into the cup to measure it. I also added some Fontina cheese to make it a little creamier. About 4 oz. for a double batch was perfect. It came out a little bit more cheesy and everyone liked it better. The real key is to undercook the pasta. I ended up with it in the pot for no longer than 3 minutes. 2:30 is best. If my daughter knew it had mayo in it, she would never eat it, but she totally LOVES it, so all is well. Shhhh….

  55. This recipe is very delicious. I follow the recipe to the T. Although it turned out too greasy. Both in the crock pot, and the oven. Is there any way to stop this from happening? The taste is definitely five stars, it’s just too greasy.

    1. I would suggest reducing the cook time. If cheese overcooks (or perhaps your slow cooker runs a bit hotter than mine) it can separate creating an oily layer. Hope that helps!

  56. I made this for a New Year’s party and it was GONE! Also, my picky mac and cheese eating kids devoured this.

    I really love that in general I already have these ingredients on hand.

  57. Anxious to try this recipe for a bunch of hungry teenagers after long day of skiing. I would like to add ground beef to add protein, have you ever tried that before?

    1. Block cheddar shredded yourself will melt better. The pre-shredded cheeses often have additives that can interfere with how they melt.

  58. This is the absolute best Mac and cheese ever!!! I used 1# of pasta and 1# of cheddar cheese and 8 oz extra sharp cheese Along with the other ingredients. It was for a Christmas Eve dinner party and everyone raved about it!!! Thank you for the recipe

  59. This is my go-to Mac and Cheese for dinners, parties, and potlucks! I’ve been asked by my co-workers to QUADRUPLE the recipe for next year’s holiday party!

    Great recipe! Thank you!

  60. I made this a few years ago for my child’s class when the had a Thanks giving feast. The teachers asked me to bring it for the 3rd year now!
    I was wondering if you have tried it in the instant pot?

  61. How long can it sit in the crock pot and still be good? Can I make it in the morning at home and take it to work for a noon lunch at work?

    1. I would suggest making it in the morning but not turning the slow cooker on until 2 hrs before eating (on high) or 3 hrs on low.

  62. Looks delicious! I plan on making this for our work Xmas potluck lunch this week. I’ll be at work for 5 hours before this is served.. will it work if I cook the noodles at home in the morning and then just add everything together and turn it on low 3 hours before lunch?

  63. I tried this for the first time at a work pot luck lunch. I was skeptical about the cream of chIcken soup but went with it anyway. Everyone enjoyed it. I was not disappointed. Thanks for sharing.

    1. and I considerd combining your baked mac-n-cheese recipe with this one and adding a pinch of cayenne and a small amount of goat cheese for a creamy tang, smoked gouda and of course cheddar and gruyere.

      I really don’t want to use the cream of chicken soup because of the MSG… so I thought about just the cheddar cheese soup because I don’t think it has it… thoughts?

      1. Joshua, I’m just the opposite about MSG. We use it instead of salt for everything. It has such lower sodium content than salt and it really makes the food come alive better than salt and is healthier for you. I know the old tale about giving folks head aches but I have never met one! This recipe was great and we will be making it again and again. We baked ours also.

  64. I doubled the recipe, substituted smoked Gouda for the Gruyère, added 1 tsp Worcestershire sauce, substituted 1 tsp chipotle pepper sauce for the black pepper and added 1 cup of milk. I would have preferred it without the milk, but there were a lot of kids at Thanksgiving and they seem to prefer a soupier Mac & cheese. This is now my go to Mac and cheese recipe.

  65. I made this for Thanksgiving and I didn’t make my normal test batch; I was nervous. OMG, this was an amazing dish. I gave the recipe out to several people. I doubled the batch used Smoked Gouda and sprinkled bacon on top. Next time when I make it I may add diced up jalapenos. This one is going in my cookbook

  66. I looked at several recipes and decided to go with this one because i don’t like Velveeta and the ingredients intrigued me. Also the reviews from others convinced me too! So my daughter 15 yrs old, made double recipe using all mild cheddar. We bought the blocks and shredded them. Don’t use pre-shredded cheese. At lunch, she got so many compliments and requests for the recipe! It was a hit! They were saying now this is the thing she needs to bring every Thanksgiving! Thank u very much! 

  67. I’m making this for an office pot luck on Wednesday and sorry if this is a stupid question but what do you mean by 2 cups of macaroni? Is that equal to a whole box ? Or should I scoop out two cups of dry macaroni from the box?
    I’ve used this recipe once before (a long time ago) and I feel like I used the whole box of macaroni with the same amount for everything else. (or should I double it?)

  68. I tried this recipe last night but I decided to try a mix of cheeses: 2 cups sharp cheddar, 1 cup white cheddar, 1/2 cup mozzarella and 1/2 cup Parmesan. The flavor was awesome but it wasn’t as creamy as I was hoping. Any tips on how to make it creamier without losing flavor? 

    1. That sounds like a great addition Morgan! I have only ever made this recipe as is, but you could try adding a little extra sour cream or milk to the slow cooker.

  69. We love mac and cheese but are really fussy about it. This recipe looks like one that would pass our taste test~ Yum!

  70. What would you suggest using instead of the cream of chicken soup to make it vegetarian? Could just milk or heavy cream be used maybe? I’m looking forward to making this for Thanksgiving!

  71. Has anyone tried to use whole whet pasta? If so, how long did you boil beforehand, I know it usually take a little longer than regular pasta. Making this today and I can’t wait to try it!

  72. Hi Holly!
    I’m looking for a creamy cheesy sauce to add to potatoes in a crockpot. I know if I add cubed potatoes raw they will take longer to cook. Do you think this sauce would do okay if it’s left in the crockpot for a longer time?

    1. Hi Heather, I do think the sauce would hold up fine if the potatoes cook through (but I haven’t tried it).

      Depending on your timeline, you could also parboil the potatoes up to 24 hours in advance so they’re slightly softened before you start! Let me know how it goes!

      1. I used about 6 small russet potatoes, peeled and cubed. While I parboiled those, I threw the rest of the ingredients into the crockpot. Small changes: For cheese, I used about 1-1/2 cups medium cheddar, 2 cups colby jack, and 1/2 cup mozzarella. It’s what I had on hand! I added about 1-1/2 cups of milk, since I wanted more of a soupy consistency instead of just a sauce to coat. I also threw in 1 teaspoon minced garlic. It was delicious! I actually got my husband to eat soup! You could definitely taste the tang of the mayo and sour cream though, so maybe next time I’ll just use one or the other, not both. Thank you for the recipe!

  73. This recipe was a hit at my son’s birthday party! Not only was it so easy to make but the adults and the kids really enjoyed eating it!

  74. Fabulous recipe! A friend made it for a potluck and I asked her for the recipe on the spot. Have you heard any tips from someone who has made this recipe in an Instant Pot (using the slow cooker setting, of course)?

  75. Question. I need to have this tomorrow for a lunch. I’ve used this recipe before and I love it. But I don’t have time to cook tomorrow. What should I do? Bake it in the oven or crockpot and just heat up on low for how long if I do it in the crock pot? I don’t want it to be over cooked.

    1. I would suggest mixing everything together and then cooking as recommended just before serving.

  76. I plan on making this recipe this weekend, but one of my guests is a vegetarian so I was pondering different alternatives to the cream of chicken soup. Has anyone tried this with Campbell’s condensed cheddar cheese soup? If you have, let me know how it turned out!

    1. Cheddar cheese soup would also be a great option. Some readers said it worked well for their vegetarian friends!

  77. This was amazing, followed exact recipe, came out perfect. Have been looking for the ultimate  creamy mac and cheese recipe and finally found it, thanks!

  78. When you say “2 cups” of macaroni and cheese, is that 1 lb, or are you scooping out a 1 cup measuring cup? 2 cups =16 oz = 1 lb of macaroni. Just trying to figure out the ratios before I head to the store.

    1. This is not 1 lb as a dry measure is not the same as an 8oz fluid ounce measure.

      This is two measuring cups scooped out which is about 4oz per cup (so 1/2 lb for the whole recipe). Hope that helps.

    1. Miracle Whip can be used in place of mayonnaise, but keep in mind that it has a tangier flavor. Let me know if you try it!

  79. Hi! I’m excited to try this recipe and adding broccoli to it. My question is if I am using fresh broccoli should I steam it first before adding it or put it in raw? 

  80. I’m confused about the amount of cheese when doubled. I have noticed many people said they doubled but didn’t mention using the same amount of cheese as the single version, but in one of the comments Holly said 4 cups of cheese for single OR double recipe. I’m worried it won’t be cheesy enough? Thoughts…. Anyone? Anyone?? Bueller?? LOL

  81. Quick question….I’m excited to try this out for my son’s Blue and Gold ceremony with scouts tonight. Some other recipes I’ve read have warned against letting it heat too long because of gumminess of noodles. If the ceremony starts at 5:30 and I think we will eat at 6, should I start this at 3:30, or have you had issues with extra heating time as people eat?

  82. This is the best recipe ever.  SO YUMMY!!!! And if you leave it on all day, the edges get crispy.  So good.  I always have to double the recipe because it’s such a hit. 

  83. Haven’t made this in a while but the when I did make it I noticed that when it’s reheated, the oil likes to separate from the rest of it and makes a greasy mess. The oil from the mayo and the fat from the cheese really makes it too greasy. Next time I make it, I think I’m going to try sour cream and maybe an egg or two in place of the mayo.

    1. You might like to try reheating on a lower temperature (high temperatures can cause the cheese to separate) and adding a splash of milk if needed for consistency. :)

  84. This is seriously the best Mac n cheese I have ever made and eaten.
    Thanks so much for sharing. Anyone can be a great cook with this recipe.

  85. It really was as good as it claims to be. The only thing is I cooked it on high and some of the edge was a little burnt. I suggest using the low setting if you have the time.

  86. My son made this to go with barbecued ribs. He substituted nonfat plain greek yogurt for the sour cream and four cups of cheddar cheese. It was awesome! This is now one of my favorite recipes.

  87. This was a huge hit at our holiday party! I didn’t have cream of chicken, but did have roasted garlic cream of mushroom & it was a great substitute.

  88. Made it the first time for work Xmas party. Today I’m making it for a 4th time since as my dish to pass!!  I have doubled it each time as written except only used cheddar cheese and six cups total, as my arm was too tired to shred more.  I would give it a five star rating!!
    Thanks for sharing!!

  89. I LOVE macaroni and cheese and I’m always trying new recipes to find the perfect one, I’ve tried ones that are so complicated, and at best ,they have turned out OK…I was a bit leary to try this – thinking mayo and cream of chicken soup in mac and cheese? But seeing I had everything on hand (except for the gruyere cheese), so i went and got that and made it…..My husband and I LOVED it…the best thing is, it doesnt dry out as badly as most recipes do–the next day it was equally as creamy and delicious…..this will be my go to recipe from now on for easy and delicious mac and cheese–the only thing i will do differently next time, is Double the recipe!!!!!!!!!! Try this, you wont be disappointed!!!!

    1. I am so glad you enjoyed this recipe! I always double it too because my family can’t get enough of this mac n cheese!

  90. I made this recipe exactly as printed and it was absolutely fabulous! I doubled it because it was for a pot luck at work. Picky Mac n cheese eaters really liked it. I will definitely be making this again!! Thanks for sharing. 

  91. Followed this recipe pretty close even though I was skeptical of the cream of chicken soup and onion powder.  Used both block cheddar and gruyere grated fresh with rough measurements (probably a little more than required) and used the whole bag of macaroni noodles. (16oz)  See a pattern here…more is better!   Turned out amazing.  The real test is the grandkids tonight.  But I’m secretly hoping they don’t like it so I can hoard the leftovers.  

    However, do not make this ahead of time.  There is a true risk of eating it all before anyone else gets a chance.  DELICIOUS!

    I will make again and again.
    Thank you!

  92. Once cooking in the crock pot, is it ok to transfer to a baking pan and adding bread crumbs on top to broil for a few minutes? Or will this dry it out?

  93. Made this tonight and my family loved it. I used cream of celery soup, earth balance mindful mayo, 3 cups of sharp cheddar, 1 cup of Colby jack, and light sour cream because these are the things I already had in my fridge. It was wonderful. Thank you for th recipe. My husband asked me to make it again.

  94. I’ve been working years to nail what I think is my favorite mac & cheese recipe, that I can do consistently… I think I’ve found it with this recipe and the family loved it for Thanksgiving! I didn’t adjust a thing! Thank you.

  95. Took this to a Thanksgiving potluck and it was a huge hit.   Guest were fwilling Ziploc baggies with the mac & cheese to take home.  Great recipe. Great recipe  

  96. What brand of cream of chicken soup do you use? I’m afraid to use campbell’s as all their chicken soups have that very distinct twang taste to them that is very recognizable

  97. I have a degree in Culinary Arts and this is THE BEST mac and cheese I have ever had! I did give it a bit of a twist…I used both cream of chicken and cr.of chick. with herbs, since I doubled the recipe. I used the Gruyere, sharp cheddar, mozzarella, a Mexican blend, and an Italian blend, a little cottage cheese (and not as much sour cream) and a few shakes from the granulated garlic.

      1. You can definitely shred it yourself. Shredding it yourself makes the best sauces as the bagged shredded cheeses often have additives so they don’t stick which can affect the way they melt.

  98. I’ve been making this recipe for atleast 3 years. Fell in love with it since day one!!! Has always been my go to and it’s devoured everytime I bring it to parties but lately we’ve been getting a bit more health conscious and i hate how much oil comes out and settles on top. Any suggestions?

  99. This was fantastic. I made it for the office potluck and was worried about how it would turn out having never made it for just home. Everyone complimented on how tasty it was. I used cream of mushroom soup to make it vegetarian.
    It went great with the meatballs we had as well. :)
    Thank you for the great recipe.

  100. Amazing. Heavenly. No words. I doubled it using (2) cans cream of mushroom, Sharp Cheddar, a few slices of leftover mozzarella and all mayo because I had no sour cream. Made as written❣️It’s my new Mac and Cheese❣️When I went to stir it I knew I was in trouble because I couldn’t stop eating it❣️

  101. Most amazing thing I’ve ever eaten.
    I never tried this before but decided to try it for my daughters birthday because it seemed easy enough (I’m not really a cook)
    I started it in the morning and it was ready the minute people started arriving.
    It was to die for. It was literally gone in less than 10 minutes. Guest were trying to scrap off the burnt bits off the side.
    It tasted like real homemade Mac & Cheese. Even the texture was the same.
    I doubled the recipe and used only cheddar and it was amazing!
    This recipe is definitely going to be on my regular rotation. 
    You won’t be disappointed. It’s the best!

  102. I tried this for the 1st time and it smelled awesome. Taste was top notch! My only complaint is with shredded chedder cheese, the texture when it hits your mouth is not good at all. I will make this again but maybe with a different kind of cheese. Thanks!

  103. Made this last night and we did not care for this at all. Did not taste like Mac n cheese. No offense but do not waste your time.

  104. It looks really good but I prefer to eat my pasta al dente…I always find the other way just doesn’t quite taste right to me. Wonder if I could cook the pasta for maybe just 2 – 3 minutes and have it al dente when done?? Has anyone tried that?

  105. Don’t be afraid to add the mayo. You will not taste it and no one will ever know it is there, but you do need it for the extra creaminess. I have made this dozens of times. We absolutely love it and I get raves when I take it to potlucks. You can’t beat it. I use 2 cups of cheddar, 1 cup of mozzarella and 1 cup of gruyere when I make it. Everything else I leave the same. Sometimes I’ll stir in a handful of crisp crumbled bacon before serving.

  106. My family loves cheese (especially my sons) and we make this recipe for crock pot mac & cheese often, it’s even requested by our extended family for just about every get together. It’s so easy to make and deliciously rich & creamy! It took me a long time to find a mac & cheese recipe that we all really enjoy and after I found this 1 I was able to stop looking. Thank you!

  107. I’ve made this twice now, and it’s delicious. One time I made it for my son who’s a mac and cheese snob. He loved it and asked when am I going to make it again. This is now my go to mac and cheese recipe. Just set it and forget it. Then you have a great dish without heating up the house with the oven.

  108. I made this last night. Holy doodle! It was a side to my meatloaf, and I had to force myself to stop eating it, so I wouldn’t make myself sick! SOOO GOOD! It is now in my go-to section of my recipe binder. Yum!

  109. I’m looking for crock pot recipes I can make and leave the house. I’m bummed this has to be stirred. What if I make this in the morning and heat it later. Has anyone tired making ahead and heating? How does it taste?

  110. I made this tonight with a few changes….. I thought I had cream of chicken and I didn’t, so I used cream of mushroom instead. I also added shrimp. And I used a bunch of different cheeses, a little bit of everything I had in my fridge…… mozzarella, cheddar, pepper jack, monser, and Monterey Jack. It was AMAZING!!!! Like I’ve seen many comment, I was skeptical of the mayo…. but it was amazing! Cant wait to try it again!!

  111. I would like to try this recipe tonight ad my family loves homemade mac n cheese. I have a slow cooed amd a crock pot. Which one do I use as I see both words use throughourt the recipe area and in comments swctions.

  112. What about cooking al dente noodles a s freezing ao that in future u can just dump into crock pot? Does anyone think itll work

  113. This was the best mac & cheese I’ve ever made and I brought it to work and it was a HIT. I only changed a few things up.. I used Pepper Jack cheese because its my favorite and queso cheese. added bacon and fresh chopped jalapenos (added when half way done cooking then topped with a bit of Mexican bleed cheese. Thank you for the recipe!

  114. Going to make this as a side for a family get together, six adults and two young children. Do you think I could get away with not doubling it if it is a side not an entrée, or would you recommend I go ahead and double it?

    1. It makes about the equivalent of a 9×13 pan. You could probably get away with 1 batch but there wouldn’t be much extra.

  115. I’ve made this many times now and it’s great, love it. My only issue is with re-heating. It seems to form into a clump in the fridge, and then gets really oily when it’s re-heated, either in a pan or in the microwave. Maybe it’s because I used shredded cheese? I’ll have to try block cheese instead next time and see if that helps.

    1. You might like to try reheating on a lower temperature (high temperatures can cause the cheese to separate) and adding a splash of milk if needed for consistency. :)

  116. I made this yesterday for dinner, and I will say, as written this is the best Mac & Cheese I have ever had, I did not change anything.

    1. I have only tried this as written. Another type of soup can be substituted if you’d like. The soup is a sub for dairy since dairy doesn’t hold up well in the slow cooker.

  117. Loved this mac and cheese. I have made it several times I nice I tried cream of celery soup didn’t care for the taste, felt cream of chicken was much better.

  118. I just made this for my family tonight! My kids are super picky when it comes to Mac and Cheese and they LOVED it! Mine turned out a bit more hearty- as opposed to creamy. Any suggestions? I was thinking of adding milk after it was done (as I’m told milk doesn’t do well in the crock pot).

    1. I’m so glad they loved it!! If you’d like it more creamy you can reduce the cooking time slightly or add a little bit of milk or cream before serving.

      (And you’re right about dairy in the slow cooker, it tends to curdle or separate if cooked too long. A few minutes to heat it up a bit if needed will definitely be ok though)!

  119. I’m making this recipe tonight for the second time. I made it as written the first time and it was delicious. The gruyere is a little pricey but gives it a great flavor. I would encourage anyone that is questioning this recipe to make it as written and enjoy. While I wouldn’t describe myself as a foodie, I’m a mac and cheese snob and this recipe is going to thw top of the list. Thank you.

  120. Make a Caserole, after Crock pot cooking or baking —add the last few minutes –cooked broccoli florets & cooked 1lb. ground beef or 2c cubed HAM.

    1. As long as the recipe fits in your casserole dish, it will be fine to bake. You’ll just want to ensure it is hot in the middle.

  121. Planning on making this for a potluck. When you stated that you were able to double the recipe, is it as listed or is the recipe listed a ‘single’ batch? Debating how much to make…Thanks!

  122. I made this a couple of weeks ago and added broccoli and bacon for the last 30 minutes of cooking. Made it more of a meal than a side dish. Will be serving it again this week to friends, I’m already prepared when they ask for the recipe. Thanks so much for such an easy, tasty recipe!

  123. I’ve made this several times now. The gruyere is pretty pricey so I subbed with swiss. I do 2 cups of extra sharp cabot vermont cheddar and 2 cups pf swiss and it is delicious. I brought it to Thanksgiving dinner and got compliments from everyone and there was none left. Score:D

  124. I read in the previous comments that’s its best to shred a block of cheese instead of using shredded cheese in the bag. However, just curious…has anybody made it with the pre-shredded cheese and if so, did it turn out ok?

  125. I’m making this for a potluck tomorrow. Will the noodles be okay cooked al dente ahead of time and stored in the refrigerator overnight? Thanks!

    1. Yes, that will be fine (even if the noodles are in it. I would suggest cooling the sauce slightly before mixing the noodles in so they don’t overcook.

  126. My boyfriend doesn’t cook for himself, preferring to eat sugar, carb, and processed junk. Even though many may feel this dish has too much salt, and fat, except for the canned soup it is home made, and real food. And next time I could plan ahead to make cream of chicken soup. Anyway he loves this recipe, next time I will add some frozen peas and carrots at the end, since he doesn’t like vegetables much but will eat them when mixed.

    1. Yes you could cut it in half. The cooking time would likely be less so you might have to keep an eye on it. I would say about 60-90 minutes.

    1. Yes it can. It can also be prepared the night before and cooked while you’re at daycare the next morning if that works better for you.

      1. Thank You! I’ll probably just send it in to be reheated there on the warm setting. (I also just noticed that someone else asked the same question, so thank you for taking the time to answer me!)

  127. Has anyone had any luck freezing this? I like to double recipes and freeze half. Just not sure what the mayo/sour cream/soup would do. If I did freeze it would it be after cooking? Then just thaw and reheat?

    1. I just tested doubling this today! :) I doubled the recipe in a 6QT slow cooker and cooked on high for 2 1/2 hours, stirring after 1 hour and 2 hours. Worked perfectly!

      1. Hi Holly! It looks absolutely Delish. I doubled and it’s about half way threw. I sampled for taste and the cream of chicken seems to be overpowering right now. Normal? Should I modify whatsoever?

        1. I don’t find the cream of chicken overpowering in the final product once everything is melted together and cooked through. Did you double the recipe? This recipe calls for one can of condensed soup and if you’ve added two that might be why the flavor is overpowering to you.

  128. Hi! This recipe looks fantastic but is there a substitute for the cream of chicken soup? I am gluten free so cannot eat that. Thanks!

  129. Hi! I am making this on thanksgiving ..I have 10 adults. Should I double the recipe? Has anyone ever doubled it? Thanks and happy holidays!

    1. I just tested doubling this today! :) I doubled the recipe in a 6QT slow cooker and cooked on high for 2 1/2 hours, stirring after 1 hour and 2 hours. Worked perfectly!

  130. Hi Holly. I’m extremely interested in making this. I’m wanting to take it to work for a potluck. I work in surgery so I’m not able to monitor my crock pot very well.
    Do you think it would be ok to make ahead of time in the crockpot and then refrigerate? And put it on warm to heat it back up?

  131. I made this last night and my husband and I were very overwhelmed by the amount of cheese and felt it was overpowering (I used 4 cups of shredded cheddar). It was creamy but I think next time I will decrease the amount of cheese.

  132. Hi, I’ve got a couple of questions..
    first,.I like to make food for bigger crowds, say 25 to even 50 people…do you think this recipe could be multiplied and cooked in a roaster instead of a crock pot, or would the roaster cook it too fast/hot?
    second, this recipe kind of reminds me of a “cheesy potatoes” recipe I have, do you think you could turn it into cheesy potatoes by using frozen hash browns instead of macaroni?
    Thank you!

    1. Yes, I think it would work well as cheesy hashbrowns. I haven’t tried cooking it in a roaster but since this recipe cooks well in both the slow cooker and the oven, I think it would work.

  133. I made this last evening and it was wonderful! My fiancé loved it. So easy to make and will definitely be one of my “go to” recipes.

  134. Wondering if this recipe would hold up well if I just add all the ingredients to the crock, & refrigerated overnight? I have a work potluck next week, & this would be perfect! I would like to make it the night before & cook on low in the crockpot the next day until lunch.
    Or should I just cook all ingredients the night before, & have the crock on the “warm” setting at work the next day? Anyone have advice?

  135. FANTASTIC RECIPE! Straightforward ingredient list that makes this pretty much a “dump recipe” that is ready in 2 hours. Everyone should stop bothering Holly with substitutions for sour cream, mayo and condensed soups because the emulsion factor is perfect – if you don’t like using them for processed/health/kitchen arrogance reasons, don’t use the recipe. Note, I doubled the recipe and used condensed cheddar soup and condensed cream of mushroom to make this vegetarian friendly for a large potluck. My slow cooker runs hot so I added warmed half & half about an hour in to loosen it up and saved about a cup of the cheese to top it with 20 minutes left to cook. It knocked Trisha Yearwood’s slow cooker mac & cheese, which quickly broke and became grainy, out of the park. Thanks, Holly! #teamholly #mayolovers #spendwithpennies

  136. Why wouldn’t you use Campbell’s Condensed Cheddar Cheese instead of Cream of Chicken? Even Cream of Celery would seem to work better.

    1. Oh no Joanne. The brown bits around the edges are expected (like a baked mac & cheese).

      Dairy can separate in the slow cooker when it is cooked for too long or on too high of a temperature. How long did you cook it for? It is possible that your slow cooker runs a little bit hotter.

        1. You could try yogurt or greek yogurt in place of the sour cream. You could use any flavour of “cream of” soup such as chicken, celery or mushroom. If you don’t have soup at all, I’m not sure what you could replace with without changing the recipe as dairy can separate in the slow cooker if cooked too long.

  137. Hey! So as a dad I think this may be my first ever comment on any recipe ever! Lol

    Anyway, I have been trying Mac and cheese recipes for years. I have tried them all. I look for the right balance between cost, ease of recipe and of course taste. This recipe I tried because of how different the ingredients were. I was a bit skeptical but went ahead and tried it.

    OMG is all I have to say. This is hands down one of the best recipes I’ve ever had. The taste is amazing and so easy to make.

    Here are the changes I made:

    – I used a whole box of pasta so I doubled everything
    – I didn’t have Colby but did have some mozzarella which worked fine.
    -I also added a bit of milk as it was too thick and the soup needed to be diluted a bit

    I would cook on low next time as high burned the sides (which tasted great!) but it cooked too fast.

    This is a great recipe, seriously, nice work!

  138. Wow! This recipe is amaze balls! My family and I loved it! I didn’t have any mustard powder, so I used just a small squirt of sriracha mustard. Also, we didn’t have gruyere cheese. Fortunately, we always have fontina. I love fontina because I like the way melts. Boy, this turned out delicious! I am going to have to try this again, and next time I will make it exactly as the recipe says.

  139. You may have already answered this is another comment, but do you think a can of cheddar cheese soup would work instead of cream of chicken, mushroom or celery? Or would that be TOO cheesy? Thanks!

  140. this was really good. I added a cup of diced ham. think the ham made it a little salty but still excellent. I will definately make this again.

  141. Hi Penny!

    The crock pot mac n cheese sounds divine!! Question: my husband is having a grand opening at one of his businesses and I’m in charge of making the Mac n Cheese – I was just going to make my normal recipe and put it in the crock pot to stay warm, but I want to make yours instead. I have 2 large crockpots, so could I double or even triple the recipe for each crock pot or would the noodles take up too much room for it to cook properly?

    Thanks so much for your help! I love all your posts!!!

    1. I would say you could easily double it for each slow cooker. You’ll want to ensure your slow cooker isn’t more than 3/4 full. Because it will be quite full you’ll want to give it a stir part way through cooking.

  142. Hi! This looks so good, but I would like to triple the recipe for a crowd. Do you suggest keeping the cooking time the same in the crockpot? Also, do you suggest shredded cheese in the bag or shred a block of cheese?

    1. You may like to add a little bit onto the cooking time and give it a stir while cooking just to make sure the center gets heated too. While either would work, I personally shred my own cheese as the pre-shredded does have extra starches added to keep the cheese from sticking.

  143. Thank you for this amazing recipe! I stumbled upon it last month, and it has become a favorite! My kids who are 21 and 22 make it too! Delicious fast and easy for us very busy people.

  144. My question is about the Ultra Creamy Mac’n Cheese in the Slow Cooker recipe. If you make it in the oven instead of the slow cooker do you cook the macaroni fully or still al dente. Thanks!

  145. Do you think substituting gluten free vegetable broth would work in place of the cream of chicken soup? I want to make this crockpot Mac and cheese so bad, but I have someone who has a gluten allergy and another who is a vegetarian.
    Thank you for your help

    1. The broth and they cream of chicken are very different in consistency. You would likely need to find something that is a creamier texture to substitute.

  146. Has anyone tried subbing the mayo out for this recipe? Both of my kids are allergic to egg, so mayo is a no go in our house! I want to try it because Mac and cheese in the crockpot would be heaven sent for us!

  147. I made this tonight and my daughter and I loved it! So easy and so satisfying! I added some cream cheese to it for my own twist but I think it would have been great without it.

  148. Hi Holly, This looks absolutely delicious and cannot wait to try it when I’m done juicing. Just wanted to let you know that on the recipe it states that cook time is 2 minutes, I know it’s 2 hours, but it may confuse others. lol

    1. You can double it depending on slow cooker size (you would need at least a 6QT slow cooker and will likely need to give it a stir in the middle of cooking).

  149. I tried this crockpot mac and cheese. I doubled the recipe. I only used cheddar cheese. It was awesome. Making it again tonight for my Daughter’s potluck at work. (Her request.) Will be where I cook my Mac and cheese for Thanksgiving this year. Thanks for sharing

  150. Hi Holly,
    Can’t wait to try this recipe. Can you tell me what size crock pot you used for your recipe as posted? And can the same sized crock pot be used if I doubled the recipe? I haven’t had much luck using a slow cooker and often wonder if it’s because I’m using the wrong size crockpot? Thank you so much for your advice! :)

  151. Made the recipe just as it is written and everyone loved it…..The smokey Gruyere cheese really makes this dish! Only change I would make is to add more cheese by half more of each kind to make it creamier! Thank you we loved it!

  152. This is seriously the best Mac n cheese ever!! I may have added a little cream cheese not much and jalapeños, corn and bacon and omg it’s heaven!!! Seriously amazing!! Thank you so much for such a great recipe!

      1. Thank you! This is delicious! Have you ever tried putting panko on top when baking in the oven? I’ve been looking for a creamy Mac n cheese for my daughters first birthday and this definitely is perfect!

  153. I know people have been leery about Mayo. I was Leary about cream of chicken soup in Mac n cheese..I followed the recipe exactly. My crock Pot cooks way too high, even on low, so mine was done in an hour and. Had to add milk as it was all in one clump.. End result, was requested to be made again.

  154. I tried this tonight and it was delicious! I made a few changes. I added 1tsp of garlic powder and a cup of noodles. When it was done, I decided I wanted it to be a little crusty, so I poured it into my cast iron Dutch oven, added bread crumbs and put it under the broiler. I think next time, I’ll just cook it in the cast iron instead of the crock pot. This is a keeper!

  155. I was in a hurry so I forgot to look for some gruyere (swiss) so I just used cheddar. I also only had shell macaroni on hand. Normally I wouldn’t touch the cream of chicken but I know how delicious mayo and sour cream is in a potato salad so I was intriqued by this receipe, being a mac an cheese lover.

    It is FABULOUS. I know people love to come to recipe sites and talk about how they don’t like the recipe posted or they tweaked it like this etc. THIS NEEDS AND SHOULD NOT BE TWEAKED, it is PERFECT as it is. This will be on the Thanksgiving table this year, too! Thanks for an easy and indulgent mac and cheese!!!

    1. Hmm, I’m not sure why it came out dry. Did you measure the cheese using measuring cups (4 cups)? Did you make the recipe exactly as written?

  156. Making this now and it’s almost too thick about 1 hour in, added a box of macaroni (not 2 uncooked cups) and some broccoli how would you suggest making it creamier or is that normal at this cooking point (1 hour in on high in the crock pot)

    1. I’m not sure how much macaroni you added or if it was precooked but you could try adding extra of the sauce ingredients if you’ve added extra pasta & broccoli.

  157. I would love to try this dish – but one child is a vegetarian – what would be a good substitute for the chicken soup?+

  158. Mine did not get creamy like this. Its rather chunky. Not sure what happened… I used the Mayo that has olive oil in it, would that make a difference?

    1. I haven’t tried it with olive oil mayo but that shouldn’t make it chunky. What temperature (low/high) and for how long did it cook? Did you substitute any other ingredients?

  159. I was so anxious to try this that I didn’t read the recipe first, just went to the store to buy cream of cheddar soup – I assumed that was what I needed, lol & Scoobi-Do’s instead of elbows. While looking for the cream of cheddar I spotted cream of bacon!!! I had no idea that there was such a thing. I am not so patiently waiting for it to cook – it tasted amazing uncooked so I can just imagine how awesome it will be all hot and creamy. Thanks!!!

    1. Hi Holly! No need to post my comment or reply, I scrolled up and saw someone else already asked the question & no need to add water. I am multiplying this recipe X5 tomorrow for a Labor Day party with 100+ people. I am baking in a huge roasting pan. Wish me luck, I sooooo hope this turns out as good as others have commented! Thanks again!

  160. What size can of cream of chicken and also the way your recipe is written, it reads that’s I can use 4 cups of cheddar to replace 1 cup Gruyere cheese. Is that right? Or are you saying I can replace Gruyere with 1 cup cheddar?? Thought 7 cups of cheese sounded like a lot but maybe that’s why it looks so good?

  161. LOVE this recipe!! Thanks Holly! I added burger & tomatoes & Yum!!!
    I did find something useful from cooking with pasta in the crockpot…I add a 1/2 C of water to the 2 cups of macaroni & let it cook on low for 5 + hrs. I’m a farmer’s wife & don’t have extra time afternoons between milking & 2 kids under 3. Lol
    So I try to tweak or use recipes that are low/long hour meals in crockpot so I can throw them together after brkfst or add in things after lunch over naptime
    Hope it’s useful to you as well!! Love your recipes…again!!!

  162. Just put everything in the crock pot. Used mozzarella, feta and cheddar. I also added some minced garlic. I have 3 teenage boys so I have doubled the recipe. Looks amazing. Can’t wait to see how it turns out.

  163. I wonder how many pounds/ounces of cheddar cheese to make 4 cups? It would be nice if the recipe said ” x ounces of cheddar cheese, grated”

    1. This recipe can definitely be doubled/tripled. The cooking time will need to be slightly adjusted depending on how full the slow cooker is (and you may need to stir it part way through cooking).

  164. Has any one tried using gluten free noodles in this recipe? I’m worried they won’t hold up, but really want to give this recipe a try. Thank you!

  165. As a vegetarian what soup would you suggest to replace the chicken? I just fed my family your “lazy lasagna” they said it was the best thing they ever had!! I’m hooked!

    1. I’m so glad they loved it! You can use cream of celery or cream of mushroom in this recipe, I’ve tried both before with great results!

  166. I am not a mac n cheese fan but was asked to bring something for kids at a bbq. Figured mac n cheese fit the request. I am sooooo glad i made your recipe. Could probably have tripled the recipe and still run out. Amount made based on camper crockpot size. I have my family asking why i haven’t made this before. Thanks.

  167. Yes, honey, yes! I tried it and loved it. So much easier than cooking on the stove and stirring a bunch of cheese into condensed milk until melted. I’ll never make mac n cheese any other way. Oh, and I only needed 2 hours on low so definitely check your own slowcooker.

  168. I tried this last week and it is amazing! The only thing I added was chicken. My family loved it. I will definitely be making this again. Thank you for the recipe!

  169. Do you cook everything in the crock pot on high for 2 hours before you add the noodles or is that with the noodles?

  170. I am going to try this tonight!! I have never made mac and cheese, other than kraft lol, however this sounds pretty easy, and I have read alot of the comments, and figure why not try it! My whole family loves mac and cheese so this will make them all happy!

  171. I’m a little confused on the timing. At the top of the recipe it says a total of 12 mins but at the bottom of the recipe it says 2-3 hours. Which is it?

  172. I just wanted to say that this recipe is a find and a keeper!! I was in search for a delicious, creamy mac and cheese and this one is it! I used 4 cups of sharp cheddar and it had great taste. (Gruyere cheese is a little pricey) may use it for a special holiday . Other than that ….it’s one that I will make put down in my book for favorites! It gets an A+!!

  173. Hey, I’m wondering if I could double this recipe in 1 crock pot?
    I’m making lunch for a function and would want to make sure that there is enough for everyone!
    What about a roasting pan?

    1. You can certainly double (and bake this recipe). If doubling this in the slow cooker you may need to adjust the cooking time slightly but several readers have had success doubling this recipe.

  174. HELP, I followed your directions, but it did not turn out creamy at all, had a great taste, but it was a big stuck together ball. I used the assumption that a cup = 8 oz. I will review what I did so you can help, thanks. A) = 2 cups noodles = 1 16 oz. box. B) = 1 can cream of chicken soup, 14 oz., no water. C) = 4 cups of cheese = 4 8 oz. bags of cheese. We had to add 1 1/2 cups of milk during the last half hour to get any type of creamy cheesy look and flavor and we both thought we could have added more milk. So what did I not understand, we would like to try again because we liked the flavor. Thank you for helping me.

    1. When measuring 8oz in a measuring cup this a liquid measure whereas 8 oz of pasta or cheese is a weight so it can’t be measured the same way.

      2 cups of macaroni noodles would weigh about 8oz so that would mean you doubled the pasta.
      1 cup of shredded cheese would weigh approximately 4 oz so this recipe would have required only 2 x 8oz of cheese, not 4 bags.

      In this recipe it’s best if you use a measuring cup for the measurements. I hope that helps.

      1. Oh my gosh, no wonder — thanks for your help.m we were ll try it again with correct measurements.

  175. This recepi seems amazing! If I want to do a larger portion for 40 people. Should I really multiply it by around 6?

    1. This recipe is one of my favorites (I am making a video of it this week coming up)!! You can certainly multiply it to make more servings however I haven’t tried cooking this in large portions in the slow cooker. You may like to consider baking it in the oven.

  176. Want to make this and was just looking at the comments. So glad I did. We don’t like cream of chicken soup due to the little rubbery pieces of chicken. Glad to know I can use cream of celery or cream of mushroom. Will be making this very soon. Thank you

  177. If using cheddar cheese, I just wanted to make sure that it is correct that you would use 4 cups vs. the 1 cup of gruyere. Also, do you shred the cheese or just cut into cubes?
    Thanks!! Can’t wait to make this!

    1. You would use 4 cups of cheese total… either 3 cups cheddar + 1 cup gruyere OR 4 cups cheddar. The cheese should be shredded.

  178. I made the creamy crock pot macaroni and cheese to take to Mom’s last Thanksgiving. I was in too much of a hurry to taste it, but it smelled heavenly. On the way to the car, one of the handles on my crock pot broke and the whole thing smashed on the ground. I still haven’t made it again yet, but on the bright side, I got a new crock pot for Christmas. I just wanted to thank you for posting such wonderful recipes.

    1. Oh my gosh, how heartbreaking! I’m sorry that happened… but yay for new crock pots!! You’re so welcome, I’m glad you enjoy them! Have a great weekend Dianne!

  179. I made this last night and it is amazing! I have been craving really good mac’n’cheese and most restaurants don’t quite meet my expectations. My picky 6 year old liked it and my 2 year old loved it. My husband even thought it was quite tasty. I will be making it again very soon as I still have enough Gruyere for another batch! I also used cream of broccoli soup, and while I found it to be tasty, I did not particularly care for the broccoli flavor (nobody else seemed to notice though). I will use cream of celery next time. Also, I cooked it on low and it was done in an hour. Good thing I set a timer to make sure I mixed it!

  180. I made this for a birthday party. It turned out great! I doubled the recipe, but forgot to buy double some of the ingredients so I made due with pantry items. I used 1 can of cheese soup and one can of can of chicken. I also used 6 cups of medium cheddar cheese and 2 cups of American. Everything else was by the recipe. It turned out great and everyone loved it. Thanks for the recipe, I’ll definitely use it again and again!

  181. I’m thinking of making this for my child’s birthday party. I’m expecting 30-40 people. Thoughts on if I should double or triple this? We’re going to have pizza and hot dogs too, so it won’t be a “main” dish. Thanks!

    1. I do know people have successfully doubled it and I’m sure tripling it would be ok if you gave it a stir in between. To put it in perspective, each recipe makes the equivalent to a standard 9×13 size casserole. I think double would likely be enough however, this recipe does reheat well. I’d love to hear how it works out for you as I’m sure you’re not the only one wondering about 2x or 3x the recipe.

      1. Thanks! I’ll try it and let you know :-) Do you think it would turn out fine if I substituted cheese soup instead of the chicken?

  182. This was DELICIOUS!!!! Since I was short on time, I made it in the oven, and it came out perfectly. My family absolutely loved it! Thanks for the great recipe.

  183. I made this tonight and it came out great! I did cook it in the oven because I like the crispy edges. The only differences from the original recipe I did was using smoked gruyere instead of the regular and I added chopped ham to make it more of a meal. Thinking about doubling this and making it for christmas dinner. This is defiantly a special occasion dish due to the extreme richness of it overall.

  184. I do like the idea of slow-cooker mac & cheese and have tried a couple of different recipes from the internet, but unfortunately the ones I’ve used before haven’t really delivered. Because of past failures, I must admit I was initially a bit sceptical about some of the ingredients used in this recipe – the can of soup? The mayonnaise? But I followed the instructions (substituting a wodge of cream cheese as suggested as I didn’t have sour cream, and cooking the dish for an hour in the regular oven as I hadn’t allowed enough time to slow cook) – and oh my goodness, it was absolutely delicious. Without doubt the best macaroni cheese I’ve ever tasted – let alone made myself. It turned out savoury and cheesy and creamy with a wonderful texture . The whole family loved it! Your recipe’s a definite keeper – thank you so much for sharing it.

  185. Does this recipe reheat well? If I make this the night before a party, could I just turn the crock pot on warm the a few hours before the event and add some extra milk?

    1. Because this recipe only takes 2-3 hours to cook, you might like to prepare your ingredients the night before and cook it before the event instead of reheating it.

  186. This recipe looks super yummy! I made crock pot mac once and at the end it was very grainy.. hoping this one comes out better! I was skeptical about the ingredients but after reading comments/reviews on here I’m sure it’ll be a hit. Question, though: would you suggest using any other cheese besides gruyere (or Swiss)? Like Colby-Jack, perhaps?

  187. Hi Holly–I am getting married in 2 weeks, and the theme is backyard BBQ, and I must have mac n cheese! This recipe looks amazing! I am wondering if you’ve ever tried making this recipe ahead and freezing it?

    1. Congratulations on your upcoming wedding Jen! I haven’t tried freezing it so I’m not sure how it would work. Hopefully someone else here has tried it and can give you some feedback.

  188. When you’ve baked this in the oven, did you cover it? What did you use for time and temp? Did you brown it at the end of baking? I love the “crusty”, deep golden edges on baked mac n cheese…

    1. Yes, it does get the yummy crusty cheese at the edges. I bake at 350F for 1 hour. I do it covered for 30 min and then remove the foil and bake an additional 30 minutes.

  189. I had trouble with the oil/cheese separating. Can you recommend a fix? I used full fat mayo and sour cream and full fat cheeses

    1. Cooking it too long or on too high a temperature can cause the separation. (It is possible that your slow cooker cooks at a higher temperature).

  190. This is in the crock pot now for dinner. I can’t wait to try it. I tried to follow the recipe as is but didn’t have any gruyère cheese. I substituted shredded Swiss instead. I hope it doesn’t alter the flavor too much. I am serving it with homemade beanie weenies. I grew up on that meal combination. :-)

    1. Love beans & weenies! :) I think the swiss will work just fine, might be a little bit of a different flavor but still great I’m sure!

  191. Can’t wait to try this out! Currently in the crock pot right now. I had 4 cups of velvetta cheese on hand and used that. Is that going to change the outcome?

    1. Yes, I do think adding 4 cups of Velveeta cheese will change the flavor & texture of this recipe… but I’m sure it will still be delicious!

  192. I made this yesterday afternoon for my family and all I can say is how incredibly delicious it was. I really thought I’d have enough for leftovers today but we couldn’t get enough of it and there’s hardly any left. I have never written a review before an ANYTHING-but this recipe is definitely amazing and I will be making it again and quite soon. Thank you, Holly!!!!

  193. This looks good and the comments make me feel very hopeful but one concern which I’m hoping people who have made this can answer. Does it have a tangy flavor or does the cheese cover up the tang you would get with the mayo and sour cream? My boyfriend hates the taste of sour cream and mayo but I would love to make this and top it with the Dr pepper pork and crispy onion straws but worried the Mac and cheese will have a tang that the cheese won’t disguise.

  194. The only thing I have a beef with in this recipe is how vague it is on how big the can of soup is. Is it 10 3/4 oz can or the 24 oz family size?

      1. I originally put in only the small can, but when it was ready to serve, it wasn’t as creamy as I had thought it would be. I ended up putting a second can in the pot. Turned out wonderful.

  195. This was my first mac and cheese I ever made from scratch. Followed the recipe as written but doubled the recipe as I was taking it to my husbands work xmas party in a crockpot. It was devoured! I too questioned the mayonnaise ingredient but it seemed like a credible binder without the egg.

    I had seen another comment recommending staying away from pre-shredded cheese as the ingredient that keeps it from sticking together in the bag inhibits the sticking together in a casserole. I don’t know if this is true but I shredded my own cheese. Truly awesome recipe, making it again tonight for my family.


  196. I had another Mac n cheese planned for thanksgiving today, but saw this last night and decided to switch. I’m using 1 cup of sharp white cheddar and 3 cups of smoked Gouda only because that’s what I have on hand. Hope it turns out as good as yours!!