The One Rule You Should Always Follow for Make-Ahead Mac and Cheese

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How to Freeze Mac and Cheese Recipe

Learn really to frost and thaw mac and food for repast prep and vacation planning, and to widen nan life of leftovers.

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A large scoop of baked mac and food being taken retired of nan baking dish.

Credit: Photo: Ryan Liebe; Food Styling: Rachel Perlmutter

Few foods are arsenic cozy arsenic homemade mac and cheese, which is why I ever person a batch chilling successful nan freezer. If you look successful nan supermarket freezer aisle, you’ll announcement tons of boxes of frozen mac and cheese. My norm of thumb is that if respective brands are trading nan aforesaid crockery successful stiff form, there’s a bully chance that, pinch a fewer elemental tips and techniques, you tin return your favourite homemade look and frost it yourself. 

Here’s really to frost mac and food for repast prep aliases vacation hosting, aliases to debar wasting leftovers.

Can You Freeze Mac and Cheese?

Yes. Mac and food tin beryllium stiff for up to 3 months. The creamier nan mac and food condiment is, nan amended it will beryllium for freezing. Thaw successful nan refrigerator aliases microwave earlier baking.

How to Freeze Mac and Cheese

  1. Choose creamy mac and cheese. Macaroni absorbs moisture from nan condiment arsenic it freezes and thaws, truthful nan champion recipes for freezing are those that commencement pinch a large cookware of creamy, cheesy sauce. If utilizing a baked mac and food recipe, frost nan prepared (unbaked) mac and cheese, past cook erstwhile thawed and fresh to serve. 
  2. Undercook your pasta. Cook pasta until conscionable awkward of al dente, 1 to 2 minutes little than nan shortest clip connected nan package instructions. This keeps your noodles from turning mushy. 
  3. Cool pasta and condiment separately. The 1 norm to ever travel for make-ahead mac and food is to cool your pasta and condiment separately. Rinse pasta nether acold water, past dispersed macaroni retired onto a baking expanse to cool. Once nan condiment is made, region from nan power and cool until hardly lukewarm earlier combining pinch nan pasta.
  4. Freeze it successful nan right-sized vessel. For individual mac and food servings, scoop portions of nan cheesy pasta into large silicone muffin tins, individual serving cups, aliases freezer-safe zip-top bags. To service family-style, frost nan mac and food successful larger dishes. Save your favourite bakeware from freezer purgatory by opting for disposable aluminum baking pans. Alternatively, statement a baking cookware pinch aluminum foil, freeze, past assistance retired nan stiff casserole. To reheat, region nan foil, return to nan original baking dish, thaw, and bake.
  5. Cover tightly. Cover nan mac and food tightly pinch astatine slightest 1 furniture of aluminum foil earlier freezing.

How Long Can You Freeze Mac and Cheese?

Mac and food tin beryllium stiff for up to 3 months. It will stay safe to eat for longer, but nan cheesy casserole tin sorb off-flavors if stored for longer.

How to Thaw Frozen Mac and Cheese

The champion measurement to thaw stiff mac and food is successful nan refrigerator. Depending connected nan size of your casserole dish, it tin return respective hours aliases up to overnight to thaw stiff mac and food completely. If mac and food is stiff successful a microwave-safe container, you tin usage nan microwave for thawing. Remember to operation periodically, arsenic nan edges of nan casserole will thaw much quickly than nan center. Do not thaw connected nan antagonistic astatine room temperature, arsenic this tin origin a nutrient information issue. 

Once thawed, reheat nan mac and food utilizing nan microwave, stovetop, oven, and toaster oven. The method you take depends connected nan serving size and really overmuch clip you have.

How to Freeze Mac and Cheese

Here are immoderate easy, cheesy, and — astir importantly — freezer-friendly mac and food recipes to try.

Learn really to frost and thaw mac and food for repast prep and vacation planning, and to widen nan life of leftovers.


Make nan mac and cheese:

  1. Follow nan directions for your favourite mac and food recipe, but make nan pursuing changes:

  2. Drain nan macaroni and rinse pinch acold h2o until cool to nan touch. Transfer to a rimmed baking expanse lined pinch a room towel aliases insubstantial towels, dispersed into an moreover layer, and fto cool completely.

  3. Remove nan food condiment from nan power and group speech until cooled to conscionable lukewarm to nan touch, astir 30 minutes.

Freeze nan mac and cheese:

  1. When nan condiment and pasta are cool, adhd nan pasta to nan cookware of condiment and operation to combine. Transfer to a buttered 9x13-inch baking dish, 2 (8x8-inch) baking dishes, silicone serving cups, aliases freezer-safe zip-top bags.

  2. Cover nan baking dishes tightly pinch aluminum foil, aliases property retired nan excess aerial and seal nan bags.

  3. Transfer to nan freezer, making judge to laic zip-top bags flat, if using. Freeze for up to 3 months.

Thaw nan mac and cheese:

  1. Thaw nan stiff mac and food successful nan refrigerator overnight. (Alternatively, if nan mac and food is successful a microwave-safe container, microwave until thawed, stirring occasionally.)

Reheat nan mac and cheese:

  1. Reheat connected nan stovetop, successful nan microwave, aliases successful nan oven.