No matter if you are a kid, a parent or, well… a person that enjoys delicious food, macaroni and cheese is always a delicious treat. It might not be the healthiest, but it does save time, and no one can resist it. However, there is one issue with making mac and cheese: making it from scratch can be quite time-consuming. If you want to have mac and cheese fast (and let’s face it, mac and cheese seems to taste the best when you are starving and want something filling and delicious ASAP), you usually have to rely on the instant stuff from the store.
But is there a way to avoid this dilemma? Well, yes, of course! The solution is preparing mac and cheese ahead of time and freezing it. But how does one do this and achieve the same taste as fresh mac and cheese? Today’s guide is dedicated to this question.
Is Freezing Macaroni And Cheese A Good Idea?
As you can imagine, freezing mac and cheese is not a completely original idea. Many people have thought about it before. Among them are some of our readers who decided to write to us for advice. For example, here is what one reader had to say about mac and cheese:
Dear freezing gurus,
I have an important issue to discuss: freezing mac and cheese. I’m a mom of four young boys, and, as you might know, they love to eat. Sometimes it feels like feeding a pack of lions. It just doesn’t stop. But enough of the rant – here is my actual problem. My kids don’t love that many things, but they do love mac and cheese. Now, I do not use the stuff from the box, I like to make the dish myself. When I do this, I can use quality ingredients and I also manage to sneak some vegetables in the mix (the kids don’t seem to notice it). A huge casserole dish of my mac and cheese is usually gone before the evening. Now, my kids seem to be addicted to the stuff and request it at least once every week. But I don’t always have the time or energy for the elaborate process. I’d like to prepare the mac and cheese ahead of time and freeze it. However, I’m worried it will not be any good afterwards. I know that pasta and dairy are not really the best candidates for freezing. If you can help me make great mac and cheese that comes from the freezer, please share your secret!
Well, if, like our reader, you are thinking, mac and cheese has too much dairy inside to be frozen – you are right to consider this. In most cases we really don’t recommend freezing dairy products. However, mac and cheese is actually the one exception. If you follow our tips you might even find that your mac and cheese becomes your new freezer favourite.
Freezing Mac And Cheese Step By Step
#1 Cook the mac and cheese
That’s right – just go ahead and cook the mac and cheese as you usually would. This also means that you can save a part of the casserole you made – eat half, and freeze half if you’d like. You can really use any recipe you like.
#2 Let it cool completely
This step is the one where you don’t really need to do anything. However, it’s surprisingly tricky as we can sometimes be impatient and not want to wait for the food to cool down completely. Don’t be this person! (we admit, sometimes we are). Letting your food cool down completely before freezing will give you better results.
#3 Pack, label, and freeze
Now it’s time to choose the perfect container for freezing your mac and cheese. If you are freezing the whole casserole, you could use containers that are both oven and freezer safe (like those thin aluminum ones. Otherwise, transfer you mac and cheese to a container that is freezer safe and can be closed tightly.
How Can You Extend The Freezer Shelf Life Of Mac And Cheese?
Frozen make and cheese will stay good for a couple of months in the freezer. However, there is a trick to make it last even longer. To keep the food looking and tasting fresh, you’ll want to remove as much air as possible from it. The easiest way to do this is with a food saver machine.
Thawing Macaroni And Cheese
When thawing mac and cheese, try to not put it straight into the oven. For best results, first let it chill in the fridge for a couple of hours or overnight. After that, simply reheat in the oven until piping hot throughout. Adding a bit of fresh cheese can make the mac and cheese extra scrumptious but it’s not necessary.