Freezer-Friendly Mac and Cheese

4.5 from 4 votes

Updated:

By Shannon Barratt

Reading Time: 3 minutes

It’s time to forget about waistlines, throw out calorie counters and ready yourself for indulging. This mac and cheese recipe isn’t healthy. But who wants a healthy mac and cheese – because I certainly don’t!

I want strings of gooey cheese. I want a rich, fatty sauce. And I certainly don’t want to see any kale! That’s exactly what this recipe delivers!

My mac and cheese recipe is loaded with creamy sauce and cheese while being perfect for freezing.

How to Freeze It

So you’ve now got a massive tray of mac and cheese ready for future meals. Well, how exactly do you freeze it? It’s easy:

  1. Cool: Before placing anything in the freezer, it must be cooled. So, allow it to sit on the worktop at room temperature for 30 to 45 minutes until it has fully cooled.
  2. Wrap in Foil: Wrap the tray of mac and cheese in a sheet of foil. You want to ensure the top is completely sealed. You’ll be keeping this foil on the tray when it comes to reheating it.
  3. Wrap in Cling Film: Next, add a sheet of cling film to the tray. This will provide an airtight seal, further protecting your mac and cheese.
  4. Freeze: Finally, pop it in the freezer where it will keep for around 3 months.
Does Mac and Cheese Freeze Well?

Yes, mac and cheese does freeze pretty well. You’ll find the pasta absorbs more and more of the flavour from the sauce but this can result in the dish drying out a little.

How to Use It

You’ve got a tray of mac and cheese sitting in the freezer that would be perfect for dinner. But do you need to let it thaw overnight, or is it ready to go? It’s good news!

  1. Preheat Oven to 200C or 400F: The great news is you can cook this mac and cheese straight from the freezer so the first thing you need to do is get your oven up to temp.
  2. Remove Cling Film: If you follow the method above for freezing the mac and cheese then you’ll need to remove the cling film but leave the foil layer intact.
  3. Place In the Oven: Pop the wrapped dish of mac and cheese into the oven for 40 minutes until it is piping hot.
  4. Remove Foil and Add Cheese: Remove the foil layer from the tray, optionally add a grating of parmesan to get it super cheesy and then return to the oven for a final 20 minutes before enjoying!
Can You Thaw Mac and Cheese Before Reheating It?

Yes, thawing mac and cheese before it is reheated is an option. It should be thawed overnight in the fridge before being reheated in a hot oven for 30 minutes. It can also be reheated in a microwave.

How to Tweak It

Having the same old mac and cheese over and over again can become mundane. It might be delicious but you need to add some variety.

These 4 tweaks are easy ways to take this freezer-friendly mac and cheese recipe to the next level without much extra effort:

Add Pancetta

Not rich enough for you? Then add some fried pancetta into the mix. Add cubed pancetta to a dry pan and cook over medium heat until the fat renders out and the cubes turn crisp. You can then combine them with the sauce before mixing it in with the pasta.

Mac and Cheese with Pancetta

Stir Through Greens

Once you’ve made the sauce, if you insist on adding something a little healthy to it, then stir in your favourite green to the sauce before combining it with the pasta. You could try spinach, kale or cavolo nero.

Combine Different Cheeses

If it melts then it can be used! Instead of sticking to 100% cheddar, try combining it with some gouda, gruyere or parmesan to change the flavour a little.

Spike the Sauce

The recipe above keeps things simple with a pinch of salt, pepper and nutmeg. But you can spike the sauce with anything you fancy. A dash of hot sauce, a crushed garlic clove, a few sprigs of thyme or a sprinkle of paprika would all work well.

Freezer Mac and Cheese Recipe

4.5 from 4 votes
Course: Dinner RecipesCuisine: AmericanDifficulty: Easy
Servings

6

servings
Prep time

15

minutes
Cooking time

30

minutes
Total time

45

minutes

Mac and cheese is one of the ultimate sins of the kitchen. It’s loaded with cheese and gooey sauce but it’s delicious nonetheless. This recipe can even be frozen!

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Ingredients

  • 500g 500g Macaroni Pasta

  • 3tbsp 3tbsp Butter

  • 3tbsp 3tbsp Plain Flour

  • 700ml 700ml Milk

  • 1tsp 1tsp Nutmeg

  • 350g 350g Cheddar, Grated

  • 100g 100g Panko Breadcrumbs

  • 50g 50g Parmesan Cheese, Grated

  • Salt

  • Black Pepper

Directions

  • Preheat your oven to 210C or 410F. You want the oven to really heat up as it’s there to melt the cheese topping and give it texture.
  • Bring a large pot of salted water to the boil and then cook the macaroni according to the packet instructions – usually around 12 minutes.
  • While waiting for the pasta to cook, you can make your sauce. Heat a large pan over a medium heat and add the butter. Once melted, stir in the flour and cook it out for 1 minute. Slowly pour the milk into the pan while whisking until it is fully incorporated – season with the nutmeg, salt and black pepper.
  • Turn the heat off, then add in the grated cheddar, folding it into the sauce until it has completely melted.
  • Once the pasta is cooked, drain it, then immediately combine it with your cheesy sauce. Pour the cheesy pasta into a large baking dish (or you could split it between 2 dishes).
  • Sprinkle the panko breadcrumbs over the top before topping with the grated parmesan, and then pop it into the oven for 15 to 20 minutes to allow the top to turn golden and melt.

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2 thoughts on “Freezer-Friendly Mac and Cheese”

  1. I am a new ‘member’ of this community and will admit straight away that this as the first post I have received does alarm me slightly as I am a ‘mac-cheese’ damaged person from school dinners. It took me till 30 to discover that made properly and not as a solid sludge that mac-cheese was OK, but the comment about it ‘drying out a little’ may make me avoid it again.

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