Macaroni and cheese leftovers are inevitable since most recipes make huge batches. Learn how to reheat mac and cheese, while retaining moisture and flavor!
We ALL love a good helping of freshly made mac and cheese, right? Admittedly, though, leftover macaroni and cheese doesn’t always taste as good the next day. Sometimes reheating this timeless classic recipe can cause it to get dry and hard, losing some of its original taste and shape.
We have tricks for you so you can avoid hard or mushy mac and cheese and still enjoy the creamy goodness days later. Keep reading for tips about how to reheat mac and cheese that still has moisture and flavor.
FAQ About Mac and Cheese
You can definitely freeze mac and cheese! Place in a freezer resealable bag or air-tight container and store in the freezer for 3 to 4 months. When defrosting it, let it thaw in the refrigerator for 12 to 24 hours before heating and serving.
To reheat mac and cheese, transfer it to a saucepan or microwave-safe bowl. Add 1 to 2 tablespoons of milk and stir. Place the saucepan on a stove top over medium heat and stir until consistency is smooth and noodles are warmed through. If microwaving, heat in 30-second bursts, stirring after each, until cheese has melted and the noodles are heated through.
Just about anything can be served alongside mac and cheese. Here are a few great options: steamed veggies such as broccoli or cauliflower, chopped salad, spinach or a Ceasar salad. Or how about roasted tomatoes or sauteed mushrooms?!
Mac and cheese can be made ahead of time. Make the recipe in its entirety the day before, then reheat until hot and serve.
Best Mac and Cheese Recipes
- Crockpot Mac and Cheese (a Top 5 most popular Pip and Ebby recipe!)
- Instant Pot Macaroni and Cheese
- Mac and Cheese Bites
- Baked Mac and Cheese Recipe
- Pumpkin Mac and Cheese
- Chili Mac
Mac and Cheese Recipes for Thanksgiving – 13 Delicious Ideas!
Mac and cheese is a Thanksgiving staple! Read on for some scrumptious mac and cheese recipes for Thanksgiving that you can make this year! You’ll find a ton of options to choose from in this roundup.
What To Serve With Mac and Cheese
Mac and cheese is a comfort food favorite! But what goes with it?! This roundup provides 16 delicious ideas about what to serve with mac and cheese to create a complete, satisfying meal!
How Long Does Mac and Cheese Last
If you have leftovers and you are wondering whether to toss or eat, read this article for information about how long macaroni and cheese lasts.
How To Store Mac and Cheese
Before we dive into reheating our favorite comforting dish, let’s talk about proper storage. If it isn’t stored properly, methods for reheating aren’t worth discussing!
Allow mac and cheese to cool to room temperature, then transfer to airtight containers. Another option is to scoop the mixture into a resealable ziploc bag, ensuring that as much air is pushed out of the bag as possible before sealing.
Store in the refrigerator for up to 5 days after it has been securely placed into a container.
When freezing, use double bags if using ziploc storage. Freeze for up to 4 months. Before reheating, allow the container to sit in the fridge overnight so it has a chance to thaw completely.
Substitute For Milk in Macaroni and Cheese
Whether you are looking for a different flavor in your next creamy pasta dish or you just don’t have milk on hand, learn substitutions for milk in cheesy mac!
How To Reheat Mac and Cheese – 4 different ways!
Whether you’ve stored a boxed version, baked variety or a creamy stovetop batch in the fridge, you can use any of the different methods listed below to heat up your next batch of cheesy comfort.
The microwave method is the best method for reheating small batches. This a really quick way to get it in your belly! Transfer from its storage container to a microwave-safe bowl. Add 1 to 2 tablespoons of milk and stir. Cover with a microwaveable cover/lid. Heat in 30-second bursts, stirring after each, until cheese has melted and the noodles are heated through.
Once it is nice and hot and everything has melted together nicely, stir in a tablespoon of butter and/or a sprinkling of shredded cheese.
Pro tip: Set microwave to half power to further decrease the chances of the pasta hardening in the reheating process.
The stovetop method is the best way to reheat larger batches. Transfer to a saucepan or large skillet. Add 2-3 tablespoons of milk and break up with a wooden spoon. Turn heat to medium temperature and stir until the consistency is smooth and noodles are warmed through.
Keep a close eye on the mixture, looking for dryness. Add milk (1 tablespoon at a time) if pasta becomes dry.
Once the mixture is warmed to the desired temp and everything has melted together nicely, stir in a tablespoon of butter and/or a sprinkling of shredded cheese.
Pro tip: Set burner to medium-low heat to further decrease the chances of the pasta hardening while reheating.
The oven works best when reheating extra large batches or for a more hands-off experience. Transfer to a greased casserole dish and add up to 1/4 cup of milk (cut amount in half for a small- to medium-sized batch) and break up with a wooden spoon.
Set oven temp to 350 degrees fahrenheit. Top with a few pats of butter, spread out over the top of the mixture and sprinkle with a thin layer of shredded cheddar or mozzarella cheese. (Optional: Sprinkle bread crumbs over the cheese.) Cover with aluminum foil and bake for 10 minutes in the preheated oven. Remove foil and bake for 5 additional minutes.
Pro tip: Set oven temp to 250 degrees F and extend cooking time by 5-10 minutes to further decrease the chances of the pasta hardening.
The slow cooker works best when reheating medium to extra large batches or for a more hands-off experience. Transfer to a crockpot and add 1/4 cup of milk and break up with a wooden spoon.
Top with a few pats of butter, spread out over the top of the mixture and sprinkle with a thin layer of shredded cheddar or mozzarella cheese. Cook on low heat for 1 1/2 hours, stirring once halfway through.
Pro tip: Halfway through cooking, add a splash of milk or butter as needed if the mixture appears dry.
How To Reheat Frozen Mac and Cheese
If you have not had a chance to thaw mac and cheese before reheating it, do not fret! Transfer it straight from the container into a greased baking dish. Bake in a 350-degree F oven for 45 minutes.
Remove pan from the oven. Add 2-3 tablespoons of milk and stir. Top with a few pats of butter, spread out over the top of the mixture and sprinkle with a thin layer of shredded cheddar or mozzarella cheese.
Cover with foil and bake for 20 minutes. Remove foil and bake for 10 additional minutes.