Can I Freeze Macaroni And Cheese
I get asked that a lot and my answer is always no. As the pasta and cheese sauce sit, it will thicken and when you thaw it and bake it, the creamy consistency is just gone. Its thick and gloppy. Plus if you freeze it and its still a bit warm, water crystals will form and then thaw into your dish and could make it separate when you bake it. Besides, its so fast to make, theres not really a reason to freeze your macaroni and cheese.
More Yummy & easy Casserole Recipes To Try:
- This easy tuna casserole with egg noodles was always one of my moms go-to recipes when I was growing up And I can totally see why. Tuna noodle casserole is quick to prep, tasty, and versatile!
- Give this yummy taco tater tot casserole a try for your next Taco Tuesday! Taco-spiced saucy ground beef, black beans, and corn, topped off with crispy tater tots and cheese makes for an easy family-favorite dinner.
- This custardy cream corn casserole recipe is SO good youll want to scrape the dish clean to get every last bit of caramelized goodness My favorite of all the corn casserole recipes Ive tried, just like my grandma made it!
- This easy green bean casserole recipe is my familys version of the classic recipe and uses only 3 ingredients, including canned green beans Because who needs another complicated side dish recipe? NOT this mama!
- This easy cheesy meatball casserole recipe boasts just 5 ingredients, yet is still packed with flavor Serve it as is, over pasta, or on sandwich rolls for a versatile weeknight dinner!
- This divine ooey-gooey broccoli rice cheese and chicken casserole recipe comes together with just 6 simple ingredients, all of which you likely already have in your pantry and freezer! Its sure to become an easy weeknight meal staple.
Id love to see how your macaroni and cheese casserole turns out Tag me on or use the hashtag #Unsophisticook so I can check it out. Enjoy!
Tips For The Best Mac & Cheese
Freshly grated cheese dont use pre shredded. They have anti caking agents that can make the sauce grainy.
No bloated overcooked pasta Cool macaroni slightly and lightly coat in butter. This stops the macaroni from absorbing more liquid while baking, resulting in bloated overcooked pasta and less sauce.
To avoid lumps in your sauce, stir constantly as you slowly pour the milk in and keep stirring once the milk is all added. If necessary, switch to a switch to get rid of stubborn little lumps!
Plenty of sauce Because I like my Mac and Cheese saucy, not dried up so you can cut it like cake!
Can you make Mac and Cheese ahead of time? Most recipes are not suitable for making ahead, but this recipe is! The best way is to cool pasta then toss with sauce and adding breadcrumb topping. Cool, refrigerate or freeze then bake on the day of .
How long can Mac and Cheese stay in the fridge? Unlike most, this Macaroni Cheese recipe is good for 3 to 5 days in the fridge. Most Mac and Cheese will not keep well because theres not enough sauce so it gets absorbed by the pasta and youre left with dry, sauceless pasta.
Freezing? Yes! Assemble, cool, do not bake, just freeze it. Thaw then on the day of, bake per Note 5 in the recipe.
Add ins? This recipe is great as it is, but theres tons of add-in options. Add shredded chicken, sautéed onion and bell peppers/capsicum, bacon, hot sauce , dried herbs of choice.
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How Long To Bake Mac And Cheese
There is only one rule that you need to remember when baking mac and cheese: dont bake it too long otherwise youll bake away the sauce leaving you with a dry mixture.
Baking it at around 20 minutes at 375 degrees F guarantees you that same stretchy cheesy baked mac and cheese with all the heart-melting sauce. Or you can also bake it at 30 minutes at 350 F
Although weve tried a couple of Mac and Cheese recipes, nothing compares to this one which has a smooth silky sauce that permeates every inch of elbow macaroni there is.
Youd fall head over heels with the brimming Southern flavors of what this baked mac and cheese has to offer. Its got a note of heat and smokiness. Youd need a bigger a spoon, for sure!
This would be delightful at any time. Oh, especially during these cold winter months. So dont wait for special occasions to whip up a pan of this.
Heck, you could even make this on the daily. You can also explore different southern comfort food ideas to prepare every day! Go ahead, take a bite, nobodys looking.
How To Make Mac And Cheese
If youve never made homemade mac and cheese before, it can seem a bit daunting. But dont worry, well break it down and take it step by step!
- Boil the pasta, drain.
- Make the cheese sauce by combining a fat , and starch , then whisking in the milk products.
- Cook the sauce until its nice and thick.
- Add in shredded cheeses, stir well.
- Combine cheese sauce with cooked pasta.
- Transfer half of the mac and cheese to a baking dish, sprinkle with more shredded cheese.
- Top with the rest of the mac and cheese, top with more shredded cheese.
- Bake and prepare to thoroughly enjoy!
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How To Make Crock Pot Mac And Cheese
- Add pasta and liquids to the slow cooker. Sprinkle in seasonings and stir.
- Cover and cook 1 hour. Stir. Cover and cook another 10 minutes.
- Stir in cream cheese and grated cheese. Cover and let sit for 5-10 minutes. Stir and serve.
How easy is that?! No fancy cream sauce to make just hands-off cook time so you can go relax!
Easy Baked Mac And Cheese Recipe
Despite the countless versions of macaroni and cheese on the internet and around the world, I always find myself making the same baked mac and cheese recipe whenever the craving hits. Almost as easy to make as boxed macaroni and cheese, this baked version tastes a million times better and is made with real, simple ingredients like elbow macaroni, four different types of cheeses, butter, milk, half-and-half, and flour.
Of course, even this simple recipe can be jazzed up a bit with a crunchy, buttery, breadcrumb topping or a little bit of bacon! So dont hesitate to use this delicious baked mac and cheese recipe as a base for your own version of cheesy macaroni and cheese perfection.
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How To Make Instant Pot Mac And Cheese
Special Equipment Used In This Recipe
- Box Grater remember, the best mac starts with freshly shredded cheese!
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Post has been updated in September 2019 with new photos and additional information.
Did you make this? Be sure to leave a review below and tag me @the_chunky_chef on Facebook and Instagram!
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The Best Homemade Sloppy Joes
The Chunky Chef10/24/2018
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Step away from the canned sauce and give these homemade sloppy joes a try! Theyre truly the best version of a childhood favorite!
As we head into the upcoming holiday season, Ive been thinking about family-friendly meals. You know, those meals that your kids always want to eat. In our house, this Creamy Baked Mac and Cheese is number one on our list with these sloppy joes being number 2! With two little ones myself, I know ALL too well how frustrating it is to cook a meal and have them promptly turn up their noses and say its gross. *facepalm*
Ive always been a fan of classic sloppy joes. Theres something so innately satisfying about the sweet and savory combination and messiness of it all! And I know you all love them too, since Ive been getting a lot of requests for sloppy joe recipes.
Ive made a LOT of sloppy joe recipes lately, trying to come up with the perfect one. Some were too sweet, others too spicy. Well guys, I finally got it. The perfect balance. This sloppy joe recipe is sweet, tangy, zesty and savory, with the perfect texture and consistency.
Variations Of Mac And Cheese
- Bacon if you love bacon, feel free to add some crispy, crumbled bacon to the topping, or even inside the mac and cheese as well!
- Stovetop if youd prefer not to bake this mac and cheese, you dont have to! Make sure you boil your pasta until al dente , and youll only need about 3 3 1/2 cups of cheese total. No need to layer the pasta and cheese, just add all the cheese to the sauce, then combine with the pasta.
- Different Toppings Im a huge fan of the cheese layer on top, since it gets nice and crispy, but we also love tossing 1 cup of panko with 2 Tbsp of melted butter and using that as a topping. 1 cup of crushed Ritz crackers with 2 Tbsp of butter work amazingly well too!
- Different Baking Times the recipe calls for a lower baking temperature and time, but most of the time I find myself adjusting that based on my familys tastes. I like to bake this mac and cheese at 350 F degrees for 30 minutes, then broil for 2-3 minutes to get that glorious cheesy crust.
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How To Make Oven Baked Mac And Cheese
Its just about a requirement that all Americans love macaroni and cheese in some form and at some time in their lives, Im no different. Growing up, my mother made a creamy homemade mac and cheese with a sauce that was smooth as silk and permeated every particle of perfectly cooked macaroni. It was my brothers favorite so she usually made it every Sunday.
Tips For The Best Baked Jalapeo Popper Mac And Cheese
- Using block cheese is the way to go when youre making mac and cheese. The pre-shredded cheese is coated and wont melt properly. Grate it yourself for the best results.
- Cook your pasta to slightly less than al dente, about one minute shy is perfect thats about 7 minutes for macaroni.The reason is that this is baked mac and cheese so the pasta will continue to cook in the oven.
- I used elbow pasta but really, any tubular, short pasta will work.
- The roux is super important to getting the creamiest cheese sauce. Three things to look for:
- The roux is whisked together until bubbly and golden.
- Whisk in cold milk not warm to prevent the flour from clumping.
- Cook the roux, stirring nearly constantly, until you see bubbles on the surface and then continue cooking for an additional 2 minutes before adding the cheese. This will keep the sauce from turning grainy.
Youll notice this recipe calls for two jalapeños. I removed the seeds and membranes before dicing which cuts down on the heat a bit. I mean, this is Jalapeño Popper Mac and Cheese so a little heat should be expected. If youre like whaaaat? Bring on the spicy! Keep the seeds and membranes intact and dice away OR add another jalapeño.
I further tame those spicy jalapeños by sautéing in butter. This also serves another purpose as it gives the cheese sauce amazing flavor. I add back in a little heat and lots of flavor by adding in some TABASCO® Sauce.
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Thanksgiving Mac And Cheese Recipe
I dont know about you, but Thanksgiving would feel incomplete to me without some form of macaroni and cheese. Its the perfect holiday side dish FILLED with cheese, and there are so many varieties to make. You could make a different version every year and still have your favorite food on the table.
I think this Two Way Baked Mac and Cheese recipe is the best way to go for the big feast. You get two different options in one dish, so everyone can choose their favorite .
How To Make Classic Baked Mac And Cheese
Get your space ready by gathering all of the ingredients. Then preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Spray a 2-quart casserole pan with nonstick cooking spray.
Cook the macaroni in a medium saucepan according to the instructions, until it is chewy but still firm. Drain the pasta and return it to the pot. Pour the butter and cooking oil over it and stir well.
In a medium bowl, whisk the egg and milk or cream. I used almond milk, but occasionally, Ill use either half-and-half or full-fat cream. Its all good.
Add the flour and mustard. I used gluten-free all-purpose flour, but you can use any kind of flour you have on hand. I also used dijon mustard. Whisk the mixture again until its well mixed.
Stir most of the cheese into the mixture, leaving about 1/4 of it to sprinkle over the top later.
Heat the mixture until the cheese begins to melt. Stir while it melts to prevent it from clumping.
Pour the pasta and sauce into the casserole dish.
Make sure its evenly distributed so you dont wind up with sections without the pasta.
Sprinkle the remaining shredded cheese over the mixture. I used a combination of cheddar and mozzarella.
Bake for 30 minutes or until its bubbly and the top is golden brown.
You can also make this baked mac and cheese recipe without flour. It doesnt stand up as well, but it should taste just as good.
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Stovetop Mac And Cheese Option
I love the golden brown edges and top that baking the macaroni and cheese creates, but you dont need to bake it if you dont want to. For a stovetop mac and cheese, simply add the pasta to the cheese sauce and then let it sit, covered for a few minutes. This time gives the pasta a chance to absorb some of the sauce. You can also take a look at this easy macaroni and cheese recipe made on the stovetop.
Tips For The Best Baked Mac And Cheese
- Shred your own cheese. I know its so much easier to buy pre-shredded cheese, but its actually coated in an anti-caking substance which messes with how nicely it melts.
- Do not overcook the pasta. In fact, its best to slightly undercook the pasta by about a minute. Also, allow the pasta to cool slightly before mixing with the bubbly cheese sauce.
- Time permitting, allow the milk and half-and-half to come to room temperature before very slowly whisking into the roux.
- Use your favorite cheese. I used classics like mozzarella, cheddar, parmesan, and Gruyere. Pepper Jack cheese, crumbled feta, or even dollops of goat cheese would taste fantastic.
- Macaroni and cheese is traditionally made with elbow macaroni, but any short pasta will work.
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Classic Baked Mac And Cheese Ingredients
All of the ingredients listed here are what I use. However, if you like something extra, please feel free to add it. After all, this is your baked homemade mac and cheese, so make it to suit your taste.
Here are the ingredients:
- Flour, either regular or gluten-free
- Shredded cheese, any kind you like
- Mustard, either yellow or dijon
- Salt and pepper to taste
For exact measurements of each ingredient and full directions, go to the recipe card at the bottom of the page. You can even print out the card by using the print button.
If you like spicy mac and cheese, add either cayenne or hot sauce to the cheese mixture. Or you can add slices of jalapeños, which is what I do on occasion.
Mac & cheese is a fun food to experiment with. If youre adventurous in the kitchen, try adding different seasonings to a small amount of the recipe. You just might hit on something your family loves.
Cheesy Kielbasa Rice And Broccoli Skillet
Cheesy Kielbasa, Rice and Broccoli Skillet your new favorite dinner! This easy skillet recipe comes together in a flash and is made in a single skillet for easy clean-up. Extra cheesy, and just bursting with flavor, its a dinner recipe youll find yourself making again and again.
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