There are many foods that almost everyone likes. Mac and cheese are just some of the iconic delicacies everyone loves to eat. But what you will do with some mac and cheese leftovers after eating? Even if you don’t want to throw away by the thought of wasting food, the question automatically arises, can you freeze cooked mac and cheese?
If you keep the mac and cheese in the fridge, it will be safe for a maximum of 4 days. And, then it starts to get worse. As we all know, the shelf life of dairy products is concise. Therefore, we cannot refrigerate anything that contains milk or any of its products for a long time without freezing.
Dairy products are also used to prepare mac and cheese, so mac and cheese cannot be refrigerated for long without freezing. So, here we will guide you whether you can freeze cooked macaroni and cheese or not. And if yes, then how? Keep on reading to know the answer.
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Can You Freeze Cooked Mac and Cheese?
And the short answer is yes. You can freeze macaroni and cheese if leftover at the end of a thanksgiving treat. And, if you have a busy schedule throughout the week and thus prepare an extra dish for later use, you can easily freeze it by following some simple steps.
You can store mac and cheese in the freezer for more than six months. Before storing mac and cheese, you need to prepare the dish, and then you can freeze and store it.
But it’s best to freeze cooked mac and cheese properly in the freezer to prevent it from freezer burn. And at the same time, it must retain its moisture and final texture.
Whereas sometimes cooked mac and cheese becomes a cheesy or watery mesh after defrosting. To prevent mushiness, try to prepare macaroni al dente.
But if the final defrosted dish dries out, try to reduce mac to cheese ratio while preparing a dish. Moreover, add some extra cream cheese to your cheese sauce. It will make the final dish creamier and more mouth-watering even after defrosting.
How Can You Freeze Cooked Mac and Cheese?
If you have any kind of macaroni and cheese leftover, here are few steps to freeze it. So, follow them to avoid mushy, dry, or runny mac and cheese at the end.
Step 1: Cooling Down!
Cool the macaroni and cheese well at room temperature before freezing. And make sure to do this, especially when you are about to freeze it in a plastic container.
Important! Never put your favorite dish hot in a plastic container. Let it cool first, and when it cools down, then put it in a plastic container.
Step 2: Choosing Freezing Container!
If you want to freeze mac and cheese in a single portion, you need to use a disposable aluminum tin. The advantage of using it is that you can directly bake the frozen mac and cheese in your microwave.
However, if you do not have a disposable aluminum tin, separate the cooked mac and cheese single servings. Then wrap these single servings in plastic layers. After that, place them in a plastic container and wrap the surface of the container with aluminum foil.
Step 3: Sealing!
Seal the corners of the plastic container well to prevent air from entering. It’s an important step as the proper sealing of the container ensures a greater life span of cooked mac and cheese.
Important! Cooked macaroni and cheese spread slightly during freezing, so keep mac and cheese half an inch less than the container’s headspace when you put them in the container. So, you don’t have to worry about the spread of macaroni and cheese during freezing.
Step 4: Labeling!
Label the container with the date you are about to store it in the freezer. Moreover, it’s best to label the dish name on the container to avoid confusion after months. After labeling, transfer the container to the freezer, and that’s it.
Important! Place the cooked mac and cheese container in the refrigerator to cool before freezing so that the mac and cheese inside the container can withstand the lower temperature of the freezer.
Freezing Single Serving of Cooked Mac and Cheese
Usually, we have to serve or reheat a small portion of macaroni and cheese for a person. In that case, it would be best to freeze cooked mac and cheese in small portions of the size of a single serving.
Thus, separate small serving sizes from a whole batch of mac and cheese. Next, take small containers and grease them with butter. After that, transfer each single serving to a separate container and air-tight them.
Cover the containers with a plastic sheet or aluminium foil and place them in the refrigerator for 3 to 6 hours. This will allow setting pasta inside the containers. Then transfer these containers to the freezer.
When reheating, just put out a single serving of macaroni and cheese and thaw it in the refrigerator overnight. After that, microwave it and serve. For me, it’s a convenient method of freezing and reheating cooked mac and cheese.
How Long Can You Freeze Cooked Mac and Cheese?
Cooked mac and cheese remain fresh and flavorful for 6 to 8 months in the freezer. But for long time storage, you must provide a constant 0°F temperature to macaroni and cheese. And you must store or freeze mac and cheese properly in air-tight containers.
The method we discussed above allows you to freeze macaroni and cheese for up to 18 months, but it is best to use mac and cheese within six months.
How To Defrost and Reheat Frozen Macaroni and Cheese
Defrosting by using a refrigerator is a quite common method, and the same goes for frozen macaroni and cheese. Transfer a frozen container of cooked mac and cheese from the freezer to the refrigerator and left it as is overnight. And the next day, you will get properly thawed mac and cheese.
Remove the plastic or aluminium wrapping layers if used. Now it’s time to reheat it. There are two obvious options for you when it comes to reheating frozen mac and cheese. You can either use a microwave or stovetop to get a steaming bowl of delicious macaroni and cheese.
Microwave: It’s a time-saving and convenient method of reheating. Just take out the container of mac and cheese from the refrigerator and directly put it in the microwave.
Microwave your dish for 3 to 4 minutes, and that’s it. But remember, reheating small portions of mac and cheese yields more yummy and tastier food.
Tip! If your final product dries out, add some milk or cream cheese to it and microwave for 1 to 2 minutes.
Stovetop: Reheating mac and cheese over the stovetop is also another option to go with. Take out thawed mac and cheese into a small pan and cook it for 5 to 7 minutes on the stovetop.
Avoid continuous stirring as it will destroy the overall creamy texture of cooked mac and cheese.
Besides these methods, you can also use an oven-toaster to reheat macaroni and cheese. No matter which method you use for reheating, you will get a tastier filling snack as a final product.
Read also: Can You Freeze Cream Cheese,
Freezing cooked mac and cheese is not much tricky or difficult if you have enough understanding about how to do it. As here, we tell you all the essential steps of freezing and reheating cooked mac and cheese.
Every step of the freezing method has significant worth, so follow them properly to get expected results. Keep exploring new tastes and enjoy.