Nothing is more satisfying and delicious than a steaming bowl of mac and cheese. But the preparation of ingredients and making mac and cheese is a tiresome and time-consuming process. So, what if you have no free time at the end of a working day and you don’t want to prepare mac and cheese. If you are suffering from such circumstances every now and then, you may think can you freeze mac and cheese before you bake it. So, you will be able to get a deliciously fresh mac and cheese serving when you want.
But here is another question, how can you freeze uncooked mac and cheese. If you want to know about the whole process of preparing and freezing unbaked mac and cheese, cling to this article. Here we will tell you about the method of storage step-by-step. So, follow them to get expected results.
Can You Freeze Mac and Cheese Before You Bake It?
Yes definitely, you can freeze unbaked mac and cheese. In fact, it’s a great idea to prepare extra dish for freezing without compromising on its texture and flavor.
By the way, you can freeze both cooked and uncooked macaroni and cheese if you have proper knowledge about that. But it would be best to freeze unbaked mac and cheese, as it freezes well for a long time.
Before freezing, prepare mac and cheese as usual, but this time avoid the step of cooking or baking. Here are few tips about how to prepare deliciously creamy mac and cheese that freezes well.
- The creamier your macaroni and cheese better it will freeze, as creamy sauce keeps pasta moist, and thus preventing it from drying. So, add some extra cream cheese and regular milk to your cheese sauce to make it thicker and creamy.
- Don’t overcook macaroni as it will not go well in the freezer and you will get mushy stuff at the end. So, keep the macaroni al dente or undercooked to nnot destroy the overall food texture.
- Sometimes, the flavor of unbaked mac and cheese can be a little bit off or bland. Thus, adding some extra spices or seasonings to the cheese sauce will round off the flavor. This way, you can Freeze mac and cheese before you bake it.
How Can You Freeze Mac and Cheese Before You Bake It?
Mac and cheese is an iconic delicacy usually frozen after cooking. But it doesn’t mean you can’t freeze unbaked mac and cheese. You can freeze uncooked macaroni and cheese and store it for later use.
Freezing unbaked macaroni and cheese has an advantage that it freezes well without any noticeable alteration in the final texture. So, follow the following footsteps to know the freezing guide.
Read also: Can You Freeze Cooked Mac and Cheese?
Step 1: Getting Single Serving Mac and Cheese!
Separate the uncooked recipe into single servings and then place it in a container or air-tight bag.
- If you are going to freeze mac and cheese that will be baked in a microwave, choose oven-safe or freezer-safe baking tins and transfer a single serving to them.
- On the other hand, if your frozen mac and cheese will be cooked over a stovetop, take freezer-safe tins and transfer unbaked mac and cheese to them.
- You can also freeze macaroni and cheese in an air-tight bag. The advantage of freezing in a bag is that you can also keep it flat in the freezer. This takes up less space in your freezer.
Step 2: Sealing!
Proper sealing of the storage containers is a key step in freezing mac and cheese before you bake it.
- Cover the top surface of unbaked mac and cheese with aluminum foil, before placing tin’s lid. This covering will protect your dish from freezer burn.
- Wrap the upper surface of macaroni and cheese with a plastic sheet if you’re going to seal mac and cheese for the stovetop. Place an air-tight lid on the plastic wrap, and that’s it.
Step 3: Refrigerating!
Refrigerate mac and cheese for 5 to 7 hours before freezing so that it entirely cools down. You may skip this step if you already have cooled down the dish.
Step 4: Labeling!
Before placing the storage containers in the freezer, label them with the date you are going to freeze it so that you remember the freezing date. And, don’t forget to mention the name of a dish as it will not create confusion.
Step 5: Freezing!
Transfer the containers to a freezer and make sure to maintain a lower temperature to unbaked mac and cheese.
You can freeze mac and cheese before you bake it, for up to 15 to 18 months according to this method, but it is better to use macaroni and cheese within 6 months.
Making Macaroni and Cheese That Freezes Better
If you are cooking mac and cheese to freeze, here are some tips to help you make mac and cheese that can freeze better.
- Use milk made from milk powder instead of milk used in making mac and cheese. Because macaroni and cheese made from powdered milk freeze better.
- To avoid skim milk, use cream cheese or heavy cream while preparing your mac and cheese as they contain a lot of fat, which will help it to freeze better.
- Put a layer of shredded cheese on the macaroni before cooking the macaroni and cheese. This layer will prevent the mac from being hard and crunchy during cooking and will keep it soft.
- Bake the macaroni and cheese at 375 degrees Fahrenheit, and cook for 35 to 40 minutes. Cooking this way will keep the smooth dairy inside, which will hold its soft and creamy texture.
Read also: Can You Make Mac and Cheese Without Milk?
How To Defrost and Cook Frozen Unbaked Mac and Cheese?
Defrosting of the frozen unbaked macaroni and cheese can be done by various different ways. But refrigerating the dish overnight is the best method of all times.
So, make a plan about cooking frozen mac and cheese ahead, and defrost it by transferring it to the refrigerator. You can also leave mac and cheese at room temperature for 3 to 4 hours before cooking.
After defrosting, now it’s time to cooking. First, remove the wrapping layers from the containers. Next, place defrosted mac and cheese containers in a microwave at a high temperature for 30 to 40 minutes.
On the other hand, if you don’t want to bake macaroni and cheese, cook it over a stovetop. Transfer the defrosted unbaked mac and cheese to a cooking pan and cook it for 10 to 20 minutes. Stir frequently but not continuously as it may destroy the final texture of the recipe.
However, you can also cook frozen mac and cheese directly without defrosting, but it will take 50% more time to cook. So, it’s up to you which method you will use to defrost or cook frozen mac and cheese.
Here, I have shown how to freeze mac and cheese before you bake it with some ways of defrosting and cooking unbaked mac and cheese. So, feel free to prepare an extra dish and freeze it by following the above given method for later use. And thus, you will be able to enjoy your comfort food anytime when you want. For me, this method works a lot and saves my time and effort.