There’s nothing like the creamy goodness of mac and cheese. However, reheating leftover mac and cheese can be complicated.
Storing mac and cheese in the refrigerator for 1 day can transform it from a creamy, delicious meal into a bowl of dry sludge.
Therefore you must know how to reheat mac and cheese, so you end up with a creamy, rich meal instead of a pile of gunk.
Can You Reheat Mac and Cheese?
Of course, you can reheat mac and cheese. The key to reheating mac and cheese is simply storing it properly.
Unfortunately, if your mac and cheese has been sitting for more than 2 hours, it must be tossed in the trash.
There’s no denying it that throwing mac and cheese you just cooked into the trash.
However, what seems like perfectly good mac and cheese may be filled with bacteria and lead to food poisoning.
Bacteria multiply exponentially at temperatures between 41°F and 135°F.
While your mac and cheese sat in the temperature danger zone for more than 2 hours, it could have become a breeding ground for bacteria.
Store your leftover mac and cheese in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 3-5 days.
You can also freeze your leftover mac and cheese in a resealable ziplock bag for up to 2 months.
If you store the dish properly in the refrigerator, then you can have the dish again for three to five days.
And if you keep it in the freezer, you can reheat and eat for up to 2 months.
If your mac and cheese has a rancid odor after being stored in the fridge or freezer, it cannot be reheated and should be thrown in the trash as it is spoiled.
How to Reheat Mac and Cheese
It doesn’t matter whether you are reheating stovetop mac and cheese or baked mac and cheese; you must know how to reheat it the right way.
How to Reheat Mac and Cheese Using the Oven
If you have a lot of mac and cheese to reheat or made a casserole-style mac and cheese for dinner last night, reheating it in the oven is the best method.
The oven disperses the heat evenly, preventing the mac and cheese from burning.
To reheat your mac and cheese, heat your oven to 350°F. Grease an oven-safe glass baking dish with butter.
Place your leftover mac and cheese into the buttered glass baking dish.
Stir in a tablespoon of whole milk or the specific type of milk you used to make the mac and cheese for every cup of mac and cheese.
So, if you have 3 cups of leftover mac and cheese, add 3 tablespoons of milk.
Additionally, if you added a breadcrumb topping to your mac and cheese, adding milk is not necessary.
You can also add cheese or breadcrumbs to the top of the mac and cheese before baking it.
Cover the leftover mac and cheese with foil and bake it for 20 minutes.
Remove the foil from the mac and cheese and bake it for an additional 10 minutes.
How to Reheat Mac and Cheese Using the Stove
Sometimes it feels like it takes forever to reheat mac and cheese in the oven.
Luckily, you can reheat mac and cheese on the stovetop if you need to quickly reheat small portions of mac and cheese.
Although some people may suggest preheating your pot, do not preheat your pot.
It will result in the mac and cheese being heated unevenly and cause it to burn on the bottom.
Add your leftover mac and cheese to a saucepot. Add a tablespoon of whole milk for every cup of mac and cheese and mix to combine.
Set the mac and cheese over medium-low heat and cook it for 10 minutes, adding more milk to prevent the mac and cheese from drying out.
Be sure to stir the mac and cheese gently to disperse heat evenly.
Place the warmed mac and cheese into a dish and serve.
How to Reheat Mac and Cheese Using the Microwave
While reheating mac and cheese on the stovetop is certainly a faster method, the microwave is the ideal option if you want to reheat mac and cheese in record time.
However, I must admit the microwave is infamous for drying out foods.
This results from the heat being unevenly distributed, which can lessen the quality of your mac and cheese.
You must be extremely careful when reheating mac and cheese in the microwave.
Place the leftover mac and cheese into a lidded microwave-safe dish and add a tablespoon of milk for every cup of leftover mac and cheese.
Place the lid onto the mac and cheese, but leave one corner of the lid slightly ajar to allow the steam to escape.
On medium power, heat the mac and cheese for 1 minute., then check to see if your mac and cheese is warm enough.
If not, heat the mac and cheese in 30-second bursts until it is warm enough.
How to Reheat Frozen Mac and Cheese
Although reheating mac and cheese in the oven takes a long time, reheating mac and cheese from frozen takes even longer.
So, you must be patient while reheating frozen mac and cheese.
Also, freeze your mac and cheese in a freezer-safe pan like a foil pan.
If you don’t, you will have to thaw the frozen mac and cheese in the freezer overnight, then add it to an oven-safe baking dish.
To reheat frozen mac and cheese, remove it from the freezer, and heat your oven to 350°F.
Once the oven preheats, place the frozen mac and cheese into the oven and bake it for 60-90 minutes until the mac and cheese is warmed through.
After making it for dinner last night, it’s only natural to daydream about creamy, cheesy mac and cheese.
However, we’ve been met with dry, crunchy, overcooked mac and cheese more often than not.
Luckily you will never have to experience dry crunchy, overheated mac and cheese again now that you know how to reheat leftover mac and cheese correctly.
You might also be interested in:
- How To Reheat Grits
- How To Reheat Corn On The Cob
- How To Reheat Cornbread
- How To Reheat Apple Pie
- How To Reheat A Baked Potato
I have been smoking and grilling meat from an early age and enjoy sharing my knowledge and expertise through the hundreds of articles I have written about BBQ. I hope to make everyone’s BBQ journey that little bit easier.