Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > Home Cooking >
Jul 2, 2010 04:53 PM

Mac and Cheese in the Fridg?

I am thinking about making one of those fancy Mac and Cheese recipes starting with a white sauce, expensive cheese, bread crumbs etc. Since it’s for a party, can I make a day or two in advance without baking it and keep it refrigerated until it’s baked?

I guess what I am asking is, will the cheese sauce separate sitting that long if I haven’t baked it yet?

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. @kjonyou, Should be fine, maybe even better since the mac will soak up some bechamelly, cheesy goodness. I'd put the breadcrumbs on just before baking so's they don't get soggy in the fridge. adam

    1. not sure about it holding without breaking. you could cook it without the bread crumbs, cover it and refridge for a day or two. add the crumbs when you reheat, or saute them in olive oil and butter and sprinkle on. reheat in a bain marie so you bring it to temp very gently?

      1. Yes you can do it a day ahead (I wouldn't do it more than that as the pasta will get soggy) I'd make a little extra sauce and undercook the pasta slightly so that when mixed together, it will still be creamy. Or you can also make the sauce & pasta ahead and refrigerate separately then mix together on the day of. Put the breadcrumbs on right before baking.

        1 Reply
        1. re: Cherylptw

          Thanks guys, think I will give it a try, but I think I will skip the bain marie, its mac and cheese after all. LOL

        2. not an actual response to your question, but make sure you really love the dish before you go through all of the trouble to make it and find it is horrible.

          Recently I made a "gourmet" mac & cheese that was very expensive, very fattening, and totally tasteless. I put a lot of time and energy into this dish and then ended up throwing it out. The only positive thing was that I did a perfect bechemel and I had never attempted that before. If I see it in another recipe I will no longer be intimidated :)

          1 Reply
          1. re: Barbara76137

            I have made a couple of "full dress" Mac & Cheeses and each time had to admit that I prefer my usual, much plainer recipe. I think it's because, for me, it's easy to take creaminess and intensity of cheese flavor too far. (Artisanal cheddars, for example, seem overpowering to me in a heated casserole like this.)

          2. You should be fine. I do this all the time. I always use a bechamel for mac and cheese, and make two smaller casserole dishes of to cook the first night and one that I don't cook to save for the second night. The second dish holds fine in the fridge and is just as good and saucy after baking as the first. It needs a few more minutes in the oven since it was cold.

            Just make sure you put lots more sauce in than you think you'll need. It's amazing how much sauce the mac absorbs.