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Dec 12, 2010 04:54 PM

Freezing Mac and Cheese

When I make mac and cheese I always bake two and freeze one. When reheated, its never as creamy as I'd like - good but not creamy. Should I freeze it unbaked instead ? or maybe make it extra creamy before baking ?

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  1. I do both sometimes; freeze it unbaked is how the manufacturer's sell it so that it comes out creamy when baked so you may want to try that and see how it works for you

    9 Replies
    1. re: Cherylptw

      Since you can make a great sauce for mac and cheese while the pasta cooks, I can't see any reason to freeze it. The cheese just becomes grainy and unpleasant.

      1. re: pikawicca

        In case I'm making it (and much else) for xmas eve and need to do it ahead of time. In other cases it just makes life easier to have some prepped foods for the family. And no - the cheese is not grainy and unpleasant - thank you - when reheated.

        1. re: chowmel

          ? You complain that it is not creamy enough if you freeze it, and then you say it is not grainy and unpleasant.

          But clearly, the sauce is suffering from being reheated.

          1. re: jaykayen

            'not creamy' and 'grainy and unpleasant' are not hte same to me I guess. I think the suggestions to freeze uncooked and use a higher ratio of sauce to pasta may be my answer.

          2. re: chowmel

            if you must freeze mac and cheese, do what I do when I freeze lasagne. Line your baking dish with clingfilm, then put your macaroni and cheese mixture in, wrap it completely in the clingfilm, then freeze it. When it's frozen, lift the entire thing out of the baking dish and keep it in the freezer until you need it.

            When you want to serve it, remove it from the freezer, unwrap it, and put it in the baking dish to be baked for the first time.

            1. re: Jay F

              I like part of the idea. Freeze, then move to a vacuum bag. You then have the option to either remove from bag and reheat in the original baking dish, or leave in bag and submerge in hot or boiling water.

              1. re: nyurbiz

                I put a butter/crouton crust on top of my mac & cheese before I bake it. Wouldn't work as well en boilant.

          3. re: pikawicca

            If you don't know how to make the sauce right, it comes out grainy....I don't have this problem.

            1. re: Cherylptw

              Mine isn't grainy, thank you very much. I've never encountered a frozen and thawed cheese sauce that wasn't, however. This is why I never freeze cheese sauce.

        2. I have only frozen baked mac and cheese once, and I did find it to be less creamy, but in a good way. The recipe I was using had a large sauce-to-pasta ratio, so I liked that it wasn't as noticeable after being reheated. So I would just suggest upping the sauce a bit, maybe by 1/4?

          1. I'm all for saving time at Christmas - there's enough to do without adding cheese sauce to the list/having it take up valuable burner space.

            I'd freeze it unbaked as Cheryl suggests, and just add a little more sauce than usual to account for the pasta absorbing some in the process.

            1. I use the NY times recipe- uses raw pasta and a cottage cheese/cheddar/milk mixture that's not cooked. The whole thing is cooked together in the oven. I've frozen it successfully after it's been baked. I start off heating it up as is, but if it looks a little bit dry, I add some milk to the sides of the pan.

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