Calling all cheese lovers! This freezer mac and cheese is perfect for the busy family who wants an easy, homemade meal. Kids (and adults) will LOVE it!
We are HUGE cheese lovers at my house.
Cheddar, Swiss, Mozzarella – you name it, we eat it! And when you add pasta to it? It’s TRUE LOVE!!
So it’s no surprise that my kids ask for it all. the. time. But being a busy mom with busy kids that can’t always happen.
I tried shortcuts like the boxed version and let me tell you, it just didn’t cut it! There were so many crazy preservatives in it and the taste didn’t even come close to a homemade baked mac and cheese.
I knew then that I needed to get to work to create a make ahead freezer mac and cheese that my kids would love.
That’s when my kid friendly mac and cheese recipe was born! I found a way to get this ultra creamy, massively cheesy pasta into a freezer meal that everyone one will love!
Now it didn’t come easily. I found that there were a lot of problems with mac and cheese that I was going to have to overcome. First, I didn’t want the sauce to separate. I also didn’t want it to be grainy or super dry. My kids would hate that and I am sure yours would, too.
So I kept working until I developed the creamiest, cheesiest freezer mac and cheese known to man.
And, oh man, was it worth it!
The combination of cheeses melted into a rich and creamy sauce layered in between beautiful pasta noodles. I mean, fuggetaboutit. So good.
The best part is that this easy kid friendly mac and cheese is fool-proof and only has a handful of ingredients. A perfect homemade dinner, full of yummy melting cheese, that can easily be made ahead for an quick weeknight meal.
Now whenever my kids are craving it, I can pull out a pan of my freezer mac and cheese and it is ready in minutes!
During the summer I also love to make it and freeze it in individual ramekins. Then on busy days, I pull it out to thaw and my kids can heat it up for a quick no-mess lunch. I know, totally WINNING, right?
WHAT ARE THE BEST CHEESES FOR MAC AND CHEESE?
Cheese is so individual and I get that. Every family has their favorite kinds.
For this homemade baked mac and cheese
HOW LONG CAN FREEZER MAC AND CHEESE STAY IN THE FREEZER?
You can freeze this
I hope you all give my freezer mac and cheese a try. I am sure you will love it as much as we do!
Freezer Mac and Cheese
White Sauce Base
- ¼ cup cornstarch
- ¼ cup butter
- 2 cups chicken broth
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 8 oz dried macaroni pasta
- 2 cups heavy whipping cream
- 1 cup colby cheese shredded
- 1 cup extra sharp cheddar cheese shredded
- In a medium saucepan over medium heat, melt butter. Sprinkle cornstarch overtop and cook, whisking constantly, for 2 to 3 minutes, until foamy and simmering (do not let it brown).
- Add chicken broth; cook, whisking constantly, for 3 to 4 minutes, until sauce thickens and starts to simmer. Remove from heat. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
- Pasta: In a large bowl, combine white sauce and cream. Add Colby, and Sharp Cheddar cheeses; stir until melted and smooth. Set aside.
- Fill a large stockpot with water and bring to a boil over high heat. Cook macaroni for 5 to 6 minutes, stirring occasionally, until just beginning to get soft (the pasta should be starting to get tender but have a firm bite). Drain and rinse with cold water to cool quickly. Set aside.
MAKE IT NOW
- Preheat oven to 375°F. Return macaroni to stockpot, add cheese sauce and gently mix together. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Transfer to a 9- by 9-inch baking dish. Bake in preheated oven for 30-35 minutes, until golden on top and bubbly on the inside. Let cool for 10 minutes, then serve.
MAKE IT A FREEZER MEAL
- Let cheese sauce cool to room temperature. Return cooled macaroni to stockpot, add sauce and gently mix together. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Transfer to a 9-by-9 -inch baking dish. Wrap baking dish tightly with plastic wrap, pressing down gently to remove air. Cover with foil. Label and place in freezer.
THAW AND COOK
- Place baking dish in refrigerator for around 24 hours to thaw. Preheat oven to 375°F. Remove foil and plastic wrap. Bake in preheated oven for 45-55 minutes or until golden on top and bubbly on the inside. Let cool for 10 minutes, then serve.
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Comments & Reviews
I followed the recipe exactly but it looks like there’s any to much liquid. The pasta looks lost in all that sauce. Is that correct?
I like it saucy…haha!! Next time add more pasta if you like it less saucy.
i worried about that too but because you’re only half-cooking the pasta, it soaks up a fair amount of the sauce. after i froze it, i took it out to cook and saw that the pasta had already soaked up a decent amount of the sauce, and then after cooking it had soaked up even more. once setting to cool, even more. it’s still saucy but kind of perfect once it’s all done and cooled! my only complaint is that i didn’t taste the cheese much, and i will make this again but add another cup of cheese.
“Now whenever my kids are craving it, I can pull out a pan of my freezer mac and cheese and it is ready in minutes!”
Does this mean you can microwave individual portions straight from the freezer? Does it change the consistency of the sauce or make the noodle rubbery at all??
Veronica Lavallais says
Can’t wait to try. This looks good. I add teaspoon of yellow mustard for a little zing. Also, I think a variety of cheeses add depth of flavor. What do you think? I love fontina, few slices of American, mozzarella and parmesan. I think you have a good recipe. Thanks for sharing.
Sure, feel free to play with the cheeses and add fun ones if you like. This combo was the best after testing like 10 different combos but their isn’t a macaroni and cheese I don’t like!
Your comments say to go from freezer to oven but the recipe says thaw in fridge for 12-24 hours. How long do you cook from frozen. It says 45 min for thawed.
You will bake covered for 1 hour 10 minutes, then take foil off and bake for an additional 15 minutes or so until bubbling all over!
Can the mac & cheese be transferred to Ziploc freezer bags instead of a dish?
It could for sure, however you’d need to thaw it first to be able to add it to a pan and bake it.
I’m wondering if you can freeze the sauce on its own and then make the pasta fresh and defrosting heat the sauce when needed? Would this work? I don’t mind cooking the pasta. It’s the sauce I don’t like to make because it’s such a hassle .
I prefer to make it all up at once – I’m not sure how the sauce on it’s own will do!
Thanks for letting me know 🙂
julie wilds says
What about portioning these into parchment lined giant muffin tins? Then bake and freeze? What do you guys think? I have teens and they love mac and cheese, but I hate all the sodium and junk in it. I wonder if you could microwave it once it is thawed in the parchment also?
This recipe turned out much creamier than the pictures show. It was a hit!
How many cups of macaroni pasta?
How much macaroni did you use for this amount of sauce? I am supposing 1 pound—Right??
It’s 8 oz. for a more creamy macaroni, but if you don’t like it super creamy feel free to use more noodles if you like!