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Freezable Macaroni and Cheese

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This recipe for the kid-friendly pasta bake lets you freeze individual portions and bake them off whenever you need them.

  • Prep:
  • Total Time:
  • Servings: 8

Source: Everyday Food, May 2004

Ingredients

  • 1 pound short pasta, such as cavatappi or macaroni
  • Coarse salt
  • 6 tablespoons butter
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 4 cups milk
  • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 3 cups shredded (12 ounces) sharp white cheddar cheese
  • 1 cup finely grated (2 ounces) Parmesan cheese
  • 3 cups very coarse fresh breadcrumbs

Directions

  1. Cook pasta in a large pot of boiling salted water 1 to 2 minutes less than package instructions. Drain, rinse with cool water, and return to pot.

  2. Meanwhile, heat 4 tablespoons butter in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Add flour; cook, whisking, 1 minute. Add milk, cayenne, nutmeg, and 2 teaspoons salt; bring to a simmer. Cook, whisking, until mixture is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon, 2 to 3 minutes. Whisk in cheeses until smooth. Pour over pasta; toss to coat. Divide among baking dishes.

  3. Melt remaining 2 tablespoons butter; toss with breadcrumbs. Sprinkle over pasta. Cover tightly with plastic wrap; freeze up to 3 months.

  4. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Place frozen dishes on a baking sheet; remove plastic. Cover with foil. Bake until bubbling, 60 to 70 minutes for large dishes, 40 to 50 minutes for small. Remove foil; continue baking until golden, 5 to 10 minutes more.

Cook's Notes

If you'd like to cook and serve this meal immediately (rather than freezing it), bake uncovered until golden and bubbling, 20 to 30 minutes. You can also freeze portions now and bake them as needed for quick weeknight meals.

Reviews Add a comment

  • melissalg422
    9 SEP, 2010
    I made this with 2% milk and no butter mixed in with the bread crumbs to bring the fat content down a little bit and it still tasted great!
    Reply
  • Saphire4
    11 AUG, 2010
    Stixvix: There is another mac and cheese recipe that has basically the same ingredients but with different amounts and number of servings. It uses half a cup of flour, so it is probably the one they were using on the show. You can find it in: Comfort Food>Macaroni and Cheese Recipes>No. 2 (Macaroni and Cheese). As for the grainy look to your sauce, I?
    Reply
  • Saphire4
    11 AUG, 2010
    Stixvix: There is another mac
    Reply
  • Stixvix
    9 JUL, 2010
    I saw this on TV this weeka and they said to put half a cup of flour and not the one quarter cup amount mentioned online. Can you confimr the promer amount please. Also, when I make a white sauce it seems to always get this grainy look. I tried adding the milk slowly and stiring constantly but I'm doing something wrong. Help!
    Reply
  • kcohan
    1 APR, 2009
    My family tried this and really enjoyed it. I divided the recipe into two square disposable aluminum pans, filled to the top, and they needed to bake for the full hour (plus time to brown). Each of the pans fed four adults for a couple of days as a side dish - more than the 8 servings the recipe mentions. A great dish to freeze ahead and have on hand for a sick/needy friend... or before you have a baby (as I did!).
    Reply
  • complaina
    7 NOV, 2008
    This recipe was first featured in Martha Stewart Living (in place of Parmesean she used Gruyere) and so I have been making this for a couple of years. This Mac and Cheese is a crowd pleasure for any age. It is Mac and Cheese so kids love it but has a sophisticated flavor that adults love.
    Reply
  • CCCsMom
    7 NOV, 2008
    My kids love this mac and cheese. We put cornbread on top instead of bread crumbs which gives it even more great flavor. It is the perfect blend of cheeses for little ones (and their parents).
    Reply
  • CCCsMom
    7 NOV, 2008
    My kids love this mac and cheese. We put cornbread on top instead of bread crumbs which gives it even more great flavor. It is the perfect blend of cheeses for little ones (and their parents).
    Reply
  • AlisonGH
    7 NOV, 2008
    If you think this recipe is bland, try using gruyere cheese instead of the Parm. It gives this a wonderful, nutty flavor. (A page taken right out of Martha's Macaroni and Cheese 101) We also like to add some additional white or regular black pepper.
    Reply
  • angieac57
    7 NOV, 2008
    I did not like the taste of this mac and cheese. I need more flavor. It was creamy, but was bland.
    Reply