How to Reheat Mac and Cheese

You may say that you’re making it for the kids, but the truth is that no dairy-loving human ever outgrows their love for mac and cheese. Yep, this creamy dish is comfort food at its finest. But the next-day stuff? Yeah, not so much. Unless you know what you’re doing, that is. Here’s how to reheat mac and cheese without turning it dry.

How to Reheat Mac and Cheese in the Oven

The oven is our go-to for reheating most foods, and mac and cheese is no exception. This method takes a little more time than the microwave or stove but the foolproof process guarantees a good outcome every time. To reheat mac and cheese in the oven, follow these simple steps.

1. Preheat the oven to 350°F.

2. Place the mac and cheese in an oven-safe glass casserole dish.

3. Sprinkle milk on top of the mac (one tablespoon per cup of pasta) and gently mix it in for more even distribution. Note: If your meal has breadcrumb topping, skip the milk and leave the mac as is.

4. Cover the dish with a layer of aluminum foil to seal in moisture and place the pasta in the preheated oven.

5. Leave the mac and cheese in the oven for 20 minutes. Then remove the foil and return it to the oven for 10 more minutes so the top gets golden brown. Pull the pasta from the oven for the last time and dig into a bowl of gooey goodness.

How to Reheat Mac and Cheese on the Stove

The stovetop method is a quick way to serve up satisfying mac and cheese, but if done wrong you’ll end up with a burnt mess in the pan and dried out pasta on your plate. Not to worry, you can avoid this common pitfall by following the stovetop steps below. (Just keep in mind the stove option works best for smaller portions of mac and cheese, so stick with the oven if you want to warm up a big batch.)

1. Place the mac and cheese into a saucepan or nonstick skillet.

2. Add a tablespoon of milk to the pan.

3. Reheat over medium-low heat (any higher and you’ll end up with that burnt mess previously mentioned) and stir frequently, adding more milk as needed to keep the mac moist.

4. When the mac and cheese is nice and hot (after roughly 10 minutes) remove the pan from the heat and quickly serve up your creamy comfort food.

How to Reheat Mac and Cheese in the Microwave

Microwaves can’t be beat when it comes to convenience and instant gratification, but they rarely do a good job of preserving quality as they tend to yield dry and rubbery dishes. Still, mac and cheese will fare OK if you use this particular method.

1. Place the mac and cheese leftovers in a microwave-safe bowl.

2. Stir in one tablespoon of milk (two tablespoons for larger amounts of mac) and cover the dish with microwave-safe plastic wrap, leaving one corner open so your mac can blow off steam.

3. Set the microwave to medium power and heat the covered mac and cheese for one minute.

4. Remove the mac and cheese from the microwave and test the temperature. If it isn’t as hot as you want it, give it a stir and continue nuking the covered dish in 30-second intervals until it’s steaming hot.

There you have it—three wonderful ways to get your dairy-and-carb fix for days (or until every last cheesy morsel has been devoured).

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Emma Singer

Freelance PureWow Editor

Emma Singer is a freelance contributing editor and writer at PureWow who has over 7 years of professional proofreading, copyediting and writing experience. At PureWow, she covers...
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