how to reheat macaroni

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How to Reheat Macaroni and Cheese

Three Methods:

That macaroni and cheese in the refrigerator is calling your name, but how do you reheat it so it tastes as good as it did when it was first made? Macaroni and cheese can be tricky to reheat, and often comes out either too dry or an oily mess, sometimes both at the same time! This article will teach you how to avoid those problems and reheat your macaroni and cheese so that it comes out as smooth and creamy as it was when it was fresh.



  1. Put the desired amount of macaroni and cheese in a microwave safe bowl.Make sure your bowl is glass or microwave-safe plastic before proceeding.
    • Don't reheat more than you are going to use, as the more times you reheat it, the less appetizing your macaroni and cheese will become.
  2. Add some milk.Pasta continues to absorb moisture after it is cooked, which means that the longer your macaroni and cheese sits, the dryer it will become.The secret to maintaining or reviving the original texture is to add a bit of milk when you reheat it. The amount needed will depend on your macaroni and cheese. Start by stirring in 1 tablespoon of milk per cup of macaroni and cheese. The milk will not fully incorporate until the macaroni is heated, so don't worry if it looks a bit wet at first.
    • You may also substitute half and half or cream for a richer texture and flavor.
  3. Cover the macaroni and cheese with plastic wrap.Leave one corner slightly open to release steam.
    • If you do not feel comfortable using plastic wrap in the microwave, you can also put an inverted plate over the dish, but be sure to use an oven mitt when removing it, as the plate can become hot. It will also release hot steam that can burn you.
  4. Heat the macaroni and cheese slowly on medium (50%) power.This will reduce the likelihood that the cheese will break down and separate, resulting in oily macaroni and cheese. Set the timer for 1 minute for a single serving, or 90 seconds for a larger portion. When the timer goes off, stir the macaroni and cheese. Then continue to heat it in 30-60 second intervals until it reaches the desired temperature.
    • If your microwave does not have a turning carousel, heat your macaroni and cheese in 45 second intervals, and turn the bowl in between.
  5. Add toppings, if desired, and enjoy!Even the most carefully reheated macaroni and cheese can lose a bit of flavor. To perk yours up, try sprinkling on some parmesan cheese, salt and pepper, a bit of butter, or some garlic salt. For a bit more adventure, you might try adding ketchup, a dash of cayenne pepper, or even hot sauce. Bon appétit!
  1. Preheat the oven to 350º F (175º C).The oven is usually the best way to heat up large quantities of macaroni and cheese, especially if you are reheating a leftover casserole.
  2. Place your macaroni and cheese in a shallow, oven-proof dish.A glass baking dish is ideal.
  3. Stir in some milk.Add about 1 tablespoon of milk per 1 cup of macaroni and cheese. However, skip this step if you are reheating a mac and cheese casserole that has a crumb or crunchy topping.
  4. Cover the baking dish with foil, and bake until heated through.This should take 20-30 minutes.
  5. For a nice topping, add some extra cheese on top.Add a layer of shredded cheese (cheddar works great!) to the top of your macaroni and cheese. After 20 minutes, remove the foil, and cook for an additional 10 minutes until the cheese topping is bubbly and brown.
    • For a bit of extra crunch, you could stir in 2-3 tablespoons of seasoned bread crumbs to the shredded cheese before sprinkling it on top.


  1. Get out your double boiler (or improvise one).The best way to reheat macaroni and cheese and other creamy pasta dishes on the stove is in a double boiler, or bain-marie.A double boiler consists of a saucepan that stacks on top of another pan filled with water. The stacked pans are put on the heat, and the water in the bottom boils, releasing steam that gently heats the food in the top part of the pan.
    • If you do not have a double boiler, it is easy to make one. Find a metal or glass (preferably pyrex) mixing bowl that fits on top of your favorite saucepan. Add water to the pan, but not so much that it touches the bottom of the bowl. Add your food to the bowl, and place the pan with the bowl on top on the burner over medium heat.
    • If a double boiler is not an option, use a regular saucepan; just be careful not to scorch your macaroni and cheese!
  2. Place the desired amount of macaroni and cheese into the top of your double boiler, or into a saucepan.Only reheat the amount you want to eat. The quality will definitely suffer after a second reheating.
  3. Add milk to the macaroni and cheese.This helps restore the moisture of the sauce, and the original creamy texture. Begin by stirring in about a tablespoon of milk per cup of macaroni and cheese. You may add more milk as the macaroni and cheese heats if it begins to look dry or sticky.
    • Adding a half a tablespoon of butter to the macaroni and cheese will improve the taste and texture even more.
    • You may also substitute half and half, or even cream for the milk for a richer texture.
  4. Heat the macaroni and cheese over the boiling water bath, or in a saucepan on the burner over medium heat.Keep a close eye on your pan and stir frequently until the macaroni and cheese reaches the desired temperature and texture. Depending on your stove, this could take 3 to 10 minutes.
    • Be patient and try not to overheat your macaroni and cheese, or you run the risk of it separating and becoming oily.
    • If the macaroni looks dry as it heats, stir in some additional milk, one tablespoon at a time.
  5. Make adjustments to make up for lost flavor.Even the most lovingly reheated macaroni and cheese can lose a bit of flavor. Consider stirring in an ounce of additional shredded cheese or a few teaspoons of grated parmesan as it reheats. You might also add some garlic powder or a tiny pinch of cayenne pepper to give it a little extra zing.

Community Q&A

  • Question
    Can macaroni and cheese be prepared the day before it is served?
    wikiHow Contributor
    Community Answer
    Yes. Make it the day before, but don't add the cracker crumb topping. Put it in a buttered casserole dish, cover (I use aluminum foil) and store in the refrigerator. The next day take the covered casserole (keep aluminum foil on) and stick it in an oven at 350 for about 20 minutes. Take it out, uncover and stir, put crumb topping on, and put it back into the oven uncovered for about 10-15 minutes, depending on how crispy you want it.
  • Question
    What can I use besides milk?
    wikiHow Contributor
    Community Answer
    You could add a small amount of butter. This still gives it the creamy taste without making the noodles soggy.
  • Question
    Can I reheat macaroni and cheese with crab meat?
    wikiHow Contributor
    Community Answer
    I wouldn't recook crab, but I would put the crab in a bowl, heat the macaroni to pretty hot (30 minutes at 350), then spoon the crab on top and wait 5 minutes.
Unanswered Questions
  • How do I reheat macaroni the next day in my crock pot?
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  • Be careful when reheating macaroni and cheese. Microwaved dishes can get very hot. Use a potholder or an oven mitt!

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Quick Summary

To reheat macaroni and cheese in your microwave, transfer your pasta into amicrowave safe bowl or mug. Stir in 1 tbsp of milk to your mac and cheese to add some moisture and then cover the dish with plastic wrap or a microwave safe cover. Microwave on medium heat for 1 minute and then stir every 30 seconds until it is fully heated. Add a little extra spices or cheese, if you'd like, and enjoy!

Success Stories

Bea Bilancia

Sep 4

"I haven't tried it yet, but just reading that milk and lower microwave heating are the answers is a relief. I havebeen adding leftover starchy water or just plain water when I pack it as leftovers. Right idea, wrong time and wrong addition. Thank you!"


Feb 1

"The tip about the milk was very helpful in explaining how the macaroni dries out. This article was extremelydetailed in explain the inner and outer parts of macaroni!"

Susan Bonner

Nov 5, 2019

"I don't have an oven or microwave, so this was not only good information on how to re-heat macaroni and cheese, buthelps in reheating any pasta dish. "

John Southern

Mar 20, 2019

"I cooked macaroni and cheese, and had some left over that I needed to reheat. This was made easier with thisarticle. Thanks."


Aug 23, 2019

"I liked that it was a detailed explanation. It answered all the questions I had!"

Q. C.

Mar 19, 2019

"It's helpful and solved my question well.

Video: Macaroni & Cheese Recipe That Can Be Reheated : Delicious Dishes for Kids

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Date: 05.12.2018, 07:11 / Views: 74465