Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Make Ahead M-M-M-Mac 'n' Cheese



I'm one of many bloggers (73 last count) across the country who are all posting a mac 'n' cheese recipe at the same time today!

More info at the bottom of this page...



I was tickled when I saw the recipe for this creamy...dreamy..MAKE AHEAD TOO! macaroni & cheese at Jane Doiron's Make Ahead Meals for Busy Moms recently....a guest post by Comfy Cuisine.

My daughter's 5 mo. old son, Sam, had colon surgery in mid-August, and I planned to spend a week with them as he was recovering. They live nearly 3 hours away.

I love to fix make ahead meals for Deb and family, so she can just pull things out of the freezer and have a nutritious meal for dinner on busy busy days.

SO...I took this recipe along with me and it sure was delicious! We enjoyed one dishfull for dinner the day I made it, and the other one went into the freezer. 

I would never have guessed you could freeze mac 'n' cheese!

I shredded the cheese myself.  Sometimes the pre-shredded won't melt smoothly, and I like smoooooth!!!

I made a white sauce and cooked it over the stove per directions. I was tickled when a long distance friend called just then cause I had time to stand and visit while I stirred.  *_*

Then I stirred that yummy cheese into the sauce until it melted together.  MMMMM!

All of us really REALLY liked the crunchy topping!
It was perfect for the soft and smooth mac 'n' cheese.

M-M-M-Marvelous Mac 'n Cheese!

I lined one of her baking dishes with foil and poured the rest of the mac 'n' cheese in it..when it was cooled to room temp, I placed it in the freezer until frozen, then removed the dish and wrapped the mac 'n cheese tightly in the foil.  (Directions below)

Make-Ahead Macaroni and Cheese from Comfy Cuisine

2 microwave-safe 8-inch square baking dishes for this recipe
4 slices white sandwich bread, torn into pieces
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 garlic clove, minced
8 Tbsp. (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted
Salt and Pepper
1 lb. elbow macaroni (I used mini penne)
6 Tbsp. all-purpose flour
1 tsp. dry mustard
1/8 tsp. cayenne pepper (optional)
4-1/2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
1-1/2 cups heavy cream
4 cups shredded colby cheese
2 cups shredded extra-sharp cheddar cheese

Process topping: Pulse bread, Parmesan, garlic and 2 Tbsp. butter in food processor until coarsely ground. Divide crumb mixture between 2 zip-lock freezer bags and freeze.

Cook pasta: Bring 4 quarts water to boil in large pot over high heat. Add 1 Tbsp. salt and macaroni and cook until barely softened, about 3 minutes (important to avoid mushy blown-out macaroni). Drain pasta, then spread out on rimmed baking sheet and let cool.
Make sauce: Heat remaining butter, flour, mustard and cayenne (if using) in empty pot over medium-high heat, stirring constantly, until golden and fragrant; about 1 to 2 minutes. Slowly whisk in broth and cream and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium and simmer until slightly thickened, about 15 minutes. Off heat, whisk in colby, cheddar, 1 tsp. salt, and 1/2 tsp. pepper until smooth.

Freeze: Stir cooled pasta into sauce, breaking up any clumps until well combined. Divide pasta mixture between two 8-inch square baking dishes. Cool to room temperature. Wrap dishes tightly with plastic, cover with foil, and freeze for up to 2 months.

Bake: Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Remove foil from casserole and reserve. Microwave casserole until mixture is thawed and beginning to bubble around edges, 7 to 12 minutes, stirring and replacing plastic halfway through cooking. Discard plastic and cover pan with reserved foil. Bake 20 minutes, then remove foil and sprinkle with 1 bag frozen bread crumbs. Continue to bake until crumbs are golden brown and crisp, about 20 minutes longer. Let cool 10 minutes.

OOPS - there's a picture of Sam!  HOW DID THAT GET HERE?  ;-}

Isn't he just a dollbug?  He's a redhead - it runs in our family.

He did GREAT after surgery...recovered very nicely. This pix was taken a week post-surgery. He's a very happy little guy.

The look on his face kinda makes one think he's saying..'I'm in charge here!" *_*

Won't be long and he'll be enjoying mac 'n' cheese with the family too!  He just cut his first tooth this week!

Linked to Tina's Crazy Cooking Challenge


Linked to Sunday Funday


  1. Make ahead is so awesome! Stopping by from the MACARONI & CHEESE Linky Party through Moms Crazy Cooking

  2. Looks Good Marsha!
    And the Mac & Cheese Does too! (hee, hee)

  3. Sounds good! How does it compare to your crock pot mac & cheese...because that's the one I made for the linky party! :)

  4. Your Mac & Cheese looks good, almost as yummy as your Sam!

    My Crazy Cooking Challenge entry: Velvety Mac & Cheese.

    Cook Lisa Cook

  5. Sam is just adorable. He will sure be enjoying that great Mac N Cheese of yours. Thanks for sharing and have a wonderful week!
    Miz Helen

  6. I'm always up for a fab M&C dish! Lovely post - and looks like you'll have some great help eating :)

  7. I am all about make ahead meals so this recipe definitely is a keeper in my book! Thanks for sharing. Sam is a doll! I am a mom of 1 year old twins that have been going thru their teething stage so hope that is going well for you! :)

  8. Looks fantastic!

    Stopping by on my way through the links from Moms Cooking Challenge!

  9. I'm so glad the little one is okay... what a trooper! He looks like a very content cutie-pie.

    Glad you were able to take part in the cdd - this was my first time joining. Can't wait for next month.


  10. Way to go freezing it. I did the same thing (except I haven't cooked the frozen one yet).

    Thanks for joining CCC, I can't wait for next month, Chocolate Chip Cookies, YEA!

  11. Wow, that's a whole lot of mac and cheese deliciousness!

  12. I completely lost track of what I was going to say when I saw that cute little guy! I bet he can't wait for lots of mac and cheese in his future.

    Crazy Cooking Challenge: Beer Mac and Cheese
    Mangoes and Chutney|Foodie Forums

  13. I love that you shared how to freeze mac n cheese, perfect!! Thanks for sharing!

    Come check out my CCC post:

  14. I didn't know you could freeze mac and cheese either! I love mac and cheese recipes with crunchy toppings. YUM! Great pick :)

    If you'd like, please stop by my blog and check out my mac and cheese post!

  15. I was looking at this recipe too. YUM!!! Yours looks wonderful! And how cute is he?!?!? Too cute!

  16. How did that cute little man get in the picture??? I really like crunchy topping in my mac & cheese.

  17. Looks good.

    We'd love you to share your recipes with us at
    Simply Delish Saturday

    Have a great weekend.

  18. So first things first, Sam is adorable!

    Second off... going through all these mac n cheese recipes really makes me want some :), but of course getting home from a weeks vacation, obviously no milk. But this looks like another GREAT recipe!

  19. M-M-M-Masterfully done! This was one of the first on my to-do wall. You never disappoint your readers, keep it up! :)

    International Calls to Australia

  20. Wow! This looks amazing! Cheesy goodness. I think if my husband sees this recipe, he will want it TONIGHT! hehe

  21. Just have to know - how did the frozen one turn out? Just as good? And shredding your own cheese is the only way to go - so much meltier! :D