reheating mac and cheese

How To Reheat Mac and Cheese: A Quick and Easy Guide

In short, you can reheat mac and cheese in four different ways: bake it in the oven, simmer it on the stove, zap it in the microwave, or use an air-fryer.

This creamy treat is a dear childhood reminder to all of us. There isn’t that dish that was at least close as good as mac and cheese casserole. Mom seemed to have a magic wand that produces this delicious dish.

Just like in childhood, we always remember them freshly prepared, warm, and with a delicate creamy taste. Now that you are preparing it for your family, you realize that there are always leftovers. How to make them as tempting as they were in the beginning, is the best trick you will learn.

How To Reheat Mac and Cheese In The Oven

The oven seems to be our first refuge for reheating most dishes, no matter whether refrigerated or frozen mac. Although it takes a little longer than other methods, the oven almost always gives the best results. Therefore, if you have the opportunity, opt for an oven instead of a microwave or stove. Here are the steps to a perfectly heated creamy mac and cheese.

Step 1: Preheat the Oven to 350 °F

The oven temperature should not be at the maximum. It will be enough to set the thermometer to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and let it heat up thoroughly. During this time, you can prepare the macaroni. 

Step 2: Place the Macaroni in a Dish and Add Milk

Put the macaroni and cheese in a glass refractory dish and add a tablespoon or two of milk. You can count on one tablespoon of milk being enough for a cup of pasta. Mix the milk with the macaroni well. If your mac and cheese have bread crumbs topping, skip adding the milk. 

Step 3: Cover the Dish with Foil and Bake for 20 Minutes

To ensure that moisture is retained in the macaroni during reheating, cover the baking dish well with aluminum foil. Put in the oven and leave for 20 minutes to warm up.

Step 4: Remove the Foil and Continue Baking for 10 Minutes

After 20 minutes of baking, take the pasta out and remove the aluminum foil. Place the mac and cheese back in the oven for an extra 10 minutes of baking. The pasta should get a beautiful golden color and a top crispy layer that we all adore.

Reheating Mac and Cheese On The Stove

Warming up on the stove will definitely save you a lot of time. However, the danger is that your macaroni will burn, so you need to be especially careful. But the good side is that you could get a nice baked flavor, so if you like your macaroni a little crispier, this is the right way for you.

Step 1: Put Mac and Cheese in a Non-stick Pan and Add Milk

It is best to use a non-stick pan so that the macaroni does not burn. Since you are not adding oil but dairy, it could easily happen that the pasta burns, so use a good frying pan. Place your pasta into the pan and add some milk. Mix it all well. 

Step 2: Place your Pasta on a Stove and Start Heating

Do not put the pasta on high heat. The temperature should be mild to medium. Otherwise, the milk will burn in an instant. On such a low heat, stir the mac and cheese constantly. If it gets dry, add a little more milk as needed. So, cook for about 10 minutes until the pasta is nicely heated. 

Warming Up Mac and Cheese In The Microwave

Microwave is undoubtedly the fastest way to heat your mac and cheese leftovers, although we have to tell you that the result will be significantly better in the oven. Follow these few simple steps to get a creamier and tastier pasta.

Step 1: Place the Pasta in a Dish and Add Milk

Use a microwave safe bowl. Put mac and cheese in it and add a little milk—one or two tablespoons, depending on how much pasta you have. Mix well and cover with plastic wrap. Drill a small hole in the plastic wrap so that steam can safely come out of the container. Use only plastic intended for microwave ovens.

Step 2: Heat for a Minute on a Medium Temperature

Put the leftover macaroni in the microwave and heat on medium heat for 1 minute. Take them out and make sure they are well heated. If not, stir in the pasta and return to the microwave for an additional 30 seconds. Repeat until you get a sufficiently heated meal.

How To Heat Mac and Cheese In The Air Fryer

An air fryer is certainly not the first choice when you think of heating mac and cheese casserole. But if you have this appliance in the kitchen, you can freely use it to heat up your food quickly. 

Of course, it is only necessary to put some kind of substrate so that the content does not leak through the basket grates. Here are the steps for quick and high-quality heating.

Step 1: Preheat the Air Fryer

The first step is always to preheat the device. The ideal temperature will be a medium heat of about 350 degrees F. You want a thorough and complete heating and not just burning around the edges.

Step 2: Place the Macaroni in a Basket

First of all, line the bottom of the basket to prevent the cheese from leaking out. You can use either aluminum foil or parchment paper. It doesn’t matter what you decide. It is important that you get a kind of pan in which you will put the food. 

Then put the mac and cheese inside. If you have several slices, do not pile them on top of each other, but rather distribute the heating in several rounds in one layer.

Step 3: Add Some Cheese Sauce

You can certainly add some cheese on top to enhance the taste. If your mac and cheese are very dry, try refreshing it with a little milk, cooking cream, or similar moisturizer. Remember that in the case of frozen macaroni, it is necessary to wait for them to thaw first.

Step 4: Heat for 5 Minutes

When everything is ready, turn on the air fryer for 5 minutes and let the dish heat up well. Check the internal temperature and return for an additional minute or two of heating if necessary.



Mac and cheese is one of the favorite childhood dishes of almost every person. We love them, of course, and when we grow up, this simple dish is so delicious that we don’t mind if it’s all over the menu. But, we often have leftovers that are not tasty when cooled. With a little helpful advice, warming up will give a delicious and creamy result. If you want to reheat frozen mac, use the same techniques, but only let it thaw first.

Up Next: Can You Freeze Macaroni and Cheese?

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