For many, macaroni and also cheese is the ultimate comfort food. Some human being cook it from scratch, but just as many pick the dried mix or a frozen package girlfriend can uncover in your local supermarket.

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And if you go v the store-bought variety, sooner or later on you will certainly ask yourself: walk mac and cheese go bad?

Even if you chef it from life ingredients, I’m pretty sure every now and then there room leftovers. Or possibly you thought around cooking 2-meals-worth the macaroni and cheese, therefore you have the right to just come home and also reheat it because that dinner later on this week.

In this article, we talk all around mac and cheese. Both the homemade variety and the one you deserve to buy at the store. We cover storage, shelf life, going bad, and even touch ~ above freezing. If you have any kind of questions or doubts concerned these topics, this article is for you.

Image used under creative Commons from Stephanie

How To keep Mac and also Cheese

Let’s begin with the cooking homemade (or not) mac and also cheese. Once you whip up a big portion that pasta v cheese sauce, it’s time to decision what you’re walk to execute with the leftovers.

If you plan on eating them within a few days, the fridge is where they must go. Let the food cool under a bit, therefore it’s not steaming anymore, and also transfer that in one airtight container and also refrigerate. Because that the meal to retain the top quality for the longest, put it in the far edge of the fridge.

If friend need much more than a couple of days, freeze the all set meal.

When it concerns a boxed dried mix the mac and also cheese, the pantry is wherein you have to store it. Make sure the area is cool and also dry. Like other dry mixes, such together pancake mix, it’s about all that needs. If you desire to keep the mix for super-long, you can put it right into the freezer.

For the sake of completeness, I desire to cite that obviously, you should keep frozen mac and also cheese in the freezer.

Image offered under creative Commons native Maria Eklind

How To frozen Mac and also Cheese

If friend don’t mean to eat the leftovers whenever soon, or would just prefer some adaptability in that matter, freeze them. The technique is precisely the same, other than you should make sure you usage a freezer-safe container.

In instance you to be wondering around freezing cooking macaroni noodles and also the sauce separately, that’s not a an excellent idea. That’s since pasta i do not care mushy as soon as thawed. But if girlfriend whipped up much more sauce than you need, it must freeze perfect fine top top its own.

When it pertains to thawing, together usual, the fridge is the best option. Alternatively, you can thaw and also reheat the mac and also cheese ~ above the stove, but make certain you watch it closely, so the doesn’t burn.

(credit: Atharva Lele)

How long Does Mac and also Cheese Last

Once again, let’s start with the meal currently cooked. If friend refrigerate it, the should save for about 3 to 5 days. Just how well it keeps depends on the ingredients and also recipe. For this reason if girlfriend prepare the from scratch, feel free to carry out some exploring to learn just how long it continues to be in one okay problem in the fridge. For longer storage, frozen it.

When it comes to dry mixes that macaroni and cheese, they all come through a best-by date. Usually, the suggested shelf life is between a year or two, but if you keep the mix around for a couple of more months, the ready meal need to still revolve out okay. If for any reason, you have to store the mix for a lot longer, you can freeze it.

Last yet not least, frozen mac and cheese likewise comes v a date on the label. And since frozen food degrades in quality really slowly, you have the right to expect the top quality of the cooked food to tho be fairly alright even after a couple of months previous that date.

Cooked mac and cheese3 – 5 days2+ months
Mac and cheese dry mixBest-by + 3 monthsBest-by + 6+ months
Frozen mac and also cheeseBest-by + 3 months

Please keep in mind the periods over are approximates only.

(credit: Alex Haney)

How come Tell If Mac and Cheese has Gone Bad

When it concerns dry mix that mac and cheese, as long as moisture didn’t acquire into the package, it must be fine. If every little thing looks and also smells perfectly fine, it’s okay. If there are any type of signs that mold, huge clumps, or noþeles else that shouldn’t it is in there, discard the package.

When it pertains to cooked mac and cheese, girlfriend should be able to tell if it’s spoiled through smell and sight. First off, look for any kind of signs the mold, especially if the dish satellite in the fridge for 3+ days already. If it appears okay, the an excellent old sniff test is next in line. If the food doesn’t odor right, throw it out. If the mac and also cheese isn’t necessarily spoiled, an off odor is a sure authorize something is wrong with it.

When in doubt, throw it out.

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Marcin is the man behind After ~ writing more than 300 write-ups on food storage, shelf life, and spoilage, he"s learned a thing or 2 on the topic.