Freezer Meal: Homemade Macaroni and Cheese Sauce

Freezer Meal Macaroni and Cheese

Freezing pasta can be tricky. It has to be slightly under cooked before freezing in order to have the correct texture when you reheat it. Overcook it, and your pasta will have the texture of glue. Yucky!

That’s why I like this recipe for Freezer Homemade Macaroni and Cheese Sauce. The sauce is made from 100% whole food ingredients, reheats easily, and tastes great.

Once you have a stock of this sauce in your freezer, it takes the same amount of time to prepare as a box of mac & cheese.

But don’t limit this sauce to just mac & cheese. It also tastes great over steamed broccoli, stirred into cooked rice, as a topping for a baked potato, or as a dip for my Bread Machine Honey Whole Wheat Soft Pretzel Bites.

Important Note: Always allow your sauce to cool completely before freezing. Otherwise, a layer of ice crystals may form on top of the sauce and will affect the taste.

Freezer Meal: Homemade Macaroni and Cheese Sauce

Freezer Meal: Homemade Macaroni and Cheese Sauce

Ingredients

  • 3 cups milk
  • 6 tablespoon butter
  • 6 tablespoons flour (unbleached white, or whole wheat, or rice flour to make gluten-free)
  • 5 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese
  • 3 ounces cream cheese
  • 1 teaspoon dry mustard
  • dash red pepper
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 1/2 cups whole wheat macaroni

Instructions

    To Make Cheese Sauce:
  1. In a large saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat. Whisk in the flour until smooth.
  2. Slowly add the milk 1/2 cup at a time whisking constantly.
  3. Once all the milk is incorporated, cook the sauce for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Do not allow to come to a boil.
  4. Remove from the heat and whisk in cheddar, cream cheese, mustard, red pepper, salt, and pepper.
  5. Allow to cool before transferring to 4 12-ounce freezer safe jars. Leave 1 inch of headroom in each jar. (Fill only to where the lid threads start.)
  6. To Serve:
  7. Thaw the sauce in the refrigerator overnight. Pour sauce into a saucepan and heat until warmed through.
  8. While the sauce is heating, cook the 1 1/2 cups macaroni according to package directions.
  9. Stir sauce and macaroni together and serve.
http://thegreenbacksgal.com/freezer-meal-homemade-macaroni-and-cheese-sauce/

If your sauce doesn’t thicken, I have added more than the 3 ounces of cream cheese. Your sauce will take on a bit more cream cheese flavor (hardly a problem in my book!) but it will help thicken it.

Or, you can leave out the cream cheese and choose to add more cheddar. Your choice!

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Comments

  1. Any suggestions for subbing for red pepper?

  2. Kelly, You can just leave the red pepper out. No need for any substitutions. It just gives a little something-something extra. :) Andrea

  3. You said to divide it into 4 jars, but what size jars does this fill?

  4. My days when I’m most in need of something like this, I can rarely plan ahead enough to take something out of the freezer the night before. How quickly would this thaw on the counter? In a pot of warm water on the stove?

  5. Is that really whole wheat pasta? If so, what brand??

  6. Hi Jessi, It really is whole wheat macaroni. It’s the Divinci brand. Andrea

  7. Hi Tina, I totally forgot I was going to put the jar size in the recipe. I’ve updated it. But I use the 12 oz freezer safe jelly jars and the mac & cheese sauce fills 4 jars. Andrea

  8. Hi Elizabeth, As far as defrosting the mac & cheese sauce goes, I freeze mine in glass jars. I’m not sure how quickly a glass jar can be reheated without risking breakage. If you aren’t opposed to using plastic bags, that might be a better way to go from freezer to microwave or hot water bath. Andrea

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