The quintessential comfort food is mac and cheese. With all the various ways to make it, it still remains one of the world’s favorite dishes.
If you have some mac and cheese leftovers from a dinner last week, you may be concerned and thinking: Has my mac and cheese gone bad? How long does it last?
Here’s the deal: cooked mac and cheese will last 3-5 days in the fridge and up to 2 months in the freezer. Frozen mac and cheese can last 3 months past its best-by date.
Signs Your Mac And Cheese Has Spoiled
There are various forms of mac and cheese, namely, dry mix mac and cheese, frozen mac and cheese, and homemade cooked mac and cheese.
Starting with dry mix mac and cheese, if you find any mold or big clumps in the packaging, you may want to toss it out.
With cooked mac and cheese, rely on your senses to see it has spoiled. Firstly, any sign of mold means it has gone bad and you should discard it. If it looks okay, give it a sniff. It will have an off smell if it has spoiled. If so, throw it out.
How To Store Mac And Cheese
It’s time to store away your cooked mac and cheese, but what is the best way to do it? Transfer your mac and cheese to an airtight container after it has cooled down a little. Store it in the fridge, in the far corner of the refrigerator.
For an even longer shelf-life, freeze your mac and cheese.
When it comes to dry mix mac and cheese, store in a cool, dry place. The pantry is the perfect spot.
How Long Does Mac And Cheese Last?
If you have cooked your mac and cheese, the leftovers should last 3-5 days in the fridge. How long your mac and cheese last, depends on how sensitive your ingredients are.
Dry mix mac and cheese come with a best-by date which informs you about how long its quality will last. Generally, your dry mix should last 6 months past its best-by date.
When it comes to frozen mac and cheese, there will also be a best-by date on the packaging. Your frozen mac and cheese will last 3 months past its best by date.
The origins of mac and cheese are quite uncertain. The earliest known recorded recipe for mac and cheese may be from 1769 in Northern Europe. But once it made its way to America in 1937 thanks to Kraft food boxed mac and cheese, it was soon a staple in American cuisine.
If you are looking to extend the shelf-life of your mac and cheese, freezing it is the way to go. As this dish will only last a few days in the fridge. Alternatively, a dry mix of mac and cheese or a frozen package of mac and cheese should keep fresh for months after its best-by date.