You don’t even need to boil the pasta for this Dump-and-Bake Overnight Macaroni and Cheese! It’s an easy side dish for weeknight dinners, holidays, and potluck meals with family and friends!
Dare I say it? This incredibly easy mac and cheese recipe has surpassed my kids’ love for the boxed stuff?! At one point in their lives I didn’t think that would ever happen! ?
And obviously, I couldn’t be happier about it. Not only is this recipe almost as simple as the microwaveable stuff in the cups, but it’s WAY more nutritious — thanks to just a few simple ingredients. Real cheese, a teeny tiny bit of butter, pasta, and milk. Just like it should be, right?
This genius creation is not my own, though. Today I’m sharing a recipe that my hairdresser gave to me years ago. She has three boys of her own, and she was so excited to tell me about this “method” for making mac and cheese because her family has always loved it. She shares it with customers and friends regularly, and often hears stories about folks making it again, and again, and again. So you get the idea, right? It’s really good! And let me repeat myself — you don’t even have to boil the pasta! Just layer the ingredients in the dish, let it sit in the refrigerator overnight (or for a few hours), and bake it off when you’re ready.
I love to serve this for Sunday supper when we grill or roast some chicken, but it’s also great for parties or holidays when you need an easy and comforting side dish but you don’t want to have to bother with it at the last minute.
Dump and Bake Overnight Macaroni and Cheese
- 4 cups milk
- 2 cups uncooked elbow macaroni
- ¼ stick butter (2 tablespoons), diced into small cubes
- 16 ounces cheese, shredded (I like to use mild cheddar cheese, but you can also use a blend of cheddar and muenster, mozzarella, or your other favorite cheeses)*
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- Grease a 13-inch by 9-inch baking dish. Spread half of pasta in bottom of dish. Sprinkle with half of cheese, dot with half of the butter, and sprinkle with half of the salt. Repeat layers using the remaining pasta, remaining cheese, remaining butter, and remaining salt. Pour milk evenly over pasta, cover with aluminum foil, and refrigerate for approximately 24 hours.
- Bake, covered with foil, at 350 degrees F for approximately 45 minutes. Remove foil during the final 10 minutes to allow top to brown.
*I recommend using a block of cheese that you shred by hand on a box grater. The pre-shredded cheeses that you can buy at the store include stabilizers, and I don’t think that they melt as nicely in this recipe.