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How Long to Bake Mac and Cheese at 350 (Easy Recipe + Tips)

Have you ever wondered how long to bake mac and cheese at 350 degrees Fahrenheit? If so, consider this your guide! 

Indulging in creamy macaroni never gets old. With my tips, you can bake this classic comfort food in 30-45 minutes. And it will bake perfectly every time.

How Long to Bake Mac and Cheese at 350 (Easy Recipe + Tips) featuring Baked Macaroni and Cheese in a Baking Dish

It will be creamy, golden deliciousness – which is the goal of baking mac and cheese. 

Keep reading to learn more about creating flawlessly baked mac and cheese every time.

How Long to Bake Mac and Cheese at 350

When you bake at 350, expect to tantalize your taste buds in 30-45 minutes. But remember, other factors play a role in making your mac and cheese.

It all matters, from the size and depth of your baking dish to the pasta you’re using.

This means that you should always keep a watchful eye on your creation while baking.

  • 30-Minute Mac: Use a shallow baking dish to cook your mac and cheese. This results in a silky-smooth cheese sauce. 
  • 45-Minute Mac: Use a deep baking dish. The longer cook time results in a thicker, more luxurious sauce. 
  • Of course, times are affected by your oven and altitude. You may want to check your mac and cheese earlier. Remove it from the oven when you reach your desired consistency.   
Bake Macaroni and Cheese

How Long to Bake Mac and Cheese at 350 in an Air Fryer

Air fryers mimic the results of deep-frying with less oil. But did you know you can also use the air fryer to bake mac and cheese?

At 350 degrees Fahrenheit, it will take 25-30 minutes to air fry mac and cheese

  • Stir the mac and cheese every 7 minutes. This is non-negotiable. 
  •  Remove it from the air fryer once your mac and cheese has reached peak bubbliness. 
  • Let it rest before serving. This step is vital to allow the sauce to thicken as it cools.

How Long to Frozen Bake Mac and Cheese at 350

Do you have frozen mac and cheese waiting to be baked? Pop it in the oven at 350 and treat yourself to a hearty meal!

  • Preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. 
  • Put the mac and cheese into the oven. It will take around 1 hour and 15 minutes to cook.
  • At the 1 hour and 15-minute mark, it’s time to play detective!
    • Investigate the center of your dish to ensure that it’s heated through and the cheese is melty.
  • If the center is still cold, extend the baking time for 10-15 minutes. 
  • Keep checking and adding 5 minutes until it reaches peak deliciousness.

Once it’s baked to perfection, grab your fork and dive into this cheesy delight. Yum!

Should you Bake Mac and Cheese Covered or Uncovered?

Uncovered

Craving a crispy, golden crown atop your luscious mac and cheese? Let it bask uncovered in the oven’s warm embrace.

It allows the cheese to transform into a delectable, crispy layer. As you dig in, you’ll be welcomed by the creamy, dreamy layer of pasta underneath.

This works best with a shallow baking dish. 

Covered 

If a silky experience is what you’re after, cover your dish while it bakes. 

A foil or oven-safe lid will trap moisture and steam. This keeps the cheese from becoming crisp.

NOTE: Are you planning to use a deep or large baking dish? 

  • Cover it to prevent unwanted crispy edges or charred surprises before the center is cooked. 
  • A foil tent will do the trick, leaving space for your pasta to breathe.
  • If you still want a crispy cheese crust, uncover it for the last 15 minutes. Or, broil it (uncovered) to achieve the same effect. 

Unleash your inner culinary-explorer by experimenting with both methods and observing the delicious outcomes.

Bake Macaroni and Cheese in a Bowl

How to Know When Baked Mac and Cheese is Done?

Baked mac and cheese is done when it’s hot and bubbly. If you baked the mac uncovered, the top should be golden brown and crispy.

Want to double-check your masterpiece? Poke the center with a fork or knife. If you’re met with tender pasta and a bubbling cheese sauce, congratulations!

Your mac and cheese is ready for its grand debut on the dinner table.

How to Keep Baked Mac and Cheese from Drying Out?

There’s nothing worse than taking out your mac and cheese to find it dry. How disappointing. 

Well, fear not!

These tips always make for a creamy, dreamy baked mac and cheese.

  • Don’t overcook your pasta.
    • Overcooked pasta will absorb more of the sauce and produce a drier result. 
    • Be sure to cook your pasta to just al dente. Rinse it under cold water to stop the cooking process.
  • Don’t skimp on the sauce.
    • A generous amount of cheese sauce will help keep your mac and cheese from drying out. 
    • Do you want to take it up a notch? Add milk or cream to the sauce to make it even more luscious and creamy.
  • Cover your mac and cheese while it bakes.
    • Leave some space when you cover the mac and cheese with foil. It will help trap moisture and prevent the top from getting too browned or dry.
  • Coat the macaroni with olive oil.
    • Drizzle the pasta with olive oil to avoid them from sticking and clumping together. It’ll keep the macaroni from drying out while it cooks.
    • Plus, it adds a subtle depth of flavor.

Tips for the Best Mac and Cheese

  • Choose the right pasta: Macaroni is the classic choice. But feel free to experiment with different pasta shapes. Shells, fusilli, and penne are all fantastic options.
  • Make a creamy sauce: A good mac and cheese start with a creamy cheese sauce. Use a combination of cheeses like cheddar, Gruyere, and Parmesan.
  • Add some flavor: Don’t be afraid to add extra flavor to your mac and cheese. Mix in some sautéed onions or roasted garlic to take your dish to the next level.
  • Get creative with toppings: The topping is as vital as the noodles and cheese. Experiment with toppings like breadcrumbs, crushed potato chips, or bacon bits.
  • Don’t forget the seasoning: Salt and pepper are essential for seasoning your mac and cheese. Add extra spices like paprika, cayenne pepper, or red pepper flakes.
  • Avoid pre-shredded cheese: Pre-shredded cheese might be a convenient option. But it’s not always the best. Shred your own cheese to ensure a velvety sauce.
Bake Macaroni and Cheese in a Pan

Storing and Reheating Mac and Cheese

Congratulations on making a delicious batch of mac and cheese!

Now, you might be wondering how to store and reheat your leftovers.

Here are some tips to keep them as delicious as they did on the first day:

  • Store it properly: To store, transfer baked mac and cheese to an airtight container and place it in the refrigerator. Let it cool completely before placing it in the fridge.
  • Reheat it gently: Gentle heat is key when reheating mac and cheese. You can reheat it in the microwave, on the stovetop, or in the oven. Be sure to do it low and slow.
  • Add a little liquid: To keep your mac and cheese creamy, add a splash of milk or cream before reheating. This will help to revive the sauce and give it a velvety texture.
  • Stir it frequently: When reheating your mac and cheese, stir it frequently to disperse the heat. It also prevents clumps of cheese from forming.

Serve and enjoy it all over again.

How Long to Bake Mac and Cheese at 350 (Easy Recipe + Tips)

Servings

6

servings
Prep time

10

minutes
Cooking time

45

minutes
Calories

561

kcal

Wondering how long to bake mac and cheese at 350? Not anymore! In about 45 minutes you will have a cheesy, delicious dish- perfect for any occasion.

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons butter

  • 1/4 cup finely chopped onion

  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour

  • 2 cups milk

  • 3/4 teaspoon salt

  • 1/2 teaspoon dry mustard

  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper

  • 1 (8-ounce) package elbow macaroni

  • 2 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese

  • 1 (8-ounce) package processed American cheese, cut into strips

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Melt butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Toss in chopped onions and sauté for about 2 minutes. Stir in some flour and keep stirring, ensuring it doesn’t clump.
  • Add some milk, salt, mustard, and pepper. Keep stirring until the milk mixture boils and starts to thicken.
  • Bring a pot of salted water to a boil. Once boiling, add the macaroni and cook for about 8 to 10 minutes or until the pasta is al dente.
  • Add the shredded cheddar cheese and strips of American cheese to the milk mixture. Stir until the cheese starts to melt and blend into the sauce. 
  • Combine the cheese sauce and cooked macaroni in a 2-quart baking dish. Mix well and coat the macaroni evenly with the cheese sauce.
  • Put the baking dish into the preheated oven. Bake until hot and bubbly for about 30 minutes. Let cool for 10 minutes before serving.
How Long to Bake Mac and Cheese at 350

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author avatar
Kim - InsanelyGood
Hey there! I'm Kim. I love running, cooking, and curling up with a good book! I share recipes for people who LOVE good food, but want to keep things simple :)

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