You’re cooking microwave mac and cheese incorrectly. That’s right. I said what I said. Those cups full of dry pasta and white powder don’t always have the best cooking instructions on the package.
Have you ever taken your microwaveable mac and cheese out of the microwave to find it still waterlogged, despite having cooked it for the recommended time printed on the container? Same. That’s why I started testing out different ways to cook your microwave mac and cheese.
Through my own personal research, I have found a few tips and tricks that help make your microwaveable mac and cheese even better. Follow these steps to up your game. But remember, all microwaves are different! Don’t be afraid to try different stuff at home.
- Only microwave one cup at a time.
This isn’t noted on the container, but it is important for cooking. Sometimes you’re trying to cook more than one container for you and your boo or multiple of your children. Don’t try to save time by cooking them together in the microwave at the same time. Putting more than one in the microwave at a time will mess up the texture of the noodles. They will be massively undercooked, forcing you to add more water and have a longer cooking time.
- Add the powder before cooking.
All cups of microwave mac and cheese have you add the cheese powder after cooking and I do not understand why. If you add the powder with the water before cooking, it makes the sauce so creamy and thick. Don’t worry, it doesn’t mess up the texture of the mac. This is such a great hack if you want your microwaveable mac and cheese to taste like stovetop mac and cheese.
- Drain the water.
If you don’t want to add the cheese powder prior to cooking, drain the noodles! It explicitly tells you not to, but that is sometimes wrong. You don’t have to drain out all the liquid, but at least drain some if your pasta cup is still full of liquid. This can be dependent on your microwave. The packaging will make you scared to drain the water. If there’s too much water after cooking and your pasta is the right texture, drain it!
- Make sure to let it sit.
Some cups direct you to let the pasta sit (or “stand”) for a minute or so after cooking. I know you aren’t doing that, though. I understand. I don’t want to do it either. I’m making microwave mac and cheese because I’m trying to eat ASAP. You must, however, wait. Letting the cup sit for a minute or so lets the cheese gel and makes your microwaveable mac and cheese taste so much better. Plus, it allows it to cool off a little bit so you don’t burn all the skin off of the inside of your mouth.