Before I go into this ... If you want to make the original Tomato-Bacon Macaroni & Cheese ... and add some cooked ground beef right into the mixture ... it will work beautifully - IF you either cut down on the amount of pasta (like to 4 ounces) OR you increase the sauce amounts.  If you increase the sauce - why not just double it and save the extra aside in the fridge and you can use it for something else during the week ... it would make good nachos too .... just reheat it as I’ve described below ... saving your pasta water!

Here we go ... 

How-To Successfully Make Leftover Mac & Cheese Creamy:

Reheating leftover macaroni and cheese can sometimes be disappointing.  If you know you’re going to have leftovers, try making a little extra sauce when you put the recipe together the first time.  It will help the macaroni and cheese bounce back to life.  The other key I have found is to refrigerate any remaining reserved pasta cooking water from when the pasta was cooked the first time.  It will look cloudy and a bit odd - but it’s full of starch and salt - so it will also assist you in some sort of miraculous way to revive that macaroni and cheese.  Since I like my macaroni and cheese ultra-creamy, here’s how it works best for me:

Place a deep sauté pan or skillet (preferably with a lid) over low heat.  As the pan is heating, add in the refrigerated “glob” of macaroni and cheese.  No need to try and break it up or anything like that.  Trust me, this works.  

Once the macaroni and cheese is in the pan, gently move it around as it warms up - both to prevent it from sticking to the bottom of the pan and also to start heating the entire mass of pasta through.  It seems like a slow process but it’s really not time consuming at all.

As the macaroni and cheese begins to come back to life - add about 1 Tablespoon of the pasta water and stir to incorporate.  Once you feel like it’s starting to bounce back - place a lid on the pan - and leave it slightly ajar (I do this by keeping my wooden spoon in the pan and then put the lid over it).

Remove the lid every minute or so to be sure the pasta and cheese isn’t heating too quickly and sticking to the bottom of the pan.  Continue to dribble in pasta water as needed, while gently stirring.  The pasta should start to release from clinging to each other and the big hunk of macaroni will start to look like something delicious.

The low heat of the pan, combined with a little steam from the lid and the reserved pasta water will have your macaroni and cheese creamy and dreamy in minutes!

If desired, you can finish with a small amount of heavy cream or butter, but it’s usually not necessary unless you just like that!  Adjust any seasonings - and remember if it got a little spicy while sitting in the fridge overnight, add a little sour cream and slowly heat through.

And that’s really it ... it’s the best way I’ve discovered to be able to truly enjoy my second day macaroni and cheese as much as the first day!

For this recipe ... I simply scooped the Tomato-Bacon Macaroni & Cheese into these individual pie dishes (about 5 inches in diameter) - and topped with a leftover grilled cheeseburger!  And dinner was served!

You can choose to heat the burger up first in the microwave - or if you have lots of sauce left and know that your macaroni won’t dry out in the oven, go ahead and put the entire dish (with the burger) into the oven at 350 degrees for 5 - 10 minutes (depending on the size of your burgers) to heat through.  Just remember that your pie dishes will be hot!  And then serve as you desire!18_Entry_1.html18_Entry_1.html18_Entry_1.htmlshapeimage_3_link_0shapeimage_3_link_1shapeimage_3_link_2