Mac and cheese in the oven dish, white background. American food concept.

Macaroni and cheese has long been a favorite American dish that is relatively easy to prepare and is perfect for leftovers. The meal is healthy, cheap and can taste delicious when cooked right. Baking macaroni and cheese can cause it to dry out on the edges. Following a few guidelines, however, will let you keep the dish moist. Only a few modification can make the difference between crunching down on a hard piece of macaroni and savoring every bite.

  • 2 cups macaroni
  • 16 oz. jar of tomato sauce
  • 1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • 3 tbsp. butter
  • Casserole dish
  • Tinfoil or lid

Boil the macaroni for three minutes after the pasta is al dente, which means cooked but still firm. You want to macaroni to be soft. Place it in a casserole dish, then add the tomato sauce and grated cheese.

Distribute the butter in tablespoons throughout the dish to keep the macaroni moist. Cover the casserole dish with tinfoil or a tight-fitting lid.

Cook the casserole for 25 minutes at a high heat, approximately 375 degrees F, so the vapor doesn't have much of an opportunity to escape. This further ensures the moisture will stay inside because, even with a lid, some moisture will escape. Cooking on high, as opposed to low, limits the required cooking time, which limits the amount of moisture that evaporates from the dish.

Keep your mac and cheese warm but still moist by turning off the oven and leaving it inside covered. If you have it in for a period longer than 20 minutes, turn the heat to 180 degrees F and leave it in the oven for up to 30 minutes without it getting dry.

References Fannie Farmer's Classic Baked Macaroni and CheeseThe Nest: Homemade Mac and Cheese Grainy or Dry?