September 12, 2022
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Who wouldn’t love this thermos mac and cheese for a cozy lunch? The best part- you can assemble it in a matter of minutes!
In this post, I’ll show you how to reheat homemade cooked mac and cheese so it returns to that creamy consistency, then pack it, so everything stays hot until lunchtime. Ready to get started?
Mac & Cheese for Lunch
This lunch idea is a wholesome and better-tasting upgrade to those store-bought blue cups of mac and cheese. It certainly feels like a treat for kids and one you can make with your favorite homemade recipe or the box (I love that one too).
Since I don’t expect you to cook mac and cheese early in the morning, the purpose of this post is to show you how to reheat leftovers without the pasta drying out or everything sticking together.
Looking for more incredibly tasty lunch ideas like this? Check out more like it in this guide:
101 Packed Lunches eBook
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How to Pack Thermos Mac & Cheese for Lunch
Below, you’ll see how easy it is to turn mac and cheese into a school lunch, thanks to a double-insulated thermos.
- Preheat the thermos
Fill the thermos container with boiling water and close. Wait 5 minutes before emptying the container.
- Warm the mac and cheese
Meanwhile, add a portion of mac and cheese and 2 tablespoons of milk or water to a microwave-safe dish. Microwave until the pasta and sauce is bubbling hot.
- Prepare for transport
Fill the thermos with the mac and cheese, and seal. Add it to a lunch bag along with your choice of snacks and an ice pack.
What to Pack with Thermos Mac & Cheese
Select a couple of the snack options to make this thermos lunch complete. Also, be sure to watch the video on how to pack hot and cold ingredients in one lunch bag.
- Sliced apples
- Fresh berries
- Veggie Cups with Ranch
- Rolled deli turkey
- Chocolate Brownie Bites
- Fruit Roll-Ups
How to Pack Thermos Macaroni and Cheese
- 1 pound pasta any shape
- 1 ½ cups milk
- 2 tablespoons flour
- 2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 2 teaspoons dijon mustard
- In a large pot, over medium-high heat, bring water to a boil. Add the pasta and cook until al dente. Drain and set aside.
- Once the pasta is cooked, start on the cheese sauce.
- Warm 1 cup of the milk in a saucepan over medium heat.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together the remaining ½ cup of milk and the 2 tablespoons of flour until there are no lumps and set aside.
- When the milk in the pot is warm, and you begin to see steam rising from the milk, whisk in the milk-and-flour mixture. Continue whisking until the milk thickens slightly to the consistency of heavy cream, for about 2 to 3 minutes.
- Turn the heat down to low and add the shredded cheese into the milk. With the whisk, stir to combine. Add in the salt and dijon mustard. Continue to stir until all the cheese has melted and the sauce is creamy. Turn off the heat.
- Add the pasta to the sauce and stir until it’s evenly coated.
- Preheat the thermos container, then fill it with a portion of mac and cheese. Close the thermos and pack it into a lunch bag with your choice of snacks.
- Include an ice pack to keep the other ingredients chilled.
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