Why You Should Let Your Mac And Cheese Take A Rest

There are a lot of pros to mac and cheese. For one, it's a comfort meal through and through, which automatically makes it indescribably delicious. Secondly, most mac and cheese recipes found on the internet will take an hour or less to make from start to finish. Plus, since a majority of these are baked casserole-style, they'll usually feed an army of people, which is great for families, large group gatherings, or if you're someone who loves leftovers. Plus, apart from boiling the noodles and measuring the cheese and dairy, most of the work is done in the oven. Meaning, whoever is cooking the dish has it pretty easy.

But, the time it takes for mac and cheese to perfectly bake in the oven always feels like eternity. And then, on top of that, we're apparently supposed to allow the mac and cheese an additional time frame of "rest" before digging in. It's pure insanity! However, any chef will tell you, there's a reason behind this madness and if you abide by the rule, your stomach and tastebuds will thank you.

The secret key to the perfect mac and cheese

The trick to ooey-gooey mac and cheese? Allowing it to rest for at least 10 to 15 minutes after baking, according to chef Damon Menapace, the culinary director at Primal Supply Meats (via Today). Giving the mac and cheese this quick cat nap will help the sauce and cheese melt and "set back up around the noodles," he explained. "Otherwise, it'll just be runny and ripping hot." Nothing is worse than runny mac and cheese where the sauce just falls off the noodles, making the mac far too separate from the cheese.

While this is one of the biggest mistakes you can make when baking mac and cheese, The Kitchn advises to also pay attention to the kind of pasta noodles you're using for the cheesy mac. If you use long, thin noodles like spaghetti or linguine, the cheese won't stick and you'll end up with noodle cheese soup. Yuck! To avoid this, try to find noodles with "plenty of surface area and nooks and crannies," which will soak up the cheese.