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Mac & Cheese Bites

April 6, 2011

I wish I could tell you that I came up with these mini Mac & Cheese bites myself…I didn’t.  Most recently, I saw them on a blog that I follow, & now I’m spreading the Mac & Cheese love (with a little Laura tweak or two).  What’s not to love about Mac & Cheese, especially in the perfectly-cute bite size form?

Elbow macaroni is the classic macaroni & cheese shape.  It works great here, but don’t be afraid to experiment with different shapes for your mac & cheese recipes.  For this recipe, I have used a mini penne shape, which worked perfectly, & this time I used gobetti, a larger elbow, available in my favorite Pasta Lensi pasta brand (as well as Target’s Giada pasta line).

Because I don’t have enough mini muffin pans, the first time I made these I tried making some in the regular sized muffin pans…not so much.  They did not stay intact.  Another lesson – make sure you let these cool about 5 min before removing from the pan (otherwise they, too, will fall apart).  I also wanted to test out the ‘how to make in advance’ recommendation.  It actually worked out fine.  Complete all steps except for the last one.  Refrigerate overnight & bake as directed the next day.  I think my next guests now know what to expect as an appetizer…

Ingredients

1/2 LB short pasta
1 1/2 tbsp unsalted butter
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
2 tbsp flour
1 tsp hickory smoked mustard, optional
3/4 cup skim milk
8 oz shredded cheddar cheese
1 egg yolk
hot sauce to taste, optional
1/4 cup Panko bread crumbs
1/2 tsp Spanish paprika

Directions

  • Preheat oven to 425 degrees.  Cook pasta according to package directions.  Drain but do not rinse.
  • Meanwhile, lightly grease four 12-cup mini muffin pans with non-stick cooking spray.  Lightly sprinkle with 1/4 cup of Parmesan cheese.
  • In a medium pot, melt butter over medium heat.  Whisk in the flour & cook 2 min.  Whisk in mustard & milk & cook, whisking until boiling, about 5 min.  Slowly stir in cheese until melted.
  • Remove from heat.  Whisk in egg yolk & hot sauce (if desired).  Fold in pasta.  Spoon tablespoons of the mixture into the prepared muffin pans.
  • In a small bowl, combine remaining Parmesan cheese, Panko bread crumbs & paprika.  Sprinkle on top of mini macs.
  • Bake mac & cheese bites on the top rack of the oven for 10 min or until bubbly.  Let cool for 5 min before gently removing with a spoon.

Enjoy!

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7 Comments leave one →
  1. krissi permalink
    April 11, 2011 12:47 pm

    looks yummy! I might have to try it this weekend for my nephew’s birthday!

  2. stephanie permalink
    April 20, 2011 12:23 pm

    so… made these over the weekend and they were AMAZING! i actually made them as a dinner 🙂 with side salads, of course! you are a culinary genius! thanks so much for all the wonderful recipes… i will eventually get to all of them! but this is one i will surely make again.

  3. Barbara permalink
    November 28, 2012 12:19 pm

    really like the idea for mini mac and cheese bites, looking over recipe I dont see where you
    add the cooked pasta. hummm.
    I am assuming after whisking the egg yolk with the milk, cheese mixture. Will try this for our Christmas Eve get together.

    • November 28, 2012 3:04 pm

      Yes, exactly! I adjusted it so it should read accurately now – thanks for the note.

  4. Sara permalink
    February 8, 2014 6:49 am

    I prepared the Mac and cheese last night to have ready for making these bites today for my daughters birthday party…good thing I quadrupled the recipe because people cannot keep their hands off of it! Will be using this as my standard baked Mac and cheese recipe regardless of how the bites turn out! (I am sure they will be great!)

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