I just love this recipe so much! You know those foods that immediately flood your mind with memories? This simple recipe does just that for me. I made about a eighty of these for my son Ryan’s first birthday party and everyone loved them. We had a pirate party for Ryan and he even had a painted pirate mustache on his cute round face. The party was at my husband’s family beach house and I cranked out these Mac & Cheese bites in the tiny kitchen, while my mother in law baked his cake. My own parents and best friend helped set up the decorations. The whole day was such a labor of love. It was a wonderful day celebrating our little man. You can see a tiny glimpse into that day HERE.
This recipe is downright EASY! We often just make the mac & cheese with out baking them into little cups too. This recipe makes the best mac & cheese I’ve ever had, honest. We sometimes like to mix in peas, edamame, broccoli, the possibilities are endless! They also taste great as a side dish and make great party food.
Below is the recipe and I hope you enjoy them soon!
Mac & Cheese Bites
What You Need
2 cups cooked macaroni pasta (You can use whatever kind of pasta you like here, though I’d stick with small bite sized pasta rather than long spaghetti.)
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1 cup milk
hearty pinch of salt for the water to boil the pasta + a small pinch of salt to add in with the other spices
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 tablespoon granulated garlic
(with the pepper and garlic you can omit if your kids aren’t into the spices and add later for yourself. I also typically like to add a little extra because I love the flavor. Play around with them and find what works for your family.)
3 cups of shredded sharp cheddar (here you can use yellow or white cheese. You can also add in different types of cheese for a more robust flavor. Again this recipe leaves it open for you to get creative and make it your own!)
What You Do
First pre-heat your oven to 350 degrees. Prep your muffin pan by spraying it with non-stick spray or line it using cupcake liners.
In a large pot boil your macaroni pasta. Cook for about eight minutes or until tender. Be sure to not overcook the pasta here since you’ll be baking it. Taste your pasta and make sure there is still a bit a of bite to it.
Before draining your pasta, use a measuring cup or little pitcher to gather about 1/2 a cup of pasta water. We’ll use this later to help bring the pasta and cheese sauce together. Using pasta water helps make this the most creamiest mac & cheese!
Drain the pasta and return it back into the pot.
On medium low heat, add the butter and stir.
In a small bowl crack and whisk the egg. Then pour the whisked egg into the pasta and stir until the pasta is evenly coated.
Next, stir in the milk and cheese. Keep stirring until the cheese has melted and become smooth.
Keep stirring and add in your 1/2 cup of pasta water and spices.
Scoop your macaroni and cheese into the muffin pan and top each one with a little extra cheese.
Bake for about 15 minutes or until slightly golden around the edges.
Once baked, let them cool a bit before popping them out of the pan. This way they have a chance to come together and will keep their shape.
Photos by Lily Ro Photography