When life gives you baked mac and cheese, why not go for healthy mac and cheese bites as appetizers? After I created my Baked Macaroni and Cheese and Bacon Gouda Mac recipes, I promised to create a version that is more in line with a healthy eating regime. These mac and cheese bites are the perfect dupe! I used the exact same ingredients that I use in my homestyle recipe, with the exception of substituting for almond or skim milk and 2% cheddar cheese vs regular. Overall, I also reduced the amount cheese. Small changes like these go a long way. Using muffin tins to make the mac and cheese into a bite form, aids in PORTION CONTROL. Portion control is key when committing to a healthy lifestyle. It opens the door to indulgence in many of the foods we all love so much.
Calories: 191 Fat: 11G Carbs: 12G Protein: 10G
3 bites = 1 serving
A large muffin pan definitely comes in handy.
Snatched Mac and Cheese Bites
- 1 pound elbow macaroni or cellentani
- 2 1/2 cups sharp cheddar cheese shredded
- 1/2 cup parmigiano reggiano shredded
- 1/2 cup fontina cheese shredded
- 1/4 cup muenster cheese cut into tiny chunks
- 2 1/2 cups of almond milk or skim
- 2 tablespoons flour
- 3 tablespoons butter
- 3/4 cup whole wheat bread crumbs
- salt pepper, and onion powder to taste
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
Cooking the Pasta
- Boil a large pot with salted water over high heat.
- Add the macaroni and cook for about 5 minutes (elbow macaroni) 8-9 minutes (cellentani).
- Drain the macaroni and rinse with cold water. This is important. You want the pasta to cool so that it does not continue to cook. The pasta will cook again while baking in the oven. Over-cooked pasta results in a terrible texture.
Creating the Crust
- Heat a skillet over medium-high heat. Add one tablespoon of butter and allow it to melt in the pan.
- Add the bread crumbs and 1/2 cup of the shredded cheddar cheese.
- If the mixture is too dry (mine was) add a tablespoon of water and stir.
- Spray a mini muffin tin with cooking spray.
- Press about 1/2 teaspoon of the breadcrumbs mixture into the bottom of each muffin tin.
Creating the Slurry
- Heat a sauce pan on medium heat. Add the remaining butter and allow it to melt.
- Once melted, add the flour and whisk.
- This will create a slurry. Continue to whisk until the four is fully combined.
- Add the milk and stir.
- Add half of the cheese and stir until the cheese is melted.
- Add the seasonings and taste repeatedly.
- Return the pasta to the large pot. Drizzle the liquid mixture over the pasta and stir until fully combined.
Creating the Bites
- Spoon the macaroni into each of the muffin tins. Fill each tin about half way.
- Note: You can also fill each tin (instead of filling half way). This will create less bites (servings) and increase the macros of each.
- Stuff chunks of muenster throughout each.
- Sprinkle the remaining cheeses on top of each bite.
- Bake for 18-20 minutes.
- Remove from oven and allow to cool for 10-15 minutes.
- Do not try to remove them prior to cooling. The bites will break.
- After at least 10 minutes, use a knife around the edges and remove the bites slowly.