Snatched Mac and Cheese Bites
lightened-up, healthy mini mac and cheese bites perfect for events and occasions
- 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
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.