Mac ‘n Cheese Bites

If you’re looking for a good appetizer idea for Super Bowl Sunday, look no further.  I tried this out for New Year’s Eve – and it was a-mazing.  Crispy bite-sized mac ‘n cheese?  Yes, please.  

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 1/2 cups white cheddar, grated
  • 1 1/2 cups pepper jack, grated
  • 1 cup mozzarella, grated
  • 1/2 cup pecorino romano, grated
    • Tip: an easy way to grate all of this cheese is to thickly slice it and toss it into a food processor fitted with a metal blade – you could also use the grater attachment if you’ve got it
  • 1 lb egg noodles (I use Pennsylvania Dutch, medium or wide)
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • Approximately 1 – 1 1/2 cups ‘Italian’ seasoned breadcrumbs
* This recipe yields 36 mac ‘n cheese bites – you can easily freeze this and bake when you need it!

HOW TO MAKE IT

  • Preheat your oven to 350°F
  • Place all of the grated cheese into a large bowl and toss together with your hands until well blended
  • Place the egg noodles into a large pot of salted boiling water and cook as directed on the package
  • While the noodles are boiling, prepare the mini muffin pans…
    • Make sure not to overcook the noodles because they will continue to cook in the oven
  • Spray the mini muffin pans with  nonstick cooking spray
  • Pour some bread crumbs into each cup of the mini muffin pan and tilt the pan around until the sides of each ‘muffin’ are coated with the crumbs; reserve the extra crumbs, if you can, and reuse to coat the other pans
  • Once the noodles are just cooked, strain them and put the tbsp of butter into the hot pot you used used to cook the noodles – place the pot over low heat
  • Pour half of the noodles into the pot with butter and add in half of the grated cheese and stir together
  • Add in the rest of the noodles and then all of the cheese and continue to mix well over low heat
  • Once the noodles and cheeses are well combined, spoon the mixture into each breadcrumbed mini muffin cup – use your fingers to pack it in
  • Top the mac ‘n cheese off with another sprinkle of breadcrumbs and bake at 350°F for approximately 20 minutes or until the tops are golden brown
  • Once the mac ‘n cheese is cooked, run a butter knife along the edge of the muffin cups to loosen the mac ‘n cheese bites from the sides of the pan

** This is basically the Christmas Mac ‘n Cheese recipe without the breadcrumb crust.   I did try making the breadcrumb crust in the mini muffin pans and you really couldn’t tell the difference between the crust and just plain breadcrumbs – so save yourself the work and leave that step out!