Recipes

Mac & Cheese Muffins

As a kid, I loved Super Bowl Sunday, but not for the reasons you think.

Every year, my church youth group would throw a Super Bowl Sunday party, but I always managed to convince people who didn’t love the teams playing to come outside and play basketball with me instead. I wasn’t very good, but I loved to play pick up, and that night always meant 4 hours of basketball, broken up by the halftime show and good snacks that everybody’s parents brought.

Much to my husband’s disappointment, I still don’t get into the NFL that much. But my love for Super Bowl Sunday remains because of the food! Super Bowl Sunday food always seems to be the culmination of hearty messy snack food that require you to check your diet at the door. Dips. Wings. Potato skins. All those sorts of delicious favorite foods that come together for plateful after plateful of the best snacking day of the year.

What more can we add to that? Macaroni and cheese!

These muffins are the BEST way to eat mac and cheese at a party!

These muffins are the BEST way to eat mac and cheese at a party!

I LOVE mac and cheese. It’s probably one of my favorite foods, and seems to fit the Super Bowl food theme. But its a fork food, which makes it difficult to eat if you’ve got six people wedged on a couch.

Enter: the mac and cheese muffin.

It’s handheld. It’s delicious. It’s easy to make (also a prerequisite for Super Bowl food). It’s cheesy. What more can you ask for?

Based on this recipe, with my own personalizations.

These muffins are the BEST way to eat mac and cheese at a party!

Start with melted butter and flour.

These muffins are the BEST way to eat mac and cheese at a party!

Add the milk, garlic and cheese! Melt and combine.

These muffins are the BEST way to eat mac and cheese at a party!

Whisk in the egg.

These muffins are the BEST way to eat mac and cheese at a party!

In another dish, combine pasta, spinach and cheese sauce.

These muffins are the BEST way to eat mac and cheese at a party!

Mix well so everything’s coated!

These muffins are the BEST way to eat mac and cheese at a party!

Scoop into muffin tin and top with a little more cheese.

These muffins are the BEST way to eat mac and cheese at a party!

Final result: cheesey melty goodness! Let them cool before you remove them from the tin.

These muffins are the BEST way to eat mac and cheese at a party!

Mac and Cheese Muffins

INGREDIENTS:

  • 12 oz macaroni
  • 1 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 1 tbsp all-purpose flour
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 cup skim milk
  • 8 oz shredded cheese (cheddar, or a combination of cheddar with something creamy like Monterey jack or gouda), plus extra for sprinkling
  • 1 egg
  • 1 egg white
  • 10 oz frozen spinach, defrosted and drained

STEPS:

  1. Preheat the oven to 400°F. Cook the pasta as directed. Pat dry the spinach – it needs to be as dry as possible.
  2. Melt the butter over medium heat in a pot. Add in flour and mix until butter is thickened. Add the butter and garlic and raise the heat to medium high – you don’t want it to boil, but get close. Add the cheese and whisk until cheese is melted and the sauce has an even texture.
  3. Remove from heat and add the egg and egg white.
  4. Combine the pasta and spinach together, then add the cheese sauce, salt and pepper to taste, and mix thoroughly.
  5. Grease muffin tins and distribute the macaroni mixture in. The recipe makes 12-18, depending on the size of your muffin tins. Sprinkle the tops with a bit more cheese.
  6. Bake 12-15 minutes, allowing the cheese to fully melt and tops to start to brown.
  7. Very important: let them cool for at least 10 minutes before you remove them! They fall apart if you take them out immediately. The more moisture in your spinach, the harder it is for them to remain muffin shaped.

These muffins are the BEST way to eat mac and cheese at a party!

If spinach isn’t your thing, I’ve heard of people doing this with chopped up broccoli as well. Make sure the broccoli’s fully cooked before you add it to the pasta.

What are your favorite party foods? Anything you’re planning for Super Bowl Sunday?

The links above contain affiliate links, which means I get a few cents (at no extra cost to you) if you book or buy something via that link. This helps me keep costs down and posts up! All images copyright Teaspoon of Nose.

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