|Awkward Kitchenette: Mac and Cheese Muffins|
Muffins are the ultimate toddler food - they can be eaten sans utensils, are relatively healthy-ish, and mom can make them once/week and have lunch for the whole week. That makes them #1 in my book-o-lunches.
These muffins were inspired by Binomial Baker's Mac and Cheese Cupcakes. I loved her bite-sized mac and cheese and just had to try it! She made a ton for her brother's graduation party - what a great party treat! (and what a great sister, right?)
Mine are muffin in shape, but less so in flavor considering they are made almost entirely of noodles and cheese. But obviously the muffin shape is thrilling, and has made macaroni and cheese *almost* mess-free! (We have a list of food items that can only be eaten outside with the hose handy - popsicles, ice cream, spaghetti... this mac and cheese can be inside food!)
And Mac and Cheese Muffins are yummy for grown-ups too. Of course.
I made these after our lake mini-vacation, and we ate them the rest of the week for lunches, so I can also attest to their warm-up-ability. Which is high.
I do have to admit, however, that I didn't go entirely for health with these. Cut back on the butter, go specifically for low-fat milk and cheese, and definitely use the whole wheat noodles (which I did do in this recipe). You might be able to switch out milk for water and use egg-whites only too, but I have no idea how those kind of substitutions work. Low-fat cheese for full-fat cheese substituting is more in my know-how.
This recipe is also pretty low-sodium, especially when compared with an unnamed blue boxed macaroni and cheese (um, not that I'm claiming we don't buy or eat said mac and cheese).
So, without further ado, I present Mac and Cheese Muffins!
Mac and Cheese Muffins
1 box of Whole Wheat Macaroni (you know I hate having left-over ingredients. Just cook the whole box.)
4 tablespoons butter
2 cups milk
2 cups cheddar, shredded
2 cups mozzarella, shredded
2 cups colby jack, shredded (*or insert any 6 cups of cheese you would like! This way just uses up 3 full bags of shredded cheese)
4 tablespoons olive oil
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/4 cups breadcrumbs
Step 1: Preheat oven to 350 degrees and boil water for macaroni noodles.
Step 2: Cook macaroni for 7-8 minutes.
Step 3: Mix bread crumbs, salt, and olive oil in a large bowl until bread crumbs are coated.
Step 4: Put 1/2 tablespoon of bread crumb mixture in each muffin tin and press into cup shape. That's hard to see in this picture. Reserve a little bit of bread crumbs for topping.
Step 5: Drain, rinse, and return macaroni to the pot.
Step 6: Add milk and butter to macaroni and stir to coat.
Step 7: Slowly add cheeses and stir - it's ok if the cheese isn't totally melted yet, it'll keep melting in the oven.
Step 8: Fill muffin cups with mac and
Step 9: Top muffins with remaining bread crumbs and cheese.
Step 10: Stick 'em in the oven for about 30 minutes and serve hot!
Need more cheese? Try:
Submitted to Country Cook's Weekend Potluck #23