My favorite parts of macaroni and cheese are the cheesy topping and the crusty edges. What if you could achieve that in a hand-held macaroni and cheese bite that’s baked to perfection in a muffin tin? Well, you can with this delicious Make-Ahead Muffin Tin Mac & Cheese. It’s easy to make, tastes incredible whether it’s hot or cold, can be refrigerated and reheated, and best of all, freezes beautifully. Who could ask for more?
I used the following ingredients for the Make Ahead Muffin Tin Mac & Cheese: Elbow macaroni, unsalted butter, cream cheese, milk, egg, dry mustard, cheddar cheese, Fontina cheese, Panko bread crumbs, olive oil, salt and freshly ground black pepper.
Making the Muffin Tin Mac & Cheese
I started by cooking the macaroni in salted boiling water for 7 minutes.
After 7 minutes, I drained the macaroni in a colander, and dumped it into a large mixing bowl. I added the butter and cream cheese to the hot macaroni, and stirred the mixture to melt the butter and cream cheese, and coat the macaroni. Then, I added the milk and egg, and continued stirring to evenly incorporate the milk and egg into the mixture. That was followed by the addition of the dry mustard, salt, freshly ground black pepper, and the cheddar and Fontina cheeses. I stirred the mixture to ensure that everything was well mixed.
Using a large ice cream scoop, I added the macaroni mixture to my well buttered muffin pan. I topped the macaroni mixture with reserved cheddar cheese, Fontina cheese, and Panko bread crumbs, that had been mixed with a bit of olive oil.
Into a preheated 350° F oven the macaroni went for 35 minutes, until the top was bubbly and golden brown and the macaroni well set.
I let the macaroni cool for 10 minutes before transferring the bites from the muffin tin to a wire rack.
I ended up with a dozen incredibly versatile Make Ahead Muffin Tin Mac & Cheese bites. They’re equally delicious whether hot or cold. In addition, they can be easily refrigerated and reheated. Best of all, they freeze beautifully, which is the Make-Ahead part, and are readily on hand for your anytime feast. Yum!
For a smaller version, but equally delicious recipe, you should try my Wonton Mac & Cheese Bites. Or if you’re looking for some more Mac & Cheese goodness, check out my Ultimate Make Ahead Macaroni and Cheese or Susan’s Easy Stovetop Mac & Cheese.
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Make-Ahead Muffin Tin Mac & Cheese
- 2 cups (8 ounces) uncooked elbow macaroni
- 1 Tablespoon unsalted butter room temperature
- 3 ounces cream cheese room temperature
- 1 cup (8 ounces) milk
- 1 large egg
- 1 teaspoon dry mustard
- 2 cups (8 ounces) shredded Cheddar cheese, divided
- 2 cups (8 ounces) shredded Fontina cheese, divided
- Freshly ground black pepper
- ¼ cup Panko bread crumbs
- 1 Tablespoon olive oil
- Preheat oven to 350° F. Generously butter cups of muffin pan. Set aside.
- Cook macaroni in salted boiling water for 7 minutes. Drain in colander. Transfer to large mixing bowl.
- Add butter and cream cheese to hot macaroni. Stir to melt butter and cream cheese and evenly coat macaroni.
- Add milk and egg; stir to evenly coat macaroni.
- Add dry mustard, ¼ to ½ teaspoon of salt, and ⅛ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper; stir to combine.
- Add 1-½ cups cheddar cheese and 1-½ cups Fontina cheese; stir to combine.
- Spoon macaroni mixture into muffin pan. Top with reserved cheddar cheese and Fontina cheese.
- Mix Panko bread crumbs with 1 tablespoon olive oil. Sprinkle 1 teaspoon of Panko bread crumb mixture on top of macaroni cups.
- Bake in preheated oven for 30 to 35 minutes, or until tops are golden brown and bubbly, and macaroni is set.
- Remove from oven; cool 10 minutes before removing from pan to wire rack to continue cooling.
- May be served hot or cold, refrigerated and reheated, or frozen and reheated.
- Yield: 12 Make Ahead Muffin Tin Mac & Cheese.