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Macaroni and Cheese Muffins

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Super cheesy mac and cheese baked in single serve sizes in a cupcake tin. This recipe is perfect for a fun lunch or a really fun side dish.

two cheesy macaroni muffins on plate ready to eat

     Grabbing your own little macaroni and cheese muffin comes with its own special kind of anticipation.  They are loaded with cheese and pasta like you would expect but are way more fun than the casserole version.  They make a fun finger food for lunchboxes or an exciting side dish for dinner. Make some to see for yourself.

     It is back to school time! With all of the extra worries that involves this year, I thought I’d help take the worry of what to give the kids for lunch off your table.

     This super fun mac and cheese recipe is quick and versatile. It’s perfect whether you are packing their lunchbox or feeding them at home.

macaroni and cheese mixture in muffin tin ready to bake

     In fact you could make a batch in the evening and serve them as a fun side for dinner. Bag up the leftovers and toss them in lunches throughout the week.

     They are great hot but still yummy at room temperature.  Plus they can be eaten as a finger food so you don’t have to worry about silverware.

      If you are eating them at home, they reheat well.  About twenty seconds in the microwave is all it takes!

macaroni and cheese cupcakes in tin fresh from oven

Stir in options to jazz them up

    We love these muffins as they are. It is hard to beat a simple but delicious mac and cheese.

    However there are countless ways you could mix up this base recipe to make it different. That way you can keep making them over and over without getting bored

   One of the easiest ways to change it up is changing the type of cheese. We used cheddar and colby jack for a traditional kind of flavor.

hand holding mac and cheese cupcake ready to eat

     Doing a mix of Parmesan cheese and mozzarella would be a fabulous way to give them an Italian twist.  Other great options would include gruyere, swiss, gouda, pepper jack or Monterey jack.

     You could also change it up by stirring in fun add-ins. For instance, diced ham would be a perfect addition.

      Maybe try peas or broccoli for added veggies. If you like the idea of adding vegetables but don’t want them to be so obvious, try shredded carrots or a little bit of acorn squash or pumpkin puree.

     It may sound odd, but I have been successful sneaking it in with my guys who both refuse to think they like pumpkin. They didn’t even question it when I served them acorn squash mac and cheese or a pumpkin pepperjack macaroni recipe.

inside of cheesy pasta muffin

    Shredded chicken would be another fun addition. Even a little leftover bbq chicken would be amazing!

     You could even jazz them up with fun toppings.  Butter bread crumbs baked on top would be a classic option.

    French fried onions would be fun and flavorful. Even crunched up cornflakes or crackers would be yummy on your pasta.

More Fun Ways to Make Mac & Cheese

If you like trying different varieties of mac and cheese, we have options for you! For a super easy version try my no boil mac and cheese.  

That is a great recipe that involves almost no prep.  No boiling of noodles, no making of cheese sauce, just dump and bake! 

two servings of mac and cheese on plate with cupcake tin filled with more in background

 Or for another no muss no fuss recipe, try slow cooker mac and cheese with corn.  It is a dump and cook recipe that is made in the slow cooker.  

 The corn adds some extra nutrition, flavor and fun to the dish.  It is a great kid friendly side dish or would make a fun meatless meal. 

For more great lunch ideas, check out my build your own lunchbox adventureor these great ideas for back to school lunches!

Yield: 12 Muffins

Mac and Cheese Muffins

two macaroni and cheese muffins in front of muffin tin

Grabbing your own little macaroni and cheese muffin comes with its own special kind of anticipation. They are loaded with cheese and pasta like you would expect but are way more fun than the casserole version. They make a fun finger food for lunchboxes or an exciting side dish for dinner. Make some to see for yourself.

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Total Time 55 minutes

Ingredients

  • 2 cups elbow macaroni (uncooked)
  • 1 Tablespoon butter
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 2 cups shredded cheese (we used cheddar and co-jack)
  • 1.5 cups milk
  • 3/4 teaspoons salt
  • 1/4 teaspoons ground pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon paprika

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350° F. Grease 12 muffin wells.
  2. Boil pasta in salted water until al dente. Drain.
  3. Toss hot pasta with the butter to melt the butter and coat the pasta. 
  4. Add remaining ingredients and stir to combine.
  5. Scoop into prepared pan (an ice cream scoop works well for this!) 
  6. Bake 30 minutes or until set. Allow to cool for at least 10 minutes before removing from the pan.

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Nutrition Information:

Yield:

12

Serving Size:

1

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 139Total Fat: 8gSaturated Fat: 5gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 3gCholesterol: 39mgSodium: 285mgCarbohydrates: 8gFiber: 0gSugar: 0gProtein: 7g

All nutritional information is estimated and will depend on the exact ingredients you use.

Did you make this recipe?

I'd love to see it! Share a picture on Instagram or Pinterest and tag me @carleecooks to let me know how it went!

Super cheesy mac and cheese baked in single serve sizes in a cupcake tin. This recipe is perfect for a fun lunch or a really fun side dish.

Share with your friends!

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Julia

Friday 21st of August 2020

I'm certain that I wouldn't be able to share any of these with anyone else before I gobbled them all up! YUM!

Carlee

Saturday 29th of August 2020

I wouldn't blame you one bit!

Debbie

Thursday 20th of August 2020

Hi Carlee, I love this idea. I like to have nibbles in the fridge and these would do well as a hiking picnic too! Your sauce is so much easier than mine too. I always make a basic white sauce and add cheese and bits . Will have to try yours for sure!

xx

Carlee

Saturday 29th of August 2020

They are so easy to make and super tasty. I hope you enjoy them!

Andrea Nine

Wednesday 19th of August 2020

These are so fun and look so yummy!

Carlee

Saturday 29th of August 2020

Thank you!

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