Super cheesy mac and cheese muffins are baked in single serve sizes in a cupcake tin. This recipe is perfect for lunch or a really fun side dish.
Grabbing your own 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 your standard baked macaroni and cheese.
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.
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!
Additions and Alterations
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.
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 pepper jack macaroni recipe.
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.
Why would you put eggs in macaroni and cheese?
The eggs in this recipe help to hold the mac and cheese together in it’s muffin form. That makes these mac and cheese cupcakes portable and extra fun.
What’s the best cheese for mac and cheese?
There are a lot of great options for making macaroni and cheese. Cheddar, gruyere, monterey jack, colby jack, and gouda are all great options. A mix of cheeses is always nice as well.
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 making Instant Pot macaroni and cheese.
That is a great recipe that involves almost no prep. The noodles cook in the pressure cooker before you stir in a few extra ingredients to make a cheesy sauce.
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.
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Mac and Cheese Muffins
- 2 cups elbow macaroni uncooked
- 1 Tablespoon butter
- 1 egg lightly beaten
- 2 cups shredded cheese we used cheddar and co-jack
- 1½ cups milk
- ¾ teaspoons salt
- ¼ teaspoons ground pepper
- ¼ teaspoon paprika
- Preheat oven to 350° F. Grease 12 muffin wells.
- Boil pasta in salted water until al dente. Drain.
- Toss hot pasta with the butter to melt the butter and coat the pasta.
- Add remaining ingredients and stir to combine.
- Scoop into prepared pan (an ice cream scoop works well for this!)
- Bake 30 minutes or until set. Allow to cool for at least 10 minutes before removing from the pan.