This fun little appetizer was my top pick for a baby shower I planned to host at my house this past Sunday for my dear friend. Well, her sweet baby boy had a different agenda and he came into the world at 4 am on the day of the intended party! Thankfully he is healthy and the whole family is doing well. Needless to say, however, the shower was cancelled and my frig was full of goodies ready to serve to a crowd, including these Mini Macaroni Bites. Thank goodness we have a big family and it only takes a few last minute texts to round up an eager crew. Chris put a roast in the oven, my sister-in-law brought over a salad and we ate my appetizers for dinner instead! I appreciate this recipe because you can make it with traditional noodles and all-purpose flour or you can turn it in to a gluten-free delight by substituting gluten free noodles and “Cup 4 Cup” flour. No one in our crew could tell I made mine gluten-free.
I made the cheese sauce and noodle mixture the night before and refrigerated the mac in my mini muffin tins. Then on Sunday, I simply had to pop them in oven to finish them off. I love the taste of creamy three-cheese macaroni so this recipe is an all-around hit with me!
If you are looking for a kid friendly appetizer you can make the night before, this recipe is for you. I think it is a fabulous choice for upcoming Easter brunches and gatherings.
Eat well this spring, Angie P.S. We are quickly approaching peach bloom on the farm, albeit two weeks earlier than last year. We sure hope Mother Nature will be gentle in the coming week as the peaches bloom. Freezing temperatures mean frozen peach buds and that is heartbreaking. Get ready to see some of the prettiest pink bloom pictures in next week’s blog post and in the meantime, please think warm thoughts for Eckert’s peaches!!
- 8 oz of uncooked elbow macaroni
- 1 ½ Tbs. unsalted butter, plus more for brushing
- 1/4 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
- 2 Tbs. all-purpose flour
- ¾ cup milk
- 4 oz. cheddar cheese, shredded
- 4 oz. deli-sliced American cheese
- 1 large egg yolk
- ¼ tsp. paprika
- Pinch of salt
- Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Bring a pot of salted water to a boil. Cook macaroni noodles until al dente. Drain and set aside.
- Brush three 12-cup mini muffin tins with butter. Sprinkle each pan with 2 tablespoons of Parmigiano and shake out the excess.
- In a large saucepan, melt 1 ½ tablespoons of butter. Whisk in the flour over medium heat for about 2 minutes. Add milk and whisk continuously until it boils, about 5 minutes. Add the cheddar and American cheese and whisk until melted. (Note: mixture will be thick but if it is too thick to stir, add more milk 1 tablespoons at a time until it can be stirred). Off the heat, stir in the egg yolk, paprika and salt. Then add the macaroni and stir to combine.
- Fill muffin cups to the top of the tin and pack them gently. Sprinkle with remaining Parmigiano cheese.
- Bake macaroni bites in for 10-15 minutes or until lightly browned. Cool 5 minutes before transferring to a plate and serving. Makes 36 mini muffins.
- Notes: This recipe can be completely assembled ahead and refrigerated overnight before baking.
- This recipe can be made gluten-free by substituting Cup 4 Cup All-Purpose Flour and gluten free pasta. Milk will need to be increased to 1 cup.
- This recipe adapted was from Food & Wine magazine.