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My hope is to inspire you to be fearless in the kitchen, to try new things, to take the time to make things the homemade way and most importantly, to have fun doing it!

Mac and Cheese Bites Cooking View

So here’s the deal with these mac and cheese bites.  When I first made them, I did not have very high hopes.  Though a cute idea in theory, I imagined they weren’t much more than that, and thought they might leave something to be desired as far as taste goes.  I made them for Caroline’s birthday party because mac and cheese was an ideal dish for rounding out the menu, and the individual servings are perfect for a party spread.  You know exactly where this is going – these were the hit of the party.  They disappeared in no time and guests raved about them.  They were gone so quickly that I couldn’t even take a picture.  So, I made them again just for you guys.  That’s how much I like you….and maybe we just wanted to have them again.  The cracker crumb crust helps keep them intact, and the mac and cheese itself is great – rich, cheesy, creamy.  These would fit right in at just about any event or get-together.  I foresee them being repeated numerous times throughout the summer for parties, get-togethers, Tuesdays, and the like.

Mac and Cheese Bites
Yield: 18 servings

Ingredients

12 oz. elbow macaroni noodles
2 cups butter cracker crumbs (such as Ritz)
3 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese, divided
6 tbsp. unsalted butter, melted
1 (5.2 oz.) package Boursin garlic herb cheese
2 tbsp. cold unsalted butter
2 large eggs
¾ cup milk
¼ cup sour cream
¼ tsp. salt
Pinch red pepper flakes

Cooking View

Directions

  • Preheat the oven to 350˚ F.  Bring a large pot of water to boil.  Cook the pasta according to the package directions until just shy of al dente.  Drain well.  Meanwhile, lightly grease standard size muffin pans with cooking spray.  In a medium bowl, combine the cracker crumbs, ½ cup of the shredded cheese, and melted butter and mix with a fork until combined.  Spoon a bit of the mixture into the bottom of each muffin well and tamp down with the flat bottom of a glass or other.

  • Once the pasta is cooked and drained, add it to a large mixing bowl with the remaining shredded cheese, the boursin and cold butter.  In a liquid measuring cup, combine the eggs, milk, and sour cream and whisk to combine.  Add the liquid mixture to the bowl with the pasta.  Stir in the salt and red pepper flakes and mix until evenly combined.

  • Divide the macaroni mixture between the prepared muffin wells.  Bake until light golden, about 20-25 minutes.  Let cool in the muffin pans at least 10-15 minutes, then carefully remove from the pan and serve warm.

Source

  • RikiTikiTembo

    Oh I cant WAIT to try these! perfect party fare – LOVE it.

  • http://twitter.com/bakedbyrachel Rachel Currier

    I’ve seen muffin cup mac n cheese before and it never gets old! Super cute Annie.

  • TheMrsatSuccessAlongtheWeigh

    Oh yeah, definitely making these.

  • Steph C

    Ah! Have made these before, so good! Crazy delicious!

  • http://tideandthyme.com/ Laura

    Yum, I’d completely forgotten about these little babies! Can’t wait to give them a try.

  • Katrina @ Warm Vanilla Sugar

    These are so fun Annie! I’m glad you explained them a bit, because I would think they would be dry, but now I’m going to try them for sure!

  • Emilie

    These would be so perfect for a bridal shower! love it :)

  • gina marinara

    I love that they come portion controlled servings

  • Liz N

    Oh my! Boursin?! Yes, please! And the cracker crumbs is a great idea! I cannot wait to make this for one of our summer parties. I’m sure it’ll be a hit with kids AND adults, as it was at Caroline’s birthday party. YUM!

  • Karly Campbell

    Ooh, these are fun! I might make these to go along with our meatloaf tonight!

  • http://twitter.com/IWashYouDry I Wash You Dry

    Oh my gosh! Yes, these look like they would be a hit anytime!

  • http://themollybuckley.com/ still being [Molly]

    oh my goodness these look so delicious!!

  • Heidi B.

    Do you think these could be made ahead of time then gently re-warmed in the oven?

  • Aleta

    Thanks so much for the recipe! I plan to make these for my daughter’s birthday party next weekend. Can I ask if you had a way to keep them warm throughout the party?

  • Coby

    These look SO good! Unfortunately I have 3 children who detest mac and cheese! Seriously??? They must be mutants. Doesn’t matter if it’s homemade or from a box. But sometimes I’ll make a small homemade batch just for myself for lunch – I may have to do that with these little cuties!

  • Robin

    Yum! About how many do these make? 12 or 24 regular muffin pans?

  • annieseats

    The yield is listed with the recipe :)

  • annieseats

    I baked them so they were fresh from the oven just before the party, and they were devoured long before they had a chance to get cold :)

  • annieseats

    Possibly, but I would probably just assemble in advance and then bake fresh – I think they would be best that way.

  • Michelle

    Hi there. Can these be frozen and thawed? Huge party coming up!

  • Lynna Huynh

    These look so cute and perfect for upcoming summer get togethers!

  • http://twitter.com/TreatsiesBakery Renee

    Yum! These are going on my meatless Monday list for sure!

  • http://www.themuffinmyth.com/ Katie

    Do you think these would be as good baked in mini muffin tins? Or would that throw off the crusty outside to gooey center ratio and be not as good?

  • annieseats

    Please see the FAQ page. Thanks.

  • AmyR.

    These look great! I have to admit that I generally use Velveeta to make our Mac & Cheese (recipe from my Mom), however I’ve been switching to less processed foods & have recently tried a Mac & Cheese recipe however it turned out sort of “grainy.” I know you can’t answer “what did I do wrong” questions, but I was wondering if you shred a block of cheese as opposed to buying a bag of the pre-shredded for your recipes. I’m thinking the quality of the cheese would absolutely make a difference in this or any other Mac & Cheese recipe. I checked your FAQ page & didn’t see anything about cheese on there! :) Thanks for another tempting recipe!

  • Laura Thomson

    These look adorable and sound delicious. I cannot wait to try them!

  • http://thefigtree.blogspot.com/ Courtneyraejones

    I cannot wait to make these! Fantastic post as always Annie :)

  • Danielle

    Oooh, I imagine these would also be good using goldfish crackers. Might have to give them a try this weekend!

  • annieseats

    Always shred your own cheese. Pre-shredded cheese comes coated in things like flour or cornstarch to prevent it from clumping and causes a grainy texture when “melted”. It’s always worth it to shred it yourself.

  • annieseats

    I think they would taste fine but I feel like the small size would be more trouble that it’s worth – you’d still end up eating a few, which is equal to one standard size. And I think you’d have to use a mini size noodle to fit well into the mini muffin wells.

  • Vicki Bensinger

    These are adorable and sound so delicious. I could probably eat about 10 of these in one sitting. What a great little treat especially for someone trying to cut back. At least you get to satisfy your food craving without having to worry too much about your waistline.

  • madge

    What a great tip! Perhaps this explains why my roux for mac and cheese is always grainy. Thanks for sharing!

  • http://twitter.com/KatiesCucina Katie Jasiewicz

    These sound delightful and to be honest anything with boursin cheese is A+ in my book!

  • http://www.louandesi.com/ Louise @ Lou and Esi

    I love these! They’re so cute and they look delicious!

  • Tracie Will

    These look and sound awesome! A question, in the photo it looks as though each “bite” is sitiing on a piece of parchment paper – did you use parchment in the muffin well or just cooking spray?

  • annieseats

    I made them as described in the instructions. The parchment was just my choice for serving.

  • http://atthepatisserie.wordpress.com/ Ann P.

    Drool. These look so delicious! perfect for this weekend’s annual memorial day bbq cookout!

  • http://www.valeriehjohnson.com/ Valerie

    This dish is cute and unique. What a novel idea, I’ve got to try it.

  • Angela

    I’ve been excited to try them since you posted the picture from your daughter’s party. Thanks for sharing!

  • http://foodfashionandflow.blogspot.com/ foodfashionandflow

    These look so sinfully delicious! I love these cute individual servings. Very cute for entertaining and I know they taste amazing.

  • Missy Elam

    Annie, these look delicious! I have one question. Do you think that you could make them ahead of time and reheat? I’m throwing a party this weekend and would love to include these but I would need to make ahead.

    Thanks for always posting such amazing ideas!

  • annieseats

    I think I answered this a couple of times in the previous comments, so please see below. Thanks!

  • bridget

    Those look incredible…and a little dangerous! As in, I could eat massive quantities of them! ;)

  • http://www.feedingmytemple.com/ Allison Sullivan

    Do you suggest an alternative to Boursin? I’m not sure I can find it in my area.

  • annieseats

    It’s available in just about any grocery store. Even our terrible grocery stores carry it. Or you can Google for a sub. Hope that helps!

  • sweetsugarbelle

    I was excited to find that these weren’t fried…know what else I like? I like that you like a little red pepper in everything!

  • Melischamberlin

    I am a cheesehead, and can attest to this. Also try some of the more creamier cheeses with the same texture as velveta, but not processed. Some examples are Havarti, provolone, or Fontine.

  • Mindy8478

    I made these today for our “Schools Out” party. The kids are not home yet but I have already sampled them and they are amazing!!! Grandma Pat was raving about them from Caroline’s birthday party and I knew I would have to give them and try. I am so happy that I did!!!
    Mac and Cheese is Quinton’s favorite food and I know he is going to love these! Thanks:-)

  • annieseats

    Yay Mindy! That is awesome :)

  • Vanessa F

    Made these for a neighborhood party tonight, and the short version of the story is that they were a hit!

    The longer version: I had trouble figuring out what to do with the 2 tablespoons of cold butter, and I actually left out. Now I realize that if I’d been mixing everything together when the macaroni was still hot — which I wasn’t– it would’ve just melted into it. But I’m not sure I even missed that extra bit of butter, so I may continue to leave it out anyway!

    And speaking of lightening things up, I made the recipe with whole wheat Ritz (on purpose), “light” Boursin (not really on purpose), and Ronzoni “Smart Taste” macaroni (because it’s what I happened to have on hand). And I’m happy to report that it all still worked, and nobody was the wiser ;)

    I also wanted to mention that I was able to get a solid 24 of them. It wasn’t until I followed the source links that I realized maybe I should’ve worked the crust up the sides of the muffin cups, but they still held together!

    Thank you once again for making me look good :)

  • annieseats

    I adapted it to include crust only on the bottom because I think it is unnecessary on the sides and would be way too much cracker crumb to macaroni ratio. That was my intent :) Glad they were a hit!

  • Trishschott

    Delicious!! A BIG hit at our Memorial Day Party!! I going to make them again for a party we’re going to tomorrow!! I might make them in little cupcake pans – YUMMY!! Thanks!

  • Syb5259

    made these for memorial day… they were a super hit! I was asked for the recipe multiple times. You inspire me to try new things in my kitchen constantly!

    Thank you so much :)

  • Vanessa F

    Great call on the crumb to macaroni ratio! I do want to add that I suspect the whole wheat crackers I used resulted in a more “crumbly” crust than the original. I’m considering adding a little more butter or cheese to the crust mixture next time. On the other hand, I think that although there were more crumbs in the pan after I removed the bites, I still think the crumb to macaroni ratio was pretty good. So, I might just leave it alone.

  • Kareed12

    My kids loved these! For the first time they liked something better than what comes in a box. The adults loved them too!

  • Suehbritton

    LLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLove this….

  • Dor5

    I love love this idea……it makes me think I’m not eating “too much”, and how cute are they? I can’t wait to try them.

  • Molly

    I tried a baking a batch that I had prepared the night before…everything was cooked, assembled so I just scooped into the muffin tins and baked. The bites did not hold together at all and were definitely not as fresh tasting as the ones baked the day before. Not sure if you ever tried this, Heidi…but I wouldn’t recommend going this route.

  • Oksana

    Annie, thanks so much for another wonderful recipe. I made these for the first time at my daughters birthday party and didn’t have to worry about whether they would turn out right or taste good because everything I’ve made from your blog (and I’ve made tons of stuff) always turns out great. Thanks for all you do!

  • Tally Dettling

    I just received these with a meal prepared by a friend. We just had our 4th baby, and she was sweet enough to bring us dinner. I have 3 boys (4.5 years, 3.5 years, and 2) and now our daughter. The boys have been in a picky phase lately, but LOVE mac n’ cheese. These things were a huge hit! Thank you! We’ll be making them again soon! Was curious if you thought they’d keep okay in a lunch box? I know they wouldn’t be real warm, but thinking I could put them in there in the morning and by lunch time they’d be the right temp. Just wasn’t sure if they’d be safe to eat after sitting out for a few hours.

  • annieseats

    You’ll have to make that decision for yourself. Good luck! So glad your friend brought them to you and that you enjoyed them!

  • Kareed12

    Update to my other comment of loving these: The second time I made them, when I wasn’t trying to impress a party, I was lazy and made this whole recipe in a 13 x 9 pan. It turned out delicious!

  • Kat

    I would love to make these for my son’s 1st birthday party in a few weeks. Do you think they would turn out right if I prepared the ingredients the day before but cooked them the morning of the party?

  • annieseats

    I haven’t tried that, so you’ll have to experiment. Good luck!

  • Jacobsmum

    Can you freeze these?

  • annieseats

    I haven’t tried it. Sorry!

  • http://www.mcubedmakeup.blogspot.com/ Marina – mCubed Makeup

    I’m not a fan of sour cream AT ALL! Is there anything you can suggest substituting…or can you even taste the sour cream, I know it doesn’t call for much. I usually stay away from recipes with them because I worry about the tart-y taste it sometimes makes.

  • annieseats

    You can’t taste it. Please see the FAQ page regarding substitutions.

  • gie

    Thanks for the insightful answer!

  • Colleen Raby

    I’m thinking about doing the same thing…using a 9×13…which way did you like better?

  • Colleen Raby

    Were you able to prepare them in advance and bake just before serving?

  • Yasmin Do

    Sounds amazing! I’m a new blogger:). Are there any substitutes for the Boursin? We don’t have any in Australia.

  • annieseats

    Please see the FAQ page regarding substitutions. Thanks!

  • Yasmin

    There is no brain available where I live, what can I use as a substitute?

  • annieseats

    Please see the FAQ page regarding substitutions. Thanks!

  • Mklove

    Where can I find Boursin cheese?

  • annieseats

    I buy it at the grocery store.

  • http://www.facebook.com/eawooden Elizabeth Wooden

    I have seen boursin in deli cheese department in safeway/woolies try there.. little white & green box

  • maggie

    I made these for my daughter’s 4th birthday party and they were a hit. I actually made them mini so I could get numerically more. I would say it made about 3 dozen. Thanks for the great recipe!

  • Natalie @ In Natalie’s Shoes

    Wow, these sound amazing! I know what I’ll be making for my Super Bowl party! Thanks for the delicious looking recipe!

  • http://www.facebook.com/operapixie Laura Sage

    Excellent! Made these (and the strawberry cupcakes) for my son’s birthday party today and everyone enjoyed them! Plus, we’ve got LOADS of leftovers since I made mini cupcake sizes.

  • http://idealistmom.com/ Kelly

    Considering that 95% of my daughter’s diet consists of mac and cheese, you can bet I’m going to make these puppies!

  • Gwen Sutton

    This recipe looked so yummy I had to try it! I didn’t have the Boursin though and wasn’t making a trip to the store for just that, so I subbed BabyBel’s lowfat French Onion cheese. I left everything else the same and we loved it. Thanks for sharing :)

  • Jen

    Did anyone try these ahead and reheat? I’m making these for a volunteer meal at the Ronald McDonald house…wondering if I can make them ahead and then just heat up

  • annieseats

    I made them ahead this past weekend for a bridal shower. What I did was assemble them in the morning, covered with foil and refrigerated. Then when I got to the venue I baked them so that they were fresh and warm. They reheat okay but this way was definitely better. Enjoy!

  • Heidi McGill

    I made my own boursin/ herb cream cheese and put this in a casserole dish for dinner (to taste the recipe first before making appetizers). Tasted amazing! My family gushed over it and all had seconds. Will make this again for sure!

  • disqus_W3gdjwAUBb

    I made these for a 4th of July party! They were spectacular! Plenty of flavor, and the crust held very well!

  • Emilia Karin

    When you say “made your own boursin”… WHAT DOES THAT MEAN?! <– that's me being SUPER excited because I love that stuff but can't justify the cost. If it's a cheaper but still delicious version, you might have just made my life :D

  • http://therookiecook.com/ Laura

    Just wondering if you tried that and how they turned out?

  • http://therookiecook.com/ Laura

    I just googled it because I was really interested and found this easy way to make your own boursin: http://www.food.com/recipe/herb-blend-for-boursin-cream-cheese-4029
    I haven’t tried it, so I don’t know if it tastes good, but it has good reviews!

  • Amy

    Did you leave the foil on while baking them since they came from the fridge? Also, did you bake them at the same temps? :) I’m excited to make these for my son’s big valentines birthday party!!

  • annieseats

    No need to leave the foil on. Bake at the usual temp. Enjoy!

  • Amy

    Thank you, Annie :)