Mac and Cheese Bites is a quick recipe that is ready in minutes and just perfect for the days when you don’t have much time to stay in the kitchen. A kind of dream combination between pasta and bechamel sauce enriched with cheddar cheese. This recipe will conquer your children for sure.
Besides famous New York Cheesecake, Banana bread, Butternut Squash Pie, Mac and Cheese is a famous American cuisine dish. This, for real comfort food, is consumed daily by millions of Americans. On the market shelves, you can find a wide choice of this ready-made frozen meal. But recently more and more people prefer to make mac and cheese at home.
There is no exact recipe for mac and cheese. Depending on the area and the ingredients’ proportions, there are different variations from the original recipe.
Crisp edges on the outside and creamy on the inside, this delicious finger food can serve you a great appetizer and snack for a big gathering or party. Enhanced with a strong cheesy flavor and aromatic bacon, these mac and cheese bites will definitely melt in your mouth. Some extra crispy bacon topping will add additional flavor and will attract even more your guests’ attention.
The best cheese for Mac and Cheese?
I will say that neither qualitative cheese can spoil mac and cheese dish. All depends on your taste and preference. Undoubtedly perfect cheese for baking is the one that melts well. So Cheddar is the first on the list for mac and cheese. Then any extra kind of cheese can be added, it just depends on your cravings and purpose. For example, I usually add some mozzarella or/cream cheese to get extra creaminess for mac and cheese casseroles. If I make mac and cheese bites or balls, I prefer to add harder cheese, like Gouda, Asiago, or Parmesan cheese.
And some words about Cheddar cheese. It is probably one of the most famous cheeses in the world. It is made of cow’s milk and has a specific aroma, which varies depending on the cheese’s degree of maturation and its origin. The color varies from the natural white of the cheese to intense yellow-orange. I used creamy orange cheddar for this mac and cheese bites recipe, which is easy to grate and has an absolutely delicious aroma!
What kind of pasta do you use for Mac And Cheese?
I chose to use for the mac and cheese bites recipe fusilli made of durum wheat. Fusili’s shape is perfect for this recipe, as cheese sauce envelope beautiful spirals! Anyway, these delicious homemade mac and cheese bites are very easy to make with any pasta, even leftovers.
My kids adore pasta. They can eat it every day for any meal without a twinge of conscience. This makes me a little nervous, and I am always in demand of what kind of pasta to buy – durum wheat vs soft wheat pasta. Durum wheat pasta is considered to be of higher quality than soft wheat one. Unlike soft wheat, durum wheat contains higher amounts of protein, a lower glycemic index, and a lower quantity of starch and water.
Durum pasta is more resistant to boiling and keeps its shape very well. It does not stick like soft wheat pasta and have a specific golden color.
How do you make Mac And Cheese Bites?
This full of cheese sauce, mac and cheese bites, baked to a perfect crispy texture, will please your taste buds for sure. It is truly something special, and anyone will go crazy for them. Mac and cheese bites are pretty easy to make, and you can easily involve your kids in the cooking process. So, let’s get started!
The whole process starts with boiling pasta. In Italy exists the rule of cooking perfect pasta, which is called shortly 1110. It so easy to remember, and it is good to follow – for every 100 grams of pasta, use 1 liter of boiling water and 10 grams of salt. So boil your pasta al dente according to package instruction. Make sure you do not over boil the pasta.
For even more flavor, I added some crunchy bacon inside the bites. For less mash in the kitchen, I bake my bacon in the oven. Just lay it on the tray in one row and send it to the preheated oven at 400 °F for about 10 minutes or bake until desired crispness. Once crispy, crumb the bacon into small pieces.
Meanwhile, prepare creamy and cheese sauce. In a medium-size saucepan, combine butter and cream over medium heat. Whisk until butter is melted and bring to a simmer. Add shredded Cheddar cheese, Parmesan cheese, garlic powder, salt, and pepper. Stir until smooth and creamy. Then remove from heat. Set aside.
In a separate small bowl, beat two eggs with a pinch of salt. Once you have everything prepared, carefully stir pasta, cheese sauce, bacon, and eggs in a large mixing bowl until evenly mixed.
Grease muffin tins edge with butter and sprinkle with bread crumbs. Spoon mac and cheese mixture carefully and top with a slice of bacon. Send to a preheated oven at 400 °F for about 15-25 minutes (depending on how large are you muffin tins). Bake until golden brown.
Once baked, before removing the bites from tins, allow them to cool for some minutes. If you want to keep their creamy texture, serve warm.
How do you reheat Mac And Cheese Bites?
Mac and cheese bites can be stored up to 5 days in the refrigerator and up to 2 months in the freezer. Before sending leftovers to the fridge, transfer them in an air-tight container. These delicious macaroni bites reheat well in the oven or the microwave. Warm them on a low to medium heat setting.
Best Homemade Mac and Cheese Bites
- 8 oz fusilli pasta
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 1 1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese
- 1/2 cup grated parmesan
- 4 tbsp butter
- 8 slices bacon
- 2 eggs
- 1 tsp salt
- 1/3 tsp garlic powder
- butter and bread crumbs for greasing muffin tins
- 8 slices bacon for topping
- Boil pasta al dente according to package instruction.
- Lay bacon on a. baking tray in one row and send it to the preheated oven at 400 °F for about 10 minutes. Bake until desired crispness. Once crispy, crumb the bacon into small pieces.
- In a medium-size saucepan, combine butter and cream over medium heat. Whisk until butter is melted and bring to a simmer. Add shredded Cheddar cheese, Parmesan cheese, garlic powder, salt, and pepper. Stir until smooth and creamy. Then remove from heat.
- In a separate small bowl, beat two eggs with a pinch of salt. Once you have everything prepared, carefully stir pasta, cheese sauce, bacon, and eggs in a large mixing bowl until evenly mixed.
- Grease muffin tins edge with butter and sprinkle with bread crumbs. Spoon mac and cheese mixture carefully and top with a slice of bacon. Send to a preheated oven at 400 °F for about 15-25 minutes (depending on how large are you muffin tins). Bake until golden brown.