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Side Dishes

Easy Oven-Baked Macaroni and Cheese Cups Recipe

Bite-sized Elegance for Your Next Gathering

When it comes to comfort food, few dishes can rival the timeless appeal of macaroni and cheese. Now, imagine taking that beloved classic and transforming it into perfectly portioned, golden-brown delights – that’s the magic of our Oven-Baked Macaroni and Cheese Cups. These bite-sized wonders not only capture the essence of the ultimate comfort food but also add a touch of elegance to your next gathering. Let’s dive into the details of this delightful recipe that’s bound to be a crowd-pleaser.

Unlocking Culinary Magic: The Charm of Mini Mac and Cheese Cups

The allure of our Oven-Baked Macaroni and Cheese Cups lies in their miniaturized charm. These individual servings aren’t just practical; they add a whimsical touch to your table, making them ideal for potlucks, picnics, or even as a creative appetizer for a formal dinner party. Picture guests reaching for these golden cups, their eyes lighting up with anticipation for the creamy, cheesy goodness that awaits inside.

Ingredients That Tell a Flavorful Tale: A Symphony of Cheeses

The heart of any exceptional macaroni and cheese lies in the cheese sauce, and our recipe doesn’t disappoint. Sharp cheddar and mozzarella come together to create a harmonious blend of flavors. The sharpness of cheddar adds depth, while the mild creaminess of mozzarella ensures a velvety texture. This symphony of cheeses is elevated with a touch of Dijon mustard, garlic powder, and onion powder, creating layers of complexity that tantalize the taste buds.

Crafting the Perfect Bite: From Elbow Macaroni to Creamy Cups

Cooking the elbow macaroni to al dente perfection is the first step toward crafting the perfect mac and cheese cup. The cooked pasta is then gently folded into a luscious cheese sauce, ensuring each piece is coated in velvety goodness. The result is a marriage of flavors and textures that promises to deliver comfort in every bite.

Baking Brilliance: A Golden Brown Finale

As the macaroni and cheese cups are spooned into the muffin tin, a sprinkle of breadcrumbs adds a satisfying crunch to the tops. The muffin tin, now a stage for culinary brilliance, goes into the oven, transforming the creamy concoction into golden-brown masterpieces. The breadcrumbs toast to perfection, creating a textural contrast that elevates the overall experience.

Versatility Meets Creativity: Recipe Customization

Our Oven-Baked Macaroni and Cheese Cups are a canvas for culinary creativity. Consider experimenting with different cheese blends to tailor the flavor profile to your liking. Smoked gouda, fontina, or even a touch of blue cheese can add an unexpected twist. For those who enjoy a bit of heat, a pinch of cayenne pepper in the cheese sauce creates a delightful kick.

Visual Appeal: A Feast for the Eyes

Garnished with a sprinkle of finely chopped fresh parsley, these macaroni and cheese cups aren’t just delicious; they’re a feast for the eyes. The vibrant green adds a pop of color to the golden-brown canvas, making them a visually appealing addition to any table.

A Miniature Symphony of Comfort

As you savor each bite of our Oven-Baked Macaroni and Cheese Cups, you’re not just experiencing comfort food; you’re indulging in a miniature symphony of flavors and textures. These bite-sized wonders are a testament to the transformative power of a classic dish when presented with creativity and flair. Whether served at a casual family gathering or a sophisticated soirée, these cups embody the essence of comfort in every elegant bite. Share, savor, and enjoy the delightful journey these mac and cheese cups offer – comfort has never been so chic!

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Oven-Baked Macaroni and Cheese Cups

Elevate the classic macaroni and cheese experience with our Oven-Baked Macaroni and Cheese Cups. Perfectly portioned and bursting with flavor, these delightful cups are not only a hit with kids but also a creative addition to your next potluck or casual gathering.
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Course Side Dish
Cuisine American
Servings 12 cups
Calories 250 kcal

Equipment

  • Muffin Pan

Ingredients
  

  • 2 cups elbow macaroni
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups whole milk
  • 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper optional
  • 2 cups sharp cheddar cheese shredded
  • 1 cup mozzarella cheese shredded
  • Salt and black pepper to taste
  • 1/2 cup breadcrumbs
  • Fresh parsley finely chopped, for garnish (optional)

Instructions
 

  • Preheat your oven to 375°F (190°C). Grease a muffin tin with non-stick cooking spray. Or use cupcake liners.
  • Cook the elbow macaroni according to package instructions until al dente. Drain and set aside.
  • In a medium saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the flour and whisk continuously to create a roux, cooking for 2-3 minutes until lightly golden.
  • Gradually whisk in the milk, ensuring no lumps form. Continue cooking and whisking until the mixture thickens, about 5-7 minutes.
  • Stir in the Dijon mustard, garlic powder, onion powder, cayenne pepper (if using), and season with salt and black pepper.
  • Add the shredded sharp cheddar and mozzarella cheeses, stirring until fully melted and the sauce is smooth.
  • Fold in the cooked macaroni, ensuring every piece is coated with the velvety cheese sauce.
  • Spoon the macaroni and cheese mixture into the prepared muffin tin, pressing down gently to form cups.
  • Sprinkle breadcrumbs evenly over the tops of the macaroni and cheese cups for a delightful crunch.
  • Place the muffin tin in the preheated oven and bake for 25-30 minutes or until the tops are golden brown and the edges are bubbly.
  • Remove from the oven and let it cool for a few minutes before using a knife to loosen the edges and pop the cups out. If desired, garnish with finely chopped fresh parsley.

Notes

  • Experiment with different cheese combinations, such as adding a touch of smoked gouda or fontina for added depth of flavor.
  • To make these cups more portable, allow them to cool completely before transferring to a container for on-the-go snacks or lunches.
  • Customize the spice level by adjusting the amount of cayenne pepper according to your preference.
  • These macaroni and cheese cups are freezer-friendly. Once cooled, store in an airtight container in the freezer for up to one month.
Keyword kid friendly, Mac n cheese, side dishes

33 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    This recipe turned out to be a huge hit with my family! The flavors were amazing and the instructions were so easy to follow. Definitely adding this to our regular rotation!

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