Baked Mac and Cheese Bites are an easy, delicious appetizer perfect for any occasion! They're creamy, cheesy, and a little crispy on the edges. Homemade mac and cheese made with DaVinci Pasta is baked in mini muffins tins until golden brown then served warm and melty. Both adults and kids love them!
This post is sponsored by DaVinci Pasta, who I am so excited to partner with! Recipe, photographs, thoughts and opinions are all my own.
The holidays are right around the corner, which means lots of cooking and lots of eating! When it comes to Thanksgiving and Christmas, my family likes to snack on appetizers throughout the day instead of sitting down for lunch to save room for a big dinner! And these Baked Mac and Cheese Bites are the perfect appetizer.
Baked mac and cheese bites only take 35 minutes to make, and only 15 minutes of that is hands-on cook time. Even better, they can be prepared ahead of time. Just pop them in the oven for 15 minutes, then serve while they're warm and gooey!
All the best pasta recipes start with good quality pasta. DaVinci Pasta is just that! Using quality ingredients and just the right process, you can certainly taste the difference.
DaVinci Elbow Macaroni is nice and small making it perfect for this recipe! You want to avoid using large noodles because they won't hold together as nicely when baking.
When you're not making mac and cheese bites, DaVinci Pasta comes in nearly 50 varieties, so they have you covered no matter what kind of pasta you're making! They even have multiple varieties of tortellini, which I'm obsessed with! Don't get me started on their Tomato and Three Cheese Filled Tortellini 🤤
What's also great is that DaVinci Pasta is widely available - it's sold at just about every grocery near me.
Why You'll Love Baked Mac and Cheese Bites.
Both adults and kids love them.
Both adults and kids love mac and cheese bites! They're creamy, loaded with cheese, and a little crispy on the edges - so good!
They're both easy to make and an easy hand-held appetizer! And won't you get messy eating them - that's a win! You can eat them as is or dip them in your favorite sauce - ranch, honey mustard or marinara are all great for dipping!
Made with the best pasta.
DaVinci elbow macaroni is perfect for mac and cheese bites! Not only is DaVinci Pasta my favorite, but their elbow pasta is small, making it the perfect size for mini muffin tins!
- DaVinci Pasta. I like to use DaVinci elbow macaroni - it's the perfect short cut pasta for mac and cheese bites!
- Butter. I like to use salted butter, but feel free to use unsalted.
- All-purpose flour.
- Milk. I recommend whole or 2% milk.
- Cream cheese.
- Sharp cheddar cheese.
- Gruyere cheese. Gruyere cheese adds a nice nutty, salty flavor, but you can also use fontina, which is more mild, or Monterey Jack.
- Salt and pepper.
- Onion powder.
- Garlic powder.
- Ground nutmeg. Just a little ground nutmeg adds great depth of flavor to mac and cheese!
- Egg. All you need is one egg to help the mac and cheese bites together.
How to Make Baked Mac and Cheese Bites.
Baked Mac and Cheese Bites are so easy to make with homemade with homemade mac and cheese! All you need is 15 minutes of hands-on cook time, then let the oven do the rest! Here's how to make Easy Baked Mac and Cheese Bites:
- Cook the pasta. Boil DaVinci elbow macaroni until al dente, about 5-7 minutes. Drain and set aside.
- Make the sauce. While the pasta boils, make the creamy, cheesy sauce! Start by melting butter, then mix in flour to create a roux to thicken the sauce. Mix in milk then cream cheese until nice and smooth.
- Add cheese and spices. Mix in lots of cheese salt, pepper and a few spices.
- Mix in the pasta. Mix in an egg to help hold the mac and cheese bites together, then mix in cooked pasta.
- Bake. Spoon about 2 tablespoons of mac and cheese into mini muffin tins and bake.
- Enjoy. Garnish and serve warm!
Tips & Tricks.
Shred your own cheese! I highly recommend buying a block of cheese and shredding it yourself versus buying pre-shredded cheese. Freshly grated cheese melts better and tastes so much better!
Cook pasta al dente. Careful not to overcook the pasta, otherwise it'll be mushy and it won't hold up well once baked.
Grease the muffin tin. Make sure you grease the muffin tin to the mac and cheese bites don't stick!
Frequently Asked Questions.
Can I use a regular size muffin tin? Yes, you sure can, but I have not personally tried it. You may need to bake the mac and cheese bites a little longer to ensure they hold tougher. I would bake for about 20-25 minutes.
Can I use different types of cheese? Yes, but there isn't a great substitute for sharp cheddar cheese, so I highly recommend that you use sharp cheddar. If need be, you could use colby jack cheese. I also really like to use gruyere cheese because of its nutty, salty flavor. Fontina is similar to gruyere, but more mild, so that's a great alternative. Otherwise monterey jack would work.
Can I make them ahead of time? Yes! Make the mac and cheese and fill the mini muffin tins. Cover and store in the fridge until you're ready to bake. Remove from the fridge while the oven preheats and cook an additional 5 minutes.
More Appetizer Recipes You'll Love!
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Easy Baked Mac and Cheese Bites
- mini muffin tin
- 8 ounces DaVinci Elbow Macaroni
- 2 tablespoons salted butter
- 2 tablespoons flour
- 1 ¼ cups milk
- 4 ounces cream cheese
- 1 cup sharp cheddar cheese, freshly grated
- 1 cup gruyere cheese, freshly grated (can substitute fontina or monterey jack)
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon pepper
- ½ teaspoon onion powder
- ¼ teaspoon garlic powder
- ⅛ teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1 egg, whisked
- Optional garnish: freshly grated parmesan cheese, flakey sea salt and chopped fresh parsley
- Bring a pot of salted water to a boil. Cook pasta until al dente, about 5-7 minutes. Drain and set aside. Continue with remaining steps while the pasta cooks.
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Spray a 24-count mini muffin tin with olive oil spray.
- Melt the butter in a medium size pot over medium heat. Whisk in the flour and cook for one minute.
- While whisking, slowly pour in the milk and simmer until thickened, about 1-2 minutes. Add the cream cheese and mix until melted.
- Reduce heat to low. Mix in the cheese, salt, pepper, onion powder, garlic powder and nutmeg.
- Remove from heat then mix in the whisked egg and cooked pasta.
- Spoon about 2 tablespoons of mac and cheese into each mini muffin tin. Bake for 15-17 minutes, or until lightly golden on top.
- Allow to cool for 5 minutes, then remove from the pan. If desired, garnish with freshly grated parmesan cheese, flakey sea salt and chopped fresh parsley. Serve warm!
This recipe was created in partnership with DaVinci Pasta. Thank you for supporting brands that I love, which make Modern Farmhouse Eats possible. Learn more about DaVinci Pasta by visiting their website or find them on Instagram, Facebook and Pinterest.