These mac and cheese bites are a fun way to enjoy a nostalgic recipe! Both kids and adults love this quick and easy snack. Each bite has a crispy golden exterior and a creamy cheesy center. They are the perfect finger food, appetizer, side dish, or hearty snack. Great for holidays, entertaining friends and family, and serving to a crowd!
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Why You’ll Love This Recipe
- These mac and cheese bites are quick and easy to make!
- They taste like homemade mac and cheese in every bite.
- They are made with mostly pantry staple ingredients.
- You probably already have everything in your kitchen!
- Serve for a movie night, holiday party, family dinner, game day, and birthday party.
- Kids go wild for these! They are a big hit every time we make them at home.
- They are picky eater approved and great for adults too.
- This comfort food recipe is great all year long.
- If needed, this recipe can be adapted to be gluten-free.
- Check out this Creamy Whole Wheat Mac and Cheese for another family favorite idea!
Ingredients & Substitutes
Scroll down to the recipe card below for the full mac and cheese bite recipe.
Whole wheat macaroni is great for this recipe. If needed, use gluten-free macaroni. We also love brown rice macaroni.
Shredded cheddar cheese adds a sharp cheesy flavor! Feel free to use any shredded cheese you have on hand. I have used mozzarella before with great results.
Milk helps make the filling creamy. Both regular and dairy-free milk work well.
Butter adds a classic buttery flavor!
Grated Parmesan cheese also adds a sharp and intense cheesy flavor.
Whole wheat breadcrumbs add a crunchy element. They become golden and crispy! For gluten-free, use gluten-free breadcrumbs.
The spices add so much flavor. Garlic powder, onion powder, paprika, salt, and pepper are a delicious combination.
Lastly, beaten eggs help bind the bites together. Do not omit the eggs.
Taste & Texture
Mac and cheese bites offer a delightful combination of flavors and textures! These bites taste like classic macaroni and cheese. They are savory, hearty, and cheesy.
These bites have a golden crispy outside. Inside, they are creamy!
How to Make
First, preheat the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Lightly grease a muffin pan with cooking spray.
In a large bowl, combine the cooked macaroni, shredded cheese, milk, butter, grated Parmesan cheese, breadcrumbs, garlic powder, onion powder, paprika, salt, and pepper. Stir until fully combined.
Next, add in the beaten eggs. Stir until everything is well coated.
Spoon the macaroni mixture into the greased muffin pan, filling each cup to the top. Press down gently to ensure they hold their shape.
Place the muffin pan in the preheated oven. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes, or until the mac and cheese bites are golden crispy on top.
Once cooked, remove the pan from the oven. Allow the bites to cool for a few minutes. Use a butter knife to carefully remove them from the pan.
Finally, serve the mac and cheese bites!
Expert Tips for Success
Experiment with different cheese combinations like cheddar, mozzarella, Gouda, or pepper jack for unique flavor profiles.
For a fun twist, mix in cooked bacon, diced jalapeños, or sautéed onions to add depth and texture.
If the mac and cheese mixture is too soft to shape, refrigerate it for 30 minutes before forming the bites.
Press down slightly on the bites before baking. This helps them keep their shape.
Air Fryer Method
Follow these simple steps to achieve the perfect air fryer mac and cheese bites!
Cook the macaroni according to package instructions. Then continue with the recipe as written.
Let the mixture cool slightly before shaping it into bite-sized balls using a spoon or cookie scoop.
Place the bites on an air fryer tray lined with parchment paper, ensuring they do not touch each other.
Lightly spray the bites with cooking oil to help them achieve a golden color and crispy texture.
Air fry at 400 degrees Fahrenheit for about 7 to 8 minutes or until they turn crispy and golden brown.
Finally, remove from the air fryer. Serve!
Flavor Variations & Add-Ins
Buffalo Mac and Cheese Bites: Toss the bites in buffalo sauce before cooking for a spicy kick. Serve with this Homemade Blue Cheese Dressing!
Pizza Mac and Cheese Bites: Add pizza sauce, pepperoni slices, and a sprinkle of Italian herbs to the macaroni mixture for a pizza-inspired twist.
Truffle Mac and Cheese Bites: Drizzle truffle oil over the bites after cooking for an elegant touch of luxury.
How to Serve & Store
Serve the mac and cheese bites hot and fresh! Serve with your choice of dipping sauce. Sugar-free ketchup or marinara sauce are great options.
Serve as a side dish, hearty appetizer, light bite, finger food, or snack.
Store the bites in the fridge for up to 3 days.
To reheat, bake them at 300 degrees Fahrenheit for 5 minutes, or until warm.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Yes! Air fry at 400 degrees Fahrenheit for 7 to 8 minutes.
Cheddar, Parmesan, and Gruyere cheeses are the best for macaroni and cheese. They are sharp and flavorful.
Sure! Be sure to use gluten-free macaroni and gluten-free breadcrumbs.
- Muffin Pan: This is my favorite muffin pan for baking. It is perfect for these mac and cheese bites!
- Pyrex 3 Glass Mixing Bowls: These are great mixing bowls for mixing together the macaroni filling.
- Pyrex Glass Measuring Cups: I always use these glass measuring cups when cooking.
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Enjoy this mac and cheese bites recipe!