These Bacon Mac n Cheese Bites make a terrific party snack.. whether watching a game or an for elegant party with hors’dourves… everyone loves mac n cheese… so it seems.. and what better way to serve it then in these adorable little bites.
Make as little or as much as you want.. this recipe is more about the method once you have your mac and cheese made.
It took several tries to get it just right… but we had fun trying.. Warren happily ate the rejects as I perfected the method into a easy 5 step process.
You can use left-over macaroni and cheese … or make it just for this.. in any case… you want a cheesy mac n cheese… not a runny sauce.
I would recommend you make your bacon in the oven… it’s easy.. fool proof and easy to clean up…. here are the instructions for Making Bacon in the Oven.
Make the bacon crisp and then break it into pieces and plop them in the mini processor… a few whirls in the mini chopper and you have perfect little pieces of bacon. I crumbled them on top of each little bite.. you can also mix it right into the mac n cheese.
I used my non stick mini muffin tins.. mine are excellent.. the non stick surface is really good.. but I still needed to brush melted butter in each well to keep them from not sticking. The brushed butter also helps make the crust…
I did not add salt to the macaroni and cheese since I was using bacon which has more than enough salt in it.
After spooning in the mac n cheese into the little muffin well…. tap it gently down with the back of a small spoon so it is a solid clump of mac n cheese.
So they aren’t excessively greasy … when you pop them out of the muffin tin.. stand them on a piece of paper towel to drain off an excess butter.
I made 48 bites… used 3 cups of cooked elbow macaroni mixed in a cheese sauce see below.
Try these for your next party.. they will definitely fly off the tray!
All you need:
For the Macaroni and cheese
3 cups cooked elbow macaroni
3 tablespoons butter
¼ cup flour
2 cups whole milk
2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
For the Bites:
Macaroni and cheese (yours or my recipe)
Unseasoned (plain) bread crumbs
Grated Parmesan cheese
About 1 cup of shredded cheddar cheese
4 strips of bacon, cooked and crumbled
All you need to do:
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
To make the macaroni and cheese if you are not using left-overs:
In a large pot, melt the butter. Add the flour and stir well to totally incorporate the flour. Cook for a minute over medium heat to cook off the flour taste.
Heat the milk in the microwave on high for about a minute to warm the milk. Slowly add the milk to the flour mixture, whisking constantly. Vigorously whisk the sauce until all lumps are gone. Continue whisking until sauce is thickened and smooth.
Add the cooked macaroni and stir well. Remove from the heat.
Melt enough butter to brush each mini muffin well.
Drop about ½ - ¾ teaspoon of plain crumbs in each well. Tap them around to coat as much of the well as possible.. tap any excess out and discard.
Drop a ¼ - ½ teaspoon grated parmesan cheese in each well and tap that all around.. and tap out any excess.
Drop several “strands” of shredded cheddar cheese in each well.
Spoon the mac and cheese into the well… fill it close to the top of each well…. then with the back of a small spoon (coffee teaspoon will work)… gently pack the mac and cheese down.
Sprinkle with the crumbled bacon bits.
***The bites can be made ahead to this point (up to a day in advance) and covered with plastic wrap and refrigerated until ready to bake. Allow to come close to room temperature or adjust baking time until bubbly.
Bake for 10 minutes. Remove them from the oven and allow them to set for about 5 minutes.
Take a sharp knife and slip it down the side and work it around the bite. Take two spoons and gently push them out.. they should easily pop out and retain their shape with a thin crumb crust.
Place on paper towels to get rid of any excess grease.
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