Entrees
Side Dish
Snacks

Mac and Cheese Muffins

Mac and Cheese Muffins are the perfect on-the-go lunch or snack idea. They are made with two types of cheeses, topped with panko breadcrumbs and baked to perfection!

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mac and cheese muffins on a plate.

why you’ll love this recipe

  • Mac and Cheese Muffins are the perfect portable lunch or snack idea.
  • Made with two types of cheeses!
  • They are super cheesy and have a lovely crunchy texture.
  • Perfect for holiday’s, game day, or school lunch boxes.
  • Can be made in the oven or air fryer.
  • These baked mac n cheese bite are an absolute crowd pleaser!
  • The best single serve mac and cheese bites.
  • You can make them your own by adding in your favorite toppings!
  • Check out my healthy Italian Pasta Salad for another great cheesy recipe!
all the ingredients that you need to make these mac and cheese muffins.

ingredients and Substitutions

These are the main ingredients and substitutions for Mac and Cheese Muffins. Be sure to scroll down to the recipe card at the bottom of this page for a full list of ingredients and instructions.

Macaroni pasta is the best noodle shape to use for this recipe, however you can also use elbow if you prefer. If you want to make this recipe gluten-free, then use gluten-free pasta.

For the cheese, I personally love using sharp cheddar and white cheddar, however, you can use any type of cheese that your prefer like mozzarella, pepper jack, swiss, provolone, etc!

Greek yogurt gives this recipe a slight tangy flavor that I love and adds an amazing creamy texture, you can also use heavy cream in replace.

Use a high quality butter for more flavor, I love using Irish Butter. You can use salted or unsalted.

Salt and pepper to taste.

Japanese Panko breadcrumbs, or your favorite brand or store bought will work too!

Smoked paprika will give the panko breadcrumbs some added flavor.

You can use any type of milk or nut-milk alternative. I used almond milk which gives the mac and cheese a more mild flavor, if you want it to be more rich I recommend using whole milk.

All purpose flour is recommended but you can also use gluten-free flour if you prefer, just make sure it’s a 1:1 swap.

how to make

ONE: Start by making the pasta al a dente. Drain and set aside.

TWO: While the pasta is boiling, make the cheese sauce by melting the butter in a deep saucepan. Once the butter is melted, add in the flour and mix for about 1-2 minutes or until golden brown.

THREE: Next, add in the almond milk and greek yogurt and whisk until well incorporated.

FOUR: Season with the salt and pepper and bring to a simmer. Add in the cheese and whisk once more until the cheese is melted and you have a thick cheese sauce.

FIVE: Add the macaroni to the cheese sauce and mix once more. Have a taste and season with more salt and pepper if desired.

SIX: If baking in the oven, line a cupcake tin with liners or silicone molds. If baking in the air fryer, set the silicon molds out on the rack, then fill each mold with the mac n cheese about half way. Then, sprinkle with remaining cheese and cover with more mac n cheese.

Seven: In a small bowl combine the panko and paprika then sprinkle over the tops of the mac n cheese muffins. Place in the oven at 350F for 17-20 minutes or until the tops of each muffin is golden brown and firm to the touch. If opting for the air fryer method, place the molds on the rack and air fry at 350F for 15 minutes.

EIGHT: Remove and let sit on the counter for about 10 minutes or until firm before removing from the molds.

a hand holding a baked mac and cheese muffin.

Tips and tricks

Use silicon cupcake liners or a silicon mold for easy removal and easy cleanup!

For added flavor, use two different types of cheese. If you like a little kick, use pepper jack cheese or add in some chili or jalapeños.

Make these mac n cheese muffins your own by adding in bacon bites, chives, lobster, pulled pork or even beef!

I recommend using the oven if you are making a big batch of these, otherwise if you only need a few then use your air fryer!

Taste the mac n cheese before adding to the silicon molds to see if you need to add any more salt and pepper.

Use a high quality butter and high quality cheese for maximum flavor.

I prefer using a cheese block and grating it myself rather than using shredded store-bought cheese. It has way more flavor in my opinion!

Want to add in more veggies? Try adding in peas or broccoli.

If you want to add in more protein, try adding in some shredded chicken or even a touch of BBQ sauce!

a bite taken out of the mac and cheese muffin.

How to serve and store

Serve these Mac and Cheese Muffins with your favorite protein, or put them in your kiddos lunch boxes for school. Enjoy warm on their own, or with your favorite meal.

Refrigerator Storage

Let mac and cheese muffins full cool and then store in an airtight container and refrigerate for up to 4 days for best results. To reheat, simply microwave for 30 seconds to 1 minute per cup (depending on microwave).

Freezing

For best results and to avoid freezer burn, store mac n cheese bites tightly wrapped in parchment paper or foil and place in a ziplock baggie in the freezer up to 3 months.

To reheat, thaw in the refrigerator overnight and heat in the microwave for about 1 minute or until warm all the way through.

a plate of mac n cheese muffins with one having a bite taken out of it.

Taste and Texture

These Macaroni and Cheese Bites are soft, a little crunchy and incredibly creamy!

The texture is firm on the edges, but soft and gooey in the center. They are topping with panko breadcrumbs for the perfect amount of crunch.

frequently asked questions

Can I use any type of cheese?

Yes totally! However, I’d recommend using sharp cheddar, white cheddar, mozzarella, pepper jack, or anything that melts really well.

Can I use store bought shredded cheese?

Totally! However, if you can, I recommend shredding it yourself because the block of cheese tends to have more flavor and be a bit more on the creamy side!

Do I have to use a silicon mold?

You don’t have too, but it’s recommended for easy removal and storage! The paper liners might stick.

other recipes you may like

If you make these Mac and Cheese Muffins, I would really appreciate a comment and rating down below, under the recipe card. Don’t forget to take a picture and tag me over on InstagramTiktok or Pinterest!

Mac and Cheese Muffins

Mac and Cheese Muffins are the perfect on-the-go lunch or snack idea. They are made with two types of cheeses, topped with panko breadcrumbs and baked to perfection!
PIN RECIPE
PREP TIME:
15 minutes
COOK TIME:
15 minutes
TOTAL TIME:
30 minutes
Author - Hannah

Ingredients

  • 16 oz macaroni pasta
  • 6 tbsp salted or unsalted high quality butter
  • 1/3 cup all purpose flour
  • 3 cups milk or nut milk of choice, see notes above
  • 1 cup greek yogurt, can sub heavy cream
  • 4 cups sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
  • 2 cups white cheddar cheese, shredded
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 1/2 cups panko crumbs
  • 1 tsp paprika 

SCALE:

1X

YIELDS:

36 muffins

Directions

  1. Start by making the pasta al a dente. Drain and set aside. 
  2. While the pasta is boiling, make the cheese sauce by melting the butter in a deep saucepan. Once the butter is melted, add in the flour and whisk for about 1-2 minutes or until golden brown. 
  3. Next, add in the almond milk and greek yogurt and whisk until well incorporated. 
  4. Season with the salt and pepper and bring to a simmer. 
  5. Add in the 3 cups of the cheddar cheese and 1 cup of white cheddar cheese and whisk once more until the cheese is melted and you have a thick cheese sauce texture. 
  6. Add the macaroni to the cheese sauce and mix until well incorporated. Have a taste and season with more salt and pepper if desired. 
  7. If baking in the oven, line a cupcake tin with liners or silicone molds. If baking in the air fryer, set the silicon molds out on the air fryer rack, then fill each mold with the mac n cheese about half way. Then, sprinkle with a combination or the remaining sharp and white cheddar cheese, cover with more mac n cheese until the molds are filled to the top. 
  8. In a small bowl combine the panko breadcrumbs and paprika then sprinkle over the tops of the mac n cheese muffins. Place in the oven at 350F for 17-20 minutes or until the tops of each muffin is golden brown and firm to the touch. If opting for the air fryer method, place the molds on the rack and air fry at 350F for 15 minutes. 
  9. Remove and let sit on the counter for about 15 minutes or until firm before removing from the molds and enjoy!! 

Notes

  • Use silicon molds for easy removal and easy cleanup!
  • For added flavor, use two different types of cheese. If you like a little kick, use pepper jack cheese or add in some chili or jalapeños.
  • I recommend using the oven if you are making a big batch of these, otherwise if you only need a few then use your air fryer!
  • Taste the mac n cheese before adding to the silicon molds to see if you need to add any more salt and pepper.
  • Use a high quality butter and high quality cheese for maximum flavor.
 

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